Staff

Board of Directors

3

Managing Director

Rob Lee, ph.d.

Rob is a conservation ecologist with a B.Sc. from University of California, Irvine, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. from University of Oregon who has 25 years of professional experience working in over 40 countries on issues related to coastal, marine, forest ecology; wildlife trade; climate change; collaborative management of protected areas; payment for environmental services; and empowerment of civil society organizations and communities. He has worked as a senior scientist and executive for National Geographic, Wildlife Conservation Society, and UNESCO as well serving as a faculty member at academic institutions and board member on non-profit organizations. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, hiking, diving and cooking. He is based in Laguna Niguel, CA.

Email – rlee@lagunaoceanfoundation.org

Program Manager

Krista Fruehauf, PH.D.

Krista was first exposed to conservation ecology and marine invertebrates while obtaining her B.S. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After receiving her PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, she completed her Post Doc at the University of Alberta in Canada. To get more involved in conservation, she joined Laguna Ocean Foundation. In her spare time, you can find Krista climbing rocks, looking for bugs, and exploring nature.

Email – krista@lagunaoceanfoundation.org

Education & Leadership Manager

ALAYNA ADER

Alayna joined the Laguna Ocean Foundation in September of 2023 after working as a fisheries outreach biologist for the state of Louisiana for the past 10 years. She focused on providing aquatic education to the public, creating stewards of the environment, and managing aquatic volunteers. Alayna is originally from the east coast of Maryland and received her B.S. in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware. She is excited to explore the west coast now and have the opportunity to engage with the local community as she helps to share her passion for the outdoors.

Email – alayna@lagunaoceanfoundation.org

Education Field Coordinator

Carissa Rice - Education Field Coordinator

Carissa Rice

Carissa joined the Laguna Ocean Foundation in 2024. She is an experienced high school science teacher with 17 years in the classroom. Education is at the heart of everything she does and Carissa would describe herself as a lifelong learner. She was raised in Orange County and temporarily relocated to obtain her B.S. and M.S from Oregon State University in Marine Biology, emphasis on Phycology, and Chemistry minor. Carissa also holds teaching certificates in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Health. When she is not asking questions or sharing science information (her pilates friends still look at her in amazement when she uses scientific names of intertidal species), Carissa enjoys traveling with her partner, SCUBA diving locally and abroad, and listening to audiobooks of all topics while cuddling her corgis. She is looking forward to learning from everyone at LOF and helping to provide lessons for students and the community to help further ocean stewardship and appreciation of our great natural resources.

Docent Trainer

GRETCHEN MCKAY

Gretchen joined the Laguna Ocean Foundation as a Tidewater Docent in October 2016, and accepted a promotion to Docent Trainer in 2021.  Gretchen is a retired elementary school teacher who has actively been educating children and adults about the environment and sustainable living since the 1970s. Her love of the ocean ecosystem led her to begin volunteering for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach in 2015 and then for LOF in 2016. 

Educator Trainer

JESSICA CLARK

Jessica joined Laguna Ocean Foundation in June of 2021 as a Tidepool Educator and has since become the Educator Trainer. Jessica grew up in Michigan, visiting family in Southern California where her love for the ocean began. She studied biology at Grand Valley State University and is in a gap period before attending grad school for marine biology and shark research. Jessica loves working in our ocean ecosystem and teaching others about the wonders of the intertidal zone and Marine Protected Area.