Mark E. Monaco, PhD

Marine Spatial Ecology Division Chief
NCCOS Program Office and Headquarters

Monaco supervises the Marine Spatial Ecology (MSE) Division in NCCOS. He directs 45 Federal staff and approximately 50+ contract staff to implement MSE's research priorities. The Division conducts integrated assessments based on existing and field-generated natural and social science data and information to advance ecosystem based management.

Monaco has been a practicing scientist and manager in the field of marine spatial planning and ecology for over 35 years. Currently he directs NCCOS’s Marine Spatial Ecology Division that is comprised of 45 Federal and 50+ contract staff located around the country. During his career at NOAA, he led development and implementation NOAA’s Biogeographic Assessment Framework that has been used in conducting geospatial assessments to facilitate marine spatial planning processes and implementation plans. Applications include defining and evaluating the efficacy of marine protected areas, defining and modifying the spatial boundaries of marine managed areas, and supporting US States in developing and implementing marine spatial plans. He serves as the chair of the steering committee for NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program that provides a framework to inform ecosystem-based management. He represents NOAA on the Chesapeake Bay Scientific Technical Advisory Committee and co-Leads NOAA’s Ecological Forecasting-Habitat Science and Ecological Forecasting Technical Team that addresses how habitats are changing in quantity and quality over space and time to forecast ecosystem responses to habitat modifications.

Monaco received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 and his Master of Science degree in 1984 from The Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. n 1995 from The University of Maryland.


NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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