Markus Frank
Markus FrankPADI Divemaster
Markus is a PADI Divemaster with over 20 years of diving experience around the globe, and is actively involved in ocean conservancy since 2003. He received his Master of Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and BA from the University of Bochum. His main professional experience is in the Technology industry, having worked as an executive for global companies such as Siemens and HP on 3 continents. Markus is also a avid sailor and can be found sailing out of San Francisco almost every other weekend. He has strong connections to divers and shark enthusiasts around the planet. Having lived and worked in Asia for 6+ years, he has a good understanding of the local cultures and will bring this, and his business experience to Shark Stewards.
Dominique Cano-Stocco MA
Dominique Cano-Stocco MAMA, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
Dominique is a government and public affairs professional with over twenty years of experience working on behalf of clients through her consulting service Big Wave Consulting, and through her work at Oceana, UC San Diego, Pepperdine University and The White House. Although Dominique didn’t fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist she uses her extensive political, advocacy, and communication strategy skills to fight for conservation of our oceans, and particularly sharks. Dominique was involved early in both the California and Texas shark fin bans and led the charge for NOAA to back down from challenging state oriented shark conservation efforts. She has provided support to multiple shark conservation projects, be they legislative, documentary, academic or fisheries policy and launched a national campaign to raise awareness and protections for dusky sharks with the help of Discovery Channel at “Fin Fest” – the kick-off event for Shark Week 2014. Dominique has a BA in political science from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in marine biodiversity and conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Don Saxby
Don SaxbyCaptain and Naturalist
Don Saxby, besides being an entrepreneur, is an avid adventure on and in the oceans. He is currently supporting the marine scientific community by captaining the Baylis research vessel to the Farallon Islands. He also owns and skippers a research sailboat located in NZ and Australia. He has loved the water and been a free diver since a young age. Year round you can usually find him on or under the water. He is a Farallon National Marine Sanctuary Naturalist. Saxby has been an advisor to Shark Stewards since it’s inception.
Pamela Ordoñez Comstock
Pamela Ordoñez ComstockBA, Finance and Marketing
Pamela received her BA from the University of California, San Diego. While in college, she worked at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives. Since then, Pamela has designed a private accessory collection celebrating the Ocean. She most recently worked with Ocean Voyages based in Sausalito, California, helping to inform people about the proliferation of ocean plastic trash. She is currently the Project Manager of All One Ocean and as an entrepreneur provides financial and marketing advice.
Gretchen Coffman
Gretchen Coffman PhD Scientific Advisor
Dr. Coffman is a restoration ecologist who teaches field classes at the University of San Francisco’s Environmental Science Department and Masters of Science in Environmental Management program. She has always loved the Ocean growing up along the Georgia coast and now spends her free time swimming or rowing in the San Francisco bay. She shares her love for aquatic ecosystems and passion for protecting them by taking her California Ecosystems and Ecology classes on expeditions to the Farallon Islands to learning about marine ecosystems and kayaking on the San Francisco Bay to learn about our estuary. Gretchen has been volunteering with Shark Stewards since 2011 as a science advisor and helping at outreach events with her students. Gretchen is also an avid diver and recently helped restore coral reefs and reintroduce sharks with Shark Stewards on Pom Pom Island, off the coast of Malaysian Borneo.
Jack Dumbacher
Jack DumbacherPhD, Science Programs
Jack Dumbacher is curator of Birds and Mammals at the California Academy of Sciences. He has studied New Guinea and western Pacific birds for over 15 years, and he is currently focused on molecular systematics of birds and mammals in China and southern Africa as well as New Guinea and the Western Pacific. Now living on the west coast after working at Smithsonian for nearly seven years, Jack is enjoying sailing with Sea Stewards and learning more about the pelagic species in the Gulf of the Farallones. An avid sailor, Jack has acted as onboard naturalist at the Farallones Islands with the non profit “Call of the Sea.” Dr. Dumbacher has numerous scientific publications and is is currently planning an expedition to study birds and other vertebrates in many of the remote and understudied islands. Jack serves as science advisor and principal investigator of our shark and shark fin DNA program.
Diane Walton
Diane WaltonPhD and Past Dolphin Club's President
Diane Walton lives in San Francisco and is a teacher of various things, a non-competitive rower, a nascent swimmer, and an avid reader. She’s proud to be the immediate past President and still on the Board of San Francisco’s Dolphin Club, to serve on the Board of Stewards for Baykeeper and the Eugene Relief Nursery, and to be both a Banana Slug (BA, UC Santa Cruz) and a Duck (PhD, University of Oregon). She wants to swim under the Golden Gate, make a movie, celebrate the individual, and work in the collective. Even more than any of that, she wants our kids to care and know even more about our Bay and the world of water than we do… and that’s why she’s part of Shark Stewards.
Sharon Kwok Pong
Sharon Kwok PongActress, Diver and Conservatist
Based in Hong Kong, Sharon is a diver, actress and shark fanatic. She has appeared in numerous television programs and documentaries in Asia and works with conservation groups advocating shark protection and an end to the shark fin trade. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. And reaches a large Asian audience with the shark conservation message.
Sharon is the Director at AquaMeridian, AquaSilva, AquaX Team, WildAid HK, Mission Blue and a member of the Society of Women Geographers. An ardent shark conservationist, Sharon has deep ties in China and is working to develop awareness and conservation relationships to reduce the consumption of shark fins and to stop the trade of illegal shark fins.
Wallace “J.” Nichols
Wallace “J.” NicholsPhD, Science and Outreach
Dr. Nichols, or”J” spends his time discovering nature. Currently, J. works with several universities and organizations to advance ocean protection, including Senior Research Scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, California Academy of Sciences as a Research Associate, Conservation Science Advisor for ProPeninsula, on a global bycatch study with Duke University and Blue Ocean Institute, and as a board member of Animal Alliance, Coastwalk, Drylands Institute, Oceana and Reef Protection International. He is also spearheading the Ocean Revolution, a program that inspires, involves and mentors the next generation of ocean conservation leaders.

Dr. Nichols has undertaken the task of reaching new constituencies with a positive and inclusive conservation message and building a network of like-minded people, from diverse regions, backgrounds and careers who share a commitment to maintaining abundant life in the oceans and on the coasts.

Through field research, his work with commercial fishermen, and the time he spends in coastal villages, he encounters among people a common appreciation for the ocean’s beauty, abundance and mysteries. J. is author of more than fifty scientific papers, book chapters, popular articles, and reports on sea turtle ecology and ocean conservation. J.’s projects including- LivBlue and Blue Mind- incorporates participatory science, social networking, and creative communication to inspire a healthier relationship with the sea.

He is the author of the acclaimed novel Blue Mind and public ocean advocate, explaining the neuroscience of the ocean.

Jeff Morrison
Jeff MorrisonShark Whisperer, Dive Coordinator
Jeff has been diving with sharks across the globe since 1997. He recalls the first sight of a Caribbean Reef Shark on his first open water dive as one of the most beautiful and majestic animals on earth. “What stunned me was how peaceful and serene she was…cruising so effortlessly but with purpose, I had no fear but only admiration and respect…as I learned more about sharks through scientific research and my own experiences in the water with over a dozen different species, taking action to save them was something I had to do. I was very fortunate to meet David on a Great White expedition to Guadalupe Island in 2011, and now join the Shark Stewards mission…this a big part of my life and my identity as a human on this planet.”
Jeff Morrison is a professional jazz musician and active in pitbull/bully breed canine rescue, education and advocacy throughout the United States.