Port Orford Field Station Advisory Board


The Port Orford Field Station (POFS) Advisory Board helps ensure the station achieves its mission as a hub that supports student learning, scientific research, community priorities, and economic opportunities. The station aims to foster coastal stewardship and sustainability by supporting access to the region’s unique marine and terrestrial ecosystem. 

Advisory Board members are drawn from the south coast region and from a range of coastal interests: private sector, community groups, local government, resource management agencies and others with a stake in Oregon's south coast and surrounding waters. The Board typically meets annually as a group, with individual members performing additional duties as needed. 

Advisory Board tasks:

  • Applies technical, professional knowledge, and experiential knowledge in shaping the vision and trajectory of the station. 
  • Applies technical, professional knowledge, and experiential knowledge to advise the POFS manager on issues related to the POFS mission.
  • Actively promotes the value of the station within the university, on the coast, within the region and state, and helps build the capacity of the station. 
  • Reviews funding proposals, and makes funding recommendations to the Station Manager. 

Operating principles:

  • Board members bring their knowledge, representing themselves only, in guiding, planning, evaluating, communicating, and promoting the station. 
  • The Board benefits from a diversity of individuals, including differences in personal and work experience (e.g., industry, academia, government, non-profit). 
  • Board activities benefit significantly from active participation by its members. Should a member be unable to participate in POFS activities for a period of a year or more, a replacement will be sought. 
  • Given continually changing environments and circumstances, the POFS benefits from both continuity and new perspectives. Members will generally serve staggered two-year terms, and could be renewed for additional two-year terms, pending discussion with the Steering Group. 
  • Board members serve at the pleasure of the Steering Group and are appointed by the OSU's Marine Studies Initiative Executive Director. 
  • The identification of prospective new members of the Board will be sought from among community stakeholders as appropriate. 
  • Maintaining the integrity of the review process is critical to ensuring the best science and students are supported. In any situation where a Board member has a conflict of interest with a proposed effort, they are expected to self declare such conflicts and will be excused from the review process.

Aaron Ashdown

Captain, F/V Misty, Port Commission President

Aaron is a second-generation commercial fisherman who has captained the F/V Misty since
2015. Now serving his second term as Port Commissioner for the Port of Port Orford, Aaron has
twice been elected and currently is serving as its President. He also serves on the Oregon
Entanglement Advisory Committee (OEAC), and brings local expertise in commercial fishing to
the Advisory Board. We are happy to welcome Aaron to the Advisory Board this year.

Leigh Torres

GEMM Lab, Marine Mammal Institute, OSU

Leigh is a marine ecologist whose research explores how marine predators find prey within
highly patchy, variable marine ecosystems. Much of this work is directed toward improving
conservation management of protected or threatened species. Leigh has led a team studying
gray whales in Port Orford since its beginnings in 2016, and this project is now entering its 9th
year. We are happy to welcome Leigh to the Advisory Board this year.

Dave Lacey 

Chair, Redfish Rocks Community Team

Dave operates South Coast Tours, a local kayak tour business operating on the south coast from Brookings to Port Orford, with an office on the dock at the Port of Port Orford. Dave has served on the Redfish Rocks Community Team since its founding in 2010, and was elected Chair in 2016. He is now the Regional Coordinator for destination tourism for Travel Oregon.

Jan Hodder

Emeritus Faculty, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon

Jan’s career was spent entirely at field stations and included diverse research interests ranging from the ecology of marine birds and mammals to the biological consequences of introduced species.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, Jan was also principal investigator on several national education projects which provided professional development opportunities for graduate students and faculty to facilitate active learning and broaden participation in STEM fields. She has lived and worked in Charleston for over 45 years and is an active member of several local non-profit organizations.

Steve Lawton

Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University - College of Business

Steve moved to Port Orford in 2015, and has been a valued advisor to the POFS since then. He brings business knowledge and understanding of OSU administration, along with a commitment to Port Orford, and to the success of OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative.