Board of Directors
Lynn is a founding Board member of DEI and has helped lead the organization for more than 20 years. She was a local high school science and math educator for 35 years and was instrumental in bringing the Eastern Maine Skippers Program to Jonesport-Beals High School. Lynn graduated from UMaine in 1977 with a B.S. in Education, with a concentration in math and science. She participated in a research fellowship at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor in 2000 and completed a Masters Degree in Science Education in 2008.
Dr. Sherrie Sprangers
Dr. Sprangers graduated from University of Wisconsin – River Falls with a B.S. in Chemistry, followed by a Ph.D. in Reproductive Endocrinology from Marquette University. She moved to Maine in 1990 to begin a career as part of the biology faculty at the University of Maine at Machias. As is typical at a small university Sherrie teaches a wide array of courses in the Biology, Marine Biology, and Environmental Studies programs. Dr. Sprangers joined the board of the Downeast Institute in 2003. Her professional interests are focused on diadromous fish and their freshwater habitats.
Clerk & Treasurer
Jane is retired from a long time position at UMM leading their Office of Special Programs. In this capacity, she edited and polished the first grant that funded DEI’s work (then BIRSH). She was a founding board member of DEI, and has used her wealth of experience from a career in media, industry and higher education to champion DEI’s mission.
Jason Alley, Jonesport
Jason is a local clammer and lobsterman. He began fishing at the tender age of eight. After obtaining a marine engineering degree from Maine Maritime Academy and gaining experience as a merchant mariner, he has invested in sustaining the fishing industry. He volunteered for a position on DEI’s board after his children attended our summer camps. Besides being a patient and active board member, Jason contributes to our research and education efforts in many ways, including giving up work days to help collect experiments with his boat, and bringing us touch tank critters.
Jonathan Alley, Addison
Jonathan graduated from the University of Maine in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He worked at a local elementary school before joining Machias Savings Bank in 2011. In 2015, Jonathan was promoted to branch manager, being the youngest employee in that role at the time. Originally from Beals, he was happy to take on a leadership role at DEI because of his interest in our education program, both as a former educator, and a dad of two.
Christopher Bartlett, Eastport
Chris has served the Maine Sea Grant College Program and University of Maine Cooperative Extension since 1995. He works as a conduit between coastal community members, researchers, and resource managers on issues pertaining to the wise use of marine resources with an emphasis on commercial fisheries and aquaculture. He also collaborates with local schools to engage students in applied marine research and monitoring programs. Chris has been a DEI Board member since 1998 and served as Chair from 2006-2011.
Dr. Brian Beal, Machiasport
Dr. Beal is a professor of marine ecology and director of the Marine Science Field Station at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM). A native of Jonesport, Dr. Beal graduated from UMM in 1979 with a B.S. degree in biology and went on to earn an M.S. degree in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained his Ph.D. in Marine Bio-Resources from the University of Maine, Orono.
Dr. Beal helped create the public clam hatchery in 1987 known as the Beals Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery, as well as the first public lobster hatchery in Cutler in 1986. He was a 2000-2001 Fulbright scholar at the National University of Ireland, Galway where he worked with Irish fishermen and researchers on ocean-based lobster nurseries.
His published research most often appears in the Journal of Shellfish Research, the scientific journal of the National Shellfisheries Association, which presented him with the first ever Bourne-Chew award in 2015, in recognition of outstanding contributions to education, outreach, extension, aquaculture or shellfisheries.
Wendell Bradford, Beals
Wendell serves the shellfish industry as a quality control officer at AC Inc., a local shellfish distributor with 31 employees. He graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Zoology, and began his career at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine where he authored several scientific papers. He followed that with a career in forestry before moving to Beals upon his “retirement”.
Samuel Chapman, Waldoboro
Sam Chapman is widely regarded as one of the leading experts in hatchery shellfish culture in the state of Maine. He ran the Aquaculture Development Laboratory and shellfish hatchery at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center for 20 years, helped establish hatcheries in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington, and helped design seven marine laboratories in Maine and New Hampshire. Sam was responsible for the early research and organizing that resulted in Dr. Beal’s first BIRSH research effort. Another founding board member, his passion for shellfish aquaculture is unrelenting, and the expertise he generously shares with DEI has contributed to our success.
Peter Greene, Addison
Peter is in his 37th year as a Maine banker. His career has focused on technology and operations at Union Trust Company, Camden National Bank and now in Downeast Maine at Machias Savings Bank. Peter has led numerous large teams advancing projects such as systems conversions and the operational aspects of bank acquisitions. Prior to his time in banking, Peter dug soft-shell clams and worked on fishing boats. This experience coupled with his banking expertise gives him a unique outlook and perspective as a DEI board member.
Dean Girdis, Washington DC
Dean has over 25 years of experience in venture development, specializing in clean energy. He founded several energy development companies and worked extensively with entrepreneurs, private equity investors, venture capital, energy producers, infrastructure owners, and financing institutions on originating, structuring, developing, and financing energy-centric companies and projects. Dean is also a member and on the Board of Potential Energy DC, a clean tech-centric angel investor, and Blue Angels Investment Group/SeaAhead in Boston, which invests in companies and technologies focused on the marine environment.
Tom Haslett, Milbridge, Maine and Lincoln, Massachusetts
Tom is an investment manager who splits his time between Milbridge, Maine and Lincoln, Massachusetts. His career of nearly 40 years in this field has led him to develop interests in marine enterprises, and he has spent 20 years in social development investing. His current role as Partner – CIO of TILT Investments enables him to specialize in helping endowments and investors manage public equity mandates. Tom and his wife Emily are active farmers in Narraguagus Bay growing oysters and thinking about soft shell clams as partners in Pemetic Sea Farms.
Dr. Gayle Kraus, Machias
Dr. Kraus is a Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Maine at Machias. She regularly teaches Marine Mammals and Pelagic Birds, Oceanography, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Ornithology, Skeletal Preparation, and General Ecology. Gayle loves fieldwork and service learning which she incorporates into her classes. Gayle and her students have participated in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network for over a decade, assessing the status of numerous Harbor Seal pups, Grey Seal pups and juvenile Harp Seals, rescuing and performing triage on various seals and collecting basic data from a variety of dead whales, dolphins and seals. Gayle was a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator for over twenty years. She earned her Ph.D. Zoology University of Rhode Island.
Ralph Smith, Jonesport
Ralph is a long time fisherman, entrepreneur, and local official in the town of Jonesport. His devotion to his fishing community has led him to be one of the most active, passionate, and innovative participants in wild fisheries, and a staunch supporter of applied research to help wild fisheries adapt and overcome challenges.
Maine Department of Marine Resources (Ex-Officio)