Sam Cheplick

Socioeconomic Environmental Outreach Coordinator

Expertise

  • Shellfish mariculture
  • Seafood markets
  • Fisheries economics
  • Coastal ecology
  • Ecosystem services
  • Human dimensions

Sam completed his master’s degree in environmental science from Clemson University in December 2021. His thesis focused on the underlying factors limiting the overall production of fish and shellfish products through mariculture across the state. His research focused on production of the Eastern oyster and how siting new production facilities can be implemented based on industry and consumer feedback. His work, which was funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, combined novel research in the fields of genetics, grow-out methods and market evaluation for coastal U.S. shellfish mariculture production. Sam firmly believes shellfish mariculture is a public health initiative, as well as key component to coastal resilience through direct ecosystem services. At Washington Sea Grant (WSG), Sam’s work will support shellfish growers and harvesters in mitigating the socioeconomic impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) through the SoundToxins program. SoundToxins was started in 2006 to provide early alerts to recreational and commercial harvesters through phytoplankton monitoring in the Puget Sound. This work is conducted through a grant by NOAA’s National Centers of Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS).

Prior to this, Sam was a staff research associate with University of California, Davis based at the Bodega Marine Laboratory. Here, he worked with state and federal agencies researching the artificial breeding and stocking of the critically endangered white abalone under the White Abalone Restoration Program. He has also worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife collecting data on run-timing and stock structure of salmonids in the Central Valley, and abroad in the Seychelles for a nongovernmental organization monitoring coral reef ecosystems and managing coral propagation programs with funding from USAID.

Sam received his bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA.