Joshua Gunn joins Texas Sea Grant as new Extension Program Leader

May 01, 2014

By Cindie Powell

GALVESTON, Texas — The Texas Sea Grant College Program’s new Extension Program Leader, Joshua Gunn, brings a background in coastal community outreach and hazard resiliency and recovery to his new position, which he started on April 28.

His office will be located on the Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) campus, which will further increase Texas Sea Grant’s presence on Texas A&M University System coastal campuses and facilitate relationships between Texas Sea Grant and research institutes, including TAMUG’s Center for Texas Beaches and Shores and the Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities.

“I am thrilled that Joshua has accepted the position to lead Texas Sea Grant’s Extension Program,” said Dr. Pamela Plotkin, Texas Sea Grant Director. "I look forward to working with him to expand our extension component and help us advance our mission, attain the ambitious goals we set for ourselves in our 2014-2017 strategic plan, and evolve to meet the needs of Texas and Texans."

As Texas Sea Grant’s new extension program leader, Gunn will supervise the program’s six county coastal and marine resource agents and five extension specialists in the areas of coastal planning, environmental quality, coastal community development, marine fisheries and economics.

He is returning to Texas after two years with Michigan Sea Grant as an extension educator, where he worked with coastal communities and businesses in southeastern Michigan to address Great Lakes issues involving sustainable coastal development, climate change adaptation and environmental hazards.

“The work I saw being done at Texas Sea Grant during my graduate career at Texas A&M University made me realize that I wanted to be a part of Sea Grant’s mission,” Gunn said. “I am honored that I have the opportunity to lead Texas Sea Grant’s extension team and help enhance their already strong programming efforts. Additionally, it feels great to be back in Texas, which my family and I call home.

Gunn completed a master of marine resource management degree with a focus in coastal environmental planning from TAMUG in 2010 while also serving as a Boatswains Mate with the U.S. Coast Guard. He is working towards a Ph.D. in urban and regional sciences from Texas A&M University; his dissertation investigates urban patterns and flood damage in Texas coastal watersheds.

Throughout his graduate career, Gunn worked on research projects that sought better understanding of human perception and behaviors regarding coastal resources, including competing uses of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and measured the resilience of businesses and residents of Galveston Island following Hurricane Ike.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.