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A headshot of Jess Morton


Marine Resource Protection Program Director

Jessica (Jess) Morten has been with CMSF since 2017, when she joined as a resource protection specialist contractor to help implement data-focused projects aimed at assisting California marine enforcement agency partners in testing and piloting new data collection and analysis tools. She now serves as the Marine Resource Protection Program Director and works to coordinate and oversee the marine resource protection program projects that CMSF manages, including the Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies Program, the eFINS data collection and reference system, the Marine Monitor (M2) shore-based radar MPA monitoring systems, and monthly large whale aerial surveys in the Santa Barbara Channel shipping lanes. In her role with CMSF, Jess also works as a NOAA affiliate in support of Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries' west coast region whale conservation work to reduce the risk of ship strikes on endangered whales in California. 


Prior to joining the CMSF team, Jess began her work with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 2016 as the California Sea Grant Fellow with NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Her prior research and resource protection background includes population and behavioral field research work on both coasts of the U.S. - focused on humpback, North Atlantic right, and killer whales - as well as policy research focused on evaluating impacts associated with fishery management strategies. Jess holds a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.


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