Our Team

Board of Directors

Jennifer e1482184725705 Our Team

Jennifer Covert
Board Chair

Jennifer has been with FSO since 2008 and started out as a staff member, Senior Program Manager, and transitioned to a board member in 2013. Jennifer graduated from the Monterey Institute for International Studies with an M.A. in International Environmental Studies and works full-time for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, following UN negotiations and other international activities focused on the environment and sustainable development.

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joyce Our Team

Joyce Capuano
Treasurer

Joyce Capuano began her career at Smith Barney in institutional sales before moving to a start-up Registered Investment Advisory firm where she worked as an equity research analyst and portfolio manager. In 1998 she founded Artemis Investment Management LLC, managing small cap equity portfolios and two hedge fund strategies for institutional clients including corporate pension funds, employee retirement systems, endowments and foundations. Joyce graduated from the Cornell EMBA program in May 2011 and has consulted for two start-ups while looking to transition to a position in Corporate Management.

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ProfilePic 11 e1482184531863 Our Team

Jason Lutterman

Jason began working for FSO while he earned his M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies from 2010 to 2012. Jason rejoined FSO as a board member in 2015. Jason currently works at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he continues to pursue his passion for communicating the need for conserving the nation’s most treasured wildlife and landscapes.

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Kim e1482598059190 Our Team

Kim Steinhardt

Kim Steinhardt is a former administrative law judge, now coastal writer and marine wildlife photographer. He is a long-time conservationist and a popular presenter of public talks on sea otters and the sometimes-tricky relationship between legislation, litigation, and human intervention in nature, especially as it relates to stewardship of the California coast. His sea otter photos and storytelling have been recognized by National Geographic, and he is co-author of the soon-to-be-published book, The Edge: Tales from the Shoreline of the People’s Coast. Kim holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law, where he teaches about the legislative process and public interest advocacy.

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teiko e1482184914348 Our Team

Teiko Saito

Over the course of a diverse career spanning more than 40 years, Teiko Saito has been actively involved in federal natural resource management with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 25 years and in Equal Opportunity and Human Resource management for more than 15 years. Rising through the ranks to become the first Asian American Senior Executive Service (SES) employee in the Fish and Wildlife Service, Teiko’s career has spanned the breadth of the wildlife conservation programs in that agency. She has served as a program analyst for both the National Wildlife Refuge and Endangered Species Programs and as a budget analyst for the agency’s Division of Budget. She served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Director for External Affairs and as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Service. Teiko holds an undergraduate degree with Honors in Sociology and Religion from the University of Puget Sound and a Masters Degree in Education from Northwestern University.

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tim e1482184837747 Our Team

Tim Eichenberg

Tim Eichenberg is an environmental lawyer and a member of the summer faculty at the Vermont Law School.  He is the former Chief Counsel of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and has served as legal counsel for the California Coastal Commission, The Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, the Marine Law Institute, and Environmental Defense Center.  He has chaired the Clean Water Network in Washington, D.C., co-founded the Casco Baykeeper Program in Maine, and published more than 30 articles and reports on environmental issues, including the American Bar Association’s treatise on Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy.  He has a BA from Earlham College, a JD from the Washington University School of Law, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in marine policy at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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Staff

Michael DeLapa
Interim Executive Director

Cassie Pais
Administrator

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Science Advisor

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Dr. James A. Estes

Jim is an internationally known expert on marine mammals and a specialist in the critical role of apex predators in the marine environment. Jim served as a research scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.  Much of his work focused on sea otters and coastal ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean, and he served on the California and southwest Alaska sea otter recovery teams. After retiring from federal service in 2007, Jim took a part-time faculty position with UC Santa Cruz. Jim holds a bachelor‘s degree from the University of Minnesota and doctorate from the University of Arizona. He has published more than 150 scientific articles and several books. Jim is a Pew Fellow in marine conservation and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. He received the Western Society of Naturalist‘s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, the American Society of Mammalogists‘ C. Hart Merriam Award in 2012, and in 2014 Jim was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research.
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Legal Counsel

Don Baur e1482185164997 Our Team

Don Baur

Don Baur is a partner in Perkins Coie’s Environment, Energy and Resources practice. He has over 35 years of experience in environmental and natural resources law. He has served as an attorney in the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior and as General Counsel of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission before joining Perkins Coie in 1987. Don provides federal-policy-level and project-specific counseling as well as legislative and litigation assistance in a wide range of environmental and natural resources areas. Don counsels FSO on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), coastal/ocean laws, and other relevant regulations. He has an extensive background in using proactive conservation initiatives to solve species-related concerns, including precedent-setting habitat conservation plans (HCP) and other conservation agreements under the ESA.

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Our Founders

margaret Our TeamMargaret Owings

Friends of the Sea Otter was co-founded by Margaret Wentworth Owings, an American conservationist and artist. She served as president of Friends of the Sea Otter from its founding in 1968 to the early 1990s. During her tenure has president, Margaret transformed FSO from a small grassroots organization holding meetings in her home to an internationally renowned conservation organization. Margaret was a leader in various other environmental groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, the National Parks Foundation, African Wildlife Leadership Foundation, African Wildlife Leadership Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund. In recognition of her impactful work as a conservationist, Margaret received awards from the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Sierra Club, and the United Nations Environment Program.

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jim Our TeamDr. James A. “Jim” Mattison 

Friends of the Sea Otter was co-founded by Dr. Jim Mattison, a physician and avid outdoorsman. Dr. Mattison served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II, U.S. Army Reserve in Medical ROTC, and California National Guard. During his WWII service he was stationed in Saipan where he initiated his lifelong love of the ocean and all creatures within it. He received his Medical Degreed from the University of California San Francisco in 1951, and served as both Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at both Memorial Hospital and Natividad Hospital. He also served as an Advisor to California Department of Fish and Game for necropsy studies on sea otters and engaged in research in a cooperative study with Hopkins Marine Station for determination of pesticide and heavy metal residues in sea otters. As a photographer and conservationist, he collaborated with many conservation organizations including National Geographic and worked with Jacques Cousteau.