Staff and Contacts

The members of the Barnegat Bay Partnership staff are employees of Ocean County College, which is where the Partnership office is located.

The Barnegat Bay Partnership is a department of Ocean County College.

For Information and General Questions: (732) 255-0472 • fax: (732) 255-0358

Barnegat Bay Partnership Staff

Stanton Hales, Jr., Ph.D.

Program Director

[email protected]

Stanton Hales, Jr., Ph.D. joined the BBP as Director on July 1, 2007. He brings a diverse background in education, research, and management to the BBP. Before joining the BBP, Dr. Hales was a Senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s New Jersey Field Office, where he coordinated planning and other activities in the Hackensack Meadowlands and authored The Hackensack Meadowlands Initiative: Preliminary Conservation Planning. Previously, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the Coastal Conservation Research Program (CCRP) at Richard  . The CCRP was a collaborative student-based research program supported by many organizations, including the Wetlands Institute and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Hales’ research activities have focused on growth, mortality, and movements of estuarine fishes, but also include published studies on ecotoxicology, population genetics, and reproductive ecology. He received his B.S. from Davidson College, his M.S. from the College of Charleston, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Martha Maxwell-Doyle

Project Coordinator

[email protected]

For the three decades, Ms. Maxwell-Doyle’s career has spanned various aspects of environmental protection, resource management and hazardous materials response. Martha joined the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) as Project Coordinator in 2008 bringing extensive project management and National Estuary Program (NEP) experience to the program. Previously serving as the Deputy Director for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE), one of the most geopolitically complicated of the 28 NEPs.

Upon joining the staff of the BBP, Martha was successful in securing grant funding to establish the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Wetlands Assessment (MACWA) in New Jersey. The joint collaboration with PDE set out to establish an integrated wetlands monitoring and assessment program in the Delaware Bay and Barnegat Bay Estuaries and beyond and to understand the effects of multiple stressors on salt marshes from a regional perspective. Over the last five years, MACWA has begun to systematically quantify the numerous impacts that were contributing to coastal wetlands degradation with the ultimate outcome to be able to use this findings to make better resource management decisions.

Martha’s other related area of expertise includes 20+ years of emergency response and hazard mitigation experience. This background has benefited BBP’s ability to integrate applied climate science to developing adaptation strategies to address the impacts of a climate change and enhancing existing planning tools including the incorporation of climate risk elements into Ocean County’s Office of Emergency Multi-Jurisdictional All Hazards Mitigation Plan.

A graduate of Rutgers University, Cook College with a BS degree in Environmental Planning and Resource Management with a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. Martha is also a NJ state certified Hazardous Materials and CBRNE Specialist.  She has worked extensively with federal, state and local agencies, Congressional and State legislative representatives and with private sector partners on complicated environmental science, policy and resource management matters.

Karen Walzer

Public Outreach Coordinator

[email protected]

Karen began her career working for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as an Environmental Specialist. Her experience included enforcement of coastal land use laws and assessment of biological impacts of projects. More recently, she monitored water quality for Monmouth County Health Department as an Environmental Health Specialist, and worked for the New Jersey Forest Resource Education Center as a Seasonal Naturalist. In 2007-2008 Karen served in an AmeriCorps program as the New Jersey Watershed Ambassador for the Barnegat Bay Watershed. She coordinated public outreach efforts and presented educational programs throughout the watershed. She has also been an active participant in community outreach events as a long time volunteer for two local organizations, Ocean County Master Gardeners and Jackson Pathfinders.

Karen received a B.S. in Biology from Bucknell University and earned New Jersey Teacher Certificates in both Biology and General Science.   She is also licensed as a NJ Registered Environmental Health Specialist. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and exploring local trails.

Betsy Hyle

Special Events Coordinator

[email protected]

Betsy Hyle, started her career in television journalism in Baltimore as a news and documentary producer, then transitioned to newsroom management with oversight of a 100-person, 24/7 news operation. After 16 years in television, Betsy stepped away to provide home care for an aging relative while continuing to freelance both news and public relations projects. A growing interest in senior care resulted in a MA in Aging Studies and a ten-year career with a national company specializing in construction and management of large-scale retirement communities where Betsy served as a Director of Health Care Services.  In addition to her position with the BBP, Betsy is also a lecturer at Ocean County College with the Academic Services Department teaching the first-year student success curricula.

Jim Vasslides, Ph.D., CFP

Program Scientist

[email protected]

Jim Vasslides comes to the BBP with a wide range of terrestrial, estuarine, and marine research and management experience. Before joining the BBP he was a member of the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, where he conducted research on New Jersey’s marine resources, primarily on the Barnegat Bay and near-shore coastal waters. Prior to that Jim worked as a Fishery Biologist II for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries in the Pamlico Sound, overseeing studies of the Sound’s juvenile and adult fish populations, as well as state-wide management of American eel and Atlantic Croaker. Before focusing on marine and estuarine issues, Jim was involved with wetland restoration and enhancement projects, threatened and endangered species surveys, and project planning and permitting.

Jim received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.s from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and has published papers on fish community assemblages, feeding interactions, early life history movements, as well as ecosystem modelling. His research interests include the role of estuaries as nurseries, the restoration of shallow water habitats, and climate change effects on species distributions and assemblages.

Emily Pirl

Field Scientist                                                                                                                          

[email protected]

After receiving her B.S. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Emily primarily studied microscopic marine organisms. While working for a phytoplankton ecology lab in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, she studied the effects of increased carbon dioxide on phytoplankton populations. She then moved to a biophysical interactions lab where she maintained invertebrate larvae cultures (bivalves and snails) for use in turbulence experiments.

Emily always enjoyed working in the field so she was excited to join the BBP staff in 2016 as a field and lab technician where she could immerse herself in field work. After pursuing a brief opportunity to gain experience in water quality, Emily made her way back to BBP as the Field Specialist where she primarily works on wetlands resiliency projects.

Barbara E. Spinweber

EPA Region 2 Program Coordinator


AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador

Barnegat Bay Partnership is the Host Agency for the AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador for the Barnegat Bay watershed (WMA13). The 2017-2018 Barnegat Bay Watershed Ambassador is Ray LeChien.  You can email him at [email protected], or call him at the BBP office at 732-255-0472.

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