Internationally recognized shark expert, Ralph Collier, of the Shark Research Committee, will be giving a presentation at our next chapter meeting on Wednesday, January 18th starting at 7pm at Forum Hall in UTC (4545 La Jolla Village Drive, above the Wells Fargo branch).  Collier will discuss recent shark activity off the San Diego coast and the role of the Shark Research Committee.  He’ll also discuss the importance of reporting shark sightings for scientific and public safety purposes.  Collier will be joined by Aaron Byzak and Dominique Cano-Stocco.  Aaron and Dominique represent UC San Diego’s government relations interests by day, but have agreed to serve as regional contacts for surfers, scientists and other community members in order to increase reporting of shark sightings and interactions.

Ralph Collier is an internationally recognized shark expert.  He is the founder and President of the Shark Research Committee and the Director of the Global Shark Attack File.  He has published numerous articles on sharks and authored the book “Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century: from the Pacific Coast of North America.”  Collier is frequently interviewed by the media and networks, including popular programs like Shark Week.

Aaron Byzak has served as director of Government and Community Affairs for UC San Diego Health Sciences since 2009. In this role, Mr. Byzak is responsible for all legislative and community relations on behalf of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, and UC San Diego Health System at the local, state and federal levels, and in the private, public and government sectors.  Mr. Byzak serves on the board of several local nonprofit agencies, including the San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL) and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, and is the president of the board of directors for the North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC). He has been recognized with two Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a Silver Bernays Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), The Regent’s Award for Early Career Healthcare Executive of the Year from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and a 40 Under 40 Award by San Diego Metro Magazine.  He earned his Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business and also holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Chapman University.

Dominique Cano-Stocco serves as the Director of Advocacy, State and Local Government Relations for UC San Diego.  Since graduating from UC San Diego with a degree in political science, Dominique has built upon her education with seventeen years of direct experience in high-level government, community and media relations.  Outside of work, Dominique champions ocean conservation.  She recently completed a master’s degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.  Dominique focused her graduate research on identifying shark species through DNA analysis of shark fins and shared the science and policy implications with state legislators and the media.  Dominique was deeply involved in California Assembly Bill 376 – The Shark Fin Ban – which became law this year and will significantly reduce shark deaths in the state and internationally.  Dominique also supports the Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Champions, the League of Conservation Voters and many other pro-environment organizations and causes.