Web-based Learning Community Faculty

Directors

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

Alicia Lamfers

... received her MAT from Miami University and her undergraduate degree in biology from Metropolitan State College 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 is currently the Youth and Teacher Programs Coordinator at the Denver Zoo. For the past five years she has created conservation education programming for day camps, field trips, teacher training, and throughout other youth programming. She is interested in developing more and better ways to use inquiry to connect kids to nature and engaging underserved audiences in environmental education.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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 an instructor!

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. 

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.

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!

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. Most recently she helped write the NC Zoo's Conservation and Research report. She has a BS in zoology from Michigan State University and recently completed her MA in zoology from Miami University's Global Field Program. Upon graduation she moved with her husband to Pittsburgh, PA where they are anticipating the arrival of their first child in March, getting to know the area, and pursuing new opportunities. Dana immensely enjoyed her time as a GFP student and is excited to be joining the Project Dragonfly team as an instructor. 

Debbie Clemens

... completed her undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and received her Masters 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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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 Meyer Barton

...obtained her B.A. from The Ohio State University in Communication and Business and her Master's in Zoology with the GFP from Miami University. She traveled with Earth Expeditions to Baja, Belize, and Hawai'i. She worked in Marketing at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium before transitioning to Animal Care and Conservation, where she advocated for the conservation of mountain gorillas and partnered with humanitarian programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She considers herself to be a lifelong learner and is currently considering new opportunities. 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 an Instructor with Project Dragonfly! She also enjoys spending time with her husband, learning about sustainable food, traveling, cooking, gardening, adventure sports, and being outdoors.

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, as well as runs programming in the children's exhibit, but is also involved in various other forms of educational programing. She spent four months during her undergraduate years living in Kenya the (best experience of her life) and since then has caught the travel bug, hoping to see the whole world in the years to come. She has a B.S. in Biology from Calvin College and completed her M.A. in Zoology with the GFP program at Miami University. She is honored to remain connected to the Project Dragonfly community and cherishes the adventures & experiences it brings.

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.

Jim Miller

...is in his 8th 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 while spending extra time exploring each of the countries before and after the classes. 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. In 2011, Jim was selected as 1 of only 12 teachers in the country to participate in PolarTREC; an educational research experience in which K-12 teachers participate in polar research, working closely with scientists as a pathway to improving science education. Through the PolarTREC program, Jim worked with a group of scientists from Cornell University for 2 months conducting research in Barrow, Alaska. Jim is ecstatic and honored to be an instructor in the Project Dragonfly community.

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 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!

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 Finnely

... got her MAZ 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.

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. 

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.

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 teaching middle school science in Chapel Hill, NC where she strives to instill an appreciation and love of nature in her students. 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 spends a lot of her free time volunteering with big cats at a local wildlife sanctuary. 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

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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 apart of this amazing program

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.” 

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!

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. 

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.

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 new 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 is the Program Coordinator at the Hawaii Conservation Alliance where she works as a part of 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 where she has been since the Fall of 2003. She currently resides with her husband and two cats in Honolulu where they are joyfully expecting their first child.

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.

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....

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.