About the Foundation
The mission of the Sarasota Bay Foundation, Inc. is to restore, conserve, and protect the ecological functionality and well-being of the Sarasota Bay estuarine system and regional watersheds through education, community advocacy and funding support.
Alison Albee - Board Member
Alison's career has spanned more than 30 years in the environmental field working in private industry, non-profit research, and city and county governments. Her experience includes wastewater treatment and environmental laboratory management, energy and water conservation, and sustainability. She has a degree in Chemical Technology and a degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida.
Alison has lived in the Sarasota area for more than 30 years and she enjoys sailing, kayaking, diving and fishing. She has been an active volunteer with the Longboat Key Turtle Watch for more than 15 years and is a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.
Amber Whittle, PhD - Board Member
Amber Whittle grew up in Sarasota and went to Booker Elementary and Pine View School. She went to North Lido beach every weekend growing up, was fascinated by the changing conditions, and has continued the tradition with her husband and two children. She also enjoys hiking, travelling, reading, walking, and any time underwater. Amber received her BS in Zoology and her BA in English from the University of Florida and her Doctorate in Zoology/Ecology, Evolution and
and Conservation Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoā. Amber is
currently the Habitat Research Administrator at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.
She oversees the Coral, Seagrass, Upland, Coastal Wetlands, and Freshwater Plants groups. Dr. Whittle’s professional expertise includes watershed restoration, coastal benthic resource assessments and
monitoring, habitat/animal interactions, and environmental assessments and mitigation design.
Jack Merriam - Board Member
Jack Merriam grew up in Florida and received a BA and MA from USF in Natural Science. He is a member of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and is past board member of the Suncoast Waterkeeper. His 36 years of water management experience includes Florida Legislative staff, two state resource agencies, one water management district, and two local governments. His current professional interests include climate change adaptation, living shorelines, and implementation of low impact development strategies. He loves kayaking, sailing, fishing, and birding on Sarasota Bay
Ivis Chan, PhD - Research Scientist
Dr. Chan has worked in protected areas management and conservation in Belize, USA, and the UK. She received her BS in Biology from USF, her MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Leeds, and her Doctorate in Macroecology from Bournemouth University. She has worked on diverse projects including
quantifying wild harvesting of palm species, identifying indicator species of past land use, and building stakeholder capacity to implement conservation actions. Her research interests are modelling spatial patterns in biodiversity, ecosystem services, tropical botany and conservation planning. She is an avid reader and eater.
Valerio Bartolucci, PhD - Board Member
Valerio Bartolucci, PhD, is the Associate Dean of Science and Wellness at Broward College, Ft. Lauderdale where he also teaches Hydrogeology and Coastal and Marine Science.
Dr. Bartolucci received his masters degree in Geology from the University of Bologna (Italy) where he did research on longshore currents and sand movement. He received his PhD from the Polytechnic University of Milano (Italy) for his research on the environmental impacts of coastal construction. Prior to his career in academia, he worked primarily in the environmental field. He was representative in Italy for National Seal Company (owned by Waste Management) producing HDPE liner for landfill and worked with Tenax Spa Group designing low environmental impact constructions such as Green Walls and drainage systems.