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Congratulations to our 2016-2017 MESSA Officers!

  • President - Catharine Parker
  • Vice President - Stacey Weinstock
  • Treasurer - Alex Miller
  • Secretary - Fallon Parker
  • Co-Social Chair - Lucy Davis and Tim Boatright
  • Volunteer Coordinator - Chelsea Acres
  • Public Liaison - Kristen Gold

MESSA Officers are here to make our graduate career a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. They are elected at the beginning of each year, and are responsible for all the exciting inner workings of MESSA along with organizing social events, coordinating volunteer activities, seeking out community involvement, working with the student government association, and anything else they can come up with. If you want to make something happen in MESSA, this is the place to start.

MESSA has a constitution to follow, which includes a brief description of each officer's duties. You can read the MESSA Constitution here. For a more detailed description of the roles of each officer, see the biographies of everyone below.

You can e-mail your questions, ideas/suggestions or comments to MESSA, or you can e-mail officers individually (see emails below). We'd love to hear from you!


President: Catharine Parker


Catharine's duties as MESSA President are to attend meetings, to call and organize special meetings, to appoint ad hoc committees, and to communicate concerns of the student body to the MES Program Director.  Catharine was born and raised in Newark, DE, but has spent the last nine years in the warm South.  In 2011 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.  After graduating she moved to Savannah, Georgia to work for the University of Georgia's Marine Education Center and Aquarium.  After a great year of environmental education in Savannah, Catharine decided to pursue environmental research and was fortunate to get a job working for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  She has been with the SCDNR since January 2013, and has since enjoyed splitting her time between the lab, the boat, and thigh-deep pluff mud.  Catharine is in her second year of the College of Charleston MES Program, and is developing her thesis project around a SCDNR project she has been working on.  The project focuses on the effects of development and increased impervious surface cover on the headwaters of tidal creeks throughout South Carolina, primarily focusing on how the organisms living in the sediment are affected, meaning she spends much of her time sorting through sediment samples and staring at worms through a microscope.  Catharine is looking forward to the coming school year and the many events we have planned!



Vice President: Stacey Weinstock


Stacey is originally from Arlington, VA. She attended Virginia Tech where she studied wildlife science and marine fisheries science. After college she spent time working various jobs and internships that involved GIS, marine biology, and marine education and outreach in Virginia and the Florida Keys. As Vice President, her duties will be to perform all duties of the president in his/her absence, chair ad-hoc committees and aid officers when needed. Currently, Stacey works at Clemson University and South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. As a second year MES student her research is with the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC). Her work seeks to evaluate what factors contribute to angler satisfaction in the for-hire fishery in regards to Black Sea Bass regulations in South Carolina. Stacey loves to SCUBA dive, travel, hike, cook and play obscure sports such as underwater hockey and ultimate Frisbee.



Treasurer: Alex Miller


Alex is from Lexington, SC, and received her Bachelors of Science from the University of South Carolina (GO COCKS!) in Marine Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. Her duties as treasurer are to keep accurate and complete records of all monetary transactions, to collect dues and social event feeds, and to chair the finance committee. Alex is in her second year of the program and has an internship with the NOAA Office of Coastal Management where she is focusing on assessing and evaluation the perceptions and values of offshore wind energy concerning coastal residents. She enjoys painting, traveling, and hanging with her pup, Pickle. 



Secretary: Fallon Parker 


Fallon is from Dandridge, Tennessee and received a B.S. in biology with a concentration in conservation and a minor in geospatial science from Radford University, Virginia. Her duties as secretary are to keep accurate, permanent records of the minutes and proceedings of the organizations and to take charge of all correspondence, to notify all members of meetings and to help promote MESSA organized activities. Fallon is starting her second year of the MES program and her research focuses on mercury in fish found in the Gills Creek Watershed, SC. She enjoys exploring the world, traveling, hiking, diving, swimming, surfing, sailing, and exploring with her awesome dog, Paisley.   



Co-Social Chair: Lucy Davis


Lucy is from Ashland, Kentucky. She obtained her Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science from Georgetown College in 2015. Her duties as social chair include organizing and executing MESSA social functions. Lucy is beginning her second year of the MES/MPA dual program where under the direction of Wayne McFee, she is evaluating the age of sexual maturity for female bottlenose dolphins in South Carolina. Lucy is also a Graduate Assistant in the MES office. Lucy enjoys scuba diving, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends. 



Co-Social Chair: Tim Boatright


Tim is from Savannah, Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources in Wildlife from the University of Georgia in 2011. Along with Lucy, Tim’s duties as social chair include organizing and executing MESSA social functions. Tim is in his fourth semester in the MES program. His thesis internship, sponsored by Good Catch at the South Carolina Aquarium, involves gathering data on the perceptions of food and beverage professionals concerning sustainable seafood and its promotion in the restaurant setting. Following completion of the MES program, he hopes to enter the field of environmental education and outreach. Tim’s hobbies include creative writing, reading, travel, the outdoors, yoga, and Orange Theory Fitness. 



Volunteer Coordinator: Chelsea Acres


Chelsea is originally from Weatherford, TX. She attended Texas A&M University (Whoop!) and earned a Bachelors of Science in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, with a concentration in Conservation Biology. Her duties as volunteer coordinator are to promote awareness of MESSA on the College of Charleston campus and local community through participation in community service projects (such as Adopt-a-Highway, and Beach Sweep), promotion of environmental education, as well as any other related activities. She has previously been employed in the fields of zoological and surgical veterinary medicine, marine population ecology research, and wetland restoration. Chelsea's current research concerns evaluating skin disease in bottlenose dolphins of Brunswick and Sapelo Island, GA. In her free time she enjoys diving, camping and hiking with her dog Chewbacca, or hanging out with her two cats, Han and Leia.



Public Liaison: Kristen Gold


Kristen is from Nashville, Tennessee. She obtained a B.S. in Biology and Wildlife & Fisheries Science from Tennessee Technological University in 2012. Since then, she has done a variety of internships and seasonal jobs working at the Nashville Zoo, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Dolphin Research Center. Kristen’s duties as the public liaison involve promoting awareness of MESSA on COFC’s campus and local community through participation of community service projects, promotion of environmental education, and other related activities. Kristen is a second year MES student and is working with Dr. Eric McElroy on introduced populations of Texas horned lizards in South Carolina. She is an active volunteer with the SCDNR, the South Carolina Aquarium, and the Folly Beach Turtle Watch. She enjoys adventuring, hiking, backpacking, camping, diving, and hanging out with her husky, bearded dragon, and turtle.