IMS Directory Listing

Michael Orbach
  • Title
    • Research Associate
    • Professor Emeritus of Marine Affairs and Policy, Duke University
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Phone
    252-725-1371
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Remote work location, Remote work location, home
    • 156 Towne Terrace, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Mail Stop Ocean Sciences

Biography, Education and Training

Michael K. Orbach is Professor of the Practice Emeritus of Marine Affairs and Policy in the School of the Environment at Duke University, Research Professor with the Institute for Marine Science at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Affiliated Researcher with the Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University, and Senior Fellow, Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  His BA is in Economics from the University of California at Irvine, and his MA and PhD are in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at San Diego.  From 1976-79 he was Social Anthropologist and Social Science Advisor with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C.  From 1979-82 he was Associate Director of the Center for Coastal Marine Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  From 1983-93 he was Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Senior Scientist with the Institute for Coastal and Marine Resources at East Carolina University.  He joined Duke, with offices at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina, in 1993, and served as Director of the Marine Lab from 1998 to 2006, and as Director of the Coastal Environmental Management Program from 1993 to 2014. Mike has performed research on, and has been involved in development and implementation of, coastal and marine policy on all coasts of the U.S. and in Mexico, Central America, Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska and the Pacific, Europe and Asia and has published widely on social science and policy in coastal and marine environments. Now retired in Santa Cruz, CA with his wife Judi. He keeps busy as a member of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board; the Board of Directors of the Ocean Conservancy; and is a new member of the Standing Committee on Offshore Science and Assessment of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences.