Senior Director - Ocean Enterprise Initiative
[email protected]
(202) 864-3077

Brendal Townsend hails from Meadville, Pennsylvania, where she first glimpsed her deep-rooted connection to water, even amidst the land-locked surroundings of her upbringing. At a mere 15 years of age, Brendal embarked on her scuba diving journey, venturing into the azure depths of the Blue Hole in Belize for her inaugural open water dive.

Boasting a career spanning more than 15 years, Brendal Townsend has proven herself as a paragon of effective communication, visionary leadership, and astute operations management. Her professional journey has woven through every principal domain within the ocean sector, firmly anchored in a trajectory dedicated to the preservation of fisheries, the advancement of ocean technology, and the critical realm of ocean observation.

Over the years, Brendal's life led her to Central America, where she immersed herself in teaching diving and shark science courses, forging a deep connection with the marine world. Her journey eventually brought her to the shores of Nova Scotia, Canada, where she directed her academic pursuits towards fisheries management and ocean technology.

Prior to her involvement with the Marine Technology Society, Brendal occupied a series of significant roles, each contributing to her wealth of experience. She served as a policy advisor at the World Wildlife Fund, bringing her expertise to bear on matters of policy shaping. She then assumed the pivotal role of operations manager at the Ocean Tracking Network, overseeing crucial aspects of its functioning. Additionally, Brendal excelled as the program manager for Innovasea's Ocean Aware program, where her leadership played a pivotal role in its success.

In her most recent and illustrious position, she had the distinct privilege of spearheading Canada's groundbreaking AI Ocean program as the Director of Artificial Intelligence, a pioneering initiative within Canada's Ocean Supercluster.

Brendal's educational journey encompasses a diverse range of achievements. She earned her bachelor's degree in Languages from Edinboro University, laying the groundwork for her academic pursuits. Further enhancing her expertise, she obtained a graduate certificate in fisheries science from Oregon State University, delving into the intricate world of aquatic life.

Brendal moved onto Dalhousie University, where she successfully attained a master's degree in marine management, cementing her status as a maritime authority. Her impact extended beyond her own education as she pioneered Dalhousie University's inaugural undergraduate course on Shark Conservation and Management, sowing the seeds for the institution's future endeavors in the realm of shark research and conservation.

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