Brazil - Saving Golden Lion Tamarins
Hawai‘i: Saving Species
Galápagos: Islands of Change
Paraguay: Eco-Leadership
Baja California, Mexico: Field Methods
Costa Rica Ecology & Ecotourism
Queensland, Australia: Great Barrier Reef
Mongolia: Steppe Ecology & Civic Media
India: Species, Deities, & Communities
Guyana: Local Wisdom & Conservation
Borneo: Primate Conservation
Amazon: Avian & Tropical Ecology
Thailand: Buddhism and Conservation
Namibia: Great Cat Conservation
Belize: Approaches to Environmental Stewardship
Kenya: Wildlife & People in Integrated Landscapes
Chris Myers

Chris Myers

...received his Ph.D. in ecology from Vanderbilt University and is now a Professor of Biology 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 reaches millions of people through award-winning print media, graduate programs, public exhibits, 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, the Advanced Inquiry Program, and the Global Field Program; served as a Luce Scholar in East Malaysia, 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 iSaveSpecies. 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

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.


Kerry Boulton

Kerry Boulton

... has a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and an MAT in life science from Miami University's College of Education, Health, and Society. Kerry has worked as a community health educator for Case Western Reserve University in the Cleveland Public Schools and as a high school and middle school substitute teacher.  Kerry joined Project Dragonfly in 2014 as a Curricular Support Assistant, where her focus is on supporting Advanced Inquiry Program partners and faculty on the Dragonfly Collaborative Web Platform and assisting with the organization and development of instructional and promotional materials. When she is not working with her amazing Dragonfly family, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two boys and going on walks with her dog, Woody.


Mark Celsor

Mark Celsor

... is a 21-year Internet marketing technology veteran with a unique mix of technical, creative, and business sensibilities, who has led technical projects for many Fortune 100 companies. In 2016, he stepped back from a role as the Director of Technology at a national interactive agency to focus on making the world a better place, coming to work with Project Dragonfly to help grow their online classes and other technical projects.


Kristie Cordeiro

Kristie Cordeiro

... is an undergraduate student at Miami University expecting to graduate in May 2019. Currently, she is pursuing double majors in biology and public health with a minor in global health studies. In the future, she hopes to work in the health care field. At Miami University, she is an ambassador for the Honors Program, a member of the Honors Student Advisory Board, Phi Sigma Pi Fraternity, and a peer leader for the Body Project. She loves spending time outdoors whether it is hiking or playing soccer. Kristie works part-time as an undergradute student assistant in the Project Dragonfly office.


Meggan Davison

Meggan Davison

... has a bachelor's degree in Theater Production from Ball State University. After working in professional theater settings, she found her way back to Oxford where she became involved in mentoring local high school students and participating in the local community theater. Meggan joined Project Dragonfly in 2015 and is thrilled to be part of a community that works toward improving our communities and environment. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with her husband, daughter and snuggling with her new son. She and a friend are also season subscribers and have standing "mom dates" to see touring Broadway shows.


Becca Flynn

Becca Flynn

... is a Graduate Assistant for Project Dragonfly, where she provides support to the team staff in a variety of ways. Becca received her Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing with a minor in economics from the University of Northern Iowa in 2014. She held a strong interest in entrepreneurship and market research in her undergraduate and early professional career. After graduating, Becca focused her work on market research and on contracted marketing positions working with small teams that faciliated various types of projects. Becca traveled across the country and moved to Denver, Colorado, before deciding to come to Miami to work towards a degree in environmental science. With a love of outdoors and an appreciation for the majestic oceans, mountains, and the beautiful landscapes back home in Iowa, her interests include environmental policy/management, and she is thinking about going into consulting work.


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.


Mary Jo Lahrmann

Mary Jo Lahrmann

... has a bachelor's degree from Xavier University and a master's in environmental science from Miami's Institute of Environmental Sciences. Through her role with Project Dragonfly, she provides overall administrative support and works to promote the great things Dragonfly partnerships are doing for conservation and inquiry action. Prior to her work at Dragonfly, Mary Jo worked as an environmental specialist for the Butler County Recycling and Solid Waste District, a waste planning and public relations specialist for the Fernald Environmental Remediation Project, and as a juvenile probation officer. Outside of work, she volunteers as a Cub Scout leader. Mary Jo is a music lover and enjoys spending time with her husband Steve and sons Jack and Henry.


Connie Malone

Connie Malone

... loves her work with Project Dragonfly! After completing a B.S.Ed. in physical education from Miami University, a Master of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia, and working in a variety of positions at both UGA and Miami, Connie now serves as Project Dragonfly's Graduate Student Services Manager, where she delights in assisting Advanced Inquiry Program, Global Field Program and Earth Expeditions students in their academic journeys from application to graduation. An Oxford native with lingering roots in Georgia, Connie's free time finds her reading (books, real books!), walking her epic dog, Rou, binge-watching "The Walking Dead," or listening to opera. She's also passionate about service learning and community engagement, which she embraces annually through the organization of Oxford's Empty Bowls soup luncheon benefiting the local food pantry.


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 (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.


Marcia Nantz

Marcia Nantz

...  has 35 years of experience in bookkeeping/accounting, 24 of which were spent working for small or corporate businesses and 11 of which have been at Miami University; of these, 7 years have been spent working with Project Dragonfly, where her responsibilities primarily relate to the accounting functions for the program. Marcia. With no previous experience in education or conservation, she has found working with Project Dragonfly to be an amazing experience that has taken her out of her comfort zone through exposure to new ideas and a new way of thinking. One of her other jobs at Dragonfly has been to purchase flights for all the instructors of our Earth Expedition courses; before starting at Dragonfly she had never purchased an airline flight and now has hundreds of flight purchases under her belt! The mother of one, stepmother of three and grandmother of ten, she and her husband enjoy camping, taking rides in their vintage convertible, and spending time with their grandchildren.


Spencer Pate

Spencer Pate

... earned his bachelor's degree in middle childhood education (with concentrations in math and science) from Miami University in 2011, and he received his master's degree in transformative education from Miami in 2015. After three years of serving as an elementary school and middle school substitute teacher, he began working at Project Dragonfly in 2014. As a curricular support assistant, Spencer focuses on recruitment and promotion as well as data analysis and evaluation. In his free time Spencer enjoys reading and taking his cat Squeaky for walks outside.


Savannah Pocisk

Savannah Pocisk

... is happy to begin her first semester working as a Graduate Assistant with Project Dragonfly! She graduated from Miami University in 2016 with B.A. in Psychology and Sustainability and is currently completing a Master of Environmental Science with Miami's Institute for the Environment and Sustainability with a focus in sustainability. She hopes to work as a Sustainability Coordinator in the future. As the Treasurer of the National Association for Environmental Professionals, she plans Oxford's EarthFest, a local event to celebrate Earth Day. She is passionate about sustainability and enjoys volunteering for conservation/sustainability focused projects. In her spare time, she enjoys doing yoga.


Niki Radish

Niki Radish

... is a current undergraduate student at Miami University and is expecting to graduate in May 2018. She is working toward a double major in international studies and sustainability with minors in general business and Spanish. In her future career, she plans to work in sustainable development. As a Miami University student, she is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity, and the Miami University Conservation Team. She has a passion for travel and has been to countries in South America, across Europe, and Africa. Her trips to Africa actually led to her involvement with Dragonfly as she traveled to Kenya twice as part of the Maasai Music Project, a program led by a graduate of the Global Field Program, where students studied cross-cultural collaboration and community-based conservation.  Niki works part-time in the Dragonfly office.


Laura Sennet Houston

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.


Paul Sonoda

Paul Sonoda

... joined Project Dragonfly in 2009 after 18 years in the auto industry, where he served as Director of New Products, Vice President of Marketing, and Global Technical Coordinator. As Interactive Media Manager for Project Dragonfly, he co-developed a ground-up master's degree program application and review platform and is primarily responsible for the design and maintenance of all program websites, including sites for Earth Expeditions, the Advanced Inquiry Program, and the Global Field Program. Paul also created interactive media kiosk apps for two National Science Foundation-funded research grants, Wild Research and iSaveSpecies.


Chris Myers

Chris Myers

...received his Ph.D. in ecology from Vanderbilt University and is now a Professor of Biology 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 reaches millions of people through award-winning print media, graduate programs, public exhibits, 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, the Advanced Inquiry Program, and the Global Field Program; served as a Luce Scholar in East Malaysia, 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 iSaveSpecies. 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.


Craig Beals

Craig Beals

... received his M.A. in Zoology from the first Global Field Program graduating class at Miami University. He earned his undergraduate degrees in biology and broadfield science and a teaching certificate from Montana State University. Craig is a high school teacher in Billings, Montana, and has taught everything from Earth science to biology and currently teaches honors chemistry. In 2015 Craig was named the Montana Teacher of the Year and in the same year he hosted a special for HISTORY titled "Secret Earth: Yellowstone Supervolcano."  Along with his teaching duties he has ongoing ecology research projects in Montana and performs at several speaking engagements each year.


Amanda Bentley Brymer

Amanda Bentley Brymer

... earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Science through the National Science Foundation IGERT Project at the University of Idaho. She received her M.S. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences and her B.A. in Communication from Texas A&M University. Her interdisciplinary research integrates ecosystem services and social process concepts to understand how environmental change influences human well-being. Specifically, Amanda functioned as the lead facilitator for the social-ecological impact assessment conducted by her doctoral research team in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management in Owyhee County, Idaho. Her disciplinary research interests involve democratic processes and decision-making for public lands and natural resource management. Prior to academia, Amanda was a professional tour director for Collette Vacations, and enjoyed sharing the cultural and natural history of Europe while guiding guests through the British Isles and Swiss Alps. At home in Oxford, Amanda volunteers with the Miami University Natural Areas as Curator for the Silvoor Biological Sanctuary. She also enjoys hiking, birding, gardening, and reading with her husband Rhett, son Luke, canine companion Dekoda, and feline companions Puddin and Sakura.


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.


April Blakeslee

April Blakeslee

... is an Assistant Professor in Biology at East Carolina University and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. She is interested in conservation biology in marine systems and has developed a diverse research program involving biodiversity, population genetics, parasite ecology, and biogeography, as well as the unique and integrative insight that can be gained from studying biological invasions. Recently, biological invasions have become recognized as a major contributor to the global (and often disjunct) distributions of many marine species as a result of their movement and establishment via human transport mechanisms. Invasion research is therefore important not only from a conservation perspective, but it can provide theoretical and practical understanding of population and community level influences of novel species and can also serve as an important teaching tool for students and the general public. She works with students and colleagues around the world to better understand this major conservation issue.


Shasta Bray

Shasta Bray

... grew up catching fireflies, reading Ranger Rick and falling in love with the animals at the zoo. Dedicated to wildlife conservation, she believes that personal encounters with nature and wildlife create emotional connections that inspire people to make a positive difference. As the Manager of Interpretive Exhibits, Visitor Research, Conservation Communications and Fun for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Shasta develops and evaluates award-winning interpretive exhibits and programs that provide meaningful experiences and authentic opportunities to take action for the zoo’s 1.5 million annual visitors. She also produces content for the zoo’s website, blog and social media.  As a lifelong learner, Shasta loves to travel and experience different wild places and cultures. She has participated in field conservation in Namibia and the Philippines, and has also facilitated Earth Expeditions graduate courses for educators in Kenya, Costa Rica, Belize and Namibia. In 2015, Shasta was selected as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow with National Geographic and sailed to the Galapagos Islands on a Lindblad Expedition. Her most meaningful international experience to date was traveling to Ethiopia in 2009 to bring home her daughter.  Shasta received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Zoology from Miami University with a focus on animal behavior and ecology.


Linda Castaneda

Linda Castaneda

... is the Coordinator/Lead Trainer of the Cat Ambassador Program at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  She spends her day caring for, training and presenting exotic cat species to zoo visitors in order to inspire conservation action.  Linda made her way to the Cincinnati Zoo after doing field research in eastern Oregon and the jungle of Cameroon, teaching informal and formal education and attending zoo college in southern California.  She has a B.A. in Biology from Lewis & Clark College, an A.S. in Exotic Animal Training and Management and an M.A. in Zoology from Miami University through Project Dragonfly’s Global Field Program.  Linda is passionate about insitu and exsitu cat conservation and is active on the Felid Taxonomy Advisory Group, which manages cat populations in zoos and works to support field conservation.  She also teaches undergraduate biology for the University of Cincinnati. 


Robyn Charlton

Robyn Charlton

… is a science and conservation education leader with degrees from Wright State University in elementary education and advanced teaching practices. Though trained in formal education, Robyn’s career has been balanced between time spent teaching in K-12 classrooms and time working with those same audiences in informal education in zoos and aquariums across the country. Robyn started her career as a seventh grade science teacher in Lebanon, Ohio and eleven years later was the Assistant Director of Education for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) headquartered at the Bronx Zoo in New York City, directing activities across WCS's five NYC-based zoos and aquarium as well as projects across several international landscapes and seascapes. After moving back home to Southwest Ohio, Robyn became the Coordinator of Online Faculty for Miami University's Regional E-Learning Initiatives. Through this position, Robyn serves as a facilitator and consultant to online faculty interested in further developing their pedagogical content knowledge as well as a promoter of scholarship in E-Learning at Miami and a catalyst for cultivating community and increased engagement among online faculty teaching through Miami University Regionals. Robyn’s interest in leadership is driven by desire to serve her communities as an agent of change, exploring new knowledge and ways of doing things, asking thoughtful questions and tackling complex problems with creative solutions.


Katie Corr

Katie Corr

... is all about Project Dragonfly. Aside from completing her own M.A. in Zoology through the Global Field Program, she also coordinates and leads Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's branch of Dragonfly's Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP). She loves helping students to discover the power (and fun!) of inquiry while exploring local environments. She strives to connect people to their surroundings and to help them discover their own voices for positive change. Katie loves traveling at home and abroad and is always up for a good road trip. In addition to her degree from Miami, she also holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Hiram College where she focused on environmental education and incorporating sustainability messaging into rural schools. She likes running and reading (though not at the same time) and is a soccer enthusiast.


Leah Crowe

Leah Crowe

... is a Spanish teacher who is enamored of all creatures great and small. She likes nothing better than to wander her property in southeastern Indiana in search of the critters that call it home with her husband and three dogs. Her love of discovering foreign places ultimately led her to become a Spanish teacher. At the age of 42, she decided to embark on a new adventure by applying for the Global Field Program. This program proved transformational for her as she traveled to Baja, Peru and Australia and met some of the most inspirational people on the planet. Since graduating from the program, she has had the pleasure of working as a Community Learning Leader in Belize. At home, her current vision focuses on encouraging other foreign language teachers to incorporate conservation and environmental issues into their classrooms with the hopes of designing travel and study experiences where teachers can get first-hand knowledge of the problems faced by the countries about which they teach. In her own classes she encourages her students to step out of their comfort zones and become responsible global citizens. She is incredibly excited and humbled to be included among the remarkable people that make up Project Dragonfly and is excited to see what the future has in store.


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.


Claire Dell

Claire Dell

... obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from Georgia Tech and her Master’s in Aquatic Bioscience from Glasgow University in Scotland. Her dissertation research focused on how species acclimate to conditions in healthy and degraded coral reefs, which involved substantial field work in Fiji. Prior to this she spent several years working on the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Teaching and helping others understand and appreciate this ecosystem are passions of hers. She also enjoys swimming and diving!


Katie Dell

Katie Dell

... is a 6th grade science teacher and technology liaison in the Baltimore County Public School System. She is a 2016 graduate of the Global Field Program through Project Dragonfly, where her studies focused on demographic equity in science education. Over the past five years she has spent the majority of her time in the classroom, but has also worked with various zoos and aquaria in non-formal education. The outdoors call her name whether it is kayaking, hiking or wildlife photography.


Maureen Drinkard

Maureen Drinkard

... is better known her students as Dr. Mo, an assistant professor of environmental science and ecology and Brevard College near Asheville, North Carolina.  She fell in love with wetland ecology through a senior research project as an undergrad and followed that path through graduate school. Her dissertation focused on wetland ecology and wetland organisms in headwater riparian systems. She tirelessly braved swamps across northeastern Ohio investigating the impacts of flood pulsing on wetland communities while simultaneously testing these ideas in wetland mesocosm on the campus of Kent State University.  Dr. Mo quickly realized that her true passion was inspiring students in the fields of ecology, environmental science, and sustainability through experiential teaching methods. She teaches a variety of hands-on courses in these fields and classes in entomology, geographic information systems, and policy.  Her broad range of academic interests also translates into broad personal interests. When she isn’t off in the woods with college students or wrangling her own family, Dr. Mo can be found gardening, canning, and fermenting foods, brewing beer, wine and ginger beer, making art and jewelry, hiking and camping, and investigating natural building techniques and permaculture strategies.


Becca Flynn

Becca Flynn

... is a Graduate Assistant for Project Dragonfly, where she provides support to the team staff in a variety of ways. Becca received her Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing with a minor in economics from the University of Northern Iowa in 2014. She held a strong interest in entrepreneurship and market research in her undergraduate and early professional career. After graduating, Becca focused her work on market research and on contracted marketing positions working with small teams that faciliated various types of projects. Becca traveled across the country and moved to Denver, Colorado, before deciding to come to Miami to work towards a degree in environmental science. With a love of outdoors and an appreciation for the majestic oceans, mountains, and the beautiful landscapes back home in Iowa, her interests include environmental policy/management, and she is thinking about going into consulting work.


Amy Fultz

Amy Fultz

... is a primatologist whose focus is on chimpanzee behavior and conservation. Amy is the Director of Behavior and Research at Chimp Haven, Inc., a sanctuary for over 200 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 (GFP) with an M.A. in Zoology in 2012. She has traveled to rain forests in Panama, Mexico and Uganda, as well as traveling to Baja, Belize, Peru (Amazon), and Borneo, with the GFP in her roles as student and 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.


Verónica Godoy

Verónica Godoy

... is from Argentina, where she graduated with a B.S. and a doctorate in biology from the National University of Mar del Plata. Verónica was always passionate about nature, so it was easy for her to choose biology as a field of study followed by an academic career in Plant Molecular Biology and Plant Pathology. During that time she had the opportunity to work for three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, studying the molecular mechanisms of auxin in plant growth and development. Back in Argentina, Verónica was appointed as full time faculty at the National University of Mar del Plata. She participated in and led several research projects that allowed the identification and characterization of genes involved in plant defense mechanisms and plant development. At the same time, she coordinated and taught molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry laboratories and exercise classes for 11 years. In 2004, Verónica partnered with a group of colleagues who share her interest in science education and community service, co-founding “Laboratorios con Ciencia," a science education outreach program, which she had the privilege of directing for 10 years. “Laboratorios con Ciencia” built a community of educators who introduced inquiry-driven instruction and other innovative ways of teaching and learning science in K-12 public schools in the Mar del Plata district. Serving the community and investing in people’s future and dreams has been, so far, the most important and fulfilling part of her career. In March 2015, Verónica moved with her family to Austin, Texas, hoping to start a new and exciting chapter of her life. After a transitional year, she is very excited to join the Earth Expeditions team!


Ron Gray

Ron Gray

… is an assistant professor of science education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He received his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. While a middle school science teacher, he worked in the summer as the education coordinator of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. That experience led to work with Earth Expeditions, with which he has facilitated field courses in Namibia, Trinidad and Tobago, and, most recently, Borneo. His research focuses on providing science teachers the understandings and tools to engage students in the practices of science.


Matt Hallett

Matt Hallett

... is a Ph.D. student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida where his research focuses on the impact of habitat, hunting, logging, and livestock on the abundance and distribution of large mammals in the Rupununi Region of Guyana.  He previously worked in public education at the zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and in research and community-based conservation in Kenya, South Africa, Malaysian Borneo and Guyana. Experiences in the field have inspired Matt to consistently pursue work that falls at the intersection of humans and nature with the challenge of developing creative solutions that maximize the benefits to both. Matt earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with minors in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and a Master of Arts in Zoology from Miami University/Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program.


Jeff Hegnauer

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.


Dave Jenike

David Jenike

... is Chief Operating Officer at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. David has a magical way of involving his students, youngsters, and adults in his program presentations and interpretations of the natural world. David received his B. S. degree in Zoology and his M. S. degree in Environmental Education from Miami University. David completed the Environmental Institutional Management Course at Delaware University. He is the Education Liaison to the AZA’s Rhino Taxon Advisory Group. The Institute of Environmental Sciences at Miami presented David with an Award of Distinction in 1996. David is a Professional Fellow with the American Zoo & Aquarium Association. David grew up in Cincinnati as a member of a family of educators. He and his brother Mark wrote and photographed the children's book, Ituri – A Walk through the Rainforest, which chronicles the wildlife and people of the Ituri Forest.


Elizabeth Katoa

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.


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.


Shafkat Khan

Shafkat Khan

... received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology in August 2016. Shafkat completed his B.A. in environmental studies at Goshen College in Indiana. Shafkat’s ecological interest lies at the intersection of anthropogenic factors and plant communities. For his dissertation, Shafkat examined whether tropical montane tree species are able to persist in conditions dissimilar to the species’ native range currently. This work addresses questions both theoretical and applied: what factors limit species distributions and how will climate change cause changes in species distributions in near future?  Besides his focal research, Shafkat is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to examining conservation and sustainability, especially from anthropological and geographical perspectives. Shafkat is passionate about student mentoring and teaching, and he considers working with Project Dragonfly a privilege. A native of Bangladesh, Shafkat comes to work at Miami University, Ohio, by way of de-glaciated northern Indiana, the Piedmont of Georgia, and the southern mountains of Costa Rica.


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.


Alicia Lamfers

Alicia Lamfers

... received her MAT from Miami University and her undergraduate degree in biology from Metropolitan State University 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 has experience in conservation education, creating programming for middle and high school students, teachers, and other informal groups. She is interested in developing more and better ways to use inquiry to connect kids to nature and engaging underserved audiences in environmental education. Outside of work, Alicia lives with her husband and two kids and breaks up the chaos with camping trips, hiking, reading and small chunks of quiet time.


Genifer Lara

Genifer Lara

... currently teaches geology and geography at Mohave Community College in Kingman, Arizona. For the past several years, she has been a field instructor for Round River Conservation Studies, a study abroad program for undergraduates from the U.S. and Africa, majoring in life and environmental sciences. During her time with RRCS, she worked in Botswana and Namibia, and spent semesters living in primitive field camps, falling asleep to the sounds of lions, hippos, and hyenas. She has also traveled extensively for work, studying a variety of species in diverse locations such as the beach in Uruguay, the harsh Impenetrable Forest of Argentina, the tropical rain forests of Honduras and Costa Rica, and the savannas of Malawi. She received her BA in Environmental Studies and Wildlife Biology from Prescott College in 2008, her MS in Geosciences from Mississippi State University in 2011, and is currently finishing up a second MS in Entomology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also has a certificate in Aquarium Science, and is a current Wilderness First Responder. She loves teaching and inspiring others to get out and be a part of nature. She has a passion for bats, reptiles, birds, and insects, among most other animals. In her spare time she enjoys birding, herping, photography, travelling, and spending time with her husband and their furkids.


Gail Lemiec

Gail Lemiec

... while originally from Cleveland, OH, has recently moved to the mountains of North Carolina and is working as the Education Coordinator for Highlands Nature Center. There she has the opportunity to connect families and students with nature and wildlife in this extremely diverse part of the Southern Appalachians, which is classified as a temperate rainforest. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies from Northland College, situated in the Wisconsin northwoods, before traveling to Romania with the Peace Corps to live for two years as an English and Environmental Education teacher. Upon returning to the States, she immersed herself in informal environmental education, marine conservation, and animal training, working with raptors, shorebirds, and small mammals. Her passion for conservation and travel was ignited once again with the enrollment in Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program. Gail traveled to Belize, Hawaii, and Baja before completing her M.A. in Zoology in 2014. She happily spends her free time with her husband and their pets, reading anything and everything, and communing with nature. 


Dan Marsh

Dan Marsh

... is the Director of Education at the Cincinnati Zoo, where he manages the departments’ educational programs for the general public and schools. Dan received his B. A. in Biology from the University of Louisville and an M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati. He spent a year in Japan on an academic scholarship, which sparked his interest in international travel. He has escorted trips for the zoo to Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands, in addition to traveling extensively on his own. Dan is a Professional Fellow with the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and is an education liaison to the Felid Taxon Advisory Group. He is also a member of the National Association for Interpretation and the Environmental Education Council of Ohio. Dan grew up near Louisville, Kentucky, where his parents allowed him the freedom to roam and develop his interest in wildlife and conservation.


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 (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.


Thane Maynard

Thane Maynard

... is Chief Executive Officer of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Thane is best known as a writer and host of numerous wildlife programs, including the daily public radio series The 90Second Naturalist, which airs on stations across North America. He has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, and CBS This Morning, has been a regular wildlife expert on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and has authored 13 books on wildlife. From his youth exploring the swamps of central Florida, Thane went on to earn his M. S. degree from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at the Harvard Business School, as well as the first National Education Leadership Institute sponsored by World Wildlife Fund and Disney.


Allen McConnell

Allen McConnell

... received his Ph.D. in psychology from Indiana University in 1995, and he is Professor of Psychology at Miami University. Previously, he was on the faculty of Michigan State and Penn State before coming to Miami in 2000. Allen began his involvement with Earth Expeditions in 2013, traveling to Belize and Hawai'i, and 2017 marks his third consecutive year serving as an instructor for the India course. Allen's research and teaching involving the psychology of conservation blends his expertise with the social psychological aspects of the self with how people build broader social connections and identities that support pro-environmental action. That is, Allen is especially interested in how the self plays a critical role in community-based conservation efforts and how people view the self as being more connected to nature. In his career, he has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers, received more than $1M in grants, served as an editor or associate editor for three major research journals, and served as president of two leading research societies. In his spare time, Allen enjoys hiking, photography, astronomy, and travel.


Jenny Mears

Jenny Mears

... is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Woodland Park Zoo, where she facilitates the Advanced Inquiry Program master's degree as well as stewardship opportunities for the greater community. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Urban Horticulture and a B.A. in Art. She also earned her Master of Arts in Zoology from Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program, through which she discovered a love of participatory education and community mapping. Jenny spends her time paddleboarding, lawn bowling (it's a sport, really!), having barbecues with friends and family, and taking tiny adventures around beautiful Washington state. She looks forward to connecting with her fellow travelers as they explore Mongolia's amazing ecology, conservation, and culture!


Judith Metcalf

Judith Metcalf

... received her doctorate from the University of Louisville and her master's degree from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Her research interests include human impacts on populations and communities. Her master's work explored the impact of beach driving on overwintering shorebirds on the Texas Gulf Coast, and her doctorate work evaluated the impact of the invasive grass Microstegium vimineum on insect and spider communities in a Kentucky temperate forest. She is a Professional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where she teaches ecology, introductory biology and anatomy & physiology. She also serves as the Directory for the Regional Science Olympiad, a science and engineering event for high school and middle school students interested in STEM fields. Judy has also been a competitive power lifter since 2010 and a strength coach since 2012. She enjoys spending her spare time at the gym getting stronger or in the field camping and hiking.


Javier Miguelena

Javier Miguelena

... 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.


Jim Miller

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.


Sarah Navarro

Sarah Navarro

… grew up in Michigan where her parents fostered her love of nature with frequent camping trips and encouragement to explore the wildlife all around her (as long as she didn’t bring it inside!). Sarah earned both her B.S. (1999) and M.S. (2001) in Zoology from Michigan State University. It was in graduate school that she had her first exotic, educational opportunity, traveling to Kenya to study the ecology of African wildlife. Experiencing such a hands-on, culturally and naturally immersive opportunity left her forever changed and inspired to make a career out of facilitating connections between people, wildlife, and wild places. She joined the Education Department of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in November of 2001 and is now the Education Program Development Manager, a job that allows her to create curriculum and learning opportunities for participants of all ages and work closely with the Education Department's animal ambassadors. The Cincinnati Zoo’s partnership with Earth Expeditions has also allowed her the opportunity to instruct both zoo and field courses with Earth Expeditions throughout the years.  When she is not training human and non-human animals, writing curriculum, or teaching, she is playing in and exploring nature with her husband and children.


Kate Nordyke

Kate Nordyke

... currently serves as co-director at Evergreen Holistic Learning Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, a non-profit organization that she and her family established in 2009 with the mission of offering unique, hands-on learning opportunities that promote environmental awareness, holistic health, and personal and professional development. She is an avid supporter and practitioner of sustainable urban agriculture and actually has the great good fortune of living on an 8.5 acre farm in the middle of the city. Kate holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies/Education from Union Institute and University, and an M.A. in Biology through Miami University’s Global Field Program. When she’s not working in the garden or tending to her 2 horses, 4 rescue cats, and 2 rescue dogs, Kate also really enjoys hiking, dance, yoga, and traveling.


Jerran Orwig

Jerran Orwig

... is the Advanced Inquiry Program Manager in the Education Department at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She oversees the graduate program at the Zoo and supports AIP students as they change their communities and grow in their personal and professional lives.  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 Global Field Program at Miami University in 2011. Since graduation, she's remained in the Dragonfly family by being a facilitator for both web-based and Earth Expedition courses, and she cherishes the adventures and experiential learning it brings. Jerran loves travel, photography, reading good books, delving into a bowl of ice cream, and will forever say "Go Blue."


Martha Parker

Martha Parker

... is the Conservation Impact Manager at the Houston Zoo, where she is responsible for evaluating and collecting results from the zoo's and conservation partners’ work to save wildlife. Raised in rural western New York, most of her childhood was spent outdoors exploring nature, climbing trees, and bringing wildlife home!  Although connected to animals, she never considered a career in wildlife conservation a viable option.  Fascinated by human culture, she graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish. Following her undergraduate studies and building on experience mentoring kids of all ages, she worked as an educator, which eventually led her to a position in the education department of the Houston Zoo. Her experience in an educator role solidified her passion for connecting people to wildlife. After three years teaching and designing educational programs she moved into the conservation depart of the Houston Zoo. Martha feels fortunate to be surrounded by more than 450 zoo staff members dedicated to saving wildlife as well as the 30+ field conservation partners the zoo works with globally. She is interested in the use of social and behavioral sciences, how conservation psychology can become a major tool to protect wildlife, and how zoos and aquariums can engage their guests to be agents of change for the protection of species. She is a proud graduate of the Global Field Program!


Karen Plucinski

Karen Plucinski

... is a professor at Missouri Southern State University in the Department of Biology and Environmental Health, teaching general ecology, mammalogy and, conservation biology.  Karen received her Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology (University of Maine) as part of the Holt Forest research team, studying the effect of forest management on tree seed predation by small mammals.  She also holds a M.S. in Zoology (University of Montana) and B.S. in Zoology (University of New Hampshire).  Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at an early age stimulated her interest in the natural world. She has also worked as a Wildlife Biologist teaching ecology and natural resources management for Great Plains Wildlife Institute (Jackson, Wyoming).  She loves to teach specialized topics courses with field components (Ecology of the Sonoran Desert, Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and Natural History Contributions of the Lewis and Clark Expedition).  She resides in southwest Missouri with her husband Mark and four children (three fur and one feather).  She enjoys any outdoor activity, but especially running, cycling, hiking, and wildlife watching, preferable in the high desert of central Oregon.


Caitlin Potter

Caitlin Potter

... received her B.S in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology from the University of California at Davis and her M.A. and Ph.D in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. For her dissertation work, Caitlin studied social development, alternative strategies and behavior of gelada monkeys in Ethiopia, spending many, many months following juvenile monkeys around through the gorgeous Afro-alpine highlands. She also taught several undergraduate field courses in northern Kenya, where she advised projects on all her favorite "safari species."  Her experiences teaching abroad and in New Jersey led her to pursue a new career path in environmental education, first at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, as an Advanced Inquiry Program instructor for Project Dragonfly, and currently as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (a University of Minnesota field station). Nowadays she can be found running wildlife-y citizen science projects, developing and delivering programs to K-12 students, working with scientists to translate their results into public programs and resources, and generally exploring the 5600 acres of field station she calls home. In her non-existent free time, Caitlin enjoys backpacking, reading, road trips and getting new stamps in her passport.


Maggie Reinbold

Maggie Reinbold

... is a founding member of the Conservation Education Division at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and serves as its Director, where she oversees and supports the work of both the in-house and community-based conservation teams as they design and implement programs that connect communities to conservation for the benefit of wildlife and habitats. Her work focuses on strengthening efforts to enlist local and global community members in the fight against extinction. She works to connect teachers and their students with the science of saving species through Summer Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science and through the programs of the Conservation Education Lab and Outdoor Learning Lab. She also works to connect community members to conservation by course design and instruction in the Advanced Inquiry Program and through support of innovative projects that address the human dimensions of conservation at field sites around the world. Maggie also fosters partnerships with key collaborators at foundations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to build capacity for high-quality, accessible conservation science education. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology at San Diego State University, where her graduate research focused on the population genetics of desert aquatic insects across the Baja California Peninsula.  She has taught science in a number of formal and informal settings including the San Diego Natural History Museum, Cardiff Elementary School, and San Diego State University. As an NSF science fellow, she co-taught hands-on science with classroom teachers across San Diego County and also spent several seasons in Arctic Alaska, bringing hands-on science education to unique and underserved communities on the North Slope. Since early childhood, she has cherished her time spent in nature and looks forward to instilling that same love of wildlife and wild places in her two young daughters.


Katie Remine

Katie Remine

… works as the Science and Conservation Education Supervisor in the Education Department at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, where she provides professional development for formal and informal educators; supervises on-site and outreach school, afterschool and summer learning programs; and facilitates programs that engage these audiences in wildlife conservation. Katie is a huge believer in the potential of international experiential learning to foster a sustainable global community! She spent a year in Iceland as an exchange student, and then received a degree in biology and a minor in African studies from Colorado College (with two semesters of study abroad in east and southern Africa). She completed her M.Sc. degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Management through Imperial College London.


Kirstie Ruppert

Kirstie Ruppert

... is a Research Coordinator on the Community Engagement team at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. In this position, she conducts social research to understand the human dimensions of conservation issues and to evaluate conservation learning programs. Her current work is based in the conservancies of northern Kenya, where she works in partnership with pastoralist communities and conservation organizations to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, including reticulated giraffe, leopards, and elephants. During her time at San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), she served as the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) coordinator and now facilitates AIP courses in socio-ecological research methods and conservation education. Kirstie earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from UCLA, and then joined SDZG as a research fellow, where she worked to measure the long-term outcomes of a professional development program for teachers. She then completed her M.A. in Zoology through the Global Field Program and Earth Expeditions to Baja, Guyana, and Kenya, and centered her graduate work around the intersection of participatory research and conservation photography. After spending just enough time away from school to miss it, she has started working towards her Ph.D. in Human Dimensions of Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Maine.


Perky Smith-Hagadone

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 master's she earned in Educational Administration, she is proud to say she is a graduate of Miami University's Global Field Program with a M.A.T. in the Biological Sciences.  She is looking forward to “paying it forward.”


Fia Turczynewycz

Fia Turczynewycz

... has been in love with nature and studying the environment her entire life. This love brought her to Miami University where she studied Environmental Education and Special Education as a part of the Western College Program. Years of working with children, leading groups through the woods as a naturalist, and encountering new cultures while traveling in far off countries has taught Fia the importance of exploring, taking chances, and discovering the endless possibilities this world has to offer. Working as the Sustainability Coordinator at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has only strengthened her love of the environment and her desire to preserve and protect it. Working with the Zoo's aggressive green initiative program and engaging her urban community in Avondale, as well as working with community-based conservation programs throughout her master's work, has allowed Fia to weave sustainability into her personal, professional and educational careers. After graduating in December 2011 from the GFP, Fia is thrilled to continue to be a part of the Project Dragonfly family.


Liana Vitali

Liana Vitali

... believes wholeheartedly in the power of science inquiry to not only discover the natural world but to also discover ourselves. Through inspiring and meaningful outdoor learning experiences, she believes you can never be too old or too young to find excitement and purpose in nature. After five wonderful years dedicated to conservation education on a global level as Education & Outreach Officer for Wildscreen and the Arkive project, Liana has returned to her local Maryland community roots to lead educational programs and conservation research projects as the Naturalist & Education Coordinator at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. She received her bachelor’s in biology and ecology at Penn State University and earned her master’s in zoology through the Global Field Program studying in Baja, Mongolia and Thailand.


Mary Yoder

Mary Yoder

... is fortunate to work as the Primate Manager at the Phoenix Zoo where she leads a team of keepers and works with the primate collection.  She has an amazing black lab named Casey and loves exploring her home state.  She is outside in nature as much as possible, and if she is not at home she is out traveling the world.  As a graduate of the Global Field Program, she is excited to inspire students as she knows from first-hand experience the impact that the program has on a person's life.


Joshua York

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.


Datu Md Ahbam Bin Abulani

Datu Md Ahbam Bin Abulani

… began working in the field assisting with orang-utan research in the 1990s with HUTAN, a French NGO based in Malaysian Borneo. HUTAN has a strong focus on staff capacity building and Bam progressed to supervising all field research as well as heading HEAP, the HUTAN Environmental Awareness Program where programming focuses on local youth. Prior to his work at HUTAN and HEAP, Bam was a tourist guide in his wife's village of Sukau. From here, he joined the newly created Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project which was initiated jointly by the Sabah Wildlife Department and NGO HUTAN. Bam has also worked in the timber processing industry and as a fisherman.


Marc Ancrenaz

Marc Ancrenaz

…is the Director of the "Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project", in Sabah, Malaysia. A native of France but resident of Malaysia, his research focuses on a variety of topics including eco-ethological studies of orang-utan adaptation to disturbed habitats and the management of conflicts between orang-utans, elephants and human communities. Marc is also a trained veterinarian, who worked as the head of the Mammal and Veterinary Departments at the "National Wildlife Research Center," Taif, Saudi Arabia.


Samantha James

Samantha James

... MLIS, is the Community Outreach Manager, Iwokrama. Samantha grew up in Toronto to Guyanese parents but for the past 12 years has been working with the wildlife clubs of the North Rupununi. She believes in learning though inquiry and the strength of local knowledge tempered with knowledge of "Western" science techniques for locally owned resource management. She is responsible for managing and developing Iworkama's support to the wildlife clubs of the North Rupununi and is currently working to evaluate the efficacy of Iwokrama' s work with clubs to determine if they have had an impact on development of club members into conservation leaders. She lives in the village of Kwatamang, North Rupununi with her partner, Lake, their two little girls and Ted the dog.


Laurie Marker

Laurie Marker

... is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) based in Namibia, Africa. Having worked with cheetahs since 1974, Laurie set up the not-for profit CCF in 1990 and moved to Namibia to develop a permanent conservation research center for the wild cheetah. In 1988, in collaboration with these two institutions she became the Executive Director of the Center for New Opportunities in Animal Health Sciences, based at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo. She continues to serve as a NOAHS Research Fellow. In 1996 she was made a vice-chair of the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Species Survival Commission's (SSC) Cat Specialist Group. In 2000 Laurie was recognized as one of Time magazine's Heroes for the Planet and given the Burrow's Conservation Award from Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2001 Laurie was locally honored in Namibia, receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship from the Windhoek Rotary Club. And in 2002 she received a special award from the Sanveld Conservancy, signifying public acknowledgement of Laurie and CCF's contributions from Namibia's farming community.


Sharon Matola

Sharon Matola

... is a wild woman. Never, ever taking no for an answer, she has built the Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Center into one of the world’s most effective zoos and conservation organizations. Starting with 20 captive animals left behind more than twenty years ago by a natural history film crew, Sharon has dedicated her life’s work to engaging the Belizean people with their wildlife. First with education programs in schools throughout the country, and later by establishing the zoo, Sharon has shared her love and the need for wildlife and wild areas. From its humble beginnings, and against all odds, Sharon charmed, cajoled, and worked until the Belize Zoo finally opened its gates at its new home in 1991. Today’s Belize Zoo employs a staff of 25, all Belizeans. It is a conservation and education center run by and for Belizeans.


Meghann McDonald

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 Marine and Coastal Ecology at California State University Monterey Bay. 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 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.


Bariushaa Munkhtsog

Bariushaa Munkhtsog

... Dr. Bariushaa Munkhtsog has been working with snow leopards since 1993 and was active in the reintroduction of Przewalski's horse at Hustain Nuruu National Park, Mongolia. He currently serves as senior wildlife biologist at Institute of Biology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Board director of Irbis (snow leopard in Mongolian) Mongolian Center, Board director of Gobi bear conservation NGO, and is co-founder of the Pallas' Cat Conservation Project in Mongolia, started in June 2000. Dr. Munkhtsog also teaches biology and ecology at colleges and has supervised Bachelor's, Master's and PhD’s students on snow leopard, Pallas' cat, wild cat, and wild camel ecology and is a member of IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group and Snow Leopard Network.


Celso Poot

Celso Poot

Celso Poót started working with the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center in 1994. From 1997 to 1999, he worked in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Vampire Bat Education, Control and Research Program and with the Forest Planning and Management Project. However, because of his passion for the environment and his drive to educate younger generations about the country’s ecology and wildlife conservation, he returned to the Belize Zoo and has been heading the Education Department ever since. Celso is responsible for both onsite and outreach school programs and works with more than 15,000 school children and teachers each academic year. Celso also coordinates foreign school groups offering ecological field courses in Belize. His various jobs have allowed him to travel the entire country and provides a stimulus to continue his work with the Belizean environment.


Sorrayut (Asia) Ratanapojnard

Sorrayut (Asia) Ratanapojnard

... Dr. Sorrayut received his PhD in Environmental Education from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University. He is a professor at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has ordained as a Buddhist monk and was the director of Thailand's Project Local Science and the Spiritual Health Program. He writes weekly newspaper columns on spirituality and health.


Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell

... is a doctoral candidate in Conservation Ecology. Closely affiliated with the African Conservation Centre, she lives and works in the South Rift Valley in Kenya where her work involves establishing a practical ecological monitoring program for the Magadi region. Alongside this she is helping the local Maasai community to establish community-based research for conservation. This involves helping to establish a South Rift Resource Centre and train local community youths in resource assessment and data collection. Having been born and raised in Kenya, Samantha has always held a passion for wildlife and as she grew up developed a keen interest in working with the people who live alongside it, and has worked with Dr. David Western on learning about the relationship between wildlife and people since she graduated from Bristol University in 2002 with an undergraduate degree in Zoology and Psychology. She has also been involved with Dr Western in conducting the first major audit of Kenya’s wildlife and presented this information at a recent Wildlife Policy Review workshop.


Jongdee To-im

Jongdee To-im

... is a Thai woman who graduated with her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Education from Mahidol University, Thailand in 2009 and Master Degree of Arts in Teaching from Miami University as Global Field Program in 2012. Her dissertation focused on the development of learning packages on local ecosystems to promote conceptual understanding, to develop a more caring/positive attitude toward ecosystems, and to improve the behaviors of lower secondary school students. She has participated in Earth Expeditions courses in Thailand and Costa Rica. Currently, she is an assistant professor of Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University. Her interests include transformative learning, the inquiry approach, Buddhism and conservation, and applying indigenous knowledge into formal educational systems.


Ursula Valdez

Ursula Valdez

...is a tropical biologist, ornithologist and conservationist. She obtained a biology degree from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Peru and a master's degree in Zoology and Animal Behavior from North Carolina State University. Recently, she finished her PhD at the University of Washington studying Forest-falcon ecology in the Peruvian Amazon. Currently, she is a lecturer at the Biology Department at UW where she teaches Conservation Biology, Ornithology and tropical biology. Ursula is a passionate field biologist who has conducted ecological and ornithological work in Peru, as well as in Ecuador, Panama, USA and Spain. She worked in Peru and Panama as a raptor biologist and was the Director of the Neotropical Environmental Education Program of The Peregrine Fund. She has been an instructor in tropical ecology courses in Peru and Costa Rica. She has also run field courses in ornithology for Latin American students and field biology and conservation courses for UW undergraduate students. Ursula started a conservation center in Peru (www.ceccot.org) dedicated to raising awareness among local communities of the importance of the rainforest ecology and conservation but integrated in the local human context. At the Center she and her colleagues conduct research on birds and other taxonomical groups, work on public outreach and offer training in sustainable living. She is a committed conservationist and active in finding ways to lower humans’ ecological footprint.


David Western

David Western

... is chairman of the African Conservation Centre. A Kenya citizen, he was raised and educated in Tanzania, obtained a B.Sc. (Hons.) from Leicester University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi. He began research into the savannas at Amboseli in 1967, looking at the interactions of humans and wildlife aimed at developing conservation policies applicable at an ecosystem scale. His work in Amboseli has continued unbroken since then, serving as a barometer of changes in the savannas and a tested of new conservation solutions. He has a particular interest in pastoralism and community participation in conservation. Western has been active in many areas of conservation, including field research, community-based conservation, international programs, ecotourism, conservation planning, directing government and non-government agencies, training, creation of conservation institutions and public education. He directed Wildlife Conservation Society programs in East Africa for many years. He established the Wildlife Planning Unit in Kenya in 1978, was the chairman of the African Elephant and Rhino Specialist Group in the 1980s, was founding president of The International Ecotourism Society, chairman of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, director of Wildlife Conservation Society (International), director of Kenya Wildlife Service and founder of the African Conservation Centre in Nairobi. He is an adjunct professor in Biology at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Minnesota. Western’s publications include Conservation for the Twenty-first Century (OUP, 1989), Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation (Island Press, 1994) and In the Dust of Kilimanjaro (Shearwater, 1997).