Jake Beattie, Executive Director Northwest Maritime Center
Stephanie Burns, Managing Director of Education
Stephanie’s (she/her/hers) life and career has served at the intersection of education, social justice and human potential. From establishing and building communities with a cause, to developing training and educational programs from the east coast to the islands, she is deeply committed to education, growth and learning, and equally passionate about promoting that in others. Early on in her career as an educator, she was introduced to project-based, experiential learning that valued human connection and restorative practices. That discovery of humanistic hands-on, hearts-on and minds-on pedagogies has inspired her throughout her 25 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hawaiian Islands and Northwest. She’s designed, directed and developed programs at several educational initiatives, including aboard a 90-foot marine research vessel at the Marine Science Institute, The JASON Expedition, an inquiry-based program devoted to STEM, and at Galileo Learning, a summer innovation program where she authored curriculum, hired and coached hundreds of seasoned and aspiring educators, and introduced thousands of students to an innovation process and pedagogy based on the Stanford d.school Design Thinking model. As a National Faculty at PBLWorks, Stephanie also facilitates professional development and training for educators and leaders in designing and implementing Project Based Learning (PBL). A lifelong learner, Stephanie believes that in order to engage and educate, creating the conditions that allow individuals to show up as their authentic selves, embracing their strengths and elevating both their mind and spirit are integral parts of the learning process. From there, anything is possible!
Kristina Vernik, Development Administrator
In 2018, Kristina added her analytical bend to the Salish Sea Expeditions office bringing with her a decade of e-commerce experience from the triathlon industry. She’s also conducted a broad mix of administrative services for local non-profit organizations, performs freelance web development and design, and holds a BA in Environmental Engineering from Montana Tech. She resides in North Kitsap with her husband where their ‘nest’ tends to be in a state of flux as their 3 children transition into adulthood. In addition to spending time with her family, her off-hours are spent reading, hanging with her beagle and cheering on the Seattle Sounders.
SEASONAL EDUCATION TEAM
Salish Sea Expeditions has a history of attracting and retaining highly qualified Education Team, and the Spring 2019 season is no exception. We have a great of both new and returning staff members who bring with them a strong understanding of the program, a love of science and sailing, and an enthusiasm for working with students.
Top Row: (left to right) David Leanza, Joshua Wheeler, Louise Currie, Kyle Bowerman, Chelsea Ragland, Megan Schoephoerster, Kelly Greenwood
Bottom row: (left to right) Renee Reeves, Amanda Osborn, Kirsten Williams, Emma Spence, Hannah Sciarappa
DAVID LEANZA, CAPTAIN
David grew up messing about in boats with his dad on Lake Erie. He has worked professionally aboard nine different sailing vessels, four of them as captain, on both coasts of the US, in the Great Lakes, and in the Bahamas. David spent 13 years in Michigan as captain and program director of Windward Bound sailing camp programs where he managed youth volunteers throughout the year and led trips aboard traditionally rigged schooners each summer. When not working on the water, David enjoys doing carpentry and design projects. He studied Sustainable Building and Design at Yestermorrow Design School in Warren, VT. He recently completed the renovation of a 118-year-old home and designed two new homes which were built near Pontiac, MI. David studied Music at University of Miami and enjoys playing drums and percussion.
ANANDA HERRERA, CAPTAIN
Captain Anibal (Ananda) Herrera was born in Chile and raised in South Florida, graduating from the University of Miami in oceanography, Naturally he has a passion for the sea. First introduced to sailing as a child by his late grandfather, Ananda grew up sailing on Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Eager to see the world, he took to the sea sailing across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. His thirst for new sailing adventures led him to many wondrous places such as Hawai’i, Bermuda, the Azores, the Caribbean, and more. He’s had over 30 years of sailing experience, as well as 11 years of teaching sailing. It gives him great pleasure to pass on the skills and knowledge he’s gained to help others have the freedom and confidence to set sail and steer their own course. In this way, he seeks to help others embark on their own sailing adventure.
JESSE KLUG, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Jesse Klug was raised just outside of Seattle, Washington and grew up doing all sorts of outdoor sports in the Pacific Northwest (backpacking, mountain biking, and kayaking) along with competitive soccer. He graduated from Bucknell University, majoring in Managing for Sustainability (BSBA), with an emphasis on international economic and community development. After college, he worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which is a nonprofit that supports incoming refugees during the resettlement process. Then, he spent a few years at Friends of the Children – Seattle, a professional mentoring program for youth in Seattle Public Schools and Foster Care. Lastly, he has led experiential education programs in Central and South America, and is excited to meet the students and explore alongside them closer to home! It is bound to be a meaningful and memorable experience, and he is thrilled to share it with these groups.
CRISTINA VILLALOBOS, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Before joining the Salish Sea Expeditions Team, Cristina traveled the country as an environmental educator teaching and learning about different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. She is ecstatic to return to the Pacific Northwest, where she researched ocean acidification and ocean warming effects on Pacific herring for her Master’s in marine and estuarine science with Western Washington University. Throughout her academic career she combined her research interests with youth education and outreach opportunities. Why? Because to her, science education outside of the lab is just as important as inside the lab. She is an adventurer at heart and is always ready to go outdoors.
COLLEEN O’BRIEN, MATE
Growing up in Ohio, Colleen found joy in exploring the shoreline and waters of Lake Erie. This led her to study Marine Science (B.S) and Biochemistry (B.S) at Eckerd College, where she graduated in 2015. Not long after, she discovered the world of boat-based education and spent two years teaching on sailing school vessels – including a few seasons on the good ship Carlyn as Logistics Coordinator and Marine Science Educator. Colleen spent most of the past couple years on land, working as an Environmental Science Educator with NatureBridge in Yosemite. But, returned to the San Juan Islands this past summer to work as Mate on the schooner Spike Africa and as Captain of a Sea Witch ketch. When not sailing, she can usually still be found by the water – surfing, snorkeling or reading. She’s excited to be returning to Salish Sea Expeditions, and to have the opportunity to help students build confidence and connection to the Salish Sea as they sail aboard Carlyn.
AJ ST.MARTIN, MATE
HANNA BRIDGHAM, MARINE SCIENTIST
Hanna began her environmental education journey in Michigan at a natural science school. In Washington, she discovered her passion for the Puget Sound. The adventure began in 2013 as a Nisqually stream stewed, where she developed a passion for sharing the environment with others. In 2016, Hanna began her education at Western Washington University where she was involved with renewable energy advocacy, community sustainability education, and natural science. She graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Science along with a dedication to the Salish sea and the scientific process. Hanna’s early experiences with great environmental educators shaped her passion for the natural world. She is excited to share with new students the great experiences she had.
STEVE GRACE, MARINE SCIENTIST
Steve is the author of many books on a diverse range of topics, including historical cartography, the urban food movement, and river preservation. On the Oregon coast he led tidepooling tours and taught intertidal ecology and marine biology. He is a shipboard naturalist on seabird and wildlife cruises for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and he works as an educator and a mate on longboats for the Northwest Maritime Center. In the summer of 2019, he sailed aboard the historic schooner Adventuress as a deckhand and an educator. Steve lives in Port Townsend, Washington, where he is working on a book about the natural history of the Northwest Coast, participating in citizen science research, and leading an effort to conserve an old-growth forest. He goes outdoors every chance he gets for trail running, skiing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and photographing life at the ocean’s edge.
MEGAN BROOKENS, GALLEY & LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
Megan grew up playing and learning in the creeks and streams of rural Pennsylvania. She has always been passionate about water and understanding the connections we have to Earth’s waterways, particularly considering the impacts of climate change today. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Urban Studies where she focused on issues within the education system and the environment. Megan has spent the past few years working with students throughout Philadelphia to explore environmental stewardship through experiential lessons. In her free time, she enjoys singing jazzy tunes, trying new recipes with friends, climbing trees, and floating. She is excited to learn from and with the students and staff this season!
KAT GANS, GALLEY & LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
Kat grew up on the Hudson River in New York state dreaming of wild woods and waters. Her curiosity about the world around her resulted in a B.S. form Rutgers University with a evolutionary science degree. After a stint at an archeological site in Italy, Kat was reunited with the Hudson River as a crew member and cook on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in 2015, where she remains an occasional volunteer. For the past four years, Kat has found herself surrounded by the wild woods and rivers of her dreams as a park ranger and active community member in Southern Oregon. Kat loves to laugh, ride bikes, eat fancy snacks, make crafts, and host dinner parties for friends.
MARLOWE BRENNAN, DECKHAND
MEGAN REED, DECKHAND
Megan grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has always loved the ocean. However, she didn’t discover her love of sailing until moving to Bellingham to study marine biology at Western Washington University. She serendipitously took a summer job cleaning charter yachts, and through that company was given the opportunity to go sailing for a weekend course and got the bug! From then on she has been active in the keelboat racing community in Bellingham and has been cruising the San Juan Islands year round. Last summer she sailed over 800 nautical miles in the Caribbean Sea with a group of high school students. She has a goal of earning her Captain’s License.