David McGuire
David McGuireMPH, Director and Founder of Shark Stewards
David McGuire is the founder of the non-profit Sea Stewards and the Shark Stewards initiative.

Educated in Marine Biology, David holds a masters degree in Environmental Health and has worked in education and public health at the University of California at Berkeley for over a decade. David is the writer, producer and underwater cinematographer of several award-winning documentaries, including Sharks of San Francisco Bay. He also worked as cameraman on feature films such as 180 South with Patagonia and A Beautiful Wave. He has also published numerous articles on the state of the ocean and sharks and writes a blog on sharks and ocean health called Ocean Voices. David co-authored the book Surviving the Shark and is completing a book on Surfing and Sharks.

As the Director of Sea Stewards and the Shark Stewards project, David helped build a coalition leading to the passage of the California Shark Conservation Act, AB 376. David is a published author and sits on several boards of non-profits including The San Francisco Green Film Festival and the Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary Association. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Hero of Marin Environmental Stewardship Award in 2011, and Hero of the Ocean by the Pacifica Beach Coalition in 2013, He has won an Emmy for Field Production and Camera on the documentary Reefs to Rainforests for his media work. He is a popular public speaker on sharks and the ocean and lectures at the University of San Francisco.

Melis Okter, MS Marine Policy
Melis Okter, MS Marine PolicyProgram Coordinator
Melis Okter is a former research intern for Shark Stewards and is currently advising on policy and communications in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also participates and helps organize events held by Shark Stewards to educate the general public on ocean and shark conservation
As a research intern, Melis worked with the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the California Academy of Sciences. She is also involved with field work outside of the office. She hopes that her research will help to develop a Shark Sanctuary in the San Francisco Bay.
Melis is a 2013 graduate of University of California, San Diego, receiving her B.S. in Environmental Systems- Ecology Behavior and Evolution as well as a minors in Marine Science (through Scripps Institute of Oceanography). While at UCSD, Melis researched leopard shark behavior and swell shark circadian rhythm patterns.

Now at the Ocean Science Trust and a graduate of the Monterey Institute for International Policy, Melis will continue to work hard to protect the health of oceans and its inhabitants as an academic professional and strives to educate others of its utmost importance.

Danielle Patton, Communications
Danielle Patton, CommunicationsMarketing Expert, Shark Advocate
Danielle Patton is an experienced SaaS marketing and business development expert responsible for growth of software technology in new markets. She earned her Bachelors degree in Biology from Wichita State University in 2010 and began her career as a marketing assistant at Pulse Systems, Inc. In the ensuing years, Danielle helped position and grow Pulse Systems, Inc., through directing and producing strategies and campaigns directed to the health care market. She created tactical campaigns to increase adoption of SaaS technology solutions and generated adoption in target markets throughout the US. In addition, she was responsible for launching the VAR program and contracting with a number of sate entities, growing sales and marketing efforts across the nation.

Danielle is an advanced PADI scuba diver and has worked as a South African Penguin keeper at Tanganyika Wildlife Park, a lab assistant at Wichita State University, and a biology assistant at Southwestern College. She is presently pursuing her MBA with a concentration in health care and international business.

Darci Liu Dan
Darci Liu DanChina Ambassador
Shark Stewards Chinese Ambassador Darci Liu Dan speaks out in support of sharks and ocean love. Darci grew up almost 1,000 kilometers away from the nearest ocean and studied ballet until she learned to swim at the age of 18. After being introduced to the sport in 2007, she is now considered China’s first female ‘pro’ surfer who helped pioneer the sport in the country, and has taken part in the past three Hainan World Longboard championships. Darci learned how to dive in Borneo in 2016 where she became a Dive Master within a year. In Sabah, Malaysia Darci explored a new career as an ocean advocate on video with ScubaZoo, communicating ocean love to her native China. She learned to love sharks and help protect them and is now our spokesman to help save sharks from soup and overfishing.
Danielle is an advanced PADI scuba diver and has worked as a South African Penguin keeper at Tanganyika Wildlife Park, a lab assistant at Wichita State University, and a biology assistant at Southwestern College. She is presently pursuing her MBA with a concentration in health care and international business.
Natalie Chai
Natalie ChaiMalaysian Steward
Born in Ipoh, Malaysia, Natalie went to high school in Perth and graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science (Marine Science and Korean Studies).
She has worked at Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRACC), Borneo, Malaysia working in our joint conservation work in hard and soft coral rehabilitation and replantation; collection of data through fish identification and surveys, building and making artificial reefs such as lobster reefs, turtle reefs, bottle reefs to repair reefs damaged from blast fishing. Natalie is currently overseeing Shark Stewards fish market survey and tagging and tracking study of sharks at Pom Pom Island in Malaysia. Fluent in English, Mandarin, Malay, Cantonese and Korean in reading and writing in all 5 languages. She plans to return to Australia to enter graduate studies in marine science.
Viktoria Kuehn
Viktoria KuehnHabitat Restoration and Protection
Viktoria Kuehn has a B.S. in Biology from Loyola Marymount University and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Environmental Science at the University of San Francisco. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked on research, restoration and ecological monitoring projects in various intertidal habitats in the Santa Monica Bay with The Bay Foundation, Heal the Bay, and the Center for Urban Resilience (CURes) – a research center at Loyola Marymount University. While completing her graduate coursework, she is working as a Graduate Student Instructor and a Laboratory Technician in the Environmental Science and Biology Departments at USF. She has over three years of marine ecology, policy, and animal care experience from working as an aquarist and water policy intern at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, and the Aquarium of the Bay. She hopes to complete her masters project with a focus on marine ecology and policy in the San Francisco Bay. She is an avid diver, sailor and swimmer and enjoys inspiring the community to be excited about the ocean as much as she is.

Amber Platowski
Amber PlatowskiScience Education and Midwest Chapter Lead
An experienced science educator, who has been sharing her passion for marine science and ocean conservation for the past 15 years. She began her career as a marine science instructor at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute at Seacamp in the beautiful Florida Keys, where she instructed visiting school groups in courses ranging from mangrove ecology to shark biology in the field. Amber realized she wanted to pursue formal education and was awarded her Master’s in Teaching Secondary Science from the University of South Florida in 2010. Since then, she has been a formal science teacher in both Florida and Illinois. As a current Chicagoland resident, she felt a Vitamin Sea deficiency, and was accepted to the Miami University’s Global Field Program, working towards a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology. The program combines online coursework with international field studies, working with a network of worldwide conservation partners. Her master plan is to use the foundations of conservation psychology and citizen science to promote environmental stewardship mindsets among people who visit or live near the oceans. She looks forward to researching new ways to raise awareness and compassion for less charismatic ocean species such as sharks.
Alayne Chappell
Alayne ChappellCommunications Specialist, Shark Advocate
Alayne Chappell is an experienced communications specialist with a degree in journalism from San Francisco State University, a background in shark conservation, and a passion for all things ocean. Postgraduate course work has included studies in marine biology, advanced math, and various science courses. Alayne is an avid SCUBA diver, and currently volunteers for the Aquarium of the Bay in animal care.

In 2012, Alayne spearheaded the campaign to end the sale of shark fins in Massachusetts. She directed the efforts of Fin Free Massachusetts, supported by the Shark Angels and United Conservationists. Alayne brought together a coalition of over 20 NGOs including Shark Stewards, the New England Aquarium, Oceana, The Humane Society, and more. Working closely with a group of professionals spanning conservation, legal, advocacy, and biology expertise, she helped pass the shark fin ban in 2014. Alayne continues to consult on enforcement efforts from the Bay Area.

For the past two years, she has worked for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center as Online Communications Specialist. Prior to that she was Content Editor for a legal advice website, and co-founder and editor for a 501(c)(3) non-profit publication to advance media coverage of women in action sports. She has volunteered for a number of environmental, social justice, and animal advocacy campaigns, and is currently assisting Shark Stewards on various shark advocacy projects.

Kate MulveyIntern

Born in Boston has always spent time along the coast as well as traveling around the world, appreciating the ocean. She is an environmental studies senior at University Of San Francisco and plans to work with marine mammals in the future. Eager at a young age to experience the underwater world, she became scuba certified at 13 and has been enamored with the ocean since. She’s passionate about all marine life conservation, especially big creatures like sharks. Future plans involve working hands on at a rehabilitation, rescue, and conservation site for marine mammals to help our beautiful ocean friends.

Bianca Bahman
Bianca BahmanShark and Ecosystem Science
Bianca Bahman has a B.S. in Physics from San Francisco State University and is currently applying for her masters in Marine Sciences. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked on research in Alaska, surveying and monitoring various ecological habitats affected by climate change including marine and estuary habitats. Currently, she is involved with a couple projects at Romberg Tiburon Center, one including wave impact forces and the affects on sea star wasting disease. She has been working closely with Shark Stewards to better understand some of the unanswered questions of shark population in San Francisco Bay. She is focusing her studies on sevengill shark physiology and behavior to better understand habitat requirements and management for these sharks in the San Francisco Bay. Bianca is an avid free diver, surfer, a zealous underwater photographer, and is passionate about ocean sciences and what we can do to protect it.
Kat Garcia
Kat GarciaIntern
Katherine Garcia is currently going into her final year as an Environmental Science major at the University of San Francisco.  Originally from Huntington Beach, California, the ocean has always been home to her. She is an avid traveler, animal lover, and sustainability activist. Her passion for the ocean truly began when she was able to night swim at the age of 10 with manta rays in Hawaii.

While completing her undergraduate coursework, she is working as a Laboratory Technician in the Environmental Science Department at USF.  After completing her bachelors degree, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in sustainable design and environmental engineering focusing on ocean protection and conservation.