GMGI Updates from the Harbor: September 2022

GMGI Researchers Join OceanX for Young Explorers Program 

As part of GMGI’s ongoing partnership with OceanX, GMGI researchers Matt Harke, Ph.D. and Jennifer Polinski took part in the organization’s third Young Explorers Program (YEP). YEP was created by OceanX to provide college students and recent graduates traditionally underrepresented in marine science with the incredible opportunity to learn about and explore the ocean – all while aboard the state-of-the-art research vessel OceanXplorer. Click here to read the full article.

GMGI Adds New Board Member: Introducing Lauren Liss

GMGI is thrilled to announce the addition of Lauren Liss to the GMGI Board of Directors. Lauren is an attorney who focuses her practice on environmental law and policy as well as on real estate development. Lauren has deep public and private sector experience, having served in a variety of governmental roles, including as president and CEO of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency. She previously served as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as general counsel and deputy secretary for Environmental Policy at the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Additionally, she was senior environmental counsel for the Central Artery/Ted Williams Tunnel project.

Lauren has authored several articles, as well as participated in panels for numerous federal and state organizations. She has guest-lectured on environmental and transportation issues at Boston College Law School, Suffolk University Graduate Program and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Board of Directors at GMGI,” Liss said. “I’ve been hearing about the organization for years through several different circles and have been impressed with the impact GMGI has made in such a short time. I’m looking forward to using my experience to help GMGI grow a thriving science community here on Cape Ann.”

Cape Ann Savings Bank Invests in GMGI
CASB donates $150K to support Academy’s new“Big Waive” tuition structure

Cape Ann Savings Bank recently announced a $150K gift to Gloucester Marine Genomic Institute in support of their mission to address critical challenges facing our oceans, human health, and the environment through innovative scientific research and education. The donation marks one of the early commitments to GMGI’s soon-to-be-announced See Change Campaign.   Click here to read the full press release.

Growing our Talented Team

Desks and cubicle space once available for guests are no longer – GMGI is growing! Since April GMGI has hired five full time staff to join the research, education and administrative teams. 

Executive Director Chris Bolzan is thrilled with the trajectory of the organization. “GMGI’s growth has been steady, and it’s been consequential,” she said. “We are fortunate to have been able to attract and retain a team of incredibly talented individuals. It’s because of them we can achieve the success we’ve seen and envision continued growth ahead.”

Each of the new hires bring a unique energy and skillset to the organization:

Lisa Tobias joined the team in April as Director of Finance & Administration. Lisa oversees GMGI’s financial health, ensuring sustainability for GMGI’s continued growth. She is a driving force for DE&I. 

Laura Richane started this spring as the Academy’s first Director of Enrollment & Partnerships. She focuses on attracting young adults to our Academy training program, as well as connecting the Academy to industry partners. 

Kristin Lewis and Mel Drexler are the newest Teaching Assistant & Laboratory Technician’s to join the Academy team. They are responsible for engaging students in hands-on lectures in the lab and teaching industry-standard protocols. 

Reanna McAtee was recently hired full-time as a Laboratory Technician & Assistant Laboratory Manager after completing her Academy internship with GMGI. Reanna is assisting Postdoctoral Scientist Kate Castellano, Ph.D. with her work on studying healthy aging in the red sea urchin.

Click here to read more about all our talented staff. 

Interested in being part of our team? GMGI has MORE positions available! Check out our Careers page for more information. 

Summer STEM in Boston

Summer 2022 brought new developments to the Academy’s Summer STEM Enrichment programs. The “Mean Glow Green” curriculum was introduced, giving participating students the opportunity to grow and extract green fluorescent protein in the lab, learning about the growing field of biomanufacturing. 

Academy instructors took the show on the road! Thanks to our partners at Lincoln Properties, Related Beal, and the South Boston Neighborhood House, John Doyle, Sadie Salazar, and Zach Dench packed up the necessary equipment and set up a temporary laboratory in the Mass Bay Credit Union in South Boston. An engaged group of middle and high school students extracted DNA, completed PCR protocols and learned how to properly analyze scientific results through GMGI’s Fish Fraud Forensics program. This was an exciting step forward as the Academy team works to expand access to the tremendous opportunities that exist in the Commonwealth’s thriving life science and biotech industries.

CST Nominates GMGI to Join 1% for the Planet 

This past month GMGI joined “1% for the Planet.” Only 3% of global philanthropy goes towards environmental causes and “1%” set out to change that. As an organization, they inspire business to donate 1% of their revenue to environmental nonprofits of their choosing. By creating a global network of partnerships, 1% for the Planet is increasing support for environmental solutions — and that is something we can get on board with!

By joining this initiative, GMGI hopes to increase awareness and support for our research initiatives, including biodiversity conservation, the promotion of sustainable fisheries, and uncovering new discoveries that impact human health.

Thank you to Cell Signaling Technologies who nominated us for this amazing global effort. As a loyal supporter and partner of GMGI, we thank CST for their generous commitment to our mission. If you know of (or are part of) a 1% for the Planet member organization, please consider GMGI!

Photos from the field

Did you catch these social media posts?

New England Aquarium visits GMGI

GMGI staff enjoy sail on Schooner Ardelle

GMGI hosts newly-appointed President of Emmanuel College

On August 16th, GMGI’s Discovery Series featured underwater photographer Andrew Martinez. Andrew was joined by GMGI researchers Jennifer Polinski and Matt Harke, Ph.D., as they shared the beauty of the Gulf of Maine through amazing underwater photographs as well as how genomic tools like eDNA and DNA sequencing can uncover biodiversity that cannot be seen with a lens.

Interested in attending future Discovery Series talks? Contact Maggie Costello for details.

FAQ’s on the Sawyer Free Library Temporary Move

The Sawyer Free Library (for now) closed its doors at Dale Avenue to the public on Friday, September 30 at 5pm, and will reopen at our temporary location on Monday, October 24 at 8am, located at 21 Main Street (above Mystery Train). We look forward to serving you at the temporary space while the construction phase of our new library is underway! 

To follow is all you need to know about the move and what to do with your materials during our three-week closure. For even more information, please visit