Our Team

The ODFW Marine Reserves Program is responsible for the management and scientific monitoring of Oregon’s marine reserves. Our team includes six full-time staff who are based in Newport, Oregon. We also host post-graduate Fellows within our program. We are part of ODFW’s Marine Resources Program.

Our team is committed to the following principles: (1) We are focused on our legislative mandates, (2) we produce robust scientific information, (3) we support a diversity of ways for communities to engage in marine reserves implementation, and (4) we are transparent in our activities and operations.

Meet our Staff and Fellows …


Cristen Don

Program Leader

Cristen oversees the policy work and administration of the Program. She enjoys leading interdisciplinary teams in tackling complex ocean management issues. Over the past 17 years her work has spanned a variety of ocean related topics including marine protected areas, ocean renewable energy, and fisheries. Cristen has worked on the planning and implementation of Oregon’s marine reserves since 2007. She has a Bachelor’s degree in marine biology from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree in marine and environmental affairs from the University of Washington. You might find her surfing off the Oregon coast or curled up with a good fiction novel.


Dr. Thomas (Tommy) Swearingen

Human Dimensions Research Project Leader

Tommy oversees the Program’s human dimensions research, working in conjunction with a multitude of research partners in academia and the private sector. He received his Doctorate degree in Human Dimensions from the University of Washington in 1980. He’s worked on large scale social science research projects for the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and numerous agencies. His research has focused on recreational visitor management, environmental ethics, tourism, and community development. Tommy grew up in New Orleans, owned a 1,100 acre farm in Alabama, and is a former kayak and canoe instructor trainer.

Dr. Lindsay Aylesworth

Ecological Research Project Leader

Lindsay oversees the Program’s ecological monitoring and research. She received her doctoral degree and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of British Columbia, where she focused on data-poor marine species in Southeast Asia. Over the past ten years Lindsay has worked on a variety of marine issues including bycatch in Pacific Island fisheries, endangered species research, coral reef ecology, and fisheries management. She has a Master’s degree in coastal environmental management from Duke University, and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. Lindsay enjoys surfing, sailing and playing the ukulele in her free time.

Stephanie Fields

Ecological Research Assistant Project Leader

Stephanie helps lead the Program’s ecological monitoring and research work. She has a Bachelor’s degree in marine biology from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree in marine resource management from Oregon State University. Her graduate work was focused on investigating the impacts on benthic marine communities from dredged material disposal at the mouth of the Columbia River. Before joining our team, Stephanie was an integral part of several ODFW pilot research projects using stereo video to assess populations of marine invertebrates and rockfishes off the Oregon coast.

Ryan Fields

Ecological Research Assistant

Ryan helps carry out the Program’s ecological monitoring and research work. He received a Master’s degree in marine science at Moss Landing Marine Labs (MLML) where his thesis work focused on changes in life-history traits of Rosy Rockfish over the past four decades. After graduating, he continued working at MLML assisting with a hook-and-line fishing research program as well as the development of a new stereo-video lander tool to survey rockfish in deep-water rocky habitats. Ryan grew up on Kodiak Island Alaska where he spent the summers commercial fishing for salmon with his family. In his spare time, Ryan can be found outside hiking, reading a good book, or creating fish-themed artwork.


Communications and Engagement Project Leader

Due to current state budget issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently not filling this position.

Haley Epperly

Oregon Sea Grant Policy Fellow – Human Dimensions Research

Haley helps carry out the Program’s human dimensions monitoring and research work. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Oregon State University and a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida. Her graduate work focused on understanding how changes in vegetation shape animal community composition and antipredator behaviors in southern Africa. When she’s not working, you can find Haley hiking with her dog, Moose.

Dr. Corinne (Cori) Kane

OSU-MSI Science Integration Fellow

Cori helps carry out the Program’s ecological monitoring and research work in addition to acting as a liaison between Oregon State University’s Marine Studies Initiative and ODFW. She received her PhD from Washington State University where she focused on coral reef fish community dynamics between shallow and mesophotic coral ecosystems. Cori has spent the past 10 years conducting applied research and designing long-term monitoring programs to facilitate State and Federal conservation and management in both tropical and temperate ecosystems. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in aquatic biology and marine ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her free time, Cori enjoys a good cup of chai, hiking with her dog Abbey and exploring the Oregon coast both above and below the waterline.