Dr. Austin J. Shelton serves as an associate professor and the director of the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant. A native of Guam, Shelton grew up observing environmental degradation and was inspired to become a marine and environmental scientist. Shelton is an Obama Leader Asia Pacific and one of 50 Under 40: Emerging Leaders in the Government of Guam. He led the team that earned the University of Guam its designation as a Sea Grant Institute in 2022. Shelton works to revive island ecosystems and advance the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. He is the steering committee co-chair of Guam Green Growth, the island’s most comprehensive public-private partnership ever created to achieve a sustainable and prosperous future. Shelton currently leads projects focused on watershed and coral reef restoration, circular economy, food security, aquaculture, renewable energy, and building STEM capacity in Pacific Islander communities. Since starting his career at the University of Guam in 2016, Shelton and his collaborators built a portfolio of grants exceeding $45 Million, created more than 60 full-time jobs, provided over 250 paid workforce development experiences, and delivered thousands of community-focused impacts.