Vienna Saccomanno

Ocean Science Associate
[email protected]

Vienna provides scientific leadership to the Oceans Program of The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter using her technical background in data science, spatial analysis, and marine ecology. She is leading a quantitative effort to estimate spatial and temporal changes in kelp coverage along the north coast of California to inform restoration siting efforts and a risk management framework. Vienna is also managing a data-driven process to update the population status of the sunflower sea star (Pycnopodia helianthoides), an important benthic predator in the kelp forest ecosystem that has experienced continental-scale collapse across much of its range.

Prior to joining TNC, Vienna worked for Marine Conservation Institute in Seattle, WA where she focused on the science and implementation of marine protected areas. A Goldwater National Scholar, Vienna graduated summa cum laude from the University of Puget Sound where she received her Bachelor of Science and Arts degrees in Biology and International Political Economy. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School where she specialized in Coastal Marine Resources Management and Economics & Politics of the Environment with a focus on Data Science.

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2021 | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Disease-driven mass mortality event leads to widespread extirpation and variable recovery potential of a marine predator across the eastern Pacific

S. L. Hamilton, V. R. Saccomanno, W. N. Heady, A. L. Gehman, S. I. Lonhart, R. Beas-Luna, F. T. Francis, L. Lee, L. Rogers-Bennett, A. K. Salomon and S. A. Gravem

The sunflower sea star (Pycnopodia helianthoides) is an important mesopredator in kelp forest ecosystems that was devastated by the outbreak of sea star wasting disease (SSWD). This study quantifies how SSWD impacted this iconic animal across its range and documents that the outbreak occurred more…

2021 | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

A Structured Approach for Kelp Restoration and Management Decisions

Mary G. Gleason, Jennifer E. Caselle, Walter N. Heady, Vienna R. Saccomanno, Julie Zimmerman, Tristin Anoush McHugh, Norah Eddy

Global kelp forests are biodiverse and productive nearshore ecosystems that provide a wide range of ecosystem services, but they are at risk from both local stressors and global drivers of kelp loss. A structured decision making (SDM) framework can help guide kelp management and restoration…

2021 | Marine | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

The rise in climate change-induced federal fishery disasters in the United States

Lyall Bellquist, Vienna Saccomanno, Brice X. Semmens, Mary Gleason, Jono Wilson

The health of ocean ecosystems is critical to maintaining natural biodiversity and sustainable fisheries, but federally-declared fishery disasters are reflecting devastating impacts to ecosystems, economies, and communities. This study represents the first nationwide synthesis of fishery disasters during the 30-year history of the federal assistance…