Scroll Top
Beth Lenz
Assistant Director for Diversity and Community Engagement; Knauss Fellow 2020
PhD Marine Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
MS Marine Biology, California State University Northridge
BS Biological Sciences (Marine Biology), minor in Dramatic Arts, University of California Davis
Beth Lenz

2525 Correa Road, HIG 238
Honolulu, HI 96822

Beth serves as the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Assistant Director for Diversity and Community Engagement. In her role, she works closely with the Director and Associate Director to ensure justice, equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion are integrated throughout our research, extension, education, and communication activities. Beth is fully committed to enhancing our program and bringing people together – to listen, address societal inequities, create institutional changes that remove barriers, strengthen partnerships, and make resources accessible to all. In Hawaiʻi, we serve a diverse population, which includes Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, a wide range of racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender identities; economic and geographic backgrounds; physical and mental abilities; life, education, and career experiences; and political, religious, and personal beliefs. Beth aims to nurture an environment where everyone can thrive by bringing their authentic self, skills, and talents in order to effectively address impacts on our coastal communities.

Beth’s PhD research in the Gates Coral Lab at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology identified opportunities for coral reef resilience through coral assisted evolution, specifically monitoring reproductive capacity after marine heatwaves and testing the efficacy of selective breeding. As a 2020 John A. Knauss Marine Policy she worked for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Natural Resources Committee to support legislation in the Subcommittee for Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. During her Congressional fellowship in Washington, D.C., she helped identify antiracist strategies within the committee and in the legislative process, expanded the diversity of experts invited to committee public events, and engaged federal, state, and non-governmental entities to develop the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions bill. Her other interests include science communication, improvisational theater, and the interweaving of science and art. Beth directed the sci-art exhibit SymbioSEAS: Connecting Science, Education, Art and Society for Coral Reefs which brought together 30 artists and scientists to share the issues and potential solutions to coral reefs in a changing ocean.