Spotlight on SNP: Connecting Students and Professionals in Coastal Communities | Going Coastal

May 9, 2023

Calling all coastal professionals: Become a mentor today!

In this episode of Going Coastal, Deb makes her debut as one of your co-hosts and joins Marissa in welcoming your SNP Vice President and Coastal Universities Guide Chair - Nick Brown and Leanne Hauptman! These two incredible leaders have big plans for the future of SNP, transforming how the Chapter supports and interacts with students and professionals. This year, SNP is playing matchmaker in their new mentoring program, open to all levels of students and coastal professionals seeking to learn new skills from seasoned members of the community or share their own with the next generation. Apply to be a mentor or mentee today! The new and improved Coastal Universities Guide is up and running on, an online resource to help students and professionals at all levels identify coastal-related degrees and programs nationally. Help us fill in the gaps as new programs become available or submit an international program to include in the database! Find us at if you wish to join SNP, learn more about getting connected to a coastal professional, or have questions about the Coastal Universities Guide!

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Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Jon Miller, Marissa Torres, Deb Fernandes

Jon Miller developed his love of all things coastal during summers spent vacationing at the Jersey Shore. He was fortunate enough to get turned on to a career in coastal engineering during his time as an undergrad at Stevens Institute of Technology. When he was offered an opportunity to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Florida under Bob Dean, he jumped at the opportunity. After completing his PhD (and a brief detour in Australia), Jon was offered the opportunity to return to Stevens. Now a Research Associate Professor, Jon leads Stevens Coastal Engineering Research Group and serves as the NJ Sea Grant Coastal Processes Specialist. In his time at Stevens, Jon has mentored over 75 graduate and undergraduate students, and currently serves as the faculty advisor to both the ASBPA and ASCE COPRI student chapters. Jon serves on the Board of Directors of ASBPA, and has been involved with the Student and New Professional Group (now chapter) since its inception. In his spare time, Jon enjoys spending time at the beach with his family and coaching both of his kids in basketball. Heather B. Wade - is a coastal planner and policy specialist with the Oregon Coastal Management Program and a current Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University studying urban and regional science, coastal resiliency and management. Heather received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and master’s degree in urban and regional planning with an emphasis on environmental hazards management. Heather’s research focuses on the interconnections between planning, coastal management, and hazards reduction with an emphasis on local coastal planning implementation. In her free time, she likes to work in the garden, go camping with her family, and paint with her kids Isaac and Isabel. Marissa J. Torres is a Research Engineer with the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) - one of seven research labs within the ERDC - she has worked on a variety of research topics, including tidal dynamics, nearshore tide and wave modeling, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) post-processing methods, and snow hydrology. Prior to starting with CRREL, Marissa received her BS and MS in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island, where she focused on coastal flood and storm surge modeling. Outside of work, she enjoys backpacking, biking, kayaking, snowboarding, and snow-shoeing around New Hampshire and Vermont.