Ray Allen
Executive Director

Ray is the Executive Director of the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program. Ray was twice appointed by the Governor of Texas as the coastal citizen representative to the Coastal Coordination Council. He served on the Policy Committee of the Corpus Christi Bay National Estuary Program and was the founding Chairman of the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation.  Prior to his position with the Estuary Program, Ray was employed by Central Power and Light Company in Corpus Christi as an environmental consultant dealing with issues ranging from endangered species concerns, water and air discharge permits, transmission line routing and the company’s environmental stewardship program.  Ray holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marine Biology from what is now Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.  Phone (361) 336-0305.

Kiersten Stanzel
Director of Partnerships

As Director of Partnerships, Kiersten will work to cultivate individual, corporate, government, and foundation partnerships, while also coordinating with CBBEP staff to pursue available grant opportunities. Kiersten received her B.S. in Biology from Augustana College and her Ph.D. in Marine Science from The University of Texas at Austin. She has over 10 years of experience working on environmental issues in the Coastal Bend. Prior to her handling partnership development and grant writing, Kiersten served as a Research Associate with the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, where she focused on integrating research and education to improve the stewardship of coastal resources, and her responsibilities included grant writing, conservation/programmatic planning, and communication with stakeholders.  Phone (361) 336-0315.

Alice Sanchez
Director of Business Affairs

Alice’s responsibilities include oversight of all program finances, budget and planning, as well as administration of state and federal contracts for the CBBEP. She has more than 21 years experience in financial and contract related matters and has worked as Contract Manager for the program.  Phone (361) 336-0307.

Jake Herring
Director of Land Conservation

Jake is CBBEP’s land manager, coordinating and assisting with habitat protection and conservation projects for the CBBEP 12-county area. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science from Texas A&M University-College Station and interned at CBBEP.  Phone (361) 336-0309.

David Newstead
Director of Coastal Bird Program

David conducts and manages projects involving census, survey and management of coastal birds – including colonial-nesting waterbirds, marshbirds and shorebirds – and their habitats in the Texas Coastal Bend. David earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a Master’s degree from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. His experience has been in research, restoration and conservation of coastal habitats for birds and other wildlife.  Phone (361) 336-0312.

Melissa Barnes

Melissa was born overseas and raised in a military household. She has lived in Corpus Christi for the last 15 years. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration from University of the Incarnate Word and her Master of Accountancy frrom Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.  One of her career goals is to earn her CPA certification. Melissa has always been an environmental minded person and enjoys living by the water. Prior to working with CBBEP she worked at H.E.B, leading the Business Center, for 14 years. Phone (361) 336-0317.

Stephanie Bilodeau
Conservation Biologist

Stephanie is part of CBBEP’s Coastal Bird Program, managing and monitoring bird populations on rookery islands in the Lower Laguna Madre region. Stephanie is from Vermont and received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont.  She is an avid birder and after experiencing too many cold winters, she has migrated south with the birds to Texas. She previously worked in habitat management and shorebird conservation with Houston Audubon Society.  Phone (802) 309-5171

Michelle Cortinas
Administrative Assistant

Michelle is the CBBEP's Administrative Assistant.  Michelle was born and raised in the Corpus Christi area and is a graduate of South Texas Vocational Institute with a degree in Medical Assisting.  Prior to working for the program, Michelle served as a Transportation Security Administration Agent at Corpus Christi International Airport, and for ENT & Associates as a Certified Medical Assistant and Allergist.  Phone (361) 336-0304.

Brooke Hill
Avian Conservation Ecologist

Brooke is part of CBBEP’s Coastal Bird Program. She is working to help discover the cause of coastal bird declines through research and analyses, as well as assisting in efforts to conserve and maintain waterbird habitat in the Texas Coastal Bend. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, and her M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. She has over 11 years of experience researching shorebirds in a variety of habitats, including Piping Plovers and Least Terns on the Missouri River System and Arctic-breeding shorebirds on the coastal Alaskan tundra. Phone (361) 336-0313.

Matt Hendrix
Education Coordinator

Matt is working for Delta Discovery at the Nueces Delta Preserve and will coordinate and implement field trips and other educational activities.  Matt has been passionate about animals and the environment his entire life.  He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University and his B.S. in Biology from Metropolitan State University in Colorado.  Prior to coming to Texas, Matt worked as an educator at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, Colorado.

Adrien Hilmy
Project Manager

Adrien oversees and manages water and sediment quality projects.  He previously worked at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History as an Educator and Camp and Evening Programs Manager, and with CBBEP's Delta Discovery Program.  Adrien received his B.A. in Geoarchaeology from Hamilton College in 2013.  Phone (361) 336-0316.

Rosario Martinez
Senior Project Manager

Rosario oversees and manages habitat enhancement and water quality monitoring projects. She previously worked as a project scientist with Naismith Engineering, Inc. performing environmental site assessments and remediation work. Rosario received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in environmental science from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.  Phone (361) 336-0308.

Justin LeClaire
Avian Conservation Biologist

Justin is part of CBBEP’s Coastal Bird Program. Based in Corpus Christi, he manages rookery islands for declining colonial nesting waterbirds, monitors shorebird productivity at various important breeding sites, and assists in the field with numerous other important avian research projects. Justin grew up in Vermont and received a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology at the University of Vermont. His passion for wildlife conservation and the outdoors led him to work in the wildlife field in five different states before landing in South Texas in 2016. He has also dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to various wildlife research projects, habitat restoration, wildlife rescues, and outdoor education. 

Travis Muckleroy
Conservation Specialist

As a Conservation Specialist for CBBEP, Travis coordinates with and assists the Director of Land Conservation. His duties include property management and implementing common habitat management practices to conserve native coastal habitats. Prior to joining CBBEP, Travis worked as an environmental consultant on a variety of projects along the coastal bend. Travis received a B.S. in Range and Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Kimberly Ogden
Education Coordinator

Kimberly Ogden coordinates outreach for the Delta Discovery program at the Nueces Delta Preserve. Kim comes to us with years of classroom experience working with children of diverse ages and abilities. Kim is a member of the South Texas Master Naturalists. Kim received her B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Phone (361) 673-6829.

Leigh Perry
Project Manager

Leigh oversees and manages projects for the CBBEP.  She previously worked at  CBBEP's Nueces Delta Preserve.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in marine science from Texas A&M University-Galveston.  Phone (361) 336-0304.

Kathryn Tunnell
Communications Manager

As Communications Manager, Kathryn works to share CBBEP’s activities and successes to our funding partners, community leaders, and stakeholders. Prior to handling communications, Kathryn served as a Natural Resource Specialist with the Texas General Land Office where she specialized in natural resource permitting, and interagency coordination and communication. Kathryn also has experience in grant management, education and outreach, and a strong understanding and appreciation of the Texas Coastal Bend’s natural resources. Kathryn received her B.S. and M.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.  Phone (361) 336-0311.