Web-based Learning Community Faculty


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

... is a founder and co-Director of Project Dragonfly, where 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). Lynne received her B. Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. 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.

Jamie Bercaw Anzano

... is Director of Communications and Research at Project Dragonfly at Miami University, where she instructs international and web-based graduate courses and serves as a graduate advisor. When Dragonfly began more than 15 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. She has a bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in journalism and a master's in environmental science with concentration in environmental education from Miami University's Institute of Environmental Sciences. 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 two young sons.

Jill Korach

... has worked in Project Dragonfly since 2004. She serves as the Assistant Director of Earth Expeditions' Field Program instructing several of our international courses. She is also the Program Manager for the Wild Research Program. Jill earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis where she focused on tropical rainforest ecology. She earned her Master's from Miami University's Institute of Environmental Sciences concentrating in conservation biology. Her interests lie in ethnobotany and she strives to bring focus to the dependence and interconnectedness of people and plants as a way to re-connect us to our environment. Jill accredits her love of the natural world and global perspective to her extensive local and international experiences – and to getting a chance to climb trees as a child.

Kevin Matteson

... is the Assistant Director of Masters Programs for Project Dragonfly at Miami University. Since 2002, Kevin has researched ecology, pollinator conservation, and entomology in heavily developed urban landscapes in both Chicago and New York City. For his doctoral research, conducted at Fordham University, Kevin utilized high-resolution GIS datasets to evaluate landscape factors influencing the diversity of bees and butterflies in community gardens of East Harlem and the Bronx. In addition to teaching at the undergraduate- and graduate-level, Kevin has served as an educator in a variety non-traditional settings including bilingual art-based science education in the Bronx and student-led programming while at the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society. Kevin has also engaged in scientific outreach through work as a scientific consultant and blogger for an urban citizen science program (www.greatpollinatorproject.org) and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Urban Ecosystems Ecology section (www.esa.org/urbanecosystem/) of the Ecological Society of America. He currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio with his wife and two young children.

Faculty Team

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.

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. 

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.

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. 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. Being a recent graduate of the Project Dragonfly program, Amy is excited to begin this new chapter as an instructor and have the opportunity to share what she has learned with other Advanced Inquiry Program and Global Field Program students. 

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-instructor. 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. 

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 an instructor this fall, and excited to connect with others that are also passionate about conservation and our planet. 

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.

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.

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. Recently becoming a first-time mom, Chrissy has decided to take time away from her full-time career to stay home with her new son. She is excited to be part of Project Dragonfly, looking at it as away to stay connected with her passion for conservation science and education.

Claire Lannoye

... 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. 

Dana Kennedy

... spent the last seven years as a zookeeper at the North Carolina Zoo. She worked across multiple sections of the Zoo, with species ranging from bears and bison to gorillas and rhinos. She also served on the Zoo's environmental management team, helping establish and achieve conservation initiatives taking place on Zoo grounds, eventually being dubbed the "Green Queen" by her supervisor. She also helped write the NC Zoo's Conservation and Research report. She has a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University and completed her MA in Zoology from Miami University's Global Field Program. She and her husband have recently relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and welcomed a little baby girl into their family. Dana immensely enjoyed her time as a GFP student and is excited to be joining the Project Dragonfly team as an instructor.

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 an instructor. 

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. 

Jenny Hinz

... graduated in 2012 with an MAT in the Biological Sciences 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 Graphic's Geo Educators in Chicago. Her days are spent teaching computer science in Chicago at Lane Tech High School and as a University of Illinois at Chicago Visiting Lecturer. Her unique background in computer science and biology has let her integrate conservation into everyday hands on technology platforms to engage and enrich student's engagement. Beyond her love for spreading conservation, she also enjoys traveling, volunteer, learning and spending time with her husband and Siberian Husky.  

Jerran Orwig

... is currently the Public Programs Coordinator in the Education Department at the Toledo Zoo in Toledo, Ohio. She oversees interpretive programs at the Zoo and runs/teaches programming in the children's exhibit, on-grounds programs, professional development workshops, and more. She also is currently a facilitator for the National Network of Ocean & Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) workshop series, working with climate science communicators across the country to get the word out to the general public about climate change impacts. She has a B.S. in Biology from Calvin College and completed her M.A. in Zoology with the GFP program at Miami University in 2011. Since graduation, she's remained in the Dragonfly family by being an instructor for both web-based and Earth Expedition courses and cherishes the adventures and experiential learning they bring. Jerran loves photography, the outdoors, reading good books, delving into a bowl of ice cream, and is a passionate Michigan Wolverine fan.

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.

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 an instructor.

Jocelyn Ellis Abood

... is a content strategy manager at The Nature Conservancy, a global nonprofit conservation organization. She works for the Washington program's marketing department in Seattle with a focus on content development and promotion. She's been with The Nature Conservancy since 2005 both in Illinois and Washington. Jocelyn received her BA in environmental studies from Miami University and an MA in Zoology from the Global Field Program with field experiences in Belize, Baja and Namibia. She is a storytelling expert, skilled in digital marketing, social media, content development and promotion and philanthropy communications. She likes to translate science into stories for a variety of audiences, and is thrilled to join Project Dragonfly as an instructor.

Jose Tori

...is currently a retired physician interested in the integration and intersection between medicine, social justice, conservation science, education and technology. He has a particular interest in collaborative learning environments as they relate to psychology and neuroscience. He is currently working on a science fiction novel. He completed his Molecular Biology and Biochemistry degree at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Minnesota.

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.

Kathayoon Khalil

Kathayoon Khalil

... is a fourth year doctoral candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Kathayoon received her master's in environmental science from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and her bachelor's from Claremont McKenna College in Biology and Literature. Kathayoon has spent 13 summers at the Oregon Zoo working in education and volunteer resources. In her "spare" time, Kathayoon provides consultation and trainings to zoos and aquariums on program evaluation. She also enjoys traveling, teaching and playing music, yoga, crafting, and being outdoors.

Katie Krafte

... is thrilled to continue to explore her passion for education and conservation as a Dragonfly instructor. 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.

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. 

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.

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 an instructor!

Malia Nicolas

Mary Kathleen "Malia" Nicolas

... is a learner, an educator and an adventurer. She earned her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon, during which time she also studied in Australia at the Australian National University in Canberra.  Malia's first teaching experiences were in Kyoto, Japan, where she worked as a conversational English facilitator and language teacher. Malia received her Master of Arts in Zoology from Miami University's Global Field Program. She is now the Assistant Director of Powell KinderCare in Portland and serves as one of the teen leaders in her church.

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.

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!

Patty McGinnis

... is an instructor for gifted students and a science specialist at a middle school in Eagleville, PA. She thoroughly enjoys the weird and wacky world of middle school, is passionate about getting kids turned onto science, and enjoys learning and traveling. Patty earned a B.S. in Biology from Washington State University, a M.S. in Biology from George Mason University, a M. Ed in Educational Technology from Boise State University, and a M.A.T. in Biological Sciences from Miami University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Science Teachers Association and is President of the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association. 

Perky Smith-Hagadone

... is currently wearing multiple hats as a principal of an elementary school and as an upper quartile math and science teacher. She is passionate about conservation and strives to incorporate environmental education into all aspects of her life. While enrolled as a graduate student, she was published in the NSTA publication: Science and Children outlining the conservation work being accomplished at her school. During her summer “breaks”, she has facilitated environmental expeditions with groups of middle school students to Costa Rica for approximately seven years through a company called EcoTeach. In addition to the Masters she earned in Educational Administration, she is proud to say she is a recent graduate of Miami University GFP Program with a M.A.T in Teaching: Zoology. She is looking forward to “paying it forward.” 

Robyn Johnson

… received her B.S. in Agroecology & Animal Science from the University of British Columbia before beginning a career as a zoological professional. She is currently a Zoological Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, working behind the scenes to manage staff and programs involved with the African savanna exhibits. Prior to this, Robyn worked at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore for over 8 years in the management of both African and Arctic species. In 2013, she earned her M.A. in Zoology through Miami University’s Global Field Program, highlighted by her participation in the Baja, Mongolia, and Kenya field projects. Robyn’ s Master’s research focused on visitor engagement in zoo conservation and scientific educational programs. 

Sarena Randall Gill

Sarena Randall Gill

... lives in Phoenix, Arizona and works at the Phoenix Zoo as the Outreach Supervisor. This role enables her to express her passion for nonformal environmental education through engaging and interactive interpretation. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University, her M.A. in Zoology through the Project Dragonfly 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. Her childhood incorporated discovery and experiential learning, modeled mainly by her mom, including questioning and logical reasoning using new and prior knowledge. This sparked the desire to groom the connection to and fascination for the natural world and learning in others. Sarena is extremely excited to join the facilitator team to help guide others on their educational paths.

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.  Her professional and educational background is in informal marine science and environmental education. She has worked with many very good people, dolphins, and children of all ages. 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. Personally, she loves music, art, and literature as they inspire her appreciation of all that is beautiful in the world. 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.