Charles N. Ehler is an internationally-recognized expert on integrated sea use management, particularly marine spatial planning (MSP) and integrated coastal zone management. From 2005-2018 he worked as a consultant to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) where he co-authored a widely-applied guide to ecosystem-based, marine spatial planning in 2009, now acknowledged as “…the most complete approach to MSP in the world”. Prior to work on the international MSP guide, he co-organized the first international workshop on ecosystem-based, marine spatial planning at UNESCO in November 2006 and now recognised as ”…the starting point for the spread of MSP internationally”. The results of that workshop are documented in two publications, Visions for a Sea Change (UNESCO 2007) and a special issue of Marine Policy journal (August 2008). In 2014 he authored an IOC guide to Evaluating Marine Spatial Plans (UNESCO 2014). Since 2008 he has been the principal content provider the IOC website on MSP (msp.ioc-unesco.org).
Prior to his work at UNESCO, from 1978-2005 he was a senior executive of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the ocean agency of the USA, where he was the Director of International Programs, Acting Director of the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management, Director of the Exxon ValdezDamage Assessment Center, Director of the Office of Oceanography and Marine Assessment, Chief of the Ocean Assessments Division, and Director of the Office of Ocean Resources Coordination and Assessment. He previously worked in the Office of Research and Development of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1973-78 as the Director of the Economic Incentives Research Program and later EPA’s Regional Environmental Management Research Program. From 1968-73 he was an Associate Professor of Urban and Policy Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, an Assistant Professor of Architecture, Urban Design, and Regional Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Lecturer at the University of Michigan’s School of Environmental Design.
From 2000-2005 he was the Vice-Chair (Marine) for IUCN’s World Commission of Protected Areas (WCPA)—the largest organization of protected area scientists and managers in the world. He was an Associate Editor of the Ocean and Coastal Management Journal from 2003-2008 and on the Editorial Board of the Marine Policy Journal since 2014. In 2007 he was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his early work on coastal adaptation strategies and its contribution to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC. He is the author of over 120 publications on integrated marine spatial planning and coastal zone management
Scientific Research and Technological Development (SR&TD) Project Grants – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). This project has received funding from FCT under grant agreement PTDC/CTA-AMB/30226/2017.