Sean Macduff

Assistant Director for Community Engagement


  • Marine conservation and restoration
  • Sustainable fisheries
  • Traditional and local knowledge

As the Assistant Director for Community Engagement, Sean supervises and mentors members of Washington Sea Grant’s outreach staff, and works with the rest of the leadership team on strategic and operational planning, addressing emerging needs and areas for improvement, and encouraging program innovation.

Sean’s background is in collecting and analyzing environmental and fisheries data with respect to resource management, conservation and sustainable use. Before coming to Washington Sea Grant, he was a life scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle. He has also worked as a fisheries biologist and fisheries data manager at the Department of Lands and Natural Resources in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Through these positions, Sean partnered with a wide array of fishing industry stakeholders on improving fisheries data collection, which has resulted in better catch estimates and maintaining sustainable fish populations. He has additional experience in the review, application and implementation of various environmental regulations required for natural resource management and protecting human health and the environment.

Sean studied coral reef ecology and resilience and earned a doctoral degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His research supported several community-based coastal ecosystem restoration efforts and was used to further their conservation goals and objectives. Sean is passionate about the applicability of science and how collaborative and informed management can solve issues important to ecosystems and the coastal communities who depend on them. He is equally passionate about incorporating traditional and local knowledge with western science systems — when appropriate. He acknowledges that traditional, Indigenous and local cultures have an intimate understanding about their environment and may know a thing or two about managing resources sustainably. Sean believes that we can learn from their experiences.