2019 NMEA Elections - Candidates

We encourage you to exercise your membership right to vote in the annual election. Your vote counts towards defining the leadership of NMEA, which helps to shape the future and the success of our organization. We thank you for your participation. All current members should have received a ballot via email; if you haven’t gotten it yet, please contact us at nmea@marine-ed.org. DEADLINE TO VOTE IS June 9, 2019, and the new board takes its positions at the NMEA 2019 conference in Durham, New Hampshire in July.

President-elect Candidate

Lauren Rader, Massachusetts

Lauren Rader is an Elementary Science teacher at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA. Lauren’s curriculum helps her students consider the role of the global ocean when considering the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.

Lauren’s love of the ocean started as a child, fishing and crabbing with her mom and has continued for over 40 years with her participation as a student and educator at Project Oceanology promoting education and awareness of Long Island Sound and the ocean through hands-on experiences.

Lauren has volunteered for the National Ocean Science Bowl - Quahog Bowl for over 10 years, was a Board member for the New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative and served as President and NMEA Chapter Representative on the board of the Southeastern New England Marine Educators association. As a member of the NMEA Board, Lauren has served as NSTA Liaison and co-chair of the Chapters committee. She has chaired numerous SENEME conferences and was a Co-chair of the NMEA 2015 National Conference in Newport, RI. Lauren has been recognized by NMEA for her work with a 2012 President’s Award and the 2015 Johnette Bosarge Memorial Award.

Lauren’s favorite marine animal is the horseshoe crab and she loves to be out on the water, teaching students of all ages about our marine environments. Outside of work, Lauren loves to travel and spend time with her family and her dog - Tiller.

Secretary Candidate

Sandra Ryack-Bell, Massachusetts

Sandi is the Executive Director of the Wade Institute for Science Education, providing professional development programs for formal K-12 and informal educators. She helped develop and was Director of the SeaScope Marine Studies Center for Rhode Island SeaGrant, developed an on-the-water education program for Save the Bay (Providence, RI) and was Education Director for the Lloyd Center for the Environment where she developed curriculum materials for K-12 classrooms using data from research programs. Sandi holds a B.S. in Marine Ecology and a M.A in Education from the University of Rhode Island. Her passion for the coastal environment was sparked when her 7th grade teacher engaged her class in the first year of Project Oceanology’s ship board programs. This experience led her to a career in marine education and opportunities to share hands-on, minds-on explorations of the coastal environment with students and teachers. Sandi co-founded the Southeastern Marine Educators Association (SENEME) and served as its first President, chaired the 1987 NMEA Annual Conference and is a Past President of the Massachusetts Marine Educators. She is currently completing her term as MME Chapter Representative on the NMEA Board and chairs NMEA’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Board of Directors Candidates

Tara Hicks Johnson, New Hampshire

Tara Hicks Johnson is the Outreach Specialist at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire, where she manages programs like Seacoast SeaPerch, and helps to coordinate school visits and outreach events like Ocean Discovery Day. She is on the Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association board, is the GOMMEA rep for NMEA, and she's working hard to prepare for the NMEA Annual Conference in Durham, NH! Tara moved to New Hampshire from Honolulu where she was the Outreach Specialist for the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There she organized the biennial Open House event, handled media relations for the school, and ran the Hawaii Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Aloha Bowl. She also worked for the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto (where she was born and raised). Tara's BSc is in Geophysics from the University of Western Ontario, and her MS is from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Geology and Geophysics where she studied Meteorites.

Sean den Bok, Washington

Sean den Bok is the School and Public Programs Manager for the Seattle Aquarium and leads a team of educators to support the Seattle school and family community with onsite and offsite programming. Prior to joining the Aquarium, Sean was a Curator of Education at the Los Angeles Zoo and the Coordinator of Fee-based programs at the Santa Barbara Zoo. He received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Westmont College in Santa Barbara after which he continued his studies in informal education at Long Beach State University, as well as through the Association of Zoo and Aquarium’s (A.Z.A.) Conservation Education: Effective Program Design course.

Sean’s passion for animals and nature began early on when he attended the Zoo Magnet High School program on the grounds of the Los Angeles Zoo. Over the last 14 years, he has had the opportunity to support the design, and maintenance, of the LA Zoo’s condor play space and has led teen research trips to study Asian Elephant cognition and self-recognition in Thailand. Additionally, he has led teacher, volunteer and professional development workshops in various states throughout the nation. Lastly, he has been an active and engaged member of the Association of Zoo Aquariums since 2010, and of the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center and the National Science Teachers Association since 2017.

Kathryn Fuller, Maryland

Kathy Fuller is an Environmental Resource Teacher at the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center in Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland. Her primary focus is teaching students about the importance of watersheds, how we are all connected to our environment, and what we can do to ensure our health and the planet’s health. Ms. Fuller holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marine Biology with a Secondary Biology Teacher’s Certificate from the University of North Carolina –Wilmington and is currently earning her Master of Arts in Teaching Biological Sciences from Miami University of Ohio through the Global Field Program. She joined the staff at the Schmidt Center after working in the non-profit environmental education field for over twenty years at organizations like the National Aquarium, Under the Sea, Horsehead Wetlands Center, and the North Carolina Aquariums. She also spends much of her free time kayaking, SCUBA diving, and volunteering for local environmental organizations like the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, and the National Aquarium. Ms. Fuller values professional organizations, and has been active in the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) for more than twenty years where she currently serves on the Board as Co-Chair of the Student Engagement Committee and is completing her term as the Chapter Representative to the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA). It is common to see Ms. Fuller at conferences and events hosted by these and other professional organizations since there are always new things to learn.

Géraldine Fauville, California

Géraldine attended her first NMEA conference in 2011 and based on that experience, co-founded the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) with Fiona Crouch and Evy Copejans. Géraldine has served on the NMEA Board of Directors for the past three years and is the current co-chair of the NMEA International Committee along with Susan Haynes.

She earned a Ph.D. in Education in 2018 from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She also holds two Master degrees, one in Marine Science from the University of Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium and the second in Education, Communication and Learning from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Since 2008, Géraldine has worked as a practitioner to lead large, international ocean literacy projects and as a researcher, studying the role that digital technologies can play in supporting ocean literacy. She recently started a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University where she investigates how Virtual Reality can contribute to marine education.

Ariel Zych, New York

Ariel Zych is an educator, scientist, writer, and producer who spends an extraordinary amount of time trying to inspire a love of science and math in others. Currently Education Director at Science Friday, she's produced and created hundreds of experiments, activities, lessons, live events, and workshops for kids, parents, and teachers in video, radio, print, web, and social media. Ariel thrills in creating completely new and inventive ways to experiment, inspired by real scientists and their latest discoveries. An outdoorsy mom and former teacher, camp counselor, and biologist, Ariel can relate to the thrill of kayaking with alligators, capturing dragonflies on the wing, skydiving, and being trapped alone in a room with multiple intelligent teenagers. As an entomologist, Ariel discovered the mechanism of acoustic communication in a scentless plant bug, which was super interesting to her, but not to many other people. Several other memorable scientific pursuits include studying snail gonads, collecting ticks, caring for colonies of social spiders as an undergrad at Cornell, tagging dragonflies, sailing aboard the E/V Nautilus as it explored deep ocean hydrothermal vents, driving through the Mojave Desert in search of algae, and flying in helicopters around the Dry Valleys of Antarctica.