Judge Profile

Steve Gaines

Dean, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UCSB

Steven Gaines is Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. Dr. Gaines is a marine ecologist who seeks conservation solutions by building better pipelines between innovations in ocean science and effective marine policy and management. He has over 150 scientific publications, including four books. His scientific work has made extensive contributions to the design of marine reserve networks, our understanding of how climate change impacts ocean ecosystems, and more sustainable fisheries management using market based reforms.

Dr. Gaines helped develop several major programs in conservation science that bring together interdisciplinary teams to tackle problems in novel ways. Two noteworthy examples include PISCO (Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans), a long term consortium studying marine ecosystems of the west coast of the US, and the Sustainable Fisheries Group, a collaboration between academia, NGOs, and managers that promotes the development and implementation of innovative fisheries reforms. His collaborative work on sustainable fisheries was named the top scientific contribution of 2008 by the journal Nature.

In addition to his science contributions, Dr. Gaines has been a leader in promoting more effective communication of ocean science through international courses on the Ocean Science Policy Interface, the Luce Science to Solutions program, the Latin American Fisheries Fellows program, and the Digital Ocean project, which employs social networking tools to promote more effective exchanges of ideas.Dr. Gaines holds a PhD from Oregon State University. He has received numerous awards, including a Pew Fellowship in marine conservation, the inaugural Marc Hirshman Award presented by the Joint Ocean Commission for excellence in student mentoring, and election as a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science.