Mike Wetz

Michael Wetz, Ph.D.

HRI Chair for Coastal Ecosystem Processes
Senior Leadership
Office Number
HRI 210B
Phone Number
Fax Number
Ph.D. Oceanography, Oregon State University (2006)
M.S. Oceanography, Oregon State University (2003)
B.S. Marine Science, Coastal Carolina University (2000)

Dr. Wetz is a broadly trained marine scientist, with expertise in phytoplankton ecology and water quality studies. While grounded in aspects of coastal ecology, Wetz also conducts applied research aimed at solving complex regional environmental problems. Wetz strives to provide a sound scientific basis for stakeholder-led restoration/management efforts that gives due consideration to both human and environmental needs. In recognition of these efforts, Wetz has received several awards from conservation entities, including:

  • Conservationist of the Year; awarded by the Coastal Conservation Association in recognition of water quality research and stakeholder-based restoration planning that Wetz led in Baffin Bay, and
  • Higher Education Award, awarded by the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation for “dedication to conservation of Coastal Bend bays and estuaries, namely Oso and Baffin Bays, through development of programs designed to assess water quality conditions in these systems”.

Wetz leads a volunteer water quality monitoring program in Baffin Bay, results from which guide the Bringing Baffin Back™ initiative that was selected as a 2022 Conservation Wrangler program by Texan By Nature. Bringing Baffin Backintegrates research and monitoring, watershed and bay habitat restoration, and efforts that enhance stewardship to improve the health of Baffin Bay and the coastal economy that relies on it. Wetz also co-chairs the Baffin Bay Stakeholder Group, which plays an integral role in the Bringing Baffin Back initiative.

In 2023, HRI released the Texas Coast Ecosystem Health Report Cards, which were led by Wetz and Dr. Jennifer Pollack in collaboration with stakeholders from the region. The Report Cards utilized rigorous data analysis and stakeholder input to characterize the health of Texas’ coastal ecosystems.

Wetz is a member of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Water Resources team, which focuses on understanding and reducing water quality problems in the Gulf of Mexico region. Finally, Wetz currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Estuaries & Coasts.

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