Phyllis Grifman is Associate Director of the USC Sea Grant Program. Her background in marine and environmental policy informs her work administering the NOAA Sea Grant Program at the University of Southern California. As Associate Director of the USC Sea Grant program, she manages the program's research, outreach and education portfolios, in addition to working with stakeholders at state, local and federal levels. Her responsibilities include improving public awareness of Sea Grant mission and accomplishments and developing programs and partnerships to foster the connections between science and policy. Her major interests include marine policy development and implementation, and public education.
Phyllis manages Sea Grant's research initiatives, including soliciting and funding research projects and facilitating outreach efforts to local and regional authorities, interacting with managers and policy makers in local, regional, state and national government. She has worked on issues pertaining to marine spatial planning as part of the California Marine Life Protection Act Stakeholders Group, charged with mapping a network of marine protected areas from Point Concepcion to the Mexican border. She has worked with Los Angeles and Orange County Sanitation authorities on research pertaining to impacts of disposal on coastal waters, and with the research community and municipalities on impacts of storm water runoff on nearshore coastal environments. She developed the AdaptLA program on sea level rise and coastal natural hazards, a regional approach that serves to build capacity in local communities to address shoreline change, coastal erosion, storm impacts, and sea level rise. She is Chair of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, where she also chairs the Research Activities Panel and chaired the Marine Shipping Working Group. Phyllis is Vice President for Southern California on the Board of Directors of the California Shore and Beach Preservation Association, and serves on the Technical Advisory Panel of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and the California Sediment Management Working Group.