Director, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative, Smithsonian Institution
Melanie McField is the founder and Director of the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), a multi-institutional effort to track the health of the Mesoamerica reef ecosystem and evaluate progress implementing management strategies aimed at ensuring its long-term integrity. The program has been underway in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico for over a decade, producing four Mesoamerican Reef Report Cards and three Eco-Audits. HRI now includes 65 partner organizations with plans for expanding the geographic scope this year. Melanie lived and worked in Belize for over 20 years; first as a Peace Corps volunteer/field biologist and then with World Wildlife Fund, and since 2006 with the Smithsonian Institution, now based in South Florida. She has a PhD in Marine Science from the University of South Florida, and was awarded Oceana’s Belize’s Ocean Champion Award in 2013, and the Coastal Zone Management Institute’s Marine Research Award in 2003. She has 30 published research papers focused on coral reef community ecology, coral bleaching, chemical contamination, and management effectiveness; 7 book chapters and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Melanie has featured the Mesoamerican Reef on television appearances including the TODAY show, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and the BBC. www.healthyreefs.org
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