Shelby Walker

Ph.D. '03

Current Position: Director of the Oregon Sea Grant College Program
Advisor: Dr. Rebecca Dickhut


Update: Shelby assumed leadership of Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon State University-based marine research, outreach, education and communication program, on July 7, 2014.

Shelby Walker knows how to plan ahead. In fact, she’s made a career of it.

A 2003 alumna of the Ph.D. program at VIMS, Walker is now the Strategic Planning Team Lead for the Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation within NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Only 8 years after graduating, Walker has managed to acquire a wealth of experience and expertise in strategically planning future research initiatives.

“I deal primarily with planning NOAA’s research line,” says Walker. “My job requires me to look at what is currently being done research-wise, and take that information to plan future research for the years to come.”

While at VIMS, Walker studied organic contaminants in highly industrialized urban estuaries. Having recently served on a detail to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force as one of the Science Coordination Team Leads following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, her knowledge of environmental contaminants was put to work.

One of Walker’s fondest memories from VIMS was when her advisor, the late professor of marine science Rebecca Dickhut, invited her down to Antarctica to serve as an extra pair of hands in one of Dickhut’s research ventures. “That trip is one of my most vivid memories,” she says. “To be able to go to the bottom of the world and have the experience that I did was one of the greatest opportunities that VIMS could have offered me.”

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