The Board



Sarah Schumann

Sarah fell in love with fishing while teaching English in coastal Chile in 2000. This inspired her to earn a degree in Marine Affairs at URI and get a job on a lobster boat after college. She went on to obtain a shellfishing license, become a salmon cannery machinist in Dillingham, AK, and complete a masters’ in environmental policy. She is active in fisheries education, marketing, and activism in New England and Alaska. She started Eating with the Ecosystem in 2011.


Kira Stillwell

Kira grew up in Rhode Island as the daughter of a shark biologist, where she formed strong connections with the fishing community and a love of seafood. In her day job, Kira is Program Administrator at the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, where she answers phones, sends email blasts, manages memberships and organizes Survey events, and is the bookkeeping, human resources, and payroll department as well. In that role, Kira supports the Survey's numerous programs, from wildflowers to coyotes to turtles, but in her heart she is “a water girl” whose favorite ecological zone is the shore and marine environment. She brings a rich knowledge of nonprofit administration to Eating with the Ecosystem's board.


Rodman Sykes

Rodman has been a full-time fisherman for 43 years. He fishes on his 68-foot dragger, the Virginia Marise, out of Pt. Judith, RI. Rodman is on the boards of the Point Judith Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation and the RI Commercial Fishermen’s Assocition. He also participates in collaborative research projects with Brown University. He has been invited to speak on several panels about the effects of climate change on fisheries. Rodman spoke at a private Eating with the Ecosystem dinner for the Brown Club at Hourglass Brasserie in April 2013.  


Sharon Benjamin

Sharon has been fascinated by marine life since as long as she can remember, and is motivated by her love of the outdoors and the coastal landscape to work for a better relationship with our environment. She works as Spatial Data Analyst at NOAA Fisheries Social Sciences Branch in Woods Hole, MA, and has a master's degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. She tries to take advantage of living in beautiful Cape Cod by kayaking, birding, and occasionally fishing for bluefish. 

Syma Ebbin

Syma Ebbin serves as both a professor at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus and the Research Coordinator for Connecticut Sea Grant. Her research has focused on subsistence harvesting, marine spatial planning, and participatory management in coastal communities. She has served on multiple fisheries management and research committees and has worked with Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. During graduate school she also spent time commercially fishing in Alaska.

Katie Eagan

Katie is a second-generation commercial fisherman from Bristol, RI. She traps lobsters, conchs, scup, and crabs from a 32’ boat and digs for shellfish along the shorelines. She graduated from URI in Marine Affairs and spent two years in the Peace Corps in Fiji helping communities to develop coastal plans. Katie sits on the boards of the RI Whelk Association and Save Bristol Harbor and is co-PI on a whelk co-management project in partnership with URI. Katie spoke at the Eating with the Ecosystem dinner in February 2013 at Nourish restaurant, Lexington, MA. 


Jon Cambra

Jon is a Bristol-based chef who is currently at Roger Williams University. He has nearly 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry. After training at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, he served as executive chef at local restaurants The Boat House in Tiverton and Castle Hill Inn in Newport. Under his leadership, both restaurants received national awards and rankings. While at the Boat House restaurant in Tiverton, he led the preparation of a spectacular Eating with the Ecosystem dinner.



Kate Masury
Program Manager

Kate is a New England native, having grown up in Southern Maine. She comes to Eating with the Ecosystem after finishing a masters program at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California, where she focused on sustainable seafood and fisheries. She brings with her research and communications experience (check out the wonderful website Kate developed as her masters project:  Kate leads many of Eating with the Ecosystem's programs, including a project in partnership with the University of Rhode Island that will provide the scientific backing to support all of Eating with the Ecosystem's work - a template for eating local seafood species in proportion to their natural abundance. 

Kate can be reached by email at


As a small organization, we rely on a wide spectrum of part-time contractors to lead various programs.

Dawn McAlister- School of Fish

Dawn and her fiance Trip run End O'Main Lobster in Wickford, RI, and Dawn is active in leading the charge for greater local market integration for Rhode Island seafood. Dawn leads Eating with the Ecosystem's School of Fish workshop series at Hope & Main. Dawn can be reached at


Dave Rocheleau and Julia Bancroft

Seafood For All

Dave Rocheleau is executive chef at Crossroads RI and a former member of the RI Food Policy Council. Julia is a GIS certificate student at URI and member of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program staff.   Since late 2014, Julia has been handling product procurement for our Seafood for All program, and Dave has taken the lead on educating food pantries and customers about using local, under-appreciated species.