Terranaut Club is made up of a group of passionate and dedicated women in science. Each of us has taken a different path to the careers that we now hold, and each of us recognized our passion for science and the environment at different points in our lives. While our histories may differ, we are unified by the mission to create and provide opportunities for girls to recognize their own interests and seek their own futures in STEM fields and environmental advocacy.
Founder, Executive Director & Instructor
While I grew up interested in animals in Niagara Falls, Canada, I didn’t discover my passion for science until my grade 11 Biology class. This led me to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and then my Masters degree in Biology. For my Masters in Biology, my research project was focused on marine conservation, specifically the conservation of two species of fish in the Bay of Fundy known as “skates”. Skates are a group of fish that are closely related to rays and sharks, and they’re present in all oceans worldwide! For my project, I studied the species identification (how to tell them apart) and population demographics (male vs. female, juvenile vs. adult, length and weight, etc) of two species of at-risk skates: the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) and winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata) in the Bay of Fundy.
Following my Masters, I was awarded a Fulbright Canada scholarship to study in the US for a year as a Visiting Researcher. I moved to Miami, Florida for 1 year and joined the University of Miami’s Shark Research & Conservation Program (SRC), where I got to do research and field work tagging sharks and learning about science-based community outreach. I got to be a part of media productions for Discovery Canada and National Geographic, and co-founded F.I.N.S. (Females in the Natural Sciences) with SRC, a program that teaches girls about shark conservation by volunteering with an all-female crew on shark research expeditions. After moving back to Canada, I decided to expand and diversify the work I’d started with F.I.N.S. and created Terranaut Club in 2018! My goal was to create hands-on programs for girls that would get them excited about science and nature, and expose them to inspiring women in the fields of STEM and environmental advocacy. Three years in, I’m so proud of the impact that our team of incredible women have made in communities across Nova Scotia, Canada, and south Florida, USA.
Board of Directors President & Instructor
I was born and raised in Michigan, and like many Michiganders, I grew up with a love for water. Throughout my childhood, I spent every summer in northern Michigan where I swam, fished, and kayaked on the Great Lakes. My childhood curiosity quickly grew into a passion for marine science. This led me to attend the University of Miami, where I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and Biology. Throughout my undergrad, I was a Research Intern for the Shark Research and Conservation Program (SRC), where I worked on projects relating to shark morphology (how they look), physiology (how their body works), ecology (how they interact with their environment), and migration (where they move). Through educating many citizen scientists and high school students on these shark tagging expeditions, I learned a lot about effective teaching and science communications.
Since then, my passion for education and public outreach has led me to several careers in marine and environmental education. I was the Education Coordinator for Reef Relief, a non-profit in Key West, Florida that works to conserve and teach about corals, where I was responsible for running the Coral Reef Youth Education Program. Today, I work as the Environmental Educator and Science Communicator at the Columbia University-Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. I work on education initiatives that communicate science research to the general public, K-12 and undergraduate school groups, and New York and New Jersey teachers. My primary educational focus is on connecting the public to the Hudson River and their local waterways by using a place-based instructional approach with an emphasis on field studies. I also work very closely with polar scientists to help to make their research accessible to the public! Therefore, I teach climate change and sea level rise with a strong emphasis on the changes occurring in the polar regions. While I’m an environmental and marine educator, I consider myself a lifelong learner as well! I’m currently completing my Master of Science in Sustainability Science at Columbia University, expected to graduate in 2022.
I’m overjoyed to be involved with the Terranaut Club! I look forward to sparking an interest through memorable hands-on educational experiences and encouraging girls to follow their passions and pursue STEM careers.
Board of Directors Secretary & Instructor
Growing up on Long Island (NY), I was constantly surrounded by the water and marine life. I was in awe of the natural world from a young age and determined to be a marine biologist by the time I hit double digits. Through a continued dedication to the environment and conservation, I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from Stony Brook University. Throughout my time there, I fully immersed myself in the degree by volunteering in different research labs, studying abroad in Jamaica and taking classes at the marine research center in Southampton, NY. After graduation, I spent the next year working as an outdoor education instructor, which allowed me to travel around Long Island and teach kids about the environment in many different settings. Finding a passion for teaching allowed me to discover how broad and diverse the marine science field really is.
This drove me to Miami to complete my Master’s degree at University of Miami in Marine Conservation. I received an internship with Field School, a research, education, and exploration-based organization that specializes in shark research and field education. I had the opportunity to combine my passion of teaching with my love of sharks and field research. While working with Field School, I completed a research project which used an underwater video- based outreach tool to assess the public’s perceptions of mangrove and seagrass habitats. It was fascinating, and challenging, to look at some of my favorite marine ecosystems from a social science perspective as opposed to my typical natural science perspective.
Since receiving my Master’s degree, I have been working as an Education Program Coordinator for the Florida National Parks Association. As a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, I design and implement education programs for visitors of Everglades National Park. I am thrilled to be a part of the Terranaut Club and cannot wait to continue to educate, motivate, and encourage girls in science.
Board of Directors Vice President & Instructor
I’ve always had a love affair with food and nature. I grew up in South Florida with a large Caribbean family, so my childhood included a lot of time soaking up the sun and gatherings with good food. When I got to High School, I thrived in Home Economics and was awarded a scholarship to the Culinary Arts program at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami.
Through my journey into motherhood, I became more conscious of clean eating and for responsibly sourcing my family’s food consumption. This naturally became a focus in my catering career and the school lunch programs I managed. My company was one of the 1st to bring farm-to-table lunch offerings into private schools in Metro Atlanta.
In 2016 I had the pleasure of moving my family to an organic farm for the summer, while managing a farmer’s market for a non-profit affiliated with The University of Georgia’s agriculture department. We harvested from the land, learned about bee-keeping, built relationships with local farmers, and barely visited a grocery store. This experience was so moving, inspiring me to get certified for Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University’s eCornell and shaping much of the work I do today.
I am a Home Economics teacher for a small private school, where I also manage the school garden, providing much of what we use for our cooking labs. Through my company Project Flourish, I develop nutrition and wellness curriculum for homeschool cooperatives, offer cooking classes, and host a family friendly plant-based home economics series at a local children’s garden. I’m so thrilled to be involved with Terranaut Club. As an educator and mother of an alumni, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that these experiences provide and welcome the opportunity to encourage more girls to explore STEM!
Board of Directors Treasurer & Instructor
I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY and while all my elementary school projects were on marine life, it wasn’t until college that I rediscovered my true passion for science and marine conservation. I went to SUNY University At Buffalo (UB) where I received my Bachelors degree in Communication and Management. My sophomore year at UB, I took the opportunity to go on an environmental conservation trip to Australia where I volunteered at a sustainable community. It was that trip, as well as an internship at the Aquarium of Niagara, that reignited my desire to pursue a career in science and marine conservation.
These experiences led me to the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science where I received my Master’s degree in Marine Conservation. I did my Masters internship with Field School where I researched yellow stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis), feeding ecology and habitat utilization as well as assisted in collecting scientific data from a variety of shark species for other ongoing research. Following graduation, I continue to work with Field School and also have a job at the Florida National Parks Association (FNPA). At FNPA, I have many hats, including, marketing, development, and educational programming development for Dry Tortugas National Park.
I am so excited to be a part of Terranaut Club and can’t wait to use my education and experiences to encourage girls to find their own niche in the world of science!