Growing up next to the beach in Guam, Dr. Austin Shelton was inspired to become a marine and environmental scientist. He now conducts research and community engagement activities focused on reviving island ecosystems. In 2016, he joined the faculty of the University of Guam (UOG) as an assistant professor of extension and outreach in the UOG Sea Grant Program. Shelton was appointed executive director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability in 2017. He also coordinates education, outreach, and diversity activities as a co-Principal Investigator in the UOG Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Program funded by the National Science Foundation.
Experienced in natural resource management and environmental policy matters, Shelton previously held positions with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Committee, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and State of Hawai`i Division of Aquatic Resources.
Shelton is committed to broadening the participation and success of Pacific Islanders and other underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM). He served on the national Board of Directors of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/ Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and completed the 2017 Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Shelton also serves as the vice president of outreach for the Guam Science and Discovery Society, the coordinating organization for the Annual Guam Island Wide Science Fair.
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.