Earth Expeditions
Brazil - Saving Golden Lion Tamarins
Brazil - Saving Golden Lion Tamarins
Galápagos: Islands of Change
Baja California, Mexico: Field Methods
Paraguay: Eco-Leadership
Costa Rica Ecology & Ecotourism
Hawai‘i: Saving Species
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 20 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.


Abby Boyle

Abby Boyle

... is a senior at Miami University studying zoology with a co-major in environmental science.  In addition to serving as one of Project Dragonfly's Student Assistants, she works as a research assistant in Dr. Michelle Boone’s lab, where she assists graduate students with field data collection for projects examining the effects of exurban landscapes on frogs and frog movement patterns/habitat preferences.  Her passion for field work lead her to The School for Field Studies when selecting an undergraduate study abroad program, and her semester in Tanzania opened her eyes to the importance of community-based conservation, a field in which she hopes to continue working. Abby intends to continue her education and pursue a master’s degree in a ecology or conservation biology.  In her free time, she loves camping and hiking (especially in her home state of Washington!), cooking, goat husbandry, and improving her artistic skills with makeup.


Ramana Callan

Ramana Callan

... is a reintroduction biologist and field ecologist who loves plants and animals and working in remote locations that most people never get to see.  Her research interests focus on plant-animal interactions, including study of top-down trophic cascades triggered by recovering wolf populations and the role of giant pandas as keystone herbivores.  She has spent the past three years working on the giant panda reintroduction program in Sichuan, China, where participating scientists use a novel approach to releasing captive-bred individuals into the wild that involves human assistance and requires that they build a relationship of trust with the juvenile pandas.


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.


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.


Katie Feilen

Katie Feilen

... is a primatologist and conservation biologist, who has chased 12 monkey species through the jungles on three continents.  As part of Disney’s Conservation Team, she coordinated conservation efforts of the golden lion tamarins in Brazil with Save the Golden Lion Tamarins, and she worked with Proyecto Tití to reverse the decline of cotton-top tamarins in Colombia.  Katie received a Master of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biological Anthropology at the University of California-Davis and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She uses behavior, ecology, and evolution to help understand how primates (monkeys, apes, and lemurs) adapt to changes in their environments and how we can use scientific understanding of species to assist in their conservation.  She has spent over five years living and working internationally, including teaching environmental education with Peace Corps Paraguay, studying white-faced capuchins in Costa Rica, teaching Peruvian college students tropical ecology and conservation in the Amazon, and studying seven primate species in the rainforest of Indonesian Borneo.  Her work has been shared at both international and national conferences and has been published in various scientific journals.  She has also been awarded a Fulbright and Boren Award for her international work.  She continues to engage in conservation efforts of golden lion tamarins and cotton-top tamarins in Brazil and Colombia to assist in reversing the decline of these charismatic monkey species.


Archer Hill

Archer Hill

... is a Bermudian student serving as one of Project Dragonfly’s Graduate Assistants, while also studying towards a Master of Environmental Science degree at Miami University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami in International Studies and Geography, as well as a master’s degree in International Development Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to his current degree, Archer worked as a social-media journalist for The Economist in London. He has a passion for travel and writing, and plays soccer in his free time. He hasn’t yet seen the TV show "Archer," and has no plans to watch it in the future.


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.


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.


Zac Lawson

Zac Lawson

... earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in computer information systems from Lindsey Wilson College, where he was also selected as a two-time first team college football Academic All-American, first team All-American, and the Mid-South Conference Student Athlete of the Year.  Zac joined the Project Dragonfly staff in July, 2018, bringing with him a diverse set of skills developed from a wide array of experiences, which have included running a jerky business out of his college dorm room and developing a website for a local nonprofit organization.  As the Interactive Media Developer, Zac assists in enhancing Project Dragonfly’s online presence through his programming and design skills.  In his free time Zac enjoys lifting weights, being outdoors and playing video games with his friends.


Caitlin Leach

Caitlin Leach

... is a sophomore at Miami University majoring in life and earth science education with plans to teach high school biology after graduation. She is currently one of the Project Dragonfly’s undergraduate student workers and is involved in the Miami University Teacher and Education Living Learning Community in her dorm. Caitlin works actively toward her dream of teaching by working with students as much as possible, including volunteering to judge a middle school science fair in Cincinnati and tutoring her brother and sister. She hopes to encourage her future students to pursue studies and careers in the field of science and to never stop asking questions about the world around them. Caitlin spends most of her summers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden or playing Frisbee with her two spoiled pups, Phoebe and Cosmo. She also spends her time hiking in Hueston Woods, watching musicals with her roommate, and walking to uptown Oxford for late night ice cream and doughnut runs.


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

... serves as an instructor, administrator, and academic adviser for Project Dragonfly.  His research looks at the diversity of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators in community gardens and other green spaces in cities.  Kevin also has recently published on human-elephant conflicts in Thailand.  During his time with Dragonfly, Kevin has taught Earth Expeditions in  Baja, Belize, the Peruvian Amazon, and Galápagos, as well as AIP and online courses including Urban Ecology, Master's Capstone, and Internship.  Kevin currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his wife, two children, and Labrador retriever Walter.


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.


Karen Plucinski

Karen Plucinski

... is the Assistant Director and Instructor of the Advanced Inquiry Program, Project Dragonfly. Prior to this, she was on the biology faculty at Missouri Southern State University and Defiance College for over 22 years, teaching general ecology, field zoology, mammalogy, and conservation biology.  Karen received a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Montana, and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire.  Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at an early age stimulated her biophilia. She also has experience in informal science teaching and facilitating citizen science as a Wildlife Biologist at Great Plains Wildlife Institute in Jackson, Wyoming.  Among some of her favorite courses to teach have been those that include field components such as Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Southwestern Desert Ecology, and one of the Belize courses for Earth Expeditions the last three summers.  She resides in Fairfield, Ohio, with her husband Mark and enjoys running, cycling, hiking, and wildlife watching in her free time.

 

 


Mary Sticklen

Mary Sticklen

... is a business specialist in the recycling industry and focuses on assisting organizations with zero-waste, waste reduction, and organics recycling initiatives. She earned an M.B.A. in Sustainable Business from Western Kentucky University, a Master of Environmental Science from Miami University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky.  Mary began working for Project Dragonfly as a Graduate Assistant in 2014 and currently works as a Curricular Support Assistant. In this position she assists with the Advanced Inquiry Program and its Master Institution partners. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring, whether in nature or a good book.


Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan

... earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois Chicago where her dissertation work focused on vole foraging and how it affects tallgrass prairie remnants and restorations.  She earned a master’s degree in Wildlife and Range Resources from BYU, where she studied the effects of wildfire on small mammal communities and invasive plants in sagebrush grass steppe communities.  She holds a bachelor’s in Conservation Biology from the same institution.  As an undergraduate she got out into the field as much as possible, joining as many research teams doing fieldwork as she could.  This fieldwork gave her experience working with a wide variety of organisms ranging from mountain plovers to black bears and in ecosystems ranging from mountain forests to shrublands and grasslands.  Amy’s interest in engaging communities in conservation began when she moved to Chicago and recognized the need for the community to be connected with the natural areas near them.  She served as the head of her town’s conservation commission and organized outreach events and programs as well as work days to engage the community in conservation and restoration activities in their home town.  Now living in Oxford, Ohio, she continues to be involved in conservation and helping people connect with nature through volunteer activities with Three Valley Trust.  Amy loves spending time with her family, making music (fiddle, piano, and accordion), baking, and getting out into the great outdoors.


Shachi Vaish

Shachi Vaish

... is a computers enthusiast serving as one of Project Dragonfly's Graduate Student Assistants. She has a bachelor’s degree in technology majoring in Computer Science Engineering from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam University in India. Prior to joining Miami's Institute for the Environment and Sustainability as a master’s student, she worked with KPMG as an analyst for 18 months and was responsible for statistical analysis of large-scale data, data management, and Sharepoint development. She was also a student project lead where she was responsible for the detection of the effects of agricultural and industrial waste dumping in the river Yamuna and segmentation of images based on color. Shachi intends to do her Ph.D. in Environmental Science.  She has a passion for aeromodelling, and in her free time, she likes to sleep and eat.


Rachel Yoho

Rachel Yoho

... earned a Ph.D. in Biological Design from Arizona State University, where she studied microbial electrochemical systems. Also from Arizona State University, Rachel completed a Certificate in Scientific Teaching in Higher Education. She investigated climate change and energy technologies in undergraduate educational materials. Her background is in biology. Currently, Rachel's research interests lie at the intersections of disciplines and she is studying cross-cutting concepts and topics in environmental education. Outside of teaching and research, Rachel enjoys spending time with family, reading, and DIY projects.


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.


Laura Avila

Laura Avila

... is an agroecologist, passionate about tropical conservation. She completed a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in Interdisciplinary Ecology, and she received a Certificate in Tropical Conservation & Development at the University of Florida. She is currently an NIH-FIRST postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University, Atlanta. Currently, her research focuses on bee microbiome and bee ecology. For her dissertation, she studied the foraging ecology of stingless bees in agricultural coffee landscapes. Throughout her master's degree, she researched the use of cover crops for nitrogen replacement in crop production. Her undergraduate degree in tropical agriculture was completed at EARTH University in Costa Rica, where she developed an interest in hands-on and multicultural learning environments. She has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Florida, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College, and core master's courses at Project Dragonfly. Research and field courses have taken her to several continents, but she is the happiest when trekking and doing fieldwork in her native Costa Rica.


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 20 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.


Mackenzie Borau

Mackenzie Borau

... is a Conservation Program Manager and the Graduate Advisor and Coordinator for the Advanced Inquiry Program at San Diego Zoo Global. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Trinity University (Texas) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Calgary. Her dissertation research focused on the behavioral ecology, nutrition and energetics of wild white-faced capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. She has interdisciplinary research interests and experience in lab and field settings with project development and team-based research. She loves teaching, mentoring and wildlife (especially primates!), and is excited to combine these to help students realize their potential and explore their passion for conservation through the AIP. Mackenzie lives in Escondido, California, with her husband, Javier, and dog, Murphy -- they enjoy many activities there, including cooking, camping and beach time in the warm weather and sunshine!


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.


Ramana Callan

Ramana Callan

... is a reintroduction biologist and field ecologist who loves plants and animals and working in remote locations that most people never get to see.  Her research interests focus on plant-animal interactions, including study of top-down trophic cascades triggered by recovering wolf populations and the role of giant pandas as keystone herbivores.  She has spent the past three years working on the giant panda reintroduction program in Sichuan, China, where participating scientists use a novel approach to releasing captive-bred individuals into the wild that involves human assistance and requires that they build a relationship of trust with the juvenile pandas.


Debbie Clemens

Debbie Clemens

... is a conservation biologist from the Chicago-land area. She joined the Project Dragonfly family in 2011 as an Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) student, earning a master’s degree in zoology with a focus on wild orangutan conservation. Debbie is practiced in interpretation of animal behavior as well as animal care and husbandry, and she is an experienced facilitator of conservation biology graduate level courses as well as a seasoned informal educator. Debbie has served as a course instructor for Project Dragonfly and enjoyed three years as the Senior Coordinator for the AIP at Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo. Debbie’s current focus is her role with Orangutan Outreach, a U.S.-based organization that supports orangutan rescue, rehabilitation, and reintroduction throughout Indonesia. She has a passion for wildlife conservation and a strong desire to educate others, and is dedicated to the conservation of wild orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra, regularly traveling to Malaysia and Indonesia to support the grass roots organizations working to save the red apes. Debbie loves being in the field and can’t wait to share the rainforests with you!


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 high school Spanish teacher who is enamored of nature and wildlife. She likes nothing better than to wander her property in southeastern Indiana with her husband and two dogs. A life-long learner, Leah graduated from the Global Field Program in 2014. 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 and Australia as well as a Curricular Support Assistant for Project Dragonfly. In addition, she has been teaching biology as an adjunct professor for Ivy Tech Community College for the past two years. She believes that enthusiasm is contagious and that education, inspiration, and empathy are the keys to encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone and become conscientious stewards of the planet and 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 Western Program and Geography 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 to the Bahamas, the Netherlands Antilles, Belize, Australia, Nambia 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, astronomy and photography. Hays has authored many research papers and popular articles focusing on science and science education. Recent publications include books on Bahamas birds and coral reef fish.


Liz Dame

Liz Dame

... received her bachelor's in marine science from the University of South Carolina. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, where her research focused on behavioral ecology and marine ecology, respectively. She conducted her doctoral fieldwork in Curacao where her research examined factors affecting the resilience of coral reefs and the recovery of a keystone grazer. In addition to being part of the Earth Expeditions instructional team for Australia, Liz taught biology at the University of Cincinnati for several years. She is an avid scuba diver and is certified as a rescue diver.


Katie Dell

Katie Dell

... is a middle school science teacher and science department chair outside of Baltimore, Maryland. This is her sixth year in the classroom and her second year as a Community Learning Leader with Project Dragonfly. Katie studied biology at Towson University with a focus on secondary education and graduated with her master's degree in biology from Project Dragonfly at Miami University in 2016. In her spare time she coaches tennis, kayaks, dabbles in photography and enjoys spending time with her goofy and lovable pit bull, Luna.


Ryan Draper

Ryan Draper

... grew up in Houston, spending lots of time in the surrounding areas like the beach and state parks. Ryan currently works at the Houston Zoo as the Public Relations Manager. The title sounds fancy, but he likes to tell people that he's just a storyteller. His job allows him to use all sorts of media like videography, photography, blog posts, interviews, websites, etc. to connect people to nature and show how conservation initiatives are helping to save animals all over the world. For a while, Ryan lived out of a tent in the mountains of Colorado, sharing the wilderness as an outdoor educator. The silent hours spent observing wildlife in the back country helped solidify his appreciation of nature and conservation programs around the globe. Ryan holds a current Wilderness First Responder certification.


Maureen Drinkard

Maureen Drinkard

... is better known her students as Dr. Mo, an assistant professor of environmental science and ecology at 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.


Katie Feilen

Katie Feilen

... is a primatologist and conservation biologist, who has chased 12 monkey species through the jungles on three continents.  As part of Disney’s Conservation Team, she coordinated conservation efforts of the golden lion tamarins in Brazil with Save the Golden Lion Tamarins, and she worked with Proyecto Tití to reverse the decline of cotton-top tamarins in Colombia.  Katie received a Master of Arts and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biological Anthropology at the University of California-Davis and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She uses behavior, ecology, and evolution to help understand how primates (monkeys, apes, and lemurs) adapt to changes in their environments and how we can use scientific understanding of species to assist in their conservation.  She has spent over five years living and working internationally, including teaching environmental education with Peace Corps Paraguay, studying white-faced capuchins in Costa Rica, teaching Peruvian college students tropical ecology and conservation in the Amazon, and studying seven primate species in the rainforest of Indonesian Borneo.  Her work has been shared at both international and national conferences and has been published in various scientific journals.  She has also been awarded a Fulbright and Boren Award for her international work.  She continues to engage in conservation efforts of golden lion tamarins and cotton-top tamarins in Brazil and Colombia to assist in reversing the decline of these charismatic monkey species.


Samantha Gorenstein

Samantha Gorenstein

... teaches fifth grade science in Littleton, Colorado. Her passion for conservation work began during a volunteer placement at a wildlife orphanage in Nelspruit, South Africa. After returning to Colorado, she began volunteering as a guide at Denver Zoo, where she was introduced to the Advanced Inquiry Program. She received her M.A.T. through Project Dragonfly and traveled to Thailand through Earth Expeditions. In her spare time, she continues to volunteer at Denver Zoo as a keeper assistant and guide, and she also leads workshops for a local infertility group in an attempt to help connect the infertility community to mindfulness and wellness through nature.


Savannah Gupton

Savannah Gupton

... holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and earned her master's in biology from Miami University through Project Dragonfly in 2017. In addition to the ecological and conservation work done while a student at Miami University and North Carolina State University, Samantha gained professional research experience in air pollution remediation and public health while employed as a staff scientist at Emory University. Currently working on zero emission transportation solutions and electrification technology in the Bay Area of California, Savannah has worked extensively in Rwanda and India and loves adventure travel and learning. Her favorite research topics include honeybees, plants, renewable energy, space and the ocean. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the West Coast and running and hiking with her dog, Mowgli. Savannah is thrilled to be a part of the Earth Expeditions instructional team and looks forward to ongoing engagement with this amazing community!


Matt Hallett

Matt Hallett

... is the Manager of the Guyana Conservation Initiative at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at the University of Florida. His research focuses on the impact of habitat type, 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. Matt earned a B.A. in Biology with minors in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston; an M.A. in Zoology from Miami University/Project Dragonfly's Global Field Program, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology with a certificate in Tropical Conservation & Development from the University of Florida.


Nick Jacobsen

Nick Jacobsen

... is a conservation social scientist who focuses his teaching and research on understanding human-environment interactions. He completed his B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University, and he received his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University from the Applied Biodiversity Science program. His dissertation research investigated human-lion conflict in the Okavango Delta Region of Botswana, and more specifically how national and international policies shaped local people’s interactions with and attitudes toward large predators. Before graduate school Nick participated in field-based research projects in California, Peru, South Africa, and Ethiopia, all focusing on mammalian carnivore conservation. In his free time, Nick enjoys camping and hiking, travel, and basketball (mostly watching these days).


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 the Principal Evaluator at the Seattle Aquarium. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 from Stanford University in learning sciences and technology design and her master's in environmental science from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Kathayoon has been working in zoos and aquariums since the age of 14 and is fascinated with how we measure our impact and affect change in behaviors and attitudes. Kathayoon is an alumna of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program, an avid yogi and a slow runner, and an amateur calligrapher


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.


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

... serves as an instructor, administrator, and academic adviser for Project Dragonfly.  His research looks at the diversity of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators in community gardens and other green spaces in cities.  Kevin also has recently published on human-elephant conflicts in Thailand.  During his time with Dragonfly, Kevin has taught Earth Expeditions in  Baja, Belize, the Peruvian Amazon, and Galápagos, as well as AIP and online courses including Urban Ecology, Master's Capstone, and Internship.  Kevin currently resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his wife, two children, and Labrador retriever Walter.


Lily Maynard

Lily Maynard

... is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, where she is completing a dissertation studying the conservation impacts of zoos and aquariums across North America. Her research focus is on the field of the human dimensions of wildlife conservation as she is passionate about researching ways to engage more people in conservation. She grew up at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, where she developed a passion for wildlife conservation and getting up close with animals. She studied biology and animal behavior at Smith College, and worked for years in Africa and Central America on community-based conservation projects. These international experiences were a turning point for her, leading her away from animal behavior research and toward active conservation research focused on people and communities. She is an alum of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program, and she currently works as a Conservation Program Manager of primates at Disney's Animal Kingdom.


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.


Jennifer Mickelberg

Jennifer Mickelberg

... holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science form George Mason University. Her doctoral dissertation, “Understanding and Managing Isolation in a Fragmented Population of Golden Lion Tamarins," elevated her research interest in the conservation of small species populations to maximize long-term population viability in both natural and cultivated surroundings.  Currently the Senior Director of Collections and Conservation at Zoo Atlanta, Jennifer worked previously with  and has previous experience working as the Assistant Golden Lion Tamarin Studbook Keepr for the Smithsonia's National Zoo, and as a population biologist for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.  Jennifer is an active member of several groups dedicated to the conservation of golden lion tamarins including the IUCN’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and Save the Golden Lion Tamarin.  She’s traveled to the Atlantic Coastal forest of Brazil outside of Rio de Janeiro to conduct field work with the Golden Lion Tamarin Association on conservation work for golden lion tamarins.


Jim Miller

Jim Miller

... is an AP Environmental Science & Environmental Science teacher at Cleveland Heights High School, near Cleveland, Ohio. Jim received his bachelor's degree in environmental studies through Allegheny College and his teaching certificate through Ashland University. He was honored to receive his master’s degree as part of the first graduating class of the Global Field Program at Miami University in 2011! For the GFP, he participated in Earth Expeditions courses 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 Curriculum 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.


Mollie O'Neil

Mollie O'Neil

... is the Manager of the Volunteer and Intern Department at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Cincinnati and worked in project management for a global clinical research organization until she realized her lifelong passion for nature and nature education was her true path. An avid gardener and plant lover, she began volunteering with the Zoo’s Horticulture Department and Education Department at the Wild Discover Zones using inquiry to engage Zoo guests with science and nature in a fun, informal setting. These experiences inspired her to investigate a new career, which led her to Miami University and the Project Dragonfly Advanced Inquiry Program. She earned her Master of Arts in Zoology in December 2013 and continued her connection to the program as a faculty member teaching and facilitating several courses, including Leadership in Science Inquiry, Plants & People, and Earth Expedition: Namibia.


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 and curriculum developer for the National Network of Ocean & Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI), using research-based communications methods to change the public discourse about climate change. 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 web-based, field, and Zoo courses, and she cherishes the adventures and experiential learning it brings. When she's not at the Zoo, Jerran is traveling, enjoying theater, reading good books, delving into a bowl of ice cream, volunteering in her church's student ministry, or rooting for the Michigan Wolverines.


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 the Assistant Director and Instructor of the Advanced Inquiry Program, Project Dragonfly. Prior to this, she was on the biology faculty at Missouri Southern State University and Defiance College for over 22 years, teaching general ecology, field zoology, mammalogy, and conservation biology.  Karen received a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Montana, and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire.  Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at an early age stimulated her biophilia. She also has experience in informal science teaching and facilitating citizen science as a Wildlife Biologist at Great Plains Wildlife Institute in Jackson, Wyoming.  Among some of her favorite courses to teach have been those that include field components such as Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Southwestern Desert Ecology, and one of the Belize courses for Earth Expeditions the last three summers.  She resides in Fairfield, Ohio, with her husband Mark and enjoys running, cycling, hiking, and wildlife watching in her free time.

 

 


Linda Proctor

Linda Proctor

... is a recent graduate of the Global Field Program (2017). She has over 25 years of experience as an educator. She works as an Intervention Specialist teaching children with learning and behavior disabilities. She also has a background in psychology, and early childhood education. She loves helping kids connect with nature and is a strong believer in the many benefits - both mental and physical - of spending time in the outdoors. She believes you are never too young (or too old!) to see yourself as an agent of change. She lives in a small rural community in Northeast Ohio with her three amazing daughters.


Maggie Reinbold

Maggie Reinbold

... is the founding member of the Community Engagement team 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.


Courtney Ryan

Courtney Ryan

... knew, after teaching in Seoul, South Korea for six years, that it was time to reconnect with the things that were most important to her: informal education and the outdoors. Her experience in the Global Field Program gave her the opportunity to do just that. Now as the Program Operations Coordinator at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, she is able to use inquiry in her daily life, inspiring children and adults to become conservation leaders in their community. She is ready to take inquiry from a local to a global perspective as an online facilitator as well as leading Earth Expeditions for Project Dragonfly!


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, which allowed her to gain real-world experiences that she applies to her teaching. In 2011 she was honored to be part of the first graduating class of the Global Field Program, receiving her M.A.T. in the 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 go on adventures, hikes, and camping trips with her husband and son.


Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan

... earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Illinois Chicago where her dissertation work focused on vole foraging and how it affects tallgrass prairie remnants and restorations.  She earned a master’s degree in Wildlife and Range Resources from BYU, where she studied the effects of wildfire on small mammal communities and invasive plants in sagebrush grass steppe communities.  She holds a bachelor’s in Conservation Biology from the same institution.  As an undergraduate she got out into the field as much as possible, joining as many research teams doing fieldwork as she could.  This fieldwork gave her experience working with a wide variety of organisms ranging from mountain plovers to black bears and in ecosystems ranging from mountain forests to shrublands and grasslands.  Amy’s interest in engaging communities in conservation began when she moved to Chicago and recognized the need for the community to be connected with the natural areas near them.  She served as the head of her town’s conservation commission and organized outreach events and programs as well as work days to engage the community in conservation and restoration activities in their home town.  Now living in Oxford, Ohio, she continues to be involved in conservation and helping people connect with nature through volunteer activities with Three Valley Trust.  Amy loves spending time with her family, making music (fiddle, piano, and accordion), baking, and getting out into the great outdoors.


T'Noya Thompson

T'Noya Thompson

... attended Texas A&M University at Galveston where she received a B.S. in Marine Biology in 2005, and in 2018, she received an M.A. from Miami University through Project Dragonfly’s Global Field Program. Born and raised in the Bahamas, T’Noya has always felt connected to nature as there was always much to explore and learn, and her deep connection to the ocean in particular inspired her career path from an early age. In 2005, she began working at Moody Gardens in the Animal Care Department, and for 12 years she served in a number of roles at Moody Gardens, engaging with the community in a variety of ways. Joining the Galveston Bay Foundation as Report Card Coordinator in May 2017, T'Noya continues to educate her community on the preservation and conservation of Galveston Bay, Texas’ largest estuary. Passionate about conservation collaboration and engagement, T'Noya looks forward to connecting with the community and Earth Expeditions students as a Community Learning Leader. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and adventurous daughter, traveling, and meeting new people.


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 including her family's homelands, has taught Fia the importance of exploring, taking chances, and discovering the endless possibilities this world has to offer. Working as the Sustainable Communities Advocate 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 in nature. Liana earned her BS in Biology & Ecology at Penn State University and her master’s in zoology through Miami University's Global Field Program, for which she has been a Community Learning Leader since 2014. Currently a naturalist at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary near Annapolis, Maryland, she still pinches herself every day to be working at such a stunning and inspiring place. Liana is also the Education & Outreach Coordinator at the Vermilion Sea Institute and co-founded the Stars to Sea whale shark citizen science program. In her spare time (what's that?) she enjoys cooking, playing guitar, and scratching the ears of her dogs Willow & Finn..


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).