Marine Ecologist Named California Sea Grant Coastal Specialist


Joe Tyburczy, Ph.D.
California Sea Grant Extension Coastal Specialist
2 Commercial Street #4
(right by the water)
Eureka, CA 95501

Relevant Links:


Share This Story:


January 8, 2013

Joe Tyburczy on a cruise in the California Current ecosystem while a graduate student at Oregon State University. Photo: OSU

January 8, 2013

Contact: Christina S. Johnson,, 858-822-5334

EUREKA – Joe Tyburczy, a former policy coordinator for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at Oregon State University, has been selected to be the new California Sea Grant Coastal Specialist in Eureka, Calif.

He started the position in December and succeeds Susan Schlosser, who was the marine advisor for the North Coast region for nearly 20 years and retired last summer.

"Tyburczy brings a strong science background and experience in marine policy to natural resource issues,” California Sea Grant Extension Director Rick Starr said. “We are excited to have him."

"This is really my dream job," said Tyburczy, who is a native of Colorado, an accomplished skier and alpinist, an avid diver and novice surfer. "The opportunity to engage in research that makes a difference is a perfect fit. I envision this as a long-term career and look forward to becoming part of the community."

As a Coastal Specialist, Tyburczy will continue Sea Grant’s participation in the Humboldt Bay Initiative. He also plans to collaborate with Humboldt State University researchers and local charter boat fishermen to expand Starr's volunteer angler survey program to the North Coast.

For his own research project, he is interested in exploring the possibility that extensive eelgrass beds in the bay may buffer ocean acidification by extracting carbon dioxide from seawater. Such an effect could shield the region's oyster farms from low-pH conditions.

Prior to accepting the position with California Sea Grant Extension, Tyburczy helped organize and lead strategies to communicate science from PISCO, the U.S. West Coast long-term ecosystem research and monitoring program, to policy makers, resource managers, news media and the general public at venues including the National Science Foundation exhibit at the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting. His communications expertise and the focus of his outreach efforts were on the topics of ocean acidification and emerging low-oxygen conditions (hypoxia) in coastal waters and the value of research and monitoring to understanding the consequences of these conditions on marine ecosystems and resources.

"I learned how to connect science to people and enjoyed it," said Tyburczy who is 34, married and has a five-month-old son.

Tyburczy was a recipient of a 2010 Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and as a fellow spent a year in Washington, D.C. as staff to U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, whose district at the time included much of the North Coast. (The state has since been redistricted.)

"I became familiar with this part of the coast and the environmental issues people face and are concerned about," Tyburczy said.

Tyburczy holds a doctorate in marine ecology from Oregon State University (2011) for his studies of marine larval dispersal and settlement and their relation to physical oceanographic processes. While a graduate student, he served as the vice president for collective bargaining for the Coalition of Graduate Employees at Oregon State University and was a teaching assistant. Before entering graduate school, he spent two years working as a technician in a fish genetics laboratory at the University of Montana in Missoula, where, besides learning about salmon and trout, he become proficient in telemark ("free heel") skiing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University in 2000 and was a teaching assistant for an undergraduate sub-tidal ecology research diving class.