Jennifer Wheaton , 2007
Jennifer Wheaton is a nationally recognized expert on octocorals and underwater survey and monitoring. She has conducted underwater surveys for Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) and Key Largo NMS, precursors to the Florida Keys (FK) NMS. Her surveys were instrumental in the legal settlement for a major ship grounding at Dry Tortugas. Jennifer conducted the first surveys of submerged State lands for potential leases for live-rock aquaculture. She served on advisory panels for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (FMC) and the South Atlantic FMC that produced the first Coral Fishery Management plans for both regions. Jennifer managed and participated in underwater monitoring for the FKNMS Coral Reef Monitoring project, now in its 10th year. She was an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences representing her organization until her promotion to leadership of the Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration Section at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in 2002.