Emily Smailis the Executive Director of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative and a Senior Faculty Specialist at the NOAA-University of Maryland Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites. She also serves as the co-chair of the GEO AquaWatch Initiative's outreach and user Engagement working group and supports outreach and education efforts for the NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch program. Previously, Dr. Smail worked in informal science Education at the Waikiki Aquarium and policy in the United States Senate through the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. She received a B.S. in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Southern California where her research focused on water quality and marine biogeochemistry.