Seagrass and Community Building through Art and Environmental Activism


Meet the Scientists!

Gallery Director Christine O’Donnell and I are thrilled to be hosting three of Massachusetts avid marine ecologists; Sara Grady, Randall Hughes, and Samantha Woods at Beacon Gallery on December 1st.  Building ocean awareness is at the core of my work and I am pleased to announce this amazing event will take place in conjunction with my solo exhibition called “The Air We Breathe” at Beacon Gallery. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022, 6PM

Beacon Gallery,  524b Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

This is a ticketed event so please RSVP for seats here



Sara P. Grady, Ph.D. is the South Shore Regional Coordinator for the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership and Watershed Ecologist at the North and South Rivers Watershed Association in Norwell, MA. She received her Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Biology from Brown University in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Biology from the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole in 2006. Her specialties include coastal and estuarine ecology, invertebrate zoology, and ecological restoration. For the past 5 years she has helped coordinate an “Eelgrass Blitz” to monitor changing eelgrass beds in Duxbury, Kingston, and Plymouth, MA. 

In 2020, Prof. Randall Hughes joined the College of Science Dean’s Office as the first Associate Dean for Equity.

Dr. Hughes is a Professor in the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences (MES). She joined Northeastern in 2013, after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Public Policy Analysis at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of California-Davis, where she also conducted postdoctoral research. Her research focuses on understanding the ecological and social causes and consequences of biodiversity change, and applying that knowledge to the conservation and restoration of marine systems.

Samantha Woods has been the Executive Director of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association since 2002.  She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in coastal and marine science and an undergraduate degree in engineering.  Samantha has worked in the environmental field protecting water for over 20 years. Prior to working for the NSRWA, Samantha worked for HorsleyWitten Group on Cape Cod and the National Marine Fisheries Service in Washington DC as an MIT Sea Grant Fellow.

Samantha has worked to protect and restore river ecosystems through educating and engaging citizens about watershed-related issues.  Samantha works in the South Shore region to raise awareness and affect positive change in environmental decision-making. Dedicated and passionate about the health of our rivers, she also volunteers for the Weir River Watershed Association as board director and founding member.

Fun Facts about the Scientists:

1. What’s your favorite color?

Sara Grady: Orange

Randall Hughes: Blue

Samantha Woods: Purple

2. Your favorite sea creature?

 Sara Grady: Horseshoe crab

Randall Hughes: The Eelgrass Sea Hare, Phyllaplysia taylori, found on the west coast of the US –

Samantha Woods: Eels

3. Your favorite music?

Sara Grady: According to my Spotify data (scientist, right?) I like alternative rock, permanent wave, pop rock, alternative metal, electronica, grunge, indie rock, and dance pop.

Randall Hughes: I will listen to most anything.


Samantha Woods:Love all music – largely rock/indie rock/ballads. 

4. First memory of the ocean, where when how?

Sara Grady: Rexhame Beach, Marshfield – my family’s beach house. I spent days and days just swimming and exploring.

Randall Hughes: Going to the Gulf of Mexico along the FL Panhandle with my family when I was little, where my siblings and I would collect small Donax clams during the day to make stew and go looking for ghost crabs at night.

Samantha Woods: Going to the Cape to visit my Aunt who lived in Provincetown and visiting the National Seashore during thanksgiving (this time of year!). I remember the smell of the ocean and the wind – the feeling of wildness that still exists is what I remember most. 

5. Why the oceans ?

Sara Grady: I love the sensory delights of the ocean – all the different smells, and the way the cold water feels, the salty taste that morphs into a bit muddier up the estuary, the sound of the waves, and of course all the fascinating and beautiful things to look at.

Randall Hughes: Because they are fascinating.

Samantha Woods: See above. There is mystery and vastness of the ocean is what intrigues me – it can be scary and calming – beautiful and ever-changing.