SEE Turtles Board of Directors
Jose Urteaga (Treasurer): Wild Earth Allies
José Urteaga has been working in sea turtle and coastal habitat conservation in Central America for more than two decades. He uses interdisciplinary methods to find solutions that integrate human needs and conservation. José focuses on improving the organization’s impact on the promotion of socially sound conservation interventions, the support of community-based conservation, and creative ways to cultivate local stewardship and conservation capacity.
Since 2023, Jose is the Director of Marine Partnerships Wild Earth Allies. José completed his Ph.D. studies in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University in 2022. He is an active member of several sea turtle conservation networks, including the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He was the country co-coordinator of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network (WIDECAST) between 2007 and 2012. José was recognized as a Conservation Hero by the Disney Conservation Fund in 2005 and named a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer in 2010. He previously served as a Board Member of Wild Earth Allies from 2017 to 2021.
Cristina Garcia: Travel For Wildlife
Cristina began her conservation career researching wolves in Romania with the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project. Other field projects included a black-backed jackal study in Namibia with the Institute of Zoology of London, and monitoring leopards and cheetahs in South Africa with Wildlife Act. She has also worked as a GIS consultant for ESRI Ireland. She co-founded Travel For Wildlife, a website dedicated to responsible wildlife tourism, which has received multiple international awards including Best Responsible Tourism Blog at the World Responsible Tourism Awards and Best Responsible Tourism Award at Cinnamon TBCasia. Cristina has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from Liverpool John Moores University and a MSc in Geographical Information Science from The University of Edinburgh.
Maureen Cunningham: Environmental Policy Innovation Center
Maureen has worked in conservation for more than two decades. Currently she is Senior Director for Clean Water with Environmental Advocates. Prior to joining EA, Maureen served as Executive Director of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance. Maureen also worked for Rare in Washington, DC, where she managed social marketing, public use planning and community-based ecotourism programs, first as Director of their UNESCO World Heritage Partnership working in six World Heritage Sites in Latin America and Indonesia and later as Director of Rare Radio in the Caribbean and South Pacific. Maureen’s academic training includes a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from The American University School of International Service. She is a trained community facilitator, who also speaks Spanish and French. Since January 2018, she has served as a Town Board Member in Bethlehem, an elected position in a municipality with 35,000 residents outside of Albany.
Sheridan Samano: Reefs to Rockies
For the last 15 years, Sheridan has worked as the Principal Consultant for Reefs to Rockies, a travel company she co-founded in 2006. She incorporates her years of experience as a field biologist and teaching to develop sustainable, conservation-based travel programs for Reefs to Rockies. Sheridan has a Masters in Biology from University of Colorado – Denver and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University.
Hector Barrios-Garrido: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Hector is a biologist, husband, and father. For 22 years has worked with sea turtle community-based conservation especially with Indigenous communities, such as the Wayúu People. He has studied the current and ancestral links between traditional communities and sea turtles in multiple countries, such as: Australia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, and Venezuela. He has served as Chair of the Awards Committee of the International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS) and has coordinated in different years the Latin American Regional Meeting (RETOMALA) at the International Symposium. Hector had received different recognitions and awards, in which highlight the Archie Carr Best Paper Award in Conservation (Runner-Up) granted by the ISTS, and the Alumni Champion of the Year granted by the Study Queensland Excellence Award. More than 50 research peer-review articles are part of Hector’s varied research portfolio. Hector graduated as a biologist and has a master in aquatic ecology from the University of Zulia (his Venezuelan Alma Mater), where currently also serves as Associate Professor. Hector has a PhD in Environmental Science and Management from James Cook University (Australia). His life motto is Post Nubila Phoebus (After the Clouds, the Sun).
Dan Berman: Berman Memorial Fund
Dan was born and raised in California. He then went on to a career with the Foreign Service, 22 years of which were spent overseas on four continents, where he worked in the field of international agricultural trade with emphasis on economic analysis, trade diplomacy, and marketing. Along the way, he and his wife Reiko became avid scuba divers over 40 years ago; his assignments have provided opportunities to dive around the world.. Encounters with turtles were always special and he developed a keen interest in their conservation. In 2016 Dan and Reiko established the J&K Berman Memorial Foundation, with platforms comprised of Marine Conservation, Agricultural Development in support of coffee farmers, and Girls' Education in Asia.
Brad Nahill: President & Secretary
Brad has worked in sea turtle conservation, ecotourism, and environmental education for 20 years. For these efforts, Brad received the prestigious Changemakers Award from the World Travel and Tourism Council in 2019 on behalf of SEE Turtles. Brad is the editor and lead writer of Sea Turtle Research and Conservation: Lessons From The Field by Elsevier Press (2020) and a co-author of the Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles (2014). He is a National Geographic Explorer, was awarded the President’s Award for his work as the chair of the Awards Committee of the International Sea Turtle Society, has authored several book chapters, blogs, and abstracts on turtle conservation and ecotourism, and has presented at major travel conferences and sea turtle symposia. Brad has a BS in Environmental Economics from Penn State University and has taught ecotourism at Mount Hood Community College. He has been director of SEE Turtles since its founding and became President after the organization became an independent non-profit organization in 2016.
Emeritus Board Members
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols: Research Associate, California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Nichols has been a leading ocean conservationist for more than 20 years. He is a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, former President of the International Sea Turtle Society, and Eastern Pacific co-chair for the IUCN’s Marine Turtle Specialists Group. He co-founded SEE Turtles in 2008, as well as Ocean Revolution, WiLDCOAST, and the Grupo Tortuguero, an award-winning coalition of fishermen, local residents, and conservationists spanning Mexico’s Pacific coast. Dr. Nichols has a PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona, an MEM from Duke University, and BS in Biology from DePauw University. Dr. Nichols is author of New York Times Bestseller Blue Mind and co-author of the Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles.