Maryland Sea Grant Welcomes New Communications Manager

Lisa Tossey joins the team. Photo, Matthew Amey
Lisa Tossey joins the team. Photo, Matthew Amey

Lisa Tossey has always been drawn to the water. After her family moved to Maryland’s Eastern Shore when she was five years old, she grew up exploring the sandy barrier islands of the Atlantic coast and the rich marshes of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

As an adult, Tossey’s appreciation for these diverse ecosystems kept bringing her back to the coast—to study, film, and write about the water. This summer she joined Maryland Sea Grant as the new assistant director for communications and engagement. She will lead the four-person team—writers, editors, and designer—who produce Chesapeake Quarterly, along with research compilations, videos, fact sheets, and scientific books.

“Maryland Sea Grant is thrilled to have Lisa join our team,” said Maryland Sea Grant director Fredrika Moser, “and we are excited to work with her on new innovations in communications to reach our diverse audiences and increase understanding of Maryland’s coastal waters.”  

She worked previously as a research multimedia specialist at the University of Delaware. For Delaware Sea Grant, she produced the award-winning video series, 15 Second Science, and managed the program’s social media presence. Just before joining Maryland Sea Grant, Tossey was one of 12 fellows selected to attend a competitive science filmmaking workshop at the International Wildlife Film Festival.

Tossey also served as communications manager for the National Marine Educators Association, which operates out of Maryland Sea Grant’s College Park office. As an educator in the Environmental Studies Department at Salisbury University, she assisted Chesapeake Bay environmental writer Tom Horton in circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula by kayak to explore the region’s environmental and cultural history.

“Lisa has been at the cutting edge of digital storytelling for almost two decades, never hesitating from trying some new technology, software, platform, etc.—all in the name of education,” said Chris Petrone, director of the Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service, who collaborated with Tossey on many projects. “She is a master of making local and remote environments accessible and engaging.”

She has a BS in biology from Salisbury University and an MA in journalism from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. In spring 2020, she expects to complete an EdD, with a focus on education technology in science storytelling, from the University of Delaware.

“Maryland Sea Grant has a long history of excellent community outreach, as well as producing impactful films and beautiful printed pieces, like Chesapeake Quarterly, that serve to inform the public about complex scientific topics,” Tossey said. “I look forward to continuing this tradition, as well as growing our communications offerings through implementation of emerging technologies to tell the stories of the diverse work being done here in fresh new ways.”


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