Board Members

Linda Powell-McMillan

Board Member

Linda Powell-McMillan is first and foremost a teacher. She taught elementary grades at a small rural school in Shandon CA and taught Biology and Chemistry in Paso Robles High School for 12 years. She left the classroom to become a California Regional Director for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college preparatory system in the US, designing and facilitating professional learning for teachers in the US, Australia, and for Department of Defense teachers in Europe and the Pacific. She worked as a National Director for Professional Learning for AVID. Most recently she has been working internationally (in-country and online) as an Education Consultant for AVID Australia, coaching Australian elementary and secondary teachers in the teaching and learning strategies of AVID. 

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She received a Bachelor of Science in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of California, Davis, then returned to UC Davis to earn a Master of Science in Ecology. She holds Elementary and Secondary Teaching Credentials and an Administrative Services Credential from California Polytechnic State University. She was the co-Director of the California Science Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Her interest in natural history and conservation led to a career as a wildlife film maker and photographer for the National Audubon Society. She, along with her husband, Greg, produced 90-minute wildlife films on the Outback of Australia, the flora, fauna and people of Papua New Guinea, the Gray Whales of Baja California. She was field tour leader of natural history journeys in Baja California for Red Hills Films and Natural History Tours. During a year’s sabbatical in Chile, her photographs and essays became part of Chile’s first national webpage. 

She lives in the Central Coast of California in an off-the-grid strawbale home, on a ranch raising grass-fed beef and olives for oil.

Enrique Hambleton

Board Member

Enrique Hambleton is a Mexican conservationist, photographer and writer based in La Paz, Baja California Sur.  He is an active founding board member of Pronatura Noroeste, a chapter of Mexico’s oldest and largest Conservation Non-profit organization dedicated to environmental conservation and resource use advocacy.  The chapter he helped create works in the five states that surround the Sea of Cortés as well as its waters and islands.  Enrique is also an active founding board member of Niparajá, a La Paz based Conservation Non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of land and sea-based ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and water conservation in Baja California Sur. Both of these organizations have been working successfully in the region since the early 90´s

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Enrique is also known for his long-standing commitment to document, study and protect one of the world´s greatest concentrations of prehistoric art located in the central mountain ranges of the Peninsula of Baja California.  He was instrumental in achieving the UNESCO World Heritage designation for the Sierra de San Francisco in 1993 and also participated in the successful effort to secure the same designation for the islands in the Sea of Cortés in 2005.He continues to work to conserve the natural and cultural capital of Mexico’s California and its sea.

Tom Keffer

Board President

Tom Keffer has worked as an oceanographer, a CEO of a public software company, a venture capitalist, and in non-profits.

After receiving his PhD from Oregon State University in 1980, he worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, first as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and then later as a member of their faculty, focusing on the oceanography of the oceans during the last ice age, and on how atmospheric gases get absorbed into the ocean. From 1985 to 1989 he was on the faculty of the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, again, focusing on climate studies. He is the author of thirteen refereed publications in journals such as Science, Nature, and the Journal of Marine Research, as well as the author of many technical reports and talks.

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In 1989 he co-founded Rogue Wave Software, Inc, in Corvallis, Oregon, becoming its Chairman,

President, and CEO. The company did an IPO on the NASDAQ exchange (sticker RWAV) in 1996, followed in 1997 by a secondary offering. He retired as CEO in 1998, by which time the company had grown to over 300 employees and revenues of over $44M.

During the 2010s, he focused on angel and venture investing in Oregon-based companies. He was president of 1000 Friends of Oregon, a land-use advocacy organization. He also worked as an advisor to Mercy Corps on their economic development programs, an experience which took him to Indonesia, Gaza, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mongolia, and other places. In his spare time he enjoys racing his J/42 sailboat.

William Gilly, Ph.D

Board Member and Chief Scientist

William Gilly is a Professor of Biology at Stanford University based at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA. He received a B.S.E. in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from Washington University after carrying out his thesis research at Yale University Medical School. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Departments of Biology and Physiology and began working with squid during this time at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

His research has ranged from biophysical and molecular analyses of excitability mechanisms in nerve and muscle cells of a variety of invertebrates, but primarily squid, to oceanographic changes in the Gulf of California and Monterey Bay. His group was the first (and only) to deploy pop-up satellite tags and video-monitoring devices (National Geographic Crittercam) on large Humboldt squid to record their second-to-second vertical movements and color-changing behaviors. His current research focuses on the physiological mechanisms controlling skin-color change in squid and the influence of climatic anomalies and changing oceanographic conditions on the life history of Humboldt squid in the Gulf of California.

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His work has often been featured in popular media, including the Ultimate Explorer episode “Devils of the Deep” on National William Gilly is a Professor of Biology at Stanford University based at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA. He received a B.S.E. in electrical engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from Washington University after carrying out his thesis research at Yale University Medical School. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Departments of Biology and Physiology and began working with squid during this time at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

His research has ranged from biophysical and molecular analyses of excitability mechanisms in nerve and muscle cells of a variety of invertebrates, but primarily squid, to oceanographic changes in the Gulf of California and Monterey Bay. His group was the first (and only) to deploy pop-up satellite tags and video-monitoring devices (National Geographic Crittercam) on large Humboldt squid to record their second-to-second vertical movements and color-changing behaviors. His current research focuses on the physiological mechanisms controlling skin-color change in squid and the influence of climatic anomalies and changing oceanographic conditions on the life history of Humboldt squid in the Gulf of California.

His work has often been featured in popular media, including the Ultimate Explorer episode “Devils of the Deep” on National Geographic TV, “Cannibal Squid” on Dangerous Encounters with Brady Barr, in popular magazines (Discover, Outside, BioScience) and on National Geographic News online posts. His lab group carries out the the popular K-12 outreach program, Squids4Kids, and contributes to Science Friday’s “Cephalopod Week.” In 2004 he was Director and Chief Scientist for the Sea of Cortez Exploration and Education Project that retraced the 1940 expedition to the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts on the Western Flyer. He is currently developing a marine field station for research and education in the Gulf of California with the technical college Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Mulege, Santa Rosalia, BCS, and The Ocean Foundation, Washington, DC. He also co-directs, with Susan Shillinglaw, a summer institute on John Steinbeck funded by the National Endowment for Humanities for high-school teachers that bridges science and literature.

Susan Shillinglaw, Ph.D

Board Member

Born in Iowa, raised in Colorado, Susan Shillinglaw graduated with a B.A. in English and Art from Cornell College and earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Since 1984, she has been a Professor of English at San Jose State University (currently FERPing), where she was Director of the University’s Center for Steinbeck Studies for 18 years. In 2012-13 she was named the SJSU President’s Scholar. She was also Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas from 2015-2018.

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Dr. Shillinglaw has published widely on John Steinbeck, most recently Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage (U of Nevada P, 2013) and On Reading The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin, 2014); and A Journey into Steinbeck’s California (3rd edition, 2019) She also wrote introductions to several of Steinbeck books for Penguin New American Library editions. Currently, she is writing a book Steinbeck’s landscapes.

She has served on the boards of Hopkins Marine Station, the Cannery Row Foundation, SJSU’s Center for Steinbeck Studies, the National Steinbeck Center, the Monterey Museum of Art and the Western Flyer Foundation.

John M. Gregg

Founder and Director

John Gregg is founder and President of Gregg Drilling & Testing, Inc. He started the company in 1985 and has grown it over the past 32 years to become a leader in the industry. Gregg Drilling is known for high quality site investigations and an excellent safety records. Mr. Gregg prides himself in the personnel at Gregg Drilling and their commitment to the company. Many employees have been with Gregg Drilling for over 20-years.He manages over 200 people in six locations within California and Texas. Through Gregg Drilling’s marine division, John has developed advanced systems for seafloor sampling which have worked at great depths in oceans around the world.

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John is founder and Director of the Western Flyer Foundation which is currently restoring the historic vessel that was used by author John Steinbeck on his voyage to the Sea of Cortez in 1940. He hopes to grow the Western Flyer Foundation and provide outreach and education to under-served communities along the West Coast. He wants the Foundation to specialize in merging the arts and science together in a holistic approach to learning and hopefully inspire the next generation of biologists, environmentalists, artists and researchers.

John has a bachelors degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno, Mackay School of Mines.