Project Dragonfly Directors

Chris Myers

Chris Myers

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

Lynne Born Myers

Lynne Born Myers

... 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.

Program Faculty (faculty are full-time at Miami with graduate standing and serve as instructors of record)

Chris Myers

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.

Jamie Bercaw Anzano

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

Hays Cummins

Hays Cummins

... is a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. Hays is a founding Co-Director of Project Dragonfly and served as the science editor for Dragonfly magazine. Hays received his Ph.D. in oceanography from Texas A&M University and has led international courses for years to the Bahamas and the Florida Keys, Curacao Island, and Costa Rica. His research focuses on the reconstruction of past ecological communities in marine systems and understanding ecological change. He also has a passion for weather and astronomy. Hays has authored many research papers and popular articles focusing on science and science education.

Jill Korach

Jill Korach

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

Kevin Matteson

Kevin Matteson

... is the Assistant Director of Master's 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 (http://greatpollinatorproject.org/) and currently serves as Chair of the Urban Ecosystems Ecology section (http://www.esa.org/urbanecology/) of the Ecological Society of America. He currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio with his wife and two young children.

Philip Lavretsky

Philip Lavretsky

... is a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Dragonfly program. He got his Ph.D. from Wright State University in 2014 with his dissertation work focusing on the evolution and population genetics of a recently radiated mallard clade. Although much of his work focuses on his true passion, waterfowl, he has lead and/or collaborated on the genetics and conservation of various taxa, including sea turtle leeches, endangered plants, different fish, and many other birds. In general, his research interests are interdisciplinary and transcending landscape, evolutionary, and conservation genomics to study speciation, evolution, adaptation, and the role of gene flow. In addition, he has and continues to lead scientific collection trips around the world with vouchered specimens now housed in several national museums and Universities. He currently resides in Beavercreek, Ohio with his wife and young child.

Javier Miguelena

Javier Miquelena

... is a Visiting Assistant Professor with Project Dragonfly. He has a B.S. in biology from the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He also holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Arizona. Javier’s research has looked at the effects of human-induced habitat change on ant communities. For his Ph.D. dissertation, he considered the impact of urbanization on ant diversity in the arid urban environment of Tucson, Arizona. In particular, he looked at irrigated parks which are a new and extraneous habitat in that environment. He has also done research on the behavior of the exotic dark rover ant and the pest management of termites. While in Arizona, Javier was part of science outreach efforts with the Urban Entomology Laboratory, the Arizona Insect Festival, and the Insect Discovery Program. As a result, he has spoken about insects and science to audiences of all ages, frequently while holding a live insect specimen.

Program Facilitators & Partners

Allison Beard

...is an outdoor instructor and field biologist. She alternates between a cozy home in Eugene, Oregon and camping in the field, wherever that may be. When in Eugene she specializes in recreation and outdoor education, leading forest ecology classes, rafting expeditions, mountain biking courses, and more. With a particular interest in raptor biology, Allison has pursued field work with the Peregrine Fund, Arizona's Game & Fish Department, and HawkWatch International. She believes that life should be an adventure, embrace it!

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 with her Master Institution being at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. 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.

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-facilitator. 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. 

Anna Busse

...currently manages the tropical and indoor plant inventory at Molbak’s nursery in Woodinville, Washington, where she also leads seminars on plants. She lived abroad in India and Jordan during her undergraduate studies and returned to Washington with a B.A. in International Studies from The Evergreen State College. In 2011 she enrolled in Miami University’s AIP program at Woodland Park Zoo, where she earned her M.A. in Zoology. Anna has pursued numerous avenues for engaging her community with the natural world and hopes to be involved in sustainable development locally in the future. While abroad, she discovered the value of simplistic, sustainable living and connection to the land, and it is her dream to design and build a permaculture farm and educational institute that offers free educational resources which make simplicity, sustainability, and connection to the land more accessible to her community. Anna loves exploring the forests of the Pacific Northwest, learning about native plants and their medicinal uses, gardening indoors and out, and helping others to make meaningful connections between themselves and the natural world.

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. Becoming a mom in April 2014, Chrissy has decided to take time away from her full-time career for a few years to be a stay-at-home mom. She is excited to be part of Project Dragonfly again this semester, looking at it as away to stay connected with her passion for conservation science and education.

Claire Lannoye-Hall

... 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 seven years working at the North Carolina Zoo as a zookeeper before she and her family moved to Pittsburgh, PA. During her time as a keeper she was fortunate enough to work in various sections in the park and got to experience everything from rhinos to baboons and gorillas to bears (her personal favorite). She also worked closely with the conservation department, helping to write the latest edition of the Zoo's conservation / research report, and she was an active member of the Zoo's environmental management team and AAZK chapter. Since moving to Pittsburgh she has become a stay-at-home mom to her own little human ape, while also working part time as a freelance writer where she tries to incorporate conservation-minded content into as many articles as she can. She and her husband love to hike and camp and are now enjoying sharing their passions for nature with their daughter. Dana received her B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University and her M.A. in zoology through Miami University's Global Field Program. She is thrilled to be continuing her journey with Project Dragonfly and looks forward to the coming semesters where she can help guide students on their own journeys through the Dragonfly program.

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 a course facilitator. 

Jeffrey Amato

...has been awed and inspired by nature since his earliest memories of camping and hiking in the Rockies as a very young child. These feelings remain to this day as he spends his free time perusing outdoor activities such as skiing or hiking, reading about the latest scientific discoveries, learning about and then visiting various ecosystems, or just sitting outside and enjoying the birds. When stuck inside Jeff takes care of his two dogs, three cats, four lizards, and live reef aquarium. He received his BS in Communication Systems Management from Ohio University and his MA in Zoology from Miami University's Project Dragonfly. He currently works in IT but is planning on changing to the field of conservation and field research.

Jenny Hinz

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

Jenny Meyer Barton

... obtained her Master of Arts in Zoology with the Global Field Program from Miami University and Project Dragonfly. She also has her B.A. from The Ohio State University in Communication and Business. She traveled with Earth Expeditions to Baja, Belize, and Hawai'i. She worked at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in both Marketing and Animal Care and Conservation. She was able to advocate for the conservation of mountain gorillas and partnered with humanitarian programs in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 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 a facilitator with Project Dragonfly! She loves spending time with her husband and son, learning about sustainable food, traveling, cooking, gardening, and just being outdoors.

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 a course facilitator.

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.

Katie Krafte

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

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.

Michelle Amato

…is a nature fanatic and loves to share her enthusiasm with everyone in her life. She is an eighth grade science teacher at Wake Forest Middle School in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she received her BS from Kent State University and recently completed her MAT in December 2014 from Miami University through the Global Field Program. While in the GFP, she traveled to Baja, Australia, and Guyana and thoroughly enjoyed learning how to bring what she learned in-country to her classroom. Michelle loves to travel and is passionate about learning the ecology of each area she visits. Her other hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, birding, photography, and cooking. She looks forward to connecting with GFP and AIP students and faculty while facilitating the web-based learning courses.

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.

Nickele Morgan

Nickele Morgan

... works as a sixth grade math and science teacher in Perry, Ohio, a little town right on Lake Erie not quite an hour east of Cleveland. Prior to her current position, she has taught students in grades 6-8 in Cleveland Heights, OH, and Leadville and Summit County, Colorado. Nickele earned her bachelor's degree from Kent State University in Middle Childhood Education and her master's degree in biology from Miami University's Global Field Program. Her studies have given her the opportunity to study abroad in New Zealand, Baja, Thailand, and India. When she's not too busy teaching and learning, Nickele enjoys skiing, bicycling, bluegrass, and romping in the outdoors with her two human children and energetic Australian shepherd. Her latest passion involves rehabilitating the fifth generation family farmland she lives on and learning all there is to know about the intersection between small-scale agriculture and conservation.

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!

Sara Weisberg

...is a recent graduate of the Global Field Program. She had the privilege of traveling to Belize, Baja, and Australia, including spending a year living in Australia working as a SCUBA instructor during her time in the GFP. She received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado, Boulder. She recently moved to San Francisco and works at The Marine Mammal Center as their Extended Learning Programs Coordinator overseeing programs like summer camps, overnights, and family programs. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Bay Area with her dog Ellie, skiing and snowboarding in Tahoe in the winter, and surfing and SCUBA diving in the summer.

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.

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.  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.  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.