Collaborative Network Staff


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 throughout the Caribbean.

She holds a Masters of Professional Science Degree from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science where she studied Exploration Science and completed a project piloting the use of 3D photogrammetry techniques for the inventory and monitoring of 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.