Who We Are


Terranaut Club is made up of a group of passionate and dedicated women in science unified by the mission to create and provide opportunities for girls+ to gain interest in STEM careers and become environmental leaders in their own communities

Do you share these passions?
Consider volunteering with us!


JULIA WHIDDEN (she/her/hers)

Founder, Executive Director & Instructor

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Name: Julia Whidden
From: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Occupation: Executive Director of Terranaut Club and Citizen Science Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum
Past Work Experience:  Fulbright Canada Visiting Researcher at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Atmospheric Science in the Shark Research & Conservation Program, Field School Intern, Instructor at Action Potential Lab, Masters student and Research Assistant in Dr. Trevor Avery’s lab at Acadia University
Hobbies: Reading, gardening, kayaking, amateur instrument playing, printmaking and general craftiness!
Pets: Gandhi, a 16 pound grey Tabby cat (Mayor of the world) and Lemon, a wee ginger Tabby cat with white paws (Assistant to the Mayor of the world).
Why you Volunteer with TC: While in the Shark Research and Conservation Program at the University of Miami, I founded F.I.N.S. (Females in the Natural Sciences), an outreach program that teaches local girls about shark conservation and marine science by volunteering with an all-female crew on shark research expeditions. I fell in love with STEM outreach and environmental education, and realized that this is what I wanted to pursue! After a few years of dreaming, planning, and shaping, I reached out to Danielle, Emma, and Christine, and Terranaut Club was born. Our 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 these fields, and we’re grateful to all those who have helped us achieve this mission. Terranaut Club is a part of me!

DANIELLE QUINN (she/her/hers)

President, Board of Directors & Instructor


I’m from a small town in New Brunswick, where I spent my childhood exploring the always-changing marshes and woods behind my house, and summers fishing and swimming in the St. John River. It wasn’t until much later – roughly my second year of university – that I realized my life-long love of nature could become a career! I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Acadia University in 2010 and remained there to do a Masters in Biology studying how fish communities have changed over time across Nova Scotia. Following graduation I worked in a research lab with a focus on marine conservation, and in 2016 began a PhD in Biology at the Ocean Science Centre at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

On top of my love of nature, a common thread throughout my education and current work is statistics and coding. I have over 10 years of experience coding for projects involving fish, mammals, marine invertebrates, insects, and plants. I love to code, and I love to teach coding! I’ve developed and taught statistical analyses courses across North America and as far away as South Africa, and I love to incorporate this into Terranaut Club programs. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the Terranaut Club Team and to have the opportunity to encourage girls+ to discover their love of science and nature!

ERICA PORTER (she/her/hers)

Board of Directors

Growing up, I wondered what career path would be interesting and rewarding for me. Becoming a Fisher and Ocean Techinician never crossed my mind. I always enjoyed cosmetics and doing my hair but was equally as keen getting muddy and doing outside chores. I grew up in a small Nova Scotian community with a nearby wharf, which allowed access to the beautiful Avon River. My dad has been a Fisher for as long as I can remember and has a strong connection with the river. On the Avon, we would fish from his boat, beach comb on the banks, or simply relax and enjoy the cool breeze on a hot day. He would also take me to the woods, always pointing out animal tracks and observing trees (I wish I could remember all the names!).

When I was 12, I got my first summer job at a local farm but retained small jobs (normally involving fishing with dad) during the school year. At 16, I started part-time commercial fishing. After graduating high school, I was given the opportunity to fish full-time and took it. Now, ten years later, I love my field of work and wouldn’t change it for the world. Through the years of welcoming diverse groups of people to our fishing operations, we slowly transitioned from commercial fishing to fishing to collect ecological data for science. I am proud and privileged to share my knowledge and experience to the STEM world all while being outside in nature almost every day.

Outside of work I can be found searching for waterfalls, knitting, and spending time with my dog Kiefer! I am delighted to be a part of Terranaut Club and to inspire girls+ to find and pursue their passion! There is no limit to what you can do if you set your mind to it.

KERI STALKER (she/her/hers)

Board of Directors Treasurer

Name: Keri Stalker
From: Coldbrook, Nova Scotia
Occupation: Homesteader, currently
Past Work Experience:  Global Head of Operations, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA, USA (2014-2021); Assistant Director, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, MA, USA (2003-2014).
Hobbies: Growing vegetables, raising chickens, snuggling children.
Pets: 1 mud-loving horse, 7 wandering chickens, 2 enormous cats, 1 floofy hamster.
Why you Volunteer with TC: I can’t imagine a better use of my time than helping TC help girls+ to engage with STEM and to develop the skills and confidence to lead. It’s an outstanding organization whose mission is aligned with my personal interests and whose leadership team is truly amazing. What’s not to love!


Secretary, Board of Directors


Name: Christine McLauchlan
From: Riverview, NB
Occupation: Court Reporter
Past Work Experience: Wetland researcher, executive director of watershed group, species-at-risk field technician, river restoration coordinator.
Hobbies: Animal husbandry, hiking, camping.
Pets: Alma (staffordshire terrier x beagle mix), River (samoyed), Fir (orange tabby), Fife (black kitty), and 8 chickens (Repecka, Crusher, Snow White, Gabby, AJ, Butterbutt, Cola, and one whose name I always forget).
Why you Volunteer with TC: Because I want to help make an easier path to the sciences for girls than I had.

KATIE SCOTT (she/her/hers)

Board of Directors

Name: Katie Scott
From: Cape Sable Island, NS (now East Hants)
Occupation: Environmental Education Specialist
Past Work Experience: Elementary School Teacher, Educator at the Museum of Natural History, Department of Natural Resources, Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, Whale Watching and Fishing Tour Guide, and Museum Curator!
Hobbies: Birding, camping, canoeing and reading.
Pets: Lyla, 7-year-old black lab and beagle mix!
Why You Volunteer with TC: I believe outside is the best classroom and Iโ€™m honoured to have joined Terranaut Club to help support and create opportunities, while breaking barriers for girls+ to not only participate in STEM but lead it!


Board of Directors

Name: Julie Tompa Wolthausen
From: Halifax, NS (originally from Streetsville, ON)
Occupation: Executive Director, National Operations & Programs, Parks Canada
Past Work Experience: 20+ years of management experience with Parks Canada at the local, regional, and national levels in areas ranging from conservation, planning, external relations and operational protected areas management.
Hobbies: Adventures and travel with my family, camping, hiking, cycling, snowboarding and soaking up nature at our little cottage in Lunenburg county.
Pets: Only two teenaged kids ๐Ÿ™‚
Why You Volunteer with TC: Having the opportunity to experience nature as a child led to my career in conservation and a passion for the outdoors and adventure. I am motivated by Terranaut’s mission to facilitate opportunities for girls+ to experience nature in a fun and engaging way, particularly those who have experienced barriers or who haven’t had the opportunity.

EMMA CARMICHAEL (she/her/hers)

Founding Board Member, Volunteer Instructor

Ever since my early days of searching for frogs along the shores of Kejimkujik, I have always felt a strong connection to the environment. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I pursued my love of nature and completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. At Acadia, I discovered my passion for marine conservation, and this passion led me to enroll in Dalhousie University’s Masters of Marine Management program, where I learned all about how to manage our oceans and the creatures within them in a sustainable way. Following my Masters, I worked with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I had the amazing opportunity to work alongside their Marine Team, conducting citizen science in my community and connecting with conservation groups from around the world! In between all of that, I’ve also had the utmost privilege of watching Terranaut Club grow as an organization, serving as Secretary of the Board of Directors from 2018 – 2021.

I believe that giving others the opportunity to experience science and nature through hands-on experiences is crucial in helping people find their passion. That’s why I love our Terranaut Club work so much, because we provide the opportunities for girls to become inspired. And in turn, the work I have been able to do with Terranaut Club inspired me to pursue even MORE education myself, recently completing a Bachelor’s of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University.

GILLIAN FOWNES (she/her/hers)

Summer Program Volunteer

Name: Gillian Fownes
From: Kitchener, Ontario
Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Guelph
Past Work Experience: Hospitality, Covid Vaccine Clinic Assistant at the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, Administrative Assistant
Hobbies: Music / playing guitar, reading, cooking, snowboarding, hiking, camping.
Pets: A boxer-bulldog named Hazel! Sheโ€™s a big friendly dog who still acts like a puppy.
Why You Volunteer with TC: I have been passionate about all thingโ€™s science and outdoors from a very young age; however, growing up in Ontario, there were very few STEM related programs available, and absolutely none that were affordable or exclusively for girls+. I am so thrilled to be able to support the mission of Terranaut Club, and to encourage the next generation of scientists to feel empowered, capable, and excited about learning about all things science! I want all participants to feel that they belong, because “Science is for everyone!”


SARAH BROWN (she/her/hers)

Program Coordinator

Name: Sarah Brown
From: Burlington, ON, now residing in Wolfville, NS
Education: BSc with Honours in Marine and Freshwater Biology @ University of Guelph; MSc in Biology @ Acadia University 
Research Experience: My MSc research project focused on the thermal physiology of an amphibious, self-fertilizing tropical fish species, called Mangrove Rivulus. The goal of my thesis was to determine how these fish respond to different thermal regimes with different thermal variance. I have also been a research assistant to an MSc student studying the cognitive development of brook charr. Additionally, I have conducted two independent research projects looking at green crab physiology; one investigated respiration in varying temperatures/salinities, and one looked at the impact of air exposure on muscle performance.
Hobbies: Hiking, camping, skiing, biking, swimming/snorkelling, ringette, volleyball 
Pets: Peter Parker, the cutest kitty in the whole world!
Why I love Terranaut Club: I feel so lucky to have been introduced to Terranaut Club. I love their mission and their values and I had the most fun volunteering at their summer programs in 2021 โ€“ it was the summer camp I always wanted as a kid and I knew I wanted to come back full time! It feels amazing to be able to share my passion for the outdoors with young people just learning everything for the first time; the amazement in their eyes when they hold their first fish, or complete their first dissection, or see a butterfly up close for the first time (!!) is priceless. I hope to be able to continue to share my love for science by pursuing a career in education in STEM. 

LAUREN LEEFE (she/her/hers)

Program Lead

Name: Lauren Leefe
From: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Education: BSc in Biology (Co-op Option)
Research Experience: The majority of my research experience stems from working for
Acadia University in a marine biology lab! The lab I worked at specialized in fish, while also working closely with lobster and other invertebrates. I have had the opportunity to work on various research projects: studying fish populations affected by barriers in their river systems, assessing coastal contaminants in various fish species, collecting
demographics/morphology of lobster off the coast of NS and aging fish using their unique otoliths.
Hobbies: Hiking, trips to the beach, playing guitar
Pets: Willie! (Cocker spaniel poodle mix)
Why I love Terranaut Club: I love science and everything nature related, and by joining
Terranaut Club I have hoped to inspire young girls+ to pursue their dreams and also find what they are truly passionate about!

KATIE GODDARD (she/her/hers)

Program Assistant

Name: Katie Goddard
From: Grand Prรฉ, NS
Education: I am a full-time student at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. This will be my 4th and final year, completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) degree
Past Work Experience: Currently, I am a research assistant at the Ghasemlou Lab for Pain Chronobiology and Neuroimmunology. Last summer, I spent my time working for Brinkman Reforestation, planting trees in Northern Ontario!
Hobbies: I started kite surfing this summer, and it rocks!! Additionally, I love to ski, run/hike, play guitar, and hang out with my horses. Any day I get to spend outside is a great day for me! I also absolutely love the arts – I spend most of my time at Queen’s working with the Vogue Charity Fashion Show. We support Kingston-based charities through dance, music, and fashion!
Pets: 2 cats, Minnie and Pepper. 3 horses, Quinn, Spur, and Harley! Harley is turning 28 on June 9th, he has been a part of our family since he was 4:)
Why I love Terranaut Club: Both gender equity and environmental activism have had massive impacts on my life. My interest in these movements started in early high school, and they have influenced me in countless ways. Finding this passion helped guide me toward opportunities and important components of my future. Terranaut club is amazing because it is founded on the intersection of these concepts: Gender equity, Environmental Leadership, and STEM. I believe that celebrating and promoting a future in STEM among young people, specifically those who belong to an underrepresented gender, is crucial, and I want nothing more than to be a part of that and help make it happen!


Members: Ella AK, Ella M, Madelyn B, Kailey B – Supervisors: Julia Whidden

Our founding Terranaut Club leadership team in July of 2019, plus baby Mira.

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