Members of the Board
Gwen K. Noda has been involved in science education, in both informal and formal settings, since 1998. She has taught marine science to pre-K students through college undergraduates on boats, in forests, in museums, and from inside an aquarium while scuba diving.
In addition to teaching students on a boat, she helped design lessons and train new volunteer teachers for UCLA’s “Cruising Classroom” program. She designed and taught a one week, standards based “World of Water” summer course for elementary students at the University of California’s Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve. She helped high school teachers develop a Marine Biology course that teaches all the California science education standards so that it may be taught in lieu of the UC required Biology course. With COSEE-West, she planned, researched, designed, and taught at professional development workshops aimed at K-12 and informal educators. She recently finished writing sea level rise curriculum for high school students as part of a Whale Tail Grant.
Ms. Noda has a variety of field and laboratory research experiences in both fresh and marine ecosystems. She has led and participated in projects that have studied aspects of the behavior of tropical slugs, aggregating behavior of sea urchins, water quality of Santa Monica beaches, grunion populations, larval market squid in the California Bight, chlorophyll content and algal biomass of high altitude Sierra Lakes, invasive New Zealand mud snails in California, the distribution and abundance of jellies by utilizing collecting techniques and blue water diving and deep sea organisms as observed by a remotely operated vehicle.
She was trained as a scuba diver in UCLA’s program as a NAUI open water diver and scientific diver in 1997. She (finally) became a NAUI Dive Master in 2012. She has had the opportunity to dive for a variety of scientific projects as well as photographic ones. She recently served a couple of years as a dive technician and an assistant dive safety officer.
In addition to serving on the board of Oceans In Focus, she is serving as a board member for Ocean Sanctuaries and volunteers her time with the Los Angeles Waterkeeper and in a community quilting group.
Currently, she is the Program Manager for FLOW (Follow to Learn about the Ocean and Wetlands) the citizen science monitoring program of Amigos de Bolsa Chica.
Ms. Noda has a B.S. in Marine Biology and an M.A. in Biology, both from UCLA.
Member of the Board
Liz Taylor has been involved with DOER Marine from its inception and became President and CEO in 1994. In addition to general administration, she handles new business development, public- private partnerships, and special projects. The company designs and builds subsea robotic and manned systems for a variety of applications ranging from deep ocean exploration to critical infrastructure inspection.
She was selected as a representative for a US Department of Interior trade mission to Guam, Saipan and the Marianas Islands. From 1993 to 1995 she served as President of the Perry Foundation’s Caribbean Marine Research Center, one of the only US undersea research centers to utilize manned submersibles and ROVs together on a year round basis. Previously, she held an executive position with a leading ROV manufacturing firm for more than eight years.
Through the work of DOER, Taylor has been involved in numerous projects relating to coastal restoration, water/waste water management, levees, and public access to the water. She is an advisor to the Wild Oyster Project – a program focused on restoring native oysters and to San Francisco Bay to improve water quality and shoreline integrity. She is actively involved with several groups working on ocean plastics and methods for upstream/coastal capture of plastics. She served on the Deep Water Horizon Study Group at Cal Berkeley and continues to collaborate on Gulf restoration efforts.
She has participated in more than 50 scientific and educational ocean exploration projects including work with the California Academy of Sciences, National Geographic Society, Ocean Conservancy, BBC, Discovery Channel and The Explorers Club. She is a member of the Marine Technology Society, The Association of Diving Contractors and The Explorers Club. Taylor is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She has authored a number of technical and natural history articles and white papers.
Erica received her B.S. in biology from the University of West Florida and her Master’s degree in conservation education from Prescott College. Her graduate work focused on sea turtle conservation practices among the Arawak in Guyana. She is a Master scuba diver as well as an AAUS Certified Scientific Diver and holds certifications in Nitrox diving and Rescue diving.
Erica is the Director of the new non-profit Center for Open Exploration (C4OE) and in some of her most recent work she was the Faculty Development Coordinator for the MATE Center – an NSF/ATE Center in Monterey, CA. In addition, Erica has worked with OpenROV coordinating the education component of a Donor’s Choose & Vulcan Foundation grant to provide 50 educators with an OpenROV.
Erica has connected marine science and technology throughout her career; including an aquaculture experiment onboard Shuttle Mission STS -95. She is honored to have received an Editors Choice award at World Maker Faire, NY and continues to work toward inspiring ocean exploration as Chair of the Education Committee and the Scholarship Committee for the DC based Marine Technology Society. To do so Erica hosts and coordinates the MTS Ocean Explorers program targeted at the middle school audience. Erica also has her own business PVC ROV and conducts “ROV in a Bag” outreach education, building an average of 500 ROV in a Bag kits annually.
Ray grew up in Sydney, Australia and has always had a love for surfing and sailing on Sydney’s ocean and waterways. He is passionate about preserving the ocean so that future generations can enjoy the benefits of a healthy ocean. Another key area of focus for Ray is ‘saying no to plastic’ which he knows is a huge problem in our oceans.
Ray is a community advocate who cycles 900km each year from Sydney to Southport to raise money for “Youth Off the Streets”. He is also active in assisting homeless people around Sydney’s CBD and has just received an award for 150 blood donations from the Red Cross.
Ray is a qualified accountant whose career over the past forty years has been focused on Payroll, Accounting, Taxation, and Superannuation.
He is excited to be joining Oceans in Focus as a Board Member to help raise awareness of the damage being done to our Oceans and to implement strategies for change.
Susan has over 30 years of business development, marketing and management experience in settings ranging from Fortune 500 firms to regional non-profits to owning her own consulting business. She has lectured on a wide variety of subjects including business development, cash management, strategic planning, customer service, advertising and marketing. Growing up near the beach in Southern California, Susan has always had a love for the ocean and its delicate ecosystem; swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, digging for clams, and enjoying the sounds of the surf. Her career has taken her physically away from the ocean but her love for it has not diminished.
Susan began her career working as the Marketing Research Manager for a Nevada computer company. She then took a new career opportunity with an international telecommunications manufacturer where she was a Product Manager in charge of overseeing the development and sales of their digital loop carrier system. Several years later, Susan switched to the banking industry, working again in marketing research focusing on customer satisfaction and quality of service along with competitive analysis and product research. The introduction of electronic banking services opened a new door for Susan. Utilizing her marketing and technical skills, Susan transferred into the sales of electronic cash management services. Clients included several Fortune 500 and international firms.
Susan spent the next 10 years moving up the corporate ranks and broadening her experiences to include staff management and the creation and development of a new division for a bank. During this time Susan also began teaching business and marketing at the University of Nevada, Reno. Relocation to southwestern Colorado meant a career change. Susan found a piece of land and created a subdivision then further developed her own piece with the long-term goal of creating a sustainable farm.
Susan also transitioned into teaching and began volunteering for several non-profit organizations. She soon found herself as the Executive Director of a non-profit where she honed her marketing, fundraising, event planning, grant writing and business development skills. Seeing the need for business development assistance, Susan created her own consulting firm targeting struggling businesses and non-profits. Susan’s firm, Matrix Business Development, provides services such as writing business plans, strategic planning, developing marketing plans, creating collateral materials, operations analysis, software training, grant writing, business photography, event planning, and teaching businesses how to utilize internet and social media services. In 2010, Susan became affiliated with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and began working primarily with start-up companies helping them create their own business plan and financial forecast.
Susan earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of California, Davis. She completed her Master of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. While working as a banker she earned her Certified Cash Manager designation. Most recently, Susan has been taking classes from Solar Energy International learning about the solar industry.