Staci Lewis is an interdisciplinary ocean researcher with nearly two decades of experience studying coral reef ecology, ocean governance, and human dimensions of ocean sustainability in various U.S. and international settings. She received her doctorate from Stanford University in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program for Environment and Resources. Her dissertation work focused on ocean governance and coral geochemistry in the Republic of Palau where she traced Palau’s sociopolitical histories, land-use change and coral sedimentation patterns. During this time, Staci also studied the socioeconomics of Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary by assessing Palau’s seafood supply chain, dietary preferences of tourists and residents, and expenditures and fishing preferences of Palau’s offshore fishers.
Prior to her Stanford tenure, she obtained a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University (GMU) where she studied coral reef disease and U.S. federal climate science initiatives. After GMU, Staci spent eight years in Washington, D.C. working in various ocean policy positions. First, she worked for two NOAA Administrators, as the NOAA liaison to the Obama Transition Team and NOAA’s staff liaison for the U.S. Global Climate Change Program. Next, Staci was the Senior Policy Manager for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a non-governmental organization, where she advocated for federal science policies and investments on behalf of the U.S. ocean research community. Prior to D.C., Staci served as a Fulbright Fellow in Barbados focusing on coral reef health, and worked at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab as a manager of four coral reef monitoring projects in three systems–Florida Keys (USA), Flower Garden Banks (USA), and Bocas Del Toro (Panama).
Staci currently works for Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions and Woods Institute for the Environment and continues her work in Palau and the broader Micronesia region. She designed and currently teaches the Ocean Stewardship and Sustainability course (AS.420.624) for Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs.