Dr. Austin Shelton is a marine and environmental scientist, serving as an assistant professor and the director of the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant. Shelton is an Obama Leader and one of 50 Under 40: Emerging Leaders in the Government of Guam. Shelton is working to revive island ecosystems and advance the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Together with the Office of the Governor, he co-chairs Guam Green Growth (G3), the island’s most comprehensive action plan ever created to achieve a sustainable and prosperous future.
Shelton is a native of Guam who grew up observing environmental degradation and was inspired to become a marine and environmental scientist. He now conducts research to revive island ecosystems and builds STEM capacity in Pacific Islander communities through the coordination of student research experiences and science fairs. Shelton oversees a portfolio of grants from Sea Grant (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR, NSF INCLUDES, Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hawaii-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (U.S. Navy), and the Northern and Southern Guam Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Shelton collaborates regionally and internationally as a trustee of the Micronesia Conservation Trust; co-chair of the U.S. Climate Strong Islands Network; steering committee member of the U.N. Local2030 Islands Network; and representative to the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes, and National Sea Grant Association. Locally, he is an appointed member of the Governor of Guam’s Climate Change Resiliency Commission, Aquacultural Task Force, and Islandwide Beautification Task Force; member of the Guam Legislature’s Council on Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience; and Vice President of the Guam Science and Discovery Society.
Shelton earned a B.S. degree in marine biology from Hawai`i Pacific University and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology with a specialization in marine biology from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.