Program Directors & Administrative Staff

Project Dragonfly Directors

Chris Myers

Chris Myers

Co-Founder and Director, Project Dragonfly/Earth Expeditions

Chris Myers received his Ph.D. in ecology from Vanderbilt University and is now a professor of Zoology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. His research areas include community-based conservation, participatory science, and national education reform. Chris is the founding Director of Project Dragonfly and served as Editor-in-Chief of Dragonfly magazine--the first national magazine to feature the investigations of children. Project Dragonfly has reached millions of children through award-winning print media, teacher programs, and the Emmy-Award winning national PBS children’s television series, DragonflyTV. He has written more than 60 professional articles and has directed projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization for Tropical Studies, and other agencies. Chris directs Earth Expeditions and the Global Field Program, served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, and taught environmental education at Yale University.

Lynne Born Myers

Lynne Born Myers

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Project Dragonfly

Lynne Myers received her B. Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University.  As a founder and co-Director of Project Dragonfly, she oversees national exhibits, participatory media, and learning programs. She served as the founding editor for Dragonfly magazine and now leads the development of national exhibits for Wild Research and Saving Species. These two NSF-funded projects are designed to engage millions of families at zoos, aquariums, and other public learning institutions throughout the U.S. Lynne also writes fiction and nonfiction books for children with her husband, Chris, including McCrephy's Field (Houghton Mifflin), Forest of the Clouded Leopard (Houghton Mifflin), and Galapagos: Islands of Change (Hyperion).  She has developed conservation partnerships in many countries for Earth Expeditions, and works on a variety of research and education projects addressing human relationships with nature.

Project Dragonfly Staff

Jamie Bercaw Anzano

Jamie Bercaw Anzano

Director of Communications and Research

Jamie Bercaw Anzano has a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in journalism, a master's in environmental science with concentrations in environmental education and public policy from Miami's Institute of Environmental Sciences, and post-master’s work in pursuit of a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Miami.  Through her role with Project Dragonfly at Miami University, she instructs international and web-based graduate courses and serves as a graduate advisor. When Dragonfly began more than 17 years ago, Jamie served as an editor for Dragonfly children's magazine. She has since worked on a number of Dragonfly initiatives to implement inquiry-driven reform in formal and informal learning environments. Prior to her work at Dragonfly, Jamie wrote hundreds of articles as a newspaper reporter and magazine writer.  Her interests lie within the intersection of theory and practice and in helping educators and other professionals explore ways to use inquiry to improve human and ecological communities. Jamie has explored many countries throughout the world, but she particularly enjoys rediscovering her backyard with her husband and two sons.

Kerry Boulton

Kerry Boulton

Curricular Support Assistant

Kerry Boulton has a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and an MAT in life science from Miami University's College of Education, Health, and Society. Kerry has worked as a community health educator for Case Western Reserve University in the Cleveland Public Schools and as a high school and middle school substitute teacher.  Kerry joined Project Dragonfly in 2014 as a Curricular Support Assistant, where her focus is on supporting Advanced Inquiry Program partners and faculty on the Dragonfly Collaborative Web Platform and assisting with the organization and development of instructional and promotional materials. When she is not working with her amazing Dragonfly family, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two boys and going on walks with her dog, Woody.

Abby Boyle

Abby Boyle

Student Assistant

Abby Boyle, a senior at Miami University studying zoology with a co-major in environmental science, serves as one of Project Dragonfly's Student Assistants. Outside of the Dragonfly office, she works as a research assistant in Dr. Michelle Boone’s lab where she assists graduate students with field data collection for projects examining the effects of exurban landscapes on frogs and frog movement patterns/habitat preferences.  Her passion for field work lead her to The School for Field Studies when selecting an undergraduate study abroad program, and her semester in Tanzania opened her eyes to the importance of community-based conservation, a field in which she hopes to continue working. Abby intends to continue her education and pursue a master’s degree in a ecology or conservation biology.  In her free time, Abby loves camping and hiking (especially in her home state of Washington!), cooking, goat husbandry, and improving her artistic skills with makeup.

Ramana Callan

Ramana Callan

Visiting Assistant Professor

Rama Callan is a reintroduction biologist and field ecologist who loves plants and animals and working in remote locations that most people never get to see.  Her research interests focus on plant-animal interactions, including study of top-down trophic cascades triggered by recovering wolf populations and the role of giant pandas as keystone herbivores.  She has spent the past three years working on the giant panda reintroduction program in Sichuan, China, where participating scientists use a novel approach to releasing captive-bred individuals into the wild that involves human assistance and requires that they build a relationship of trust with the juvenile pandas.

Mark Celsor

Mark Celsor

Software Developer

Mark Celsor is a 21 year, Internet marketing technology veteran with a unique mix of technical, creative, and business sensibilities, who has led technical projects for many Fortune 100 companies. In 2016, he stepped back from a role as the Director of Technology at a national interactive agency to focus on making the world a better place, coming to work with Project Dragonfly to help grow their online classes and other technical projects.

Meggan Davison

Meggan Davison

Senior Program Assistant

Meggan Davison has a bachelor's degree in Theater Production from Ball State University. After working in professional theater settings, she found her way back to Oxford where she became involved in mentoring local high school students and participating in the local community theater. Meggan joined Project Dragonfly in 2015 and is thrilled to be part of a community that works toward improving our communities and environment. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with her husband, daughter and snuggling with her new son. She and a friend are also season subscribers and have standing "mom dates" to see touring Broadway shows.

Katie Feilen

Katie Feilen

Visiting Assistant Professor

Katie Feilen is a primatologist and conservation biologist, who has chased 12 monkey species through the jungles on three continents.  As part of Disney’s Conservation Team, she coordinated conservation efforts of the golden lion tamarins in Brazil with Save the Golden Lion Tamarins, and she worked with Proyecto Tití to reverse the decline of cotton-top tamarins in Colombia.  Katie received a Master of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biological Anthropology at the University of California-Davis and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She uses behavior, ecology, and evolution to help understand how primates (monkeys, apes, and lemurs) adapt to changes in their environments and how we can use scientific understanding of species to assist in their conservation.  She has spent over five years living and working internationally, including teaching environmental education with Peace Corps Paraguay, studying white-faced capuchins in Costa Rica, teaching Peruvian college students tropical ecology and conservation in the Amazon, and studying seven primate species in the rainforest of Indonesian Borneo.  Her work has been shared at both international and national conferences and has been published in various scientific journals.  She has also been awarded a Fulbright and Boren Award for her international work.  She continues to engage in conservation efforts of golden lion tamarins and cotton-top tamarins in Brazil and Colombia to assist in reversing the decline of these charismatic monkey species.

Archer Hill

Archer Hill

Graduate Assistant

Archer Hill is a Bermudian student serving as one of Project Dragonfly’s Graduate Assistants while also studying toward a Master of Environmental Science degree at Miami University. He holds bachelor’s degree from Miami in International Studies and Geography, as well as a master’s degree in International Development Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to his current degree, Archer worked as a social-media journalist for The Economist in London.  He has a passion for travel and writing, and plays soccer in his free time.  He hasn’t yet seen the TV show "Archer," and has no plans to watch it in the future.

Shafkat Khan

Shafkat Khan

Visiting Assistant Professor

Shafkat Khan received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology in August 2016. Shafkat completed his B.A. in environmental studies at Goshen College in Indiana. Shafkat’s ecological interest lies at the intersection of anthropogenic factors and plant communities. For his dissertation, Shafkat examined whether tropical montane tree species are able to persist in conditions dissimilar to the species’ native range currently. This work addresses questions both theoretical and applied: what factors limit species distributions and how will climate change cause changes in species distributions in near future. Besides his focal research, Shafkat is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to examining conservation and sustainability, especially from anthropological and geographical perspectives. Shafkat is passionate about student mentoring and teaching, and he considers working with Project Dragonfly a privilege. A native of Bangladesh, Shafkat comes to work at Miami University, Ohio by way of de-glaciated northern Indiana, the Piedmont of Georgia, and the southern mountains of Costa Rica.

Jill Korach

Jill Korach

Assistant Director of Field Programs

Jill Korach earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis where she focused on tropical rainforest ecology, a master's from Miami University's Institute of Environmental Sciences concentrating in conservation biology, and she is currently working toward her Ph.D. in biology.  As a part of Miami’s Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology doctoral program, Jill is exploring the role important natural areas play in our lives and how ecological, cultural, and social values contribute to conservation. Through her role with Project Dragonfly at Miami University, she instructs international and web-based courses and serves as a master's advisor. Jill is president of the board of Imago, a Cincinnati-based grassroots environmental organization focused on connecting communities to nature and sustainable living (http://imagoearth.org).  She credits her love of the natural world to the outdoor adventures she takes with her family and getting a chance to climb trees as a child.

Mary Jo Lahrmann

Mary Jo Lahrmann

Senior Program Assistant

Mary Jo Lahrmann has a bachelor's degree from Xavier University and a master's in environmental science from Miami's Institute of Environmental Sciences. Through her role with Project Dragonfly, she provides overall administrative support and works to promote the great things Dragonfly partnerships are doing for conservation and inquiry action. Prior to her work at Dragonfly, Mary Jo worked as an environmental specialist for the Butler County Recycling and Solid Waste District, a waste planning and public relations specialist for the Fernald Environmental Remediation Project, and as a juvenile probation officer. Outside of work, she volunteers as a Cub Scout leader. Mary Jo is a music lover and enjoys spending time with her husband Steve and sons Jack and Henry.

Zac Lawson

Zac Lawson

Interactive Media Developer

Zac Lawson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in computer information systems from Lindsey Wilson College, where he was also selected as a two-time first team college football Academic All-American, first team All-American, and the Mid-South Conference Student Athlete of the Year.  Zac joined the Project Dragonfly staff in July, 2018, bringing with him a diverse set of skills developed from a wide array of experiences, which have included running a jerky business out of his college dorm room and developing a website for a local nonprofit organization.  As the Interactive Media Developer, Zac assists in enhancing Project Dragonfly’s online presence through his programming and design skills.  In his free time Zac enjoys lifting weights, being outdoors and playing video games with his friends.

Connie Malone

Connie Malone

Graduate Student Services Manager

Connie Malone loves her work with Project Dragonfly! After completing a B.S.Ed. in physical education from Miami University, a Master of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia, and working in a variety of positions at both UGA and Miami, Connie now serves as Project Dragonfly's Graduate Student Services Manager, where she delights in assisting Advanced Inquiry Program and Global Field Program students in their master's journey from application to graduation. An Oxford native with lingering roots in Georgia, Connie's free time finds her reading (books, real books!), walking her epic dog, Rou, binge-watching "The Walking Dead," or listening to opera. She's also passionate about service learning and community engagement, which she embraces annually through the organization of Oxford's Empty Bowls soup luncheon benefiting the local food pantry.

Kevin Matteson

Kevin Matteson

Associate Director, Master's Programs

Kevin Matteson serves as an instructor, administrator, and academic adviser for Project Dragonfly.  His research looks at the diversity of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators in community gardens and other green spaces in cities.  Kevin also has recently published on human-elephant conflicts in Thailand.  During his time with Dragonfly, Kevin has taught Earth Expeditions in  Baja, Belize, the Peruvian Amazon, and Galápagos, as well as AIP and online courses including Urban Ecology, Master's Capstone, and Internship.  Kevin currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his wife, two children, and Labrador retriever Walter.

Marcia Nantz

Marcia Nantz

Program Associate

Marcia Nantz's work with Project Dragonfly primarily relates to the accounting functions for the program. Marcia has 35 years of experience in bookkeeping/accounting, 24 of which were spent working for small or corporate businesses and 11 of which have been at Miami University; of these, 7 years have been spent working with Project Dragonfly. With no previous experience in education or conservation, she has found working with Project Dragonfly to be an amazing experience that has taken her out of her comfort zone through exposure to new ideas and a new way of thinking. One of her other jobs at Dragonfly has been to purchase flights for all the instructors of our Earth Expedition courses; before starting at Dragonfly she had never purchased an airline flight and now has hundreds of flight purchases under her belt! The mother of one, stepmother of three and grandmother of ten, she and her husband enjoy camping, taking rides in their vintage convertible, and spending time with their grandchildren.

 

Spencer Pate

Spencer Pate

Curricular Support Assistant

Spencer C. Pate earned his bachelor's degree in middle childhood education (with concentrations in math and science) from Miami University in 2011, and he received his master's degree in transformative education from Miami in 2015. After three years of serving as an elementary school and middle school substitute teacher, he began working at Project Dragonfly in 2014. As a curricular support assistant, Spencer focuses on recruitment and promotion as well as data analysis and evaluation. In his free time Spencer enjoys reading and taking his cat Squeaky for walks outside.

Karen Plucinski

Karen Plucinski

Assistant Director/Instructor, Advanced Inquiry Program

Karen Plucinski is the Assistant Director and Instructor of the Advanced Inquiry Program, Project Dragonfly. Prior to this, she was on the biology faculty at Missouri Southern State University and Defiance College for over 22 years, teaching general ecology, field zoology, mammalogy, and conservation biology.  Karen received a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Montana, and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire.  Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at an early age stimulated her biophilia. She also has experience in informal science teaching and facilitating citizen science as a Wildlife Biologist at Great Plains Wildlife Institute in Jackson, Wyoming.  Among some of her favorite courses to teach have been those that include field components such as Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Southwestern Desert Ecology, and one of the Belize courses for Earth Expeditions the last three summers.  She resides in Fairfield, Ohio, with her husband Mark and enjoys running, cycling, hiking, and wildlife watching in her free time.

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan

Visiting Assistant Professor

Amy Sullivan earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois Chicago where her dissertation work focused on vole foraging and how it affects tallgrass prairie remnants and restorations.  She earned a master’s degree in wildlife and range resources from BYU, where she studied the effects of wildfire on small mammal communities and invasive plants in sagebrush grass steppe communities.  She holds a bachelor’s in conservation biology from the same institution.  As an undergraduate she got out into the field as much as possible, joining as many research teams doing fieldwork as she could.  This fieldwork gave her experience working with a wide variety of organisms ranging from mountain plovers to black bears and in ecosystems ranging from mountain forests to shrublands and grasslands.  Amy’s interest in engaging communities in conservation began when she moved to Chicago and recognized the need for the community to be connected with the natural areas near them.  She served as the head of her town’s conservation commission and organized outreach events and programs as well as work days to engage the community in conservation and restoration activities in their home town.  Now living in Oxford, Ohio, she continues to be involved in conservation and helping people connect with nature through volunteer activities with Three Valley Trust.  Amy loves spending time with her family, making music (fiddle, piano, and accordion), baking, and getting out into the great outdoors.

Shachi Vaish

Shachi Vaish

Graduate Assistant

Shachi Vaish is a computers enthusiast serving as one of Project Dragonfly's Graduate Student Assistants. She has a bachelor’s degree in technology majoring in Computer Science Engineering from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam University in India. Prior to joining Miami's Institute for the Environment and Sustainability as a master’s student, she worked with KPMG as an analyst for 18 months and was responsible for statistical analysis of large-scale data, data management, and Sharepoint development. She was also a student project lead where she was responsible for the detection of the effects of agricultural and industrial waste dumping in the river Yamuna and segmentation of images based on color. Shachi intends to do her Ph.D. in Environmental Science.  She has a passion for aeromodelling, and in her free time, she likes to sleep and eat.

Rachel Yoho

Rachel Yoho

Visiting Assistant Professor

Rachel Yoho earned a Ph.D. in Biological Design from Arizona State University, where she studied microbial electrochemical systems. Also from Arizona State University, Rachel completed a Certificate in Scientific Teaching in Higher Education. She investigated climate change and energy technologies in undergraduate educational materials. Her background is in biology. Currently, Rachel's research interests lie at the intersections of disciplines and she is studying cross-cutting concepts and topics in environmental education. Outside of teaching and research, Rachel enjoys spending time with family, reading, and DIY projects.