Staff and Contributors

Staff

Mark Hibbs, editor

252-393-8185 (office); 252-241-8778 (cell); markh@nccoast.org
Mark Hibbs

Working out of our main office in Ocean, Mark writes for CRO and assists in managing the website and social media platforms. A native of coastal North Carolina, Mark joined the federation June 1, 2015, after more than 20 years with the Carteret County News-Times, where his duties included staff writer and photographer, business editor and assistant to the editor. Mark has won numerous awards for his reporting, including various North Carolina Press Association awards and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2009 Small Business Journalist of the Year Award for the Southeast Region. Mark is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Jennifer Allen, assistant editor

252-393-8185 (office); jennifera@nccoast.org

Born and raised in Swansboro, Jennifer Allen graduated from Appalachian State University in 2002, picked up a second degree from UNC-Charlotte the following year and then completed her master’s at UNC-Wilmington in 2008. After nine years writing and editing at the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City, she joined the staff of the town of Beaufort in 2014 as public information officer and town clerk. She has also written for Our State Magazine and other regional and statewide publications. She lives in Morehead City with her fiancé and their lovable mutt, Z and a dachshund, Willa. [jennifera@nccoast.org]

Frank Tursi, editor emeritus, contributing writer

Frank TursiThe founding editor of CRO, Frank is a 40-year newspaper journalist. Before joining the North Carolina Coastal Federation in 2002, Frank was the senior environmental reporter in North Carolina. His environmental journalism has won numerous awards, including three Public Service Awards from the North Carolina Press Association and the Scripps-Howard National Environmental Journalism Award.  He stepped aside as editor in September 2016 and retired in December 2016. The author of three books, Frank is an avid fishermen and model boat builder, He lives with his wife, Doris, in Swansboro, where Frank serves as a town commissioner.

Contributing Writers

Allison Ballard

Allison Ballard is an award-winning writer and journalist who covers topics such as food, film, science and the environment for a variety of local and regional publications. Since early days as high-school reporter, she’s gained experience in much larger newsrooms and through graduate programs at the University of Cape Town and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Allison loves to travel, but always returns home to the North Carolina coast.

Liz Biro

Liz.BiroLiz and her family came to North Carolina for the expansive beaches, friendly atmosphere and fresh seafood. Since arriving as a child, she’s never looked back at her native New Jersey. A journalist for 25 years, she’s covered everything from local fisheries to politics. Liz left it all behind for a while to become a chef and run her own catering company. Today, she writes about food and dining for the Indianapolis Star and for  Coastal Review Online. [culinaryadventureswithlizbiro@gmail.com]

Pat Garber

Naturalist Pat Garber, who has written for newspapers and magazines in Colorado, Arizona and New York, washed up on Ocracoke Island in 1984. She immersed herself in the island’s natural environment and later wrote a series of award-winning columns based on her experiences for the “Island Breeze.” She later published the columns as a collection of essays, called “Ocracoke Wild.” Her other works include “Ocracoke Odyssey,” “Little Sea Horse and the Story of the Ocracoke Ponies,” “Heart Like a River” and “Paws and Tales.” Garber’s stories are gleaned from her experiences as an environmental anthropologist, wildlife rehabilitator, teacher, kayak guide and volunteer at the Hatteras National Seashore.

Vaughn Hagerty

Vaughn has been a journalist for more than three decades, with stints at newspapers, magazines and websites based in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and Texas. He’s had a dual career as a web developer, launching a newspaper online in 1996 and developing the award-winning site MyReporter.com, where reporters answer questions from people in the Wilmington area. In 2017, he returned to his old-school journalism roots as a freelancer, writing the first story about GenX and related chemicals in the Cape Fear River and public water systems of Southeastern North Carolina. He and his wife live in Wilmington, a town they’ve grown to love since relocating in 2005 and unhesitatingly call home. [vchagerty@gmail.com]

Catherine Kozak

cate.kozakCatherine has been a reporter and writer on the Outer Banks since 1995. She worked for 15 years for The Virginian Pilot. Born and raised in the suburbs outside New York City, Catherine earned her journalism degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz. During her career, she has written about dozens of environmental issues, including oil and gas exploration, wildlife habitat protection, sea level rise, wind energy production, shoreline erosion and beach nourishment. She lives in Nags Head and covers the Outer Banks and the northeast coast for Coastal Review Online. [obxreporter03@gmail.com]

Jared Lloyd

Jared is a professional wildlife photographer and nature writer. He grew up on the Outer Banks and  has spent much of his life exploring the barrier islands, pine savannahs, black water swamps and sounds of North Carolina. These days his photography and writing carry him all over the world from Africa to the Amazon, the Galapagos to Yellowstone, but the lure of the salt life along the coast keeps bringing him back to North Carolina. Jared writes frequently for CRO about the intersection of the coastal environment and human history. He lives in Beaufort with his wife and son for easy access to blue water and uninhabited islands. [jared@jaredlloydphoto.com]

Kathleen Onorevole

Kathleen Onorevole was introduced to the North Carolina science scene during her graduate work at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. As a Master of Science student in Dr. Michael Piehler’s lab at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, she studied living shorelines’ role in coastal nitrogen cycling. Kathleen also has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Biology from Colgate University. Her writing has appeared in Hakai Magazine, Coastwatch and the UNC Spotlights series, and she was a founding member of UNdertheC, the UNC Marine Sciences graduate student blog. Kathleen is looking forward to finding the best paddle trails near her new home in Arlington, Virginia.

Brad Rich

brad.richBrad is a reporter for the Tideland News in Swansboro and covers the central coast for Coastal Review Online. He has written about fishery and environmental issues along the central North Carolina coast for 30 years. He lives in Hubert with his wife, Gwen, their daughter and a rambunctious black lab named Satchmo. [noriches@yahoo.com]

Kirk Ross

kirk.rossA longtime North Carolina journalist based in Chapel Hill, Kirk is the lead legislative reporter for Coastal Review Online. His reporting and opinion pieces have appeared in multiple publications, including the Independent Weekly, in Durham. He is also the founder of The Carolina Mercury, a North Carolina politics and news website. [kmr@rossalmanac.com]

Kip Tabb

Kip Tabb is a freelance journalist living on the Outer Banks. He has covered a wide range of community interest stories and true tales of the history of coastal North Carolina, as well as environmental and related topics, for a number of publications. Along with Coastal Review Online, his articles have appeared in the Outer Banks Voice and Milepost Magazine. In addition to his history and environmental writing, he also writes book and music reviews. He also plays mandolin and can strum a guitar.

Trista Talton

tristaTrista covers the southeastern North Carolina coast for Coastal Review Online.  She is a native North Carolinian who, after graduating from Appalachian State University in 1996, pursued a career in journalism. She has covered everything from education and local governments to law enforcement and military. She embedded with Marines in Kuwait for the start of the Iraqi war in 2003, spent time in New Orleans with North Carolina National Guardsmen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and lived on a Coast Guard cutter to write about patrolling the shores of New York and New Jersey following the Sept. 11 attacks. She has been freelancing for two years and lives with her husband and two sons in Jacksonville. [tktalton@gmail.com]

Lori Wynn

Lori WynnLori Wynn is a freelance writer and editor who grew up on Ocracoke Island. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in journalism in Memphis, Tennessee, Lori returned to Eastern North Carolina, where she was a reporter for the Carteret County News-Times, covering Beaufort and county government, the North Carolina General Assembly and more. Lori later worked as the editor of the Bryan County News, a community newspaper in coastal Georgia, for four years. She now lives in Savannah, Georgia, with her husband and two daughters. [lorinawynn@gmail.com}

 


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