Growing up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Matt Willis developed a passion for anything involving coastal environments. He would fish and surf the islands learning to live as close to and with the natural surroundings as possible. His travels during his youth took him throughout Central America and across the USA to California where he would find himself living from age 17 to present. His education is based in the physical/ natural sciences having earned his B.S. in Earth Studies and M.S. in Regenerative Studies from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has worked as an intern for NASA where he conducted fieldwork in forest ecology; he has also worked for NOAA as a student environmental scientist working on budgeting for the Southern California Steelhead Recovery Plan. He has lived in multiple regions in California form North to South. His plans are to pursue his PhD in Geology/Coastal Management, where he plans to focus on researching sea-level rise on barrier islands. Within the realm of research, he has strong interdisciplinary training and the ability to communicate across social science and physical science fluidly.