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Board of Directors

Photo right: Science Chair Bob Paul      


See Committee Assignments Below


Joe AndersonJoe Anderson  is the president of the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Tufts University, and is a program manager for CSC in Lexington Park, Maryland. Joe came to St. Mary’s County from Connecticut in 1974 as a Vista volunteer, and has devoted much of the last 30 years to community service. He served as a St. Mary’s County Commissioner (1998-2002) and is a past member of the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission.


Trish ColeTrish Cole  received a Bachelor's of Arts in English and geography from Towson University and a Master's in Feminist Sociocultural Criticism from the University of Northern Colorado. She works runs the media center at Dynard Elementary School. Trish is also an award-winning playwright.


Master Will GatesCaptain Will Gates  holds the title of “Maritime Curator” at the Historic St. Mary’s City Museum, but is better known for his main responsibility as the Master (skipper) of the replica ship Maryland Dove. He has served in this capacity since 1989, having previously worked on the Mayflower replica in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and for several years in the educational windjammer trade. He apprenticed as a rigger at Mystic Seaport, and was later schooled in archaeology, but soon discovered that, as the bumper sticker says, “I’d rather be Sailing!”


John GiustiJohn Giusti  received a Masters in International Studies from American University. He is a certified financial planner and career transition counselor. John is a frequent cast member at Three Notch Theater where he has portrayed a variety of characters. Excelling in comedy, John's portrayal of Galileo in "Babu's Burgers," (by Keith William) provided the right balance of authenticity and imagination in a geographical and time displaced farce with characters Benjamin Franklin, Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Jesus. When not on stage, John can be found tending his oysters under his pier or hiking the local trails.


Paul KellamCaptain Paul Kellam and his wife Judy have lived in Ridge, Maryland for more than 30 years. Paul is the owner and operator of Kellam Seafood in Ridge, and can be found most morning out on the Bay fishing for the market. He also runs an oyster aquaculture operation and works closely with other entrepreneurs in the area. One of only a handful of folks with an unlimited captain license, Paul can be seen piloting the Smith Island ferry from time to time.


Divid LewisDavid Lewis  and his wife, Marcia Greenberg, live on St. Inigoes Creek where they purchased their home in 2003. Dave has lived on or near the water for nearly all his life. He grew up on the shores of Clear Lake in California, was on the crew as an undergraduate in college, lived in a fishing village as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, sailed on Cayuga Lake while working in upstate New York, and is now retired on the water in St. Mary's City. Aside from his personal interest in the stewardship of water resources, Dave brings to the Board two professional types of experience: regional development management and organization development. As a faculty member at Cornell University (35+ years) he specialized in regional planning and the management of development programs. His administrative roles within the university provided "institutional battlefield experience" in organization development and management. Dave earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering at Stanford, and his PhD in regional planning at Cornell.



Karen NutterKaren Nutter  is from an Air Force family whose roots are on the Tred Avon River in Maryland's Eastern shore, where her grandparents taught her the joys of the water. Whether out on their boat or walking along the shore, playing pirates, catching minnows with a bell jar, a string and pieces of bread or learning about the inhabitants of the marsh and river, Karen always connected with the natural environment. She and her husband Jim lived in Pennsylvania for twenty seven years. However, they have returned to water and love living on and helping to care for the St. Mary's River. Karen serves on the St. Mary's Caring (our local soup kitchen) board and is a member of the St. Mary's County Garden Club.


Bob PaulBob Paul  is a Professor of Biology and has been at St. Mary’s College of Maryland since 1977. He received a Phd in Zoology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. His specialty includes aquatic ecology and the application of Geographical Information System (GIS) technology to land use policy and ecological concerns. From 1999 to 2009, Bob co-directed the St. Mary’s River Project, a long-term, federally-funded water quality monitoring study of the St. Mary’s River and its watershed. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.


Patricia SamfordPatricia "Tricia" Samford  received a Phd in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, majoring in historical archaeology. She is currently the Director of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, Maryland. Her research has dealt with the archaeology of free and enslaved African Americans in the American South and in cultural resource management. She enjoys gardening, kayaking on the St. Mary’s River and reading.


John SpinicchiaJohn Spinicchia  received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland and is currently working on his masters degree. He teaches Natural Resources Management classes at the James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center for St. Mary's County Public Schools. When John is not teaching or with his family, Jeannie and the twins Rebecca and Nico, he is probably communing with nature—banding Saw whet owls, counting toads and frogs, or just watching the beauty of nature.


Elaine SzymkowiakElaine Szymkowiak  received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Mary's College of Maryland. Since 1981, she has served as Biology Laboratory Coordinator and instructor in scanning electron microscopy at the College. She is the advisor to the student club, Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC). Elaine has an avid interest in conservation issues and a life long love of nature. She enjoys spending free time on outdoor activities including hiking, nature study, sailing, skiing and gardening.


Michelle WilliamsChandler Wyatt  serves on our board as the student representative for St. Mary's College of Maryland. Chandler interned for us in the summers of 2015 and 2016—the first year as a STEM volunteer. He is majoring in environmental studies and biology. Chandler brings to our board his energy and passion for saving our planet from human neglect and carelessness.



Bob LewisBob Lewis  received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Music Composition from the State University of New York, and certificates in arts administration, personnel management, Web marketing, and communications technology. He graduated from the Institute for Conservation Leadership, Executive Director Leadership Program (2008). He holds a certificate of completion from Leadership Southern Maryland (class of 2014). He is a founder and graduate of the Chesapeake Institure for Grassroots Organizing (2012-2014). In 2013, Bob founded the Future Bay Leaders, a program to mentor high school and college students through hands-on learning, leadership training, and work skills development. Bob serves on the steering committee for the St. Mary's County Watershed Steward's Academy and is a graduate of the 2016-17 inaugural class.

        Bob was recognized in 2006 as the Environmentalist of the Year by the Potomac River Association. Also in 2006, Bob chaired the Cultural Diversity Task Force for the county superintendent of public schools. In February 2009, Governor O'Malley recognized Bob with the Lower Potomac Tributary Team River Hero award, and in spring of 2013 Bob was awarded the Champion of the Chesapeake by the St. Mary's River Watershed Association. In summer 2013, Bob was awarded the title Chesapeake Bay Ambassador by Governor Martin O'Malley who subsequently appointed Bob to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin where he still serves. Bob prides himself on his "connection" to our natural world and when he is not working he can be found in his vegetable and berry patch, or pulling on a paddle almost anywhere in North America.


Allison Rugila  joined the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association in May 2011 as a student intern and became the Association's Program Director in January 2012. She served in this capacity through the summer of 2014. She is currently a full-time staff serving as Program Director. She is a St. Mary's College of Maryland graduate in the class of 2014 who majored in Biology and currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Ecology & Evolution beginning Fall 2015. Allison loves getting out on (or in) the water to survey habitats, study oyster reproduction, and restore habitats. In her spare time she enjoys swimming at the college dock or diving on the coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.


Meghan Webster  worked with us as a STEM intern in the summer of 2014 and again in 2015 after graduating from Great Mills High School with the STEM Academy. She's currently enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland, where she intends to study Veterinarian Medicine. In the fall of 2015, Meghan was promoted to Outreach Coordinator. In her spare time, you may find her playing the ukelele, cooking, or volunteering at animal rescues.


Jillian Carty  is a rising Great Mills STEM Academy senior, joining us under a formal summer internship. She has been part of the STEM Academy since 6th grade. Jillian intends to study Aquaculture and/or oceanography post-high school and hopes her experience with us persuades her one way or another. She is very eager to help this summer and has expressed her desire to give back to the community through us. Jillian also loves the outdoors and often spend her time playing soccer or running track.


TJ McPhaul  will be a Junior studying Environmental Science, Art, and Anthropology at St. Mary's College of Maryland in the Fall of 2016. With his deep appreciation for our surrounding world, he decided to focus his studies on Environmental Science and plans to pursue a career in this field post-college. Whilst in the search for a summer internship, he came across our association and says that he genuinely connected with our mission. TJ is very active as an avid runner and biker. He runs cross country for St. Mary's College and continues to pursue his ultra-marathon passion. TJ is also part of the Sustainability Club and Best Buddies Club on campus.


Hunter Rooney  is entering his senior year in the STEM Academy at Great Mills High School. He plans to continue his schooling at Coastal Carolina University after graduation in the spring of 2017 with the intentions of studying marine biology or environmental science. Hunter found our Association through the STEM Academy and has expressed his excitment towards this summer. Hunter has been playing for the Great Mills High School Varsity Baseball Team and was selected as team captian this past year.


Ruben Sabella  will be an incoming senior in the Fall of 2016 at Great Mills High School. He also has a certificate of achievement at the James Forrest Tech Center in the Natural Resources Management course. He plans to attend college at College of Southern Maryland and transfer to Allegany College of Maryland, where he anticpates a major in forestry and forest management. He has been active in high school theater, martial arts, and Boy Scouts, where he is pursuing his Eagle Scout rank. Ruben greatly enjoys working for the Association and their goals, and looks forward to an eventful summer.


Henry Ulrich  is going into his senior year at Leonardtown High School. A member of the Global and International Studies Program, Henry is writing a Capstone paper on the effects of water pollution both locally and globally. He plays 3 sports, is a boy scout, and helps coach youth lacrosse. While he has not yet chosen a major course of study for college, he is interested in Environmental Science. Henry volunteered at the SMRWA several times last year and is excited for a new year.


Michelle Wood  graduated from Leonardtown High School in 2014 and will be a rising junior at the College of William and Mary this fall. She is a Government major and an Environmental Science and Policy minor. Her dream job is to work for the EPA or on a congressional environmental legislation committee, and she believes this internship will give her an up close and personal view of local environmental issues that she will be able to draw upon when she is working on Capitol Hill. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, running,reading, and frequenting Salsa’s. At school she is the Public Relations Vice President of her sorority.


Chandler Wyatt  is a Great Mills High School STEM Academy graduate, class of 2016. He has been accepted at St. Mary's College Of Maryland and will be a dual major in Environmental Science and Biology. His stellar academic perserverance in high school paid off as he was awarded an academic scholarship. In his free time, Chandler enjoys fossil hunting on our local beaches.


  • Membership:  Trish Cole, John Spinicchia, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Development:  Tricia Samford, Joe Anderson, John Giusti, Trish Cole, Karen Nutter
  • Public Policy:  Joe Anderson, John Giusti, Bob Paul
  • Science/Technical:  Bob Paul, John Spinicchia, Elaine Szymkowiak, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Education:  Elaine Szymkowiak, John Spinicchia, Will Gates, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Budget & Finance:  Trish Cole, Joe Anderson—ex-officio
  • Strategic Planning:  Joe Anderson, Tricia Samford, Trish Cole, John Spinicchia, John Giusti
  • Public Relations: Bob Lewis, Joe Anderson, Allison Rugila

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