Our program is led by experts in marine biology, ecology, policy and communication.

Samantha Murray, J.D.

Executive Director 
Masters of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Samantha Murray is the Executive Director of the MAS MBC Program where she also teaches graduate courses, including Ocean Law and Policy. In 2019 she was appointed by Governor Newsom to the California Fish and Game Commission and serves as President. Samantha has nearly two decades of professional experience and has directed ocean and water programs at Ocean Conservancy, the Audubon Society and Oregon Environmental Council, in addition to founding a marine policy consulting business. Samantha played a key role in the design and implementation of California's network of marine protected areas, which now cover 16 percent of state waters. She served on the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee and CalTip Citizens Committee and has held board positions at San Diego Coastkeeper, Upstream Public Health, and Citizens for East Shore Parks.

Samantha has spoken at conferences around the world on best practices in ocean conservation and holds a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School, where she was awarded a Certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Samantha is committed to antiracism, inclusion and equitable impacts of public policy.

Patty Ahn, Ph.D.

Program Co-Chair
Masters of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Communication, UC San Diego

Patty Ahn earned their Ph.D. in Critical Studies from the School of Cinematic Art at the University of Southern California, where they developed a research and teaching interest in Asia/Asian American studies; contemporary Korean and Korean American political economic and cultural history; postcolonial and feminist theory; cultural theories of global media with an emphasis on hallyu (the Korean Wave); and digital storytelling and transmedia activism. Drawing from their background as a community organizer and commercial producer, their work integrates interdisciplinary media research, critical media practice and community-based models of teaching. 

Greg Rouse


Greg Rouse, Ph.D.

Program Co-Chair
Masters of Advanced Studies Program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
Professor, Marine Biology Research Division

Greg Rouse is a professor of marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and is also curator of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection at Scripps. He specializes in the study of animal biodiversity. Greg has been on numerous oceanographic expeditions involving deep sea habitats, including whale falls, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps. He spends a lot of time investigating the extraordinary bone-devouring worm known as Osedax. His deep sea research interests also include the study of new hydrothermal vent animals from the eastern and western Pacific as well as methane seeps in the eastern Pacific. This led to the discovery of new species of the bizarre 'purple sock' worms. He also studies the benthic fauna around Antarctica. Other current research interests include the biology and evolution of seadragons, the echinoderm tree of life, particularly crinoids (featherstars and sea lilies) and the diversity and evolution of annelid worms. He has been involved in the discovery and naming of more than 100 species of animals and has published two books and more than 200 scientific papers.