Program Faculty

José Pareja

José Pareja

...was brought up in Peru where he developed a passion for learning about science, the environment, and technology; teaching about science and technology; and traveling to remote and exotic places like the Amazon Rainforest and the seldom visited Andean forests. José earned his B.S. degree in Biology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Environmental Quality Management from UNALM in Peru. He then moved to the US and completed his M.S. in Ecology, and Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Missouri. José used to work as a high school science teacher in Peru. This path led him into what he believes is one of the most humble and rewarding experiences he's had 'serving and guiding people towards accomplishing their personal and professional goals'. His interests lie in the intersection of life science, technology, science education, and sharing experiences through international collaborations.

Elizabeth Katoa

... is a high school biology teacher for the North Ridgeville City Schools near Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her MA in Zoology from Miami University through the Global Field Program and traveled to Belize, the Amazon, and Baja. Elizabeth's teaching career began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific where she taught secondary science and trained local counterparts in instructional methods to increase the use of laboratory experiences in their teaching. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology with an environmental emphasis from the University of Montana and a M.Ed. from Cleveland State University which focused on teaching in urban settings. Her love of travel, nature, and interest in conservation started as a child when she spent her summers camping and visiting national parks all over the United States. She enjoys traveling internationally and finding ways to incorporate the experiences into meaningful learning opportunities for her students and colleagues.

Philip Lavretsky

Philip Lavretsky

... is a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Dragonfly program. He got his Ph.D. from Wright State University in 2014 with his dissertation work focusing on the evolution and population genetics of a recently radiated mallard clade. Although much of his work focuses on his true passion, waterfowl, he has lead and/or collaborated on the genetics and conservation of various taxa, including sea turtle leeches, endangered plants, different fish, and many other birds. In general, his research interests are interdisciplinary and transcending landscape, evolutionary, and conservation genomics to study speciation, evolution, adaptation, and the role of gene flow. In addition, he has and continues to lead scientific collection trips around the world with vouchered specimens now housed in several national museums and Universities. He currently resides in Beavercreek, Ohio with his wife and young child.

Caroline Rivera

Caroline Rivera

... began teaching human anatomy and physiology while a graduate student in Old Dominion University’s doctorate program in biology. Caroline went on to become Professor of Biology at Tidewater Community College and eventually moved into higher education administration. Caroline continues to design and teach courses in human anatomy and physiology for several community colleges and universities simply because of her love of and commitment to education. A self-proclaimed “unnatural-scientist,” she de-mystifies complex matters of human physiology through uncomplicated examples using simple language. Caroline is able to break down complex ideas and theories into accessible, bite-sized pieces, thus making them accessible to anyone with a desire to learn.  Dr. Rivera is a proud, community college success story -- a high school dropout who went on to beat the odds. Caroline has a bachelor’s and master's degree in anthropology, a master’s degree in Biology (ABD Ph.D.), and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership.

Annika Keeley

Annika Keeley

... recently earned her Ph.D. in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. She received her master’s in wildlife biology from Southwest Texas State University, and her bachelor’s in zoology and botany from Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada. For her dissertation she studied animal movements and the design of wildlife corridors. The project included field work with kinkajous (a Neotropical relative of the raccoon) in Costa Rica, genetic lab work, and movement analyses of desert bighorn sheep and elk in Arizona. Previously she has worked with temperate and tropical bats, ground squirrels in Canada, corn crakes in Poland, and amphibians in Germany (where she grew up). Annika is currently teaching Leadership in Science Inquiry for Project Dragonfly, Conservation Biology at Northern Arizona University and Biology Concepts at Coconino Community College. She also enjoys hiking, backpacking, mushroom hunting, birding, traveling, and doing yoga.

Claire Dell

Claire Dell

Visiting Assistant Professor

Claire Dell obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from Georgia Tech and her Master’s in Aquatic Bioscience from Glasgow University in Scotland. Her dissertation research focused on how species acclimate to conditions in healthy and degraded coral reefs, which involved substantial field work in Fiji. Prior to this she spent several years working on the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Teaching and helping others understand and appreciate this ecosystem are passions of hers. She also enjoys swimming and diving!

Program Facilitators & Partners

Amanda Berlinski

…works at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo as the Manager of Guest Engagement. Here she oversees interpretive programs and planning, and is also the Education Advisor for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Lion Species Survival Plan (lions being her absolute favorite animal). Amanda holds her B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology and graduated from the Advanced Inquiry Program with her M.A. in Zoology. In attempting to understand how the arts and sciences intersect, she seeks out opportunities to connect people to nature through fine art. She also dabbles in experience design, and works with the Chicago-based organization Museum Explorer Inc. to develop exhibits and interactives for non-formal learning environments. When she’s not at work you’ll find her walking or biking around Chicago, playing with one of her two cats, or backpacking through one of America’s National Parks - avidly collecting stamps in her National Parks Passport.

Mark Sander

... received his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. In a dissertation that tracked post-humanist models of agency in contemporary literary, philosophical, and scientific discourse, Mark analyzed, among other things, the philosophical and ideological underpinnings at play in the deep ecology movement and the level-of-selection debate among evolutionary theorists. He is currently at work preparing an expanded (and much altered) version of this dissertation for publication. This project serves as a culmination of Mark’s academic and professional experiences. After receiving his B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder with majors in Mathematics, Biochemistry, and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Mark spent several years working as a research biochemist at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, and U.C. Davis only to return to Boulder for a Master’s in English literature. Throughout his graduate and postgraduate career at UCLA and Stanford, Mark had the opportunity to teach a large number of undergraduate science and engineering majors—an experience which has led him to appreciate the enormous value in critically examining scientific rhetoric and practice, not only for creating more socially engaged scientist-citizens, but also for fostering a more rigorous and creative practice of science. Currently in Guanajuato, Mexico, Mark continues his research while serving as invited professor at the University of Guanajuato and working as a freelance editor and proofreader.

Claire Lannoye-Hall

... graduated with the first GFP class in 2011 with an MAT. My day job is the Curator of Education at the Detroit Zoological Society where I oversee the day-to-day operations of the education department. I have the privilege of facilitating the Amazon Rainforest Adopt-A-School program in Peru, an absolute highlight of my job since 2007. I'm also a NOAA Climate Steward Regional Leader, supporting five states of climate stewards. I love being outdoors and can't wait to share the wonders of the natural world with my daughter as she grows up. 

Kim Lewis

… has most recently started teaching at a vocational school in Rio Grande, Ohio, focusing on anatomy, chemistry and applied physics. Previously Kim has taught Biology, Environmental Science, Biotechnology, and Current Issues in Science in the traditional high school setting. Along with high school programming, Kim is also involved in environmental outreach programs in the community and is involved with the Ohio Academy of Sciences. Kim received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Rio Grande in 1998. In 2011 she was part of the first graduating class of the Global Field Program, receiving her M.A.T. in Biological Sciences. Kim is a veteran of the USAF and has traveled to many countries through the military and Earth Expeditions. One of her greatest adventures was with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program. Kim spent 17 days aboard the “Oregon II” in the Gulf of Mexico performing a Groundfish Survey off the coast of Texas after the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010.

Rachel Rowland

... graduated with a B.A. in Geology from Western Washington University in 2008, followed by a Masters in Teaching Secondary Education from Seattle University in 2010. After gaining her teaching credentials, Rachel went on to complete an M.A. in Zoology through Miami University's Global Field Program (GFP), which included summer Earth Expeditions to Belize, Trinidad and Namibia. These newly visited countries brought her total up to 26 countries explored and there are surely more to come! Rachel began her time in the GFP in Madrid, Spain where she taught for a year and then returned to the Seattle area. Since her return, Rachel has been teaching Life Science and Earth/Space Science in the Issaquah School District. During her 3 years at Pine Lake Middle School she has run the after school homework club, acted as the school's Green Team representative to the district, substitute taught in all subjects and grade levels, and coached the robotics team. In addition, Rachel has recently joined the board of a non-profit organization, Generation Joy, which focuses on kids from Washington helping kids in South Africa. It is with great pleasure that she begins the next step in her partnership with Project Dragonfly, teaching her favorite web-based course, Issues in Biodiversity!

Tanya Paul

… has worked as the Wildlife Show Supervisor at the Oregon Zoo since 2005. She has been working with exotic and native wildlife for almost 15 years, training both animals and people. Tanya began her career in wildlife education as the Education and Conservation Director for Wolf Haven International in Tenino, Washington. In 2001, a desire to work with birds of prey took her to Charlotte, NC, where she worked as the Education Director for Carolina Raptor Center. Tanya earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound, and her M.A. in Zoology from Miami University. A life-long traveler, she has visited every continent except Antarctica. Someday....

Kristin Regan

... is a recent graduate from the GFP. She enjoys traveling to different countries to explore culture, interaction and different ways of living. Sustainable living and permaculture are two of the areas that she is heavily involved in with her local community and aboriginal communities near the Rocky Mountains of Canada. She works in leadership programs providing mentoring, supervision and instruction to individuals who work in the field of coaching and intervention. Besides traveling, she enjoys yoga and meditation, and the pursuit of balance. 

Meghann McDonald

... has been an ocean-based creature from the very start. She grew up on the Sea of Cortez -- snorkeling, dissecting marine creatures, and listening to her father lecture his college students on the magic of upwelling since she could crawl. Meghann went on to earn a B.S. in Earth Systems Science and Policy, with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Ecology at CSU Monterey Bay. However, it was there in the Monterey Bay -- at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories -- that she found her true loves: scientific research diving and ichthyology. Meghann is a recent graduate of the Global Field Program with a Masters in Zoology and is the Vice President of the Vermilion Sea Institute, a non-profit dedicated to education and field studies. As such she gets to introduce students of all ages to the terrestrial and marine worlds of Baja California. Here, she fuses scientific field methods with first-hand experience to show students that they can overcome any obstacle from plunging into the world of fish to conquering the really scary stuff: statistics.

Sue Bartow

... is currently analyzing qualitative data and writing her dissertation in Educational Leadership at Miami University. Her research interests include exploring more democratic and participatory intersections between teaching, learning, and curriculum, and widening the cracks in "the system." Her current research involves teachers using social media. Her undergraduate and master's degrees are in Industrial Education. Sue taught unfettered science at a K-8th school for a long and delightful time and undergraduate courses in teacher leadership, was a school administrator, and participated in the Earth Expeditions Program in Costa Rica.

Cari Krippner

...graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education from Augustana College, Rock Island, IL in 1986. After teaching in TX and IL, Cari relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her partner, Cindy, to explore the mountains and further their education. Cari was part of first graduating class of the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) cohort at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, earning her M.A. in Teaching in December of 2013. In her free time, she enjoys critter sitting, tutoring at-risk children, and volunteering at Woodland Park Zoo. She spends any remaining daylight hours outdoors and is a Forest Steward for a local park organizing invasive plant removal and native plant restoration. In addition, Cari has recently begun a non-profit organization, OutdoorLearning4All, which focuses on connecting older adults and younger children outside to learn about nature, art and music while promoting compassion and enhancing creativity. Cari is very excited to begin the next step in her partnership with Project Dragonfly, teaching web-based courses.

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson

... just completed her MA in Zoology in December of 2012 from the Global Field Program through Miami University. She attended the international courses in Baja, Namibia, and Amazon. Through these experiences she has come to appreciate the diversity of organisms and has found a passion for protecting the endangered species of the world. Jennifer currently works in Environmental Consulting as an ecotoxicologist. She has worked in this field for over 12 years consulting on the impacts to wildlife from large oil spills, completing risk assessments for the protection of children from lead exposures, assessing the damage to wildlife from past mining and refinery operations, completing mammals and herpetological surveys, and assessing the risk of chemical poisoning in litigation cases. Jennifer received her BA from Wittenberg University in Biology and her first MA in Environmental Studies with a concentration on Risk Assessment from University of Illinois at Springfield. Her graduate work was concentrating on the risks to children from environmental asthma triggers. 

April Blakeslee

... is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Long Island University-CW Post, where she teaches ecology and general biology courses. Her research interests include marine ecology, biological invasions, parasite ecology, and population genetics. She is also a Research Associate in the Marine Invasions Laboratory at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). She received her PhD in marine ecology from the University of New Hampshire and before that completed a master's in Ecology at Boston University.

Jim Miller

... is in his 9th year of teaching Biology and Environmental Science at Cleveland Heights High School and also has been the head swim coach there for the past 12 years. Jim received his bachelor's degree in environmental studies through Allegheny College and his teaching certificate through Ashland University. He was honored as part of the first group to receive their master's degree through the Global Field Program at Miami University in 2011! For the GFP he participated in the Earth Expeditions in Costa Rica, Belize, and Namibia. Some of his favorite experiences in the natural world include: seeing an ocelot on a night hike while at Monteverde in Costa Rica; getting his head licked by a jaguar at the Belize Zoo; snorkeling with sharks, sea turtles, and sting rays in Belize; swimming with the great white sharks in South Africa; sandboarding down the sand dunes in Namibia; and watching 25 elephants frolic and drink at a waterhole in Namibia. Since graduation, Jim has also participated in the Earth Expeditions programs in the Amazon, Mongolia and Borneo. In 2011, he was selected as one of only twelve teachers in the country to participate in PolarTREC; an educational research experience in which K-12 teachers engage in polar research, working closely with scientists from Cornell University as a pathway to improving science education.

Lindsey Hagen

Lindsey Hagen

... is currently a middle school science teacher in Cicero, IL, the first suburb outside of Chicago. She uses inquiry-based learning and hands-on activities to help her students learn about the wonders of the world around them. Lindsey earned a B.S. in Education from Loyola University Chicago in 2008. She was a part of the first graduating class from the Advanced Inquiry Program with an M.A. in Zoology in December 2012 and was able to have a field experience in Kenya. In her free time, Lindsey loves to travel the world, learn new things, spend time with her loved ones, and explore the great outdoors. She is so excited to join the Project Dragonfly family as a course facilitator!

Fia Cifuentes

... has been in love with nature and studying the environment her entire life. This love brought her to Miami University where she studied Environmental Education and Special Education as a part of the Western College Program. Years of working with children (especially those with special needs), leading groups through the woods as a naturalist, and encountering new cultures while traveling in far off countries has taught Fia the importance of exploring, taking chances and discovering the endless possibilities this world has to offer. Working as the Sustainability Coordinator at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has only strengthened her love of the environment and her desire to preserve and protect it. Working with the Zoo's aggressive green initiative program as well as with community-based conservation programs throughout her master's work and the Global Field Program has allowed Fia to weave sustainability into her personal, professional and educational careers. After graduating in December 2011 from the GFP, Fia is thrilled to continue to be a part of the Project Dragonfly family.

Lindsay Milner

... is a program developer and curriculum writer in the R&D Department at the head offices of the Mad Science Group Inc., where she is responsible for developing new experiments, writing lesson plans and scripts, creating instructional videos, and correlating educational content to state and national curricula. Lindsay has also created content for science-themed books and live stage shows, and has appeared on television presenting hands-on science for Treehouse and the Teletoon Network.  Lindsay completed her BScH in Life Science and her B.Ed. in elementary education at Queen's University in Canada, and she graduated from the Global Field Program with an MA in Zoology in 2013. She loves to travel, and has observed wildlife in Thailand, Uganda, and Tanzania, as well as traveling to Baja (Mexico), Borneo (Malaysia), and Kenya with the GFP. Lindsay is passionate about finding new ways to motivate non-scientists to take action for wildlife and the environment, and she enjoys looking for creative and artistic media for science education outreach. She is Canadian, and currently resides in Montreal, Quebec with her husband Marc.

Cheryl Fiedler

Cheryl Fiedler

...is a secondary science teacher at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, AZ. For the past eleven years, she has taught Biology, Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and AP Chemistry to the students at SMHS. She earned her B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education from Northern Arizona University in 2002. She obtained her masters in Curriculum and Instruction (with a focus on Chemistry) from Arizona State University in 2005. She earned her M.A. in Zoology from the Global Field Program through Miami University in 2012 with Earth Expeditions to Baja, Kenya, and Mongolia. Cheryl helps students to learn about the scientific world around them as sponsor of the SMHS Science Club and promotes appreciation for science with an inquiry-based teaching approach. She uses her experiences from her time as a GFP student to share her passion for science, conservation, and inquiry. Cheryl is very excited to join the Project Dragonfly family as a course facilitator!

Amy Fowler

... is a postdoctoral research fellow in the marine invasions lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center where she examines the roles marine introductions play in community and population level ecology. Amy received her PhD in Marine Science from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and her BSc in Biology from University of New Hampshire. Amy is also interested in individual and population level phenotypic plasticity and the impacts of climate change on the global range and distribution of species, with particular reference to crabs. Her field and experimental work has allowed her to travel to remote sites in Antarctica, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and throughout the USA. Amy has previously taught in the classroom, laboratory, and field at the undergraduate level, in both New Zealand and United States.

Chrissy Graszer

... is a science educator with experience in both formal and informal education. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Western Illinois University and an M.A. in Education from Roosevelt University. Chrissy has worked in a variety of schools and zoological institutions throughout the Chicago area. She was most recently at Lincoln Park Zoo where she served as the manager of student and teacher programs. Chrissy has a strong expertise in informal learning methodologies, especially inquiry-based science education and conservation education for K-12 grade levels. During her tenure at the zoo, she developed and/or facilitated numerous professional development workshops for formal and informal educators, educational curriculum and resources, and student programs. All of these utilized or focused on inquiry-based learning aligned with the work of zoo researchers as the primary method for teaching science. Becoming a mom in April 2014, Chrissy has decided to take time away from her full-time career for a few years to be a stay-at-home mom. She is excited to be part of Project Dragonfly again this semester, looking at it as away to stay connected with her passion for conservation science and education.

Marilyn Pearson

Marilyn Pearson

...caught the "EE Bug" with her first expedition to Belize in 2007. Since then, she has been fortunate to participate in adventures in Baja, Kenya, and the Amazon Rain Forest of Peru. She graduated in 2012 from Miami's Global Field Program with an MA in Zoology, and in 2000 from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Animal Science. Marilyn has been an urban educator in Bridgeport, CT for ten years, teaching mostly biology and AP Biology. For the 2013-2014 school year, she was transferred to a brand new inter-district magnet high school specializing in zoology and biotechnology research, where she teaches ecophysiology. Marilyn loves working with youth, inspiring them to spend more time outdoors and taking care of our planet and each other through project-based learning approaches and facilitating after-school environmental clubs. In her "spare" time, Marilyn enjoys hiking and exploring outside with her son Giovanni, stepson Josiah, partner John, and pit bull Juno. A member of the Dragonfly Alumni Ambassador Network, Marilyn is thrilled to continue her journey by facilitating courses with Miami and Dragonfly.

Whitney Johnson

... is currently a Senior Program Officer at the Anschutz Family Foundation in Denver, Colorado. She received an undergraduate degree in International Studies and a master's degree in Environmental Sciences with a focus on community-based conservation from Miami University. She has co-facilitated Earth Expeditions in Costa Rica, Thailand, and Baja and has taught Zoo Expedition courses at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Her current work and focus is on community change, social change and capacity building among individuals and the nonprofit sector.

Candee Ellsworth

... graduated in 2013 with an MA in Zoology from Miami University (and with a Biology degree from the University of Findlay in 1997), and she is currently the Executive Director of Nature's Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation & Conservation Education outside of Toledo, Ohio, where she lives with her husband, son, two giant rescue mutts and a cat.  She has spent the past 16 years working as the Conservation Coordinator at the Toledo Zoo in charge of field conservation work local and abroad, as an adjunct professor for the University of Findlay and has done private ecological consulting for a variety of conservation projects throughout the West Indies.  Her more recent master's work involved raising environmental awareness in base residents living and working at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, thus increasing their global awareness about conservation issues that they will hopefully take with them too other duty stations.  Much of her conservation work over the years has been focused on dry, tropical forests of the Caribbean, reintroduction efforts of endangered species, island ecosystems and island biodiversity. She is also most well known for her captive breeding work to restore the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly to the Oak Openings in Northwest Ohio and the federally endangered Mitchell satyr butterfly captive rearing for Southern Michigan.

Sarah Metzer

Sarah Metzer

... is the Youth and Teacher Programs Specialist at the Denver Zoo. She also serves as the education representative on Denver Zoo's Polar Bears International Committee, looking for new ways to educate the public about the increasing threat of climate change to biodiversity. She earned her B.A. in Integrative Physiology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also obtained her M.A. in Zoology from the Global Field Program through Miami University with Earth Expeditions to Baja, Borneo, and Thailand. Sarah is passionate about improving science and climate literacy and motivating others to take action to promote conservation. She credits her love of the natural world to her parents who dragged her to National Parks on most school vacations and patiently fostered inquiry by allowing often messy experiments in the basement and backyard as a child.

Jenny Hinz

...graduated in 2012 with an MAT in Biology Science from Miami University and is currently a co-founder of the non-profit conservation and volunteer organization, Urban-Eco. She has spent the last two years with the organization spreading conservation awareness and involvement in the Chicago K-12 setting. She is an active workgroup liaison for the National Geographic's Geo-Educators in Chicago. Her days are spent teaching computer science in Chicago at Lane Tech High School and as a Visiting Lecturer at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her unique background in computer science and biology has let her integrate conservation into everyday hands-on technology platforms to enrich student engagement. Beyond her love for spreading conservation, she also enjoys traveling, volunteering, learning, and spending time with her husband and Siberian Husky.

Joanne McGonagle

Joanne McGonagle

...completed her MA in Zoology in December of 2012 from the Global Field Program through Miami University. Joanne received her Master of Business Administration from Ohio University and is currently a marketing consultant in the consumer packaged goods field. She is the author of The Tiniest Tiger and An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night as well as The Tiniest Tiger's Conservation Cub Club online site. Joanne often speaks at social media conferences and is considered a top influencer in the pet (feline) industry. Joanne's field experience in the program took her to Baja, Kenya and Namibia. She is happy to be back participating in the Project Dragonfly program as a course facilitator.

Katie T. Larson

... is a former high school biology and physical science teacher from the Chicago area. She is currently living abroad in cities such as Barcelona, Spain and Singapore and wearing many hats as an English teacher, a chef/business owner and an entrepreneurship teacher. She is also pursuing her PhD in Leadership and Change through Antioch University. Her love affair with the outdoors are closely linked with memories of fishing, swimming, clamming and playing in her childhood lake. She can usually be found outdoors hiking, geo-caching or even mountain climbing. Traditionally drawn to all things biological, her most recent interests include the cultural side of life: pedagogical theories and leadership development. She recently graduated from the GFP program with field experiences in Mongolia, Kenya and Borneo and is thrilled to be contributing to such a life-changing program such as Project Dragonfly.

Anna Busse

...currently manages the tropical and indoor plant inventory at Molbak’s nursery in Woodinville, Washington, where she also leads seminars on plants. She lived abroad in India and Jordan during her undergraduate studies and returned to Washington with a B.A. in International Studies from The Evergreen State College. In 2011 she enrolled in Miami University’s AIP program at Woodland Park Zoo, where she earned her M.A. in Zoology. Anna has pursued numerous avenues for engaging her community with the natural world and hopes to be involved in sustainable development locally in the future. While abroad, she discovered the value of simplistic, sustainable living and connection to the land, and it is her dream to design and build a permaculture farm and educational institute that offers free educational resources which make simplicity, sustainability, and connection to the land more accessible to her community. Anna loves exploring the forests of the Pacific Northwest, learning about native plants and their medicinal uses, gardening indoors and out, and helping others to make meaningful connections between themselves and the natural world.

Sarena Randall Gill

Sarena Randall Gill

...lives in Phoenix, Arizona and works at the Phoenix Zoo as the Community Engagement Manager. This role enables her to express her passion for higher education as well as nonformal environmental and conservation education through engaging and interactive interpretation. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University, her M.A. in Zoology through Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program at Miami University, and is a doctoral student in the Ph.D. Sustainability Education program at Prescott College. Sarena continues to appreciate her time in the GFP and her Earth Expeditions to Baja, Borneo, and Namibia and brings all she learned and experienced into her daily life. Lifelong discovery and experiential learning sparked and continues to encourage her desire to groom the connection to and fascination for the natural world, inquiry, and learning in others.

Andrea Loayza

... is a Bolivian Ecologist. She interested in plant ecophysiology, plant-animal interactions, experimental design, conservation, and population biology. Andrea has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level, in Bolivia, the United States and Chile. She has also taught several field-based courses. Andrea has done research in the tropical savannas, the neo-tropical rainforests, and the Pre-puna - a high altitude semi-arid environment. She is currently a researcher at Universidad de La Serena, in Chile and works with endangered plants in the Atacama Desert. Andrea completed her B.S. in Unviersidad Mayor de San Andres, her M.S. in Biology and her Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Leah Crowe

...is a Spanish teacher who is enamored of all creatures great and small. She likes nothing better than to wander her property in Southeastern Indiana in search of the critters that call it home with her husband and four dogs. She ignited a love of travel while studying abroad in Spain and working as a flight attendant for five years. This love of discovering foreign places ultimately led her to become a Spanish teacher. With no prior scientific experience, she decided, at the age of 42, to embark on a new adventure by applying for the Global Field Program. This program proved transformational for her as she traveled to Baja, Peru and Australia and met some of the most inspirational people on the planet. After graduating from the program, she could not imagine her life without Project Dragonfly and applied to be a course facilitator. Her current vision focuses on encouraging other foreign language teachers to incorporate conservation and environmental issues into their classrooms with the hopes of designing travel and study experiences where teachers can get first hand knowledge of the problems faced by the countries of which they teach. In her own classes she encourages her students to step out of their comfort zones and become responsible global citizens. She is incredibly excited and humbled to be included among the remarkable people that make up Project Dragonfly and is excited to see what the future has in store.

Emily Kalnicky

Emily Kalnicky

...is currently the Education Research Manager for the Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL. Here she has assisted in researching, evaluating, and designing programming focused on helping participants better understand science and research. While she has loved the zoo, she has decided that teaching and sustainable agriculture are her true passions, and she is now working on making her dreams a reality. As she transitions to moving west to California to be near the mountains, ocean, and opportunities for sustainable ag, she is working as a bilingual substitute K-12 teacher for the Madison Metropolitan School district, as well as pursuing various agricultural internships. Emily earned her BS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Zoology, Spanish, and Psychology and completed her MS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.  From there, she decided to combine her interests in the natural and social sciences and her passion for Conservation Psychology to focus her dissertation research on understanding a pressing conservation problem in Hawaii: the invasion of the coqui frog.  After completing her PhD in Ecology at Utah State University, Emily spent 6 months volunteering in Ecuador, teaching English, and working with the community on constructing a meeting place/community center. Emily is excited to join a group of talented and interesting faculty with Project Dragonfly, where she hopes to share her experiences with her students and continue to learn and grow as an educator.

Ben Nims

…is a secondary science teacher at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in St. Louis, MO. For the past five years, he has developed and taught environmental science and sustainability courses in an effort to promote students' understanding of the interrelatedness of society, the economy, and the environment. Ben received his master's degree in Biology (focus on Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics) from the University of Missouri – St. Louis where he studied the population genetic structure of the endangered Galápagos penguin. As a graduate student, he fell in love with teaching as part of a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant that placed him in a public high school with the aim to improve science literacy and connect researchers to students. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from St. Norbert College.

Kate Nordyke

…currently serves as co-director at Evergreen Holistic Learning Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, a non-profit organization that she and her family established in 2009 with the mission of offering unique, hands-on learning opportunities that promote environmental awareness, holistic health, and personal and professional development. She is an avid supporter and practitioner of sustainable urban agriculture and actually has the great fortune of living on an 8.5 acre farm in the middle of the city. Kate holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies/Education from Union Institute and University, and recently graduated with her M.A. in Biology through Miami University’s Global Field Program. When she’s not working in the garden or tending to her 2 horses, 4 rescue cats, and 2 rescue dogs, Kate also really enjoys hiking, dance, yoga, and traveling.

Shelley Steele

Shelley Steele

... realized at a young age that she wanted to help save the world and has been working and studying hard ever since. She most recently worked as the Program Coordinator at the Hawaii Conservation Alliance (HCA) where she coordinated a cooperative collaboration of conservation leaders representing more than twenty government, education, and non-profit organizations collectively responsible for managing the biodiversity of Hawaii’s lands and waters.  She has earned her associate of arts degree in diversified studies with a certificate of mastery in child development, bachelor of arts degree with honors in liberal studies of environmental education and marine science, as well as her master of arts degree in teaching biological science from the Global Field Program through Miami University. She is passionate about climate change communication and education-related projects and consistently works to move efforts forward in this field.  She has lived across the US, from the Adirondack Mountains in New York to Sacramento, California; but she was born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Hawaii. She currently resides with her husband, daughter, and two cats on Mt. Tantalus in Honolulu.

Reema Persad-Clem

... Reema is a Trinidadian ecologist who earned her MS degree from the University of Arkansas and her PhD from Miami University. As a primatologist, Reema's past research efforts have focused on behavioral ecology e.g. howling monkeys in Trinidad, chimpanzees in sanctuaries. She enjoys being in field-settings and is always happy to be a guinea pig for any non-toxic bug repellant that reportedly works like a charm. She credits her experiences with Field Expeditions as opening her eyes to the critical relationship between local community involvement and long-term sustainability in conservation efforts. Reema believes that we are all environmental stewards and we can each contribute to the preservation of biological diversity, sustainability of resources, and maintenance of healthy ecosystems. As communities worldwide face conservation challenges, she sees a global approach as the only way to preserve our Earth's wondrous resources for future generations.

Sara Weisberg

...is a recent graduate of the Global Field Program. She had the privilege of traveling to Belize, Baja, and Australia, including spending a year living in Australia working as a SCUBA instructor during her time in the GFP. She received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado, Boulder. She recently moved to San Francisco and works at The Marine Mammal Center as their Extended Learning Programs Coordinator overseeing programs like summer camps, overnights, and family programs. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Bay Area with her dog Ellie, skiing and snowboarding in Tahoe in the winter, and surfing and SCUBA diving in the summer.

Beth Krisko

Beth Krisko

...completed her Master’s degree in Environmental Science from Miami University in 2001, and began her career in conservation and environmental education. After obtaining her Ohio Science teacher credential from Antioch University in 2005, she spent six years as Director of Antioch's Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center in Yellow Springs, OH. In this role, she directed and facilitated environmental education programs for over 3,000 children each year. Prior to becoming Director at Glen Helen, she coordinated the volunteer and service-learning programs for the preserve, engaging adults in stewardship and education through ecological restoration activities. In 2010, she was awarded a fellowship with the National Audubon Society’s TogetherGreen program, which recognizes and trains leaders in conservation. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Forests Today and Forever, which educates children and adults on sustainable forestry in the Pacific Northwest. She volunteers her time to serve on the Long Tom Watershed Council Board of Directors, and "after hours" she is a yoga instructor at a couple of studios in Eugene, OR. She is thrilled to join Project Dragonfly as a course facilitator this fall, and excited to connect with others that are also passionate about conservation and our planet. 

Colleen Bernard

Colleen Bernard

… is an Education Programs Specialist with Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) in Washington, DC. There she manages the overnight programs, adult education classes, and serves as the co-director of FONZ Nature Camp. Before moving to DC, she was the head of the Education Department at the New York State Zoo in Watertown, NY where she developed and conducted live animal programs aimed at enhancing people’s connection to wildlife and the environment. A native of northern New York, she developed a love of animals and the environment growing up along the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. An avid traveler, Colleen fueled her environmental passion through study in San Salavador, Bahamas and Australia while completing her undergraduate degree in biology at Elmira College, NY. Then as a member of the first graduating class of the Global Field Program, she expanded that list to include Trinidad, Mongolia, Kenya, and Borneo. Colleen is extremely excited to continue the educational adventure with Project Dragonfly.

Bernadette Plair

… is a Research Associate and Conservation Liasion at the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. A native of Trinidad, Bernadette is also Director of the Center for the Rescue of Endangered Species of Trinidad and Tobago (CRESTT). She earned her BA degree in Biology at the College of Mount Saint Joseph and her MS degree from the University of Cincinnati. Her diverse background in assisted reproduction and cryopreservation techniques in both endangered animals and plants has contributed vastly to her passion for wildlife preservation especially in her native Trinidad. Bernadette spear-headed the successful reintroduction of Blue and Gold Macaws to their historic range in Trinidad and promoted community based conservation and environmental education in support of the reintroduction efforts. Bernadette has been part of Earth Expeditions program since its inception in 2004 and is the in-country host for the Trinidad Field Expedition. She has an undying passion for learning and sharing knowledge about man's coexistence with nature and finds the Global Field Program an ideal platform for doing just that.

Megan Fox

...is currently an informal educator at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, where she spends her days holding owls and feeding giraffes with the Wild Encounters team and her nights teaching Nocturnal Adventures, but always inspiring children and adults with wildlife every day. She graduated in 2011 with her BA in Zoology from Miami University where she worked in the Animal Behavior Lab; while there she helped in research studying social monogamy in Prairie Voles. She was lucky enough to have Chris Myers as her senior capstone professor, where she was first introduced to Project Dragonfly. She graduated in 2014 with MA in Zoology from the GFP. During her time, she was able to search for Antillean Manatees in Belize, roam the Mongolian Steppe looking for Pallas Cats and Przewalski's Horses, and help research cheetahs and their prey in Namibia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing soccer, photography, and caring for her own zoo at home. She is incredibly excited to be a part of Project Dragonfly's facilitator team.

Scott Wingate

... is the School and Graduate Program Manager at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, where he manages the Zoo's youth public programs. He received his B.S. in Biology from The Ohio State University with an emphasis on Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology and a Master of Arts in Zoology from Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program. After graduating he found himself sharing the joys of the natural world with others as a naturalist. Working at the Wilds really piqued his interest in global conservation and how important education is in its success!

Adriana Rodriguez-Ferraro

... is a Venezuelan Field Biologist/Ecologist. She is currently working as a consultant for Provita in the "Evidenced-base Conservation" Project. Adriana, has worked in Environmental Education, Wildlife Legislation, and Avian Conservation. She has taught many life science courses at high school and university level. Currently, Adriana's research interest is in Population Ecology, Genetics, and Avian Conservation. She graduated with a BS in Biology from the Universidad Simon Bolivar- Venezuela and completed her M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Missouri.

Corenna Roozeboom

...currently works as a garden educator for a public charter school in Chicago. Her life changed when she discovered that organic gardening involves everything she’s passionate about: community development, environmental stewardship, social justice, conservation education, healthy people, delicious food, beautiful flowers, and slowing down. Upon making this discovery, Corenna set out to learn more about sustainable agriculture by earning her master’s degree through the Advanced Inquiry Program, starting a community garden in her neighborhood, reading lots of books, and working for a variety of environmental education organizations. In her free time, Corenna loves to read, travel, do yoga, listen to public radio, watch movies, and spend quality time with the people she loves (preferably over a delicious meal!).

Joshua York

... is currently an Education Supervisor and Naturalist for Five Rivers MetroParks, protecting 15,000 acres of forests, prairies, and river corridors in and around Dayton, Ohio, USA. There, he builds a culture of conservation through immersing diverse groups of people in local habitats. From exploring a creek to bird watching, his visitors engage with nature, realize they are a part of it, and get involved with conservation efforts. Joshua understands that conservation knows no age boundaries, and has a passion for inspiring preschoolers to take action for healing natural areas. Joshua holds an Associates Degree concentrating in nature interpretation from Hocking College, a B.S. in Biology from Ashland University, and is a graduate of Miami University's Global Field Program, visiting Baja, Namibia, and Australia.

Stephanie Stowell

…is a conservation education consultant and with more than fifteen years of experience working with formal and non-formal educators. Stephanie worked for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) for nine years overseeing their national Schoolyard Habitats Program and serving as the Senior Director for Field Education Programs. In her roles with NWF she oversaw curriculum development, teacher training programs, community-based volunteer conservation initiatives and program evaluation. Most recently, Stephanie served as the Director of Education at Woodland Park Zoo where she directed and evaluated the development and implementation of educational programs for children and adults, schools and communities, that inspired them to care for and protect the natural world. Stephanie earned her Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Montana concentrating in conservation education. Travel and immersion in other cultures through exploration of the natural world has always been a priority in Stephanie’s life and she is thrilled to connect these professional and personal pursuits through the Global Field Program and Earth Expeditions.

Gail Lemiec

...while originally from Cleveland, OH, currently works as the Coordinator for Charlotte Nature Museum in Charlotte, NC. There she has the opportunity to connect families with nature and the wildlife in their own backyards. She earned her BS in Environmental Studies from Northland College, situated in the Wisconsin northwoods, before traveling to Romania with the Peace Corps to live for two years as an English and Environmental Education teacher. Upon returning to the States, she immersed herself in informal environmental education, marine conservation, and animal training--working with raptors, shorebirds, and small mammals. Her passion for conservation and travel was ignited once again with the enrollment in Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program. Gail traveled to Belize, Hawaii, and Baja before completing her MA in Zoology in 2014. She happily spends her free time with her husband and their pets, reading anything and everything, and communing with nature.

Joshua Dodson

… is currently the Conservation Education Resource Manager at the Indianapolis Zoo, where he oversees training and staffing for the Zoo’s programming. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Bowling Green State University, gained his Ohio teaching licensure through the University of Toledo, and received a M.A. in Zoology through the GFP at Miami University. Always looking to remain active, Josh’s diverse interests include hiking, reading, writing, traveling, and generally experiencing new things. Possessing deep-rooted passions for education and conservation, Josh is excited to remain a part of the Dragonfly community in this new capacity. 

Jody Vogelzang

...is currently teaching Anatomy and Physiology in the Biomedical Science Department at Grand Valley State University. She graduated from Miami University as one of the very first Global Field Program students with field experiences in Trinidad, Baja and Belize. She holds a doctoral degree from Walden University in Health Services with a specialization in community health. Her dissertation and research dealt with maternal influence on health behaviors. Vogelzang also holds a MS in Biomedical Science, BS in Dietetics, and is a registered dietitian. She was a second career high school teacher with six years of experience in teaching AP biology and forensic science before she returned to a university setting.

Kelsie Fowler

...is currently a middle school science teacher in Seattle, Washington where she is able to enjoy the closeness of friends, family, mountains, and the Puget Sound. Prior to living in Seattle, Kelsie earned a B.A. in Science Education from North Park University in Chicago and then moved to Moscow, Russia to teach science at an International Baccalaureate School. In 2011 Kelsie started her adventure with Project Dragonfly, earning an MAT in the Biological Sciences. During these studies she helped assess international science programs, lead science teacher workshops, write curriculum for rural schools, and travelled to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize. Over the last few years Kelsie has become a strong proponent for improving both local and international science education as a method for decreasing poverty, increasing sustainability, and positively changing individual lives. She is delighted to be extending her time with Project Dragonfly as a facilitator.

Jeannie Miller Martin

... completed her B.S. at Juniata College then earned her Master’s in Zoology in the GFP at Miami University. She managed sea turtle nesting research programs in several states and abroad prior to joining the Georgia Sea Turtle Center team in 2007. While at the GSTC she served as a rehabilitation technician before developing the GSTC AmeriCorps program, and has since taken over the GSTC Volunteer program as well including the creation of the Georgia Sea Turtle Marine Debris Initiative. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue to stay involved with the GFP as a course facilitator. 

Jessa Watters

... is the herpetology Collection Manager at the University of Oklahoma's Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. She works behind the scenes organizing and managing more than 50,000 amphibian and reptile specimens. Prior to this, Jessa was an Assistant Professor of Biology at Earlham College - where she taught Biodiversity, Evolutionary Biology, General Ecology, Population Biology and Community Ecology. She also taught High School Biology in Pensylvannia. Jessa completed her B.A. in Biology at Earlham College, and her M.S. in Zoology at the University of Hampshire. Jessa enjoys the outdoors, and her experiences in Galapagos, and Kenya had been instrumental in her developing a passion for experiential learning, field work, teaching and research.

Sarah Crumb

...recently graduated from the Advanced Inquiry Program in December 2014. Her Master Plan focused on connecting children to nature with arts-based activities. Her paper, "The Role of Zoo Playgrounds: Beyond Playtime and Into Conservation Awareness" was based on research she did with Woodland Park Zoo and was published by IZE Journal in August 2014. As part of her coursework, Sarah traveled to Belize with Earth Expeditions. She is a School Programs Presenter and Animal Unit Volunteer at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. She also volunteers in her children's elementary classrooms and is a Girl Scout troop co-leader. Sarah is passionate about getting kids outside to learn and play and strives to educate her audiences about local and global nature topics.

Amy Amspoker

... is currently a high school Advanced Biology and Zoology teacher at Elida High School in Northwest Ohio. She earned a B.S. in Life Science Education from Bowling Green State University and has state licensure to teach grades 7-12. Amy received her M.A. in Zoology through the Advanced Inquiry Program at Miami University with her Master Institution being at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. During her coursework for the AIP, she was able to take part in an Earth Expedition to Costa Rica where she studied Neotropical Ecology. In her spare time, Amy loves gardening, hiking, traveling, reading, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Nancy Averett

...is a freelance journalist who specializes in writing about the environment, health and fitness, psychology and business. Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and websites including Audubon, Bicycling, Cincinnati Discover.com, Inc. and Runner's World. In addition, she teaches part-time as a journalism instructor at Miami University of Ohio. She lives in Oxford, Ohio with her husband, two daughters and two cats

Rebecca "Bec" Detrich

...is a leader in the field of Environmental Education and currently the Education Director at Westminster Woods in Sonoma County, CA. Before overseeing the Environmental Education and Challenge Course programs at Westminster Woods, Bec led the Field Science program at NatureBridge, Golden Gate. She has worked within the field of environmental education in Yosemite, on Catalina, and throughout the East Coast as well as in Australia and Panama. In her time she has developed marine science and climate change programing, led teacher trainings focused on inquiry, developed stewardship projects within the National Parks and built collaborative relationships with a variety of private and public organizations. Bec holds a bachelor's degree from Willamette University where she majored in Environmental Science and completed her GFP Master's degree in 2014. Her studies have taken her to Tanzania, Belize, Borneo and Namibia.

Dana Kennedy

...spent seven years working at the North Carolina Zoo as a zookeeper before she and her family moved to Pittsburgh, PA. During her time as a keeper she was fortunate enough to work in various sections in the park and got to experience everything from rhinos to baboons and gorillas to bears (her personal favorite). She also worked closely with the conservation department, helping to write the latest edition of the Zoo's conservation / research report, and she was an active member of the Zoo's environmental management team and AAZK chapter. Since moving to Pittsburgh she has become a stay-at-home mom to her own little human ape, while also working part time as a freelance writer where she tries to incorporate conservation-minded content into as many articles as she can. She and her husband love to hike and camp and are now enjoying sharing their passions for nature with their daughter. Dana received her B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University and her M.A. in zoology through Miami University's Global Field Program. She is thrilled to be continuing her journey with Project Dragonfly and looks forward to the coming semesters where she can help guide students on their own journeys through the Dragonfly program.

Liam Kean

... is currently a researcher at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, MD, working in the Department of Neurology. In past research projects, Liam has studied a variety of North American vertebrate animals- porcupines, small mammals, lizards, snakes (venomous and non-venomous), and turtles, and has aided in research with endangered species. Prior to working with Project Dragonfly, Liam has instructed Ecology courses at both the Ohio State University and the University of New Hampshire. Liam completed his B.S. in Biology from St. Lawrence University, in Canton, NY, and he completed his Master's Degree from the University of New Hampshire. In his off-time Liam makes time to observe and explore organisms in their home environments - as observations are the first step to any great scientific finding.

Jeffrey Amato

...has been awed and inspired by nature since his earliest memories of camping and hiking in the Rockies as a very young child. These feelings remain to this day as he spends his free time perusing outdoor activities such as skiing or hiking, reading about the latest scientific discoveries, learning about and then visiting various ecosystems, or just sitting outside and enjoying the birds. When stuck inside Jeff takes care of his two dogs, three cats, four lizards, and live reef aquarium. He received his BS in Communication Systems Management from Ohio University and his MA in Zoology from Miami University's Project Dragonfly. He currently works in IT but is planning on changing to the field of conservation and field research.

Amy Fultz

… is a primatologist whose focus is on chimpanzee behavior and conservation. Amy is the Director of Behavior, Research and Education at Chimp Haven, Inc., a sanctuary for over 160 retired chimpanzees. Amy is also one of the co-founders of the non-profit organization and is responsible for the socialization of the chimpanzees, as well as overseeing the enrichment and training programs at the sanctuary. Amy also conducts observational research on the chimpanzees as they adjust to their new lives at the sanctuary and has published and presented a number of scientific papers based on her research. Amy holds a degree in Biology from Hillsdale College in Michigan and graduated from the Global Field Program with an MA in Zoology in 2012. She has traveled to rain forests in Panama, Mexico and Uganda, as well as traveling to Belize and Borneo, with the GFP. Amy has also traveled to the Amazon as both a student and a co-facilitator. In Amy’s free time she enjoys reading, spending time exploring her two daughter’s interests, gardening and being creative. Amy looks forward to additional learning experiences and collaboration with interesting individuals all over the world. 

Kristen Lucia

... is a Doctoral student in the Department of Zoology at Miami University. She received her B.S. in Biology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and her M.S. in Zoology from Miami University. Kristen is now working on her doctorate in Zoology, studying prairie vole behavioral ecology. Bit by the teaching bug many years ago when she first began teaching for Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth, Kristen hopes to continue to find the balance between teaching and research, so she can further her love for science and the outdoors while sharing that passion with others.

Michelle Amato

…is a nature fanatic and loves to share her enthusiasm with everyone in her life. She is an eighth grade science teacher at Wake Forest Middle School in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she received her BS from Kent State University and recently completed her MAT in December 2014 from Miami University through the Global Field Program. While in the GFP, she traveled to Baja, Australia, and Guyana and thoroughly enjoyed learning how to bring what she learned in-country to her classroom. Michelle loves to travel and is passionate about learning the ecology of each area she visits. Her other hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, birding, photography, and cooking. She looks forward to connecting with GFP and AIP students and faculty while facilitating the web-based learning courses.

Katie Krafte

... is thrilled to continue to explore her passion for education and conservation as a Dragonfly course facilitator. Katie is currently a doctoral student at Clemson University where she is studying parks and conservation area management. Prior to beginning her program at Clemson, Katie taught middle school science for 5 years in North Carolina. She believes in the power people of all ages have to make a positive impact on our planet. Katie double majored in biology and education as an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina and earned her MA in Zoology from Miami University's Global Field Program in 2013. Katie is addicted to learning and exploring. She also loves to read, be outside, and spend as much time as possible with her dog, Sammy. Katie is excited to take on the role of facilitator and continue her work with Project Dragonfly.

Kirk Nieveen

...is currently working as a Science Director of a national educational consulting company in Milwaukee. His primary role is to assist science teachers in low performing high schools around the country to increase their capacity as effective science instructors using research-based methodologies. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Taylor University and his Master's of Secondary Science Education from Florida International University. Kirk has worked in various international educational settings during his 17 years of experience. His first teaching job was in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he taught six different courses in an old house. He then moved to Fusagasuga, Colombia to teach English in the Andes mountains for two years before moving to South Florida where he has spent the last 12 years in various roles as an educator. International travel has been a very large part of his life-long learning process as he feels there is no greater joy in seeing the pages of the text come alive knowing that he has "been there, done that."

Miciah Jacobs Marzano

…worked as a zoo educator and animal trainer in Florida before becoming a high school science teacher in Washington State. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Washington and completed her M.A. in Zoology from Miami University's Global Field Program. For the GFP, she participated in Earth Expeditions in Baja, Borneo, and Belize. Her biggest passions are animals, conservation education, spending time outdoors, being in and around the water, and traveling. She has traveled to various international locations where she has taught and worked with animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations. Miciah currently resides in Seattle where she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, and the beautiful waters of the Pacific Northwest. She is excited to continue to be a part of the Project Dragonfly community.

Debbie Clemens

... completed her undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and received her Master's of Zoology from Miami University as a graduate of the Advanced Inquiry Program. Her main interest is primates and her conservation focus is wild orangutans. Debbie has traveled to the island of Borneo to further study the wildlife. Her relationships with various conservation organizations in Sabah, Malaysia assist in her work to raise awareness and support for orangutan conservation efforts. Debbie has a long history with the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo where she has worked in the volunteer, education, and primate keeper departments. She currently instructs several AIP courses at the Brookfield Zoo as well as AIP/GFP courses for Miami University’s Project Dragonfly. Debbie enjoys spending time with her husband, teenage sons, and her pets. She is happiest outdoors, hiking in the forests. 

Enrique M. Pareja

... is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Westminster College in Missouri and teaches courses in Biodiversity and Conservation. He was a high school Science Teacher (Chemistry, Physics, and Biology) for 11 years at a British School in Lima and also taught International Baccalaurette UL/SL Biology and Chemistry during this time. Enrique also enjoys teaching field courses in the Amazon Rainforest. He was Advisor to the Peruvian Ministry of Education and the Universidad Catolica del Peru for 3 years. Enrique has been involved in research efforts related to the Nature of Science and Science Educator's Professional Development. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Science Education at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Enrique finished his B.S. in Cell Biology at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, and his M.A. in Education at the University of Bath.

Nikki Nageotte

...graduated from the GFP in December of 2013. Her Earth Expedition trips took her to Baja, Peru, and Mongolia. The combination of both the trips and the online community of the Global Field Program made a huge impact in her life and she is thrilled to be able to continue in this program as a course facilitator. Nichole earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 with a major in Wildlife Care and Education from Unity College in Maine. She currently works as an outdoor education instructor and nature center coordinator for a Christian camp called Heartland Conference Retreat Center. Before working for this job, she had experience as a zoo educator, laboratory technician, and animal keeper.

Allison Beard

...is an outdoor instructor and field biologist. She alternates between a cozy home in Eugene, Oregon and camping in the field, wherever that may be. When in Eugene she specializes in recreation and outdoor education, leading forest ecology classes, rafting expeditions, mountain biking courses, and more. With a particular interest in raptor biology, Allison has pursued field work with the Peregrine Fund, Arizona's Game & Fish Department, and HawkWatch International. She believes that life should be an adventure, embrace it!

Mary Yoder

... has grown up with a passion for wildlife and traveling. She earned her Bachelors in Biology and immediately went to Australia to intern with native wildlife. Upon returning to the states, she obtained a job as a zookeeper at the Akron Zoo where she worked for six years before transferring to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo where she currently works. Her days are spent training monkeys and educating the public about conservation concerns occurring around the world. When she is not working, Mary enjoys hiking with her dog, traveling to new places, and playing sports with her friends. Mary recently graduated from the GFP program in December of 2013, and is excited to be teaching courses that inspired her to do more in her local community. 

Rodrigo Rios

... is a Bolivian Ecologist and currently serves as an invited Professor at Universidad Mayor de San Andres in Bolivia. He teaches Wildlife Management and Conservation. He enjoys teaching and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Saint Louis University (Missouri) and Universidad Mayor de San Andres (La Paz, Bolivia). His research interests lie within the lines of geographical ecology of species interactions using animal-plant interactions as study systems. Rodrigo has worked extensively in the Bolivian Amazon basin, and is now focusing on semi-arid highlands. He has also taught short field-based courses in Bolivia. Rodrigo completed his B.S.-Biology in Universidad Mayor de San Andres. He then came to the US and completed his M.S. in Biology at the University of Missouri, and his Ph.D. in Ecology at Saint Louis University.

Brittany Bankovich

...recently graduated with her MSc. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida, and is currently teaching Biology in the Age of Technology (BAT) for Dragonfly and Introductory Statistics for the Life Sciences at the University of Florida. She is also working for St. John's Water Management to update the Florida Agricultural Lands GIS database. Prior to attending the University of Florida, she worked in the Great Basin trapping small mammals and volunteered for Saguaro National Park and Arizona Game & Fish doing wildlife surveys. She earned her BS in Biology from the University of Akron where she was a member of the varsity swim team and volunteered in the lab of Dr. Ron Salisbury researching innate hypertension in SHR-Y rats.

Jenny Meyer Barton

... obtained her Master of Arts in Zoology with the Global Field Program from Miami University and Project Dragonfly. She also has her B.A. from The Ohio State University in Communication and Business. She traveled with Earth Expeditions to Baja, Belize, and Hawai'i. She worked at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in both Marketing and Animal Care and Conservation. She was able to advocate for the conservation of mountain gorillas and partnered with humanitarian programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is passionate about including anyone and everyone in hopeful conversation about the health of the environment. Jenny loves to encourage others and is thrilled to be a facilitator with Project Dragonfly! She loves spending time with her husband and son, learning about sustainable food, traveling, cooking, gardening, and just being outdoors.

Devin Schenk

... is a faculty member at the Northern Kentucky University Center for Applied Ecology. As a graduate of Miami University's Institute of Environmental Sciences, Devin has over 6 years of experience working in the environmental field. He works as project manager for many community projects, providing ecological services to local non-profit organizations, governments, and businesses. Devin also coordinates, trains, and manages student interns. As a graduate student he worked for Project Dragonfly, and fell in love with environmental education. When he has free time, Devin can be found outside exploring.

Adrienne Fox

...is a high school science teacher in Ohio. She enjoys teaching Biology and Anatomy as well promoting sustainability within her school. She completed her M.A. in Biology from Miami University through the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP). Her Master Plan for AIP focused on raising awareness of plastic pollution. Adrienne enjoys having her students experience first-hand the impacts of sustainable efforts. As a result she has started a garden and organized beach cleanups within her school community. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and enjoying nature in any way possible.

Mollie O'Neil

... earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Cincinnati and worked in Project Management for a global Clinical Research Organization until she realized her lifelong passion for nature and nature education was her true path. An avid gardener and plant lover, she began volunteering with the Horticulture department at the Zoo working in the gardens. Mollie also volunteered with the Education department at the Wild Discover Zones using inquiry to engage Zoo guests with science and nature in a fun, informal setting. These experiences inspired her to investigate a new career path, which led her to Miami University and the Project Dragonfly Advanced Inquiry Program. She earned her Master of Arts in Zoology in December 2013 and is now the Volunteer Coordinator at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. 

Todd Levine

... is a doctoral candidate in Zoology at Miami University. His current research centers around the relationship between freshwater mussels and fish, to which their larvae attach as parasites. He grew up near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers and earned his BS and BA at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Along the way, he completed both a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Michigan Biological Station and the Wilderness and Civilization program at University of Montana. He has taught at several levels, including at working with K-12 programs at a nature area, various bear outreach programs, an NSF-funded workshop teaching conservation genetics and inquiry for high school teachers and lab components of undergraduate courses. He seeks out both traditional and non-traditional venues for teaching and research, combining his work and love of nature.

Nickele Morgan

Nickele Morgan

... works as a sixth grade math and science teacher in Perry, Ohio, a little town right on Lake Erie not quite an hour east of Cleveland. Prior to her current position, she has taught students in grades 6-8 in Cleveland Heights, OH, and Leadville and Summit County, Colorado. Nickele earned her bachelor's degree from Kent State University in Middle Childhood Education and her master's degree in biology from Miami University's Global Field Program. Her studies have given her the opportunity to study abroad in New Zealand, Baja, Thailand, and India. When she's not too busy teaching and learning, Nickele enjoys skiing, bicycling, bluegrass, and romping in the outdoors with her two human children and energetic Australian shepherd. Her latest passion involves rehabilitating the fifth generation family farmland she lives on and learning all there is to know about the intersection between small-scale agriculture and conservation.

Allison Gray

…teaches in the BS and MA degree programs in science education at Northern Arizona University. A former newspaper editor, she has served as a high school teacher and school administrator, and has taught in the education programs at Willamette University and Oregon State University. Her commitment to wildlife conservation led her to volunteer for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, where she used her publishing experience to produce educational materials for local farmers and teachers. She has traveled throughout southern Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. When not traveling or working, she can be found exploring the high desert of the southwest with her husband and two young daughters. 

Jeff Hegnauer

... has spent the last dozen-ish years as an elementary school teacher at Cherry Tree Elementary School in Carmel, Indiana. Ten of those years were spent teaching and assisting in the development of a non-traditional, multi-age/multi-grade classroom program. He currently teaches fourth graders. In addition to his classroom responsibilities he serves as the school's lead science teacher, working to support and train teachers in implementing the district's science curriculum. Since 2010 he has also worked as a trainer and professional development planner with the Indiana Science Initiative, a program to train kindergarten through eighth grade teachers and administrators to incorporate a more participatory and inquiry-based approach to their school districts' science programs. Jeff's experiences through the Earth Expeditions programs in Baja, Belize, Costa Rica and Trinidad have helped to fuel his passion for getting teachers and students, figuratively and literally, outside the four walls of traditional elementary school learning experiences. He earned his B. A. in Elementary Education from Anderson University and completed his M.A.T. in the Biological Sciences through Miami University's Global Field Program in 2011. He likes to spend his free time teaching his own children how to get muddy, climb trees, and submerge kayaks.

Jeannine Richards

...is currently the Communications Coordinator at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin. In this position, her primary work is in writing, editing, and graphic design, as well as co-instructing workshops in discussion facilitation and conservation ethics. She was a graduate in the first class of the Global Field Program in 2011 and studied in Trinidad, Baja, and Thailand. She will be beginning a PhD program in tropical ecology in the fall. In the meantime, she is delighted to be returning to the Dragonfly virtual classroom as a course facilitator.

Josephine Finley

... got her MAT from Miami University and a BA in Environmental Studies through the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She works for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Park Ranger at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Rigefield, WA. She runs the education and volunteer programs there as well as being in charge of other visitor activities and facilities. Josephine gets to teach Refuge visitors, volunteers, teachers, students, and even her colleagues locally and nationally in a hands on inquiry driven way. She is also currently involved in a national working team to bring urban communities to visit, enjoy, and support National Wildlife Refuges across the nation. Her idea of saving the earth is reconnecting people with their natural biophilia. And, of course, inspiring Project Dragonfly students that they can and will do anything they set their mind to.

Laura Schetter

… is an elementary teacher at Wildwood Environmental Academy in Maumee, OH. In her classroom young learners explore their world through project and inquiry-based approaches. She is also the school’s environmental educator, who plans and implements programs that reveal conservation messages. This position was created as a result of an Inquiry Action Project of Miami’s Global Field Program. Laura earned her M.A.T. from Miami University’s Global Field Program in 2011. She earned her B.S. in Education from Ohio University. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer out west for two years in educational and environmental projects. Laura embarked on an adventure with National Outdoor Leadership School in the Indian Himalayas. Her childhood memories are filled vacations of outdoor adventures with her family, which fostered a curiosity for the natural world. These travel experiences piqued her interest in leadership of conservation efforts. Laura strives to use her life experiences to motivate others to care for and to connect with nature.

Courtney Ryan

...knew, after teaching in Seoul, South Korea for six years, that it was time to reconnect with the things that were most important to her--informal education and the outdoors. Her experience in the Global Field Program gave her the opportunity to do just that. Now as the Program Operations Coordinator at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, she is able to use inquiry in her daily life, inspiring children and adults to become conservation leaders in their community. She is ready to take inquiry from a local to a global perspective as an online facilitator as well as leading Earth Expeditions for Project Dragonfly!

Laura Sennet Houston

… is a high school chemistry teacher who received her B.S. in Education and B.A. in Chemistry from Miami University in 2004. She obtained her M.S. in Chemistry from Wright State University in 2006 focusing her work on kinetically controlled polycondensation polymerization reactions. In 2011 she was honored to be part of the first graduating class of the Global Field Program receiving her M.A.T. in Biological Sciences. Laura is also a registered yoga teacher and loves to use the practice of yoga to connect with people and introduce them to a more mindful and peaceful way of life. When not teaching she loves to travel and spend time outdoors backpacking and hiking with her husband.

Jocelyn Coulter

.... was born in the middle of a corn field in northern Ohio. She eventually earned her BS of Vertebrate Natural History and Conservation and BFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia. Throughout her undergraduate studies Jocelyn studied abroad in Iceland, New Zealand, and Australia, and she also conducted loggerhead sea turtle research off the coast of Georgia. In 2007 Jocelyn relocated to Cincinnati and began her career in environmental education at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Wearing many hats at the Zoo over the years, she is currently an Assistant Coordinator for the Zoo's Nocturnal Adventures Program and works with the Group Sales Department to coordinate special events. She was also part of Miami University's first graduating class of the Global Field Program, earning her MA in Zoology. Jocelyn is also a biology adjunct professor at Cincinnati State, and works as an Extended Day enrichment teacher at Seven Hills School - Doherty Campus. 
And in her "free" time, Jocelyn is also a ceramic artist, a coordinator of a community garden, which donates its produce to a local food pantry and the home-bound elderly, as well as a volunteer at the Museum of Natural History and Science where she was employed part-time for 3 years. Jocelyn also volunteers at Imago Earth Center, on their Programming Team, and served on the board of Cincinnati's local ceramic artist group, the Clay Alliance, as their Education and Outreach director for the past two years. This year she will co-chair a street show with 60 ceramic artists!

Nancy Hummel

... is a high school Regents and AP Biology teacher in LaFayette, New York, a small community near Syracuse, New York. As a recent GFP Graduate with a Master's in Teaching Biology, she is a double Miami University graduate having earned a B. A. in Botany in 1972. Having traveled to Argentina, Namibia, Kenya, Mongolia and Borneo with Earth Expeditions, she finds that the unique nature of each Dragonfly Workshop has enriched all aspects of her personal and professional life.

Patricia Idema

... is a professional indoor air quality analyst specializing in mold and asbestos. She is interested in conservation, history, politics, economics, botany, and ethnobotany. Patricia received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Albion College and her MA from Miami University in the Global Field Program. She enjoys learning, reading, cooking, and CrossFitting and can often be found basking in the sun on beautiful Michigan summer days. Patricia is also the conservation specialist at her company, having created the office-wide recycling program, instituted climate change awareness seminars at the National Association of Mold Professionals training course, and designed a worker health incentive program which promotes fitness and healthy eating among her coworkers. Patricia's favorite moments are those that happen between individuals filled with passion, and Project Dragonfly has no shortage of those!

Mollye Nardi

… is a Mammals Swing Keeper at Zoo Atlanta. This means she gets to spend her days working with different mammals from around the world from African hoofstock, rhinoceroses, and elephants to Asian carnivores and pandas and everything in between. She is also the population manager for Jackson Hartebeests in North America. Mollye grew up with a passion for animals that led her to caring about the environment and conservation. She graduated with a BA in Biology from Earlham College, where she did lots of fieldwork and continued her love of the outdoors and field research. Mollye graduated from the Global Field Program in December 2011 with a MA in Zoology, studying in Mongolia, Namibia, and Borneo. She is excited to continue being a part of this amazing program.

Alicia Lamfers

Alicia Lamfers

... received her MAT from Miami University and her undergraduate degree in biology from Metropolitan State University in Denver. She worked as a paramedic for 6 years in Denver's inner city neighborhoods until switching direction and going into education. She has taught in both formal and informal classrooms. She has experience in conservation education, creating programming for middle and high school students, teachers, and other informal groups. She is interested in developing more and better ways to use inquiry to connect kids to nature and engaging underserved audiences in environmental education. Outside of work, Alicia lives with her husband and two kids and breaks up the chaos with camping trips, hiking, reading and small chunks of quiet time.