Spring Advisory Council Meets, Welcomes New Members


CC&E’s spring Advisory Council meeting, held April 25, focused on the LSU strategic plan, specifically on the coast, energy and environment theme, and welcomed new members Lee Bloch, Jay Grymes, Kimberly Davis Reyher, Tara Levy and Russ Chapman. Member Liz Hampton was introduced as the new chair of the membership committee.

The Council, dedicated to the creative development of the financial and intellectual resources of the College, assists in raising funds to support the College, educates the community on CC&E’s mission and work, and increases the visibility and stature of the College among coastal and environmental leaders.

Dean Chris D’Elia welcomed the new members in his opening remarks. “Lee, Jay, Kim,Tara and Russ join a distinguished group of men and women already serving on the Council who are passionate supporters of our coast, rivers and envrionment,” he said. “We are especially excited to work with the Council as we implement LSU’s strategic plan.”

Jay Grymes

Grymes has been with WAFB since 1996, serving as chief meteorologist since 2003. He retired from LSU in 2008, with faculty appointments in the Departments of Geography & Anthropology and Biological Engineering. He is a co-author of Louisiana Weather and Climate. A former editor of Louisiana Monthly Climate Review, he has co-authored numerous professional and academic papers dealing with aspects of Gulf Coast weather and climate. Grymes was the Louisiana State Climatologist from 1991 to 2003 and continues to serve as a weather consultant for a number of state and local agencies, including the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

Kimberly Davis Reyher

Reyher is executive director, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. She joined the organization after 13 years with the World Wildlife Fund, where she served as fisheries program director. In that capacity, she advanced sustainability, working with fisheries around the world and influential companies in the seafood industry. Reyher co-led the development of a $29 million tuna management project with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, directed the International Smart Gear Competition, which awards cash prizes for fishing gear innovations, and supervised 20+ projects in more than 20 countries. Prior to that, she worked with the Ocean Conservancy in Florida and Washington, D.C. Reyher received a bachelor’s degree in geography from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in natural resource economics and policy from Duke University.

Tara Levy

Since 2011, Levy has served as geophysical operations/NOAA manager with Oceaneering International, Inc., a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deep-water applications. Previously she worked with C&C Technologies, where she was under contract with NOAA to update National Ocean Service nautical charting products. Working as a data processor and party chief she was responsible for NOAA assignments and shallow water geophysical jobs for oil and gas companies. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Bayou Teche Water Sentinels, where she collects and tests water samples for quality. A member of The Hydrographic Society of America and a former board member of its Louisiana Chapter, she educates high-school students about hydrography. Levy earned a B.S. from the Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and a Marine Geomatics Diploma from the Centre of Geographic Sciences in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia.

Lee Bloch

Bloch has been president of Bloch, Briggs, and Associates, Inc. since 1982. The company is a petroleum consulting firm performing land management services involving the negotiation of petroleum-related agreements, including operations in the wetlands, and coastal environmental property management. During Bloch’s distinguished career he has served as an expert in several lawsuits, including the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office on Louisiana vs. Texaco, Inc., a $1.3 billion lawsuit; the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office on Louisiana vs. Watt (OCS Lands Act Amendment 8G), a $1.8 billion lawsuit that addressed the state’s sharing income with the federal government between the band of land between three and six miles off the coast, in accordance with the OCS Lands Act Amendment. The lawsuit’s claims were based on the coastal impacts of federal exploration and development. The settlement money was used for education. He was also the Louisiana State Mineral Board’s chief analyst on Hankamer vs. Texaco, Inc., a $650 million royalty dispute; and a speaker at the American Bar Association’s workshop on mineral royalty disputes.

Russ Chapman

The College is pleased to welcome the return of Dr. Russ Chapman to the Advisory Council following his retirement from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCSD. Chapman, professor emeritus and founding dean of the College of the Coast and Environment, is already actively assisting the College with fundraising endeavors. A world-renowned expert on algae, Chapman has published numerous articles on the ultrastructure and molecular systematics and evolution of algae. In addition to his passion for LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment, he is also a patron of opera, serving on the Board of Directors of Opéra Louisiane, Inc. He serves on the Advisory Board for Global Renewable Energy and Power Inc. and is a member of the Sunrise Rotary of Baton Rouge. He received his B.S. in biology from Dartmouth College and his M.S. and Ph.D. in botany and phycology from University of California, Davis.