Calla Allison, Director
Calla Allison has been playing and working in the coastal waters of California her entire life.
She began with a 16 year career as a State Parks Lifeguard, working on the lifeguard boat, making rescues from shore, and teaching Junior Lifeguards in Santa Cruz and San Diego. After serving on the Lifeguard Exchange to New Zealand, she became interested in international environmental policy. She was especially interested in how to apply high level policy to on-the-ground, grassroots driven action and stewardship. Much of what Calla learned about local ocean policy implementation came from her years as the Marine Protection Officer for the City of Laguna Beach and as Director for the Orange County MPA Council (OCMPAC). After serving as a member of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative’s South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group, she became focused on expanding the OCMPAC model statewide, and the Collaborative Network was born.
Calla holds a Master’s degree in Pacific International Affairs from UC San Diego. She loves to travel, bodysurf, and play water polo.
Nicole Palma, Program Manager
As a sunny South Florida native, Nicole has spent most of her life on the water, boating, fishing, camping, diving and exploring with family and friends. She looks forward to bringing her passion for ocean science and conservation to the MPA Collaborative Network and discovering all that California has to offer!
She has worked with various non-profit organizations, coordinating and developing environmental and science education and outreach programs. She is an advocate for the use of citizen science and technology in research and educational programs. She has also spent a lot of time underwater completing reef fish, benthic, and lobster surveys on SCUBA in the waters around South Florida, the Dry Tortugas, and the Bahamas.
She holds a Master of Professional Science Degree from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science where she studied Exploration Science. Her graduate project with the National Park Service’s South Florida/Caribbean Network focused on establishing a pilot protocol for utilizing 3D modeling techniques to inventory and monitor to coral reefs. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Miami where she majored in Environmental Science and Policy as well as Biology.
Aubrie Fowler, South Coast Specialist
Aubrie calls Southern California home. She spends nearly every day exploring nature, especially during her ocean adventures like diving and sea cave kayaking. Aubrie is excited to bring her passion for marine conservation to the MPA Collaborative Network and dive deeper into California’s network of MPAs!
She has worked with various non-profit organizations, including Surfrider Foundation, leading and coordinating members and volunteers. She worked as a California Sea Grant Fellow (2017-18) as the Resource Protection Specialist at the NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary where she led programs to reduce the threat of ships strikes to whales and collaborated with lobster fishermen to remove lost gear and other marine debris from the Channel Islands. She is an advocate for engaging youth, including as a Naturalist at Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Program.
She holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) where she majored in Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Marine Biology and Fisheries. Aubrie’s thesis explored the inner workings of the stress response in intertidal mussels due to oxygen deprivation. The learn-by-doing attitude she practiced at Cal Poly translates into all of her career pursuits.