Lisa Schiavinato has joined California Sea Grant in the new full-time position of Extension Director. Schiavinato will assume responsibility for directing the Extension program’s growth while providing vision and leadership for existing and emerging extension activities that address critical marine and coastal issues in California.
“This is a major step for California Sea Grant in our effort to grow the Extension team and expand our capacity throughout the state,” said CASG Director Jim Eckman. “With her extensive background at two other programs in the Sea Grant network, Lisa is well-equipped to build and maintain ongoing partnerships and collaborative opportunities within the state of California, and nationally.”
Schiavinato brings more than 14 years of experience to the role, building engagement and resolving conflicts between the public and private sectors, and creating programs that integrate marine and coastal science with law and policy. Prior to joining California Sea Grant, Schiavinato served in a joint position as the Coastal Law, Policy and Community Development Specialist at North Carolina Sea Grant and co-director of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Law Planning and Policy Center. Her work included developing coastal wind energy policy, analyzing the legal and policy issues associated with social vulnerability mapping, and identifying the legal and policy barriers to climate adaptation planning.
“I plan to build on the partnerships California Sea Grant has established and continue the Extension program's strong tradition of helping coastal communities thrive economically while also protecting their natural resources,” Schiavinato said. “I plan to accomplish these goals by encouraging interdisciplinary research and outreach, and by continuing my efforts to bridge the gap between science, the law, and decision-making.”
Schiavinato also has experience serving as a liaison between state agencies and industry groups with Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program, where she was Legal Coordinator from 2002-2007. Her work focused on legal research and advisory services regarding environmental and natural resource issues. She also is a past-president of The Coastal Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue and promoting communications and education. Schiavinato holds a J.D. and Certificate in environmental and land use law from the University of Florida and a B.A. from the University of South Florida.