SCCF, Coastal Watch provide staffing updates
The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation recently welcomed Sierra Greene as the research assistant at its Marine Lab. In addition, Coastal Watch announced that Kealy McNeal is taking up the reins as conservation initiatives coordinator.
Greene’s primary roles include servicing the RECON water quality monitoring sensors and supporting various other projects at the lab. McNeal will be the liaison between the SCCF and Coastal Watch Advisory Committee to plan and execute conservation initiatives on Sanibel and Captiva.
Greene grew up with a deep appreciation for the environment, cultivated through her family’s love for the outdoors. She studied marine biology and geology at the University of South Florida to better understand Florida’s geological origin and the unique marine ecosystems. While obtaining her bachelor’s, Greene was involved with programs that researched sea turtle nesting and migration, coastal wetland environments and coral reef ecosystems.
In college, she worked as an outdoor recreation trip leader and enjoyed leading kayaking, hiking, SCUBA diving and rock-climbing trips throughout the country and abroad. After graduating, Greene worked in a fisheries lab in Mississippi, where she was part of a lab that studied the ecology of Gulf sharks and fishes.
McNeal grew up in Iowa and spent her childhood vacationing in Florida, where she fell in love with the ocean. As a young girl, her career aspirations ranged from dolphin trainer to marine biologist. McNeal attended the University of Tampa, where she studied environmental and marine science. She later worked for The Audubon Society, monitoring and protecting nesting shorebirds on beaches in Florida and Massachusetts.
McNeal has been with the Sanibel Sea School since 2018 and also leads paddles and community events for Ocean Tribe Paddlers. Environmental education is important to her, and she is thrilled to share her ocean knowledge and enthusiasm. McNeal brings her passion for the local coastlines, conservation and public outreach to the position and is excited to work with the community on a deeper level.