Dr. Coan appointed to national foundation's board
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Jul 5, 2012 - 4:48 AM

Dr. Stephen Coan
MYSTIC, CT - Sea Research Foundation President & CEO Dr. Stephen M. Coan has been appointed to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) board of trustees. Coan participated in NMSF’s Capitol Hill Oceans Week June 5 – 8 in Washington, D.C., an annual event highlighting ocean policy issues to key policymakers, business leaders, academics and concerned citizens. The event marked Coan’s first board meeting and was sponsored in part by Sea Research Foundation.

“Like Sea Research Foundation, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is dedicated to protecting our oceans and I am honored to join their board,” said Coan. “It’s been a privilege to be associated with the foundation since its inception and to have personally visited all 14 of our nation’s marine sanctuaries. I look forward to continuing relationships with local leaders who are committed to sustaining these underwater treasures.”

NMSF distinguished trustee emeriti include Dr. Robert Ballard, president of Sea Research’s Institute for Exploration and renowned oceanographer widely known for discovering Titanic; Jean Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society and son of Captain Jacque-Yves Cousteau; and Dr. Sylvia Earle, famed marine biologist and chairman of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research.

Coan has been an officer of Connecticut-based Sea Research Foundation since 2001 and launched an organizational turnaround after being appointed chief operating officer in 2004. He became president and chief executive officer in 2006 and has since brought the foundation to the forefront of marine education, research and exploration.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Coan join the board of trustees,” said NMSF President & CEO Jason Patlis. “Bringing hands-on knowledge of coastal New England, he represents one of the nation’s important sanctuary communities, and as head of Sea Research Foundation and Mystic Aquarium, he represents a leading voice on ocean awareness. I look forward to working in closer partnership with him.”

As parent organization of Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and, in partnership with National Geographic Society, The JASON Project and its Immersion Learning program, Sea Research Foundation has a longstanding partnership with NMSF. Through the Institute for Exploration, JASON and Immersion, Dr. Ballard has used telepresence technology to take thousands of schoolchildren on interactive expeditions within the national marine sanctuary system, while JASON and Immersion provide related, ongoing curricular experiences. Through these platforms Sea Research encourages and motivates thousands of young people to become lifelong learners of science, technology, engineering and math, and helps NMSF connect people to the underwater places that define the American ocean.

Coan has served as executive director of two educational organizations and held faculty appointments at Tufts University, Bentley College and Cambridge College. He is a trustee of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in Baltimore, Md., and a founding trustee of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association. Coan earned his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and both a masters in management degree and a doctorate in social policy from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis. He has served as a youth minister and mentor to at-risk youth for many years.

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