The REEF Education Advisory Panel (EAP) is a group of volunteer educators who contribute to REEF’s education efforts and programs by providing feedback and insight. It consists of educational leaders from both formal and informal settings. The panelists serve a wide range of ages and user groups, have experience using REEF's programs in their educational activities and/or participating in REEF's Ocean Explorers programming, and/or have relevant experience such as incorporating citizen science into formal/informal education, developing marine science curricula, and working with group travel programs. The EAP serves to provide a robust review and input to the Ocean Explorers Program and advance citizen science participation. The goals of the panel are:

  • Provide guidance to REEF education staff on current Ocean Explorer and other education program priorities
  • Support a forum for lessons learned and best practices with regard to incorporating REEF programs and/or data into formal and informal settings
  • Serve as a test-bed for existing and proposed REEF education products
  • Advise on standard alignment requirements, and provide guidance to current educational practices
  • Deliver constructive and effective feedback, develop innovative curricula, and advocate for student needs, learning methods, and accommodations.


Are you an educator interested in joining the EAP?

Your experience and knowledge is a valuable tool to share. REEF recognizes the busy nature of an educational professional and appreciates your time in this endeavor. This leadership position will be recognized through social media, e-News and at volunteer recognition events. As an EAP member, you will work collaboratively and cooperatively with REEF's education staff and will stay updated on the latest scientific data and how to share it with their audience. Your passion for marine conservation will be amplified by the far-reaching effect of educating others. The EAP meets quarterly for virtual sessions, and opportunistically in-person at conferences and events. Email us at to find out more.


Education Advisory Panel Members 

Andrea Contreras is a participatory science enthusiast and a marine scientist passionate about working to increase access to ocean education and research. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico she is currently based in Washington, DC working to ensure healthy access to recreational waters, and working in volunteer monitoring projects. She is trained as a NAUI dive instructor, and is thrilled to work to guide even more individuals in their experience with the underwater world. Andrea has worked on field research across Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and California and has built content for youth summer programs that work with ocean and diving education. She is also a board member for the Hydrous, where she works to build ocean empathy by leveraging virtual reality and immersive education tools to bring the ocean to everyone, no matter where they are physically located.


Claudia Horn is a music teacher in a K-8 school in Aurora, Colorado, where she also leads the Quest For Oceans Club for middle school students. Claudia has been a recreational diver since 2006 and loves to share her enthusiasm for the ocean environment with her students. She volunteers as a Pathway Guide at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, continuing to learn about ocean life, while enjoying the informal nature of educating visitors at the aquarium. 

Michaela Koessler Peterson teaches all things science at a high school in Seattle, Washington. She's been a formal educator for 12 years though teaching and learning are lifelong passions. She's particularly interested in place-based education and developing student-driven projects with opportunities for them to be experts. When she's not taking students to the beach or helping them design ocean sensors, she can be found underwater doing REEF surveys or above water, hanging with her family in the mountains or playing board games. She's currently working on becoming a better birder.


Blair Stuhlmuller is about to enter her 6th year teaching science in Portland, Oregon. She teaches Biology and two self-designed science elective classes: Marine Biology and Mass Extinctions. When not in the classroom, you can find her outside looking at cool rocks or sometimes several feet underwater. While she got PADI scuba dive certified in the Caribbean, She's enjoying the extra challenges that come with diving in the frigid waters of the Pacific NW. She saw her first Giant Pacific Octopus just last year! She loves being able to share her passions with others in unique and engaging ways and strongly believes the best science education happens in the field and while using real data. She strives to bring that authenticity into her classroom.  Blair is a 2023 REEF Educator in the Field Fellow.

Maki Kasai has always been drawn to the underwater world and its unique biodiversity.  After graduating from UCSB with a B.S. in Aquatic Biology, she took to the skies as a flight attendant and traveled the world, and has now been a high school science teacher for the past 19 years.  She loves adventuring with her husband and three children to warm water destinations and has most enjoyed diving Providencia in the Caribbean and Cabo Pulmo in the Sea of Cortez. Maki is a 2023 REEF Educator in the Field Fellow.

Jennifer Donahue has worked in libraries since 1998, as a public librarian, and for the past 17 years as a librarian at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is co-founder and co-moderator of St. Xavier’s first Marine Biology Club. Jennifer has also been a member of Newport Aquarium's Dive Team since 2004, and a volunteer diver for the Cincinnati Zoo since 2015. Jennifer has logged over 1,000 hours as a volunteer, cleaning and maintaining habitats for sharks, hippos, manatees and penguins. Jennifer is a 2023 REEF Educator in the Field Fellow.

Amy Reber is a Principal Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biology at Georgia State University where she teaches a variety of courses focused on organismal biology and marine ecology. She earned her BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her PhD in Biology from Georgia State University. She is a strong supporter of experiential learning and is always looking for opportunities to get her students out of the classroom and into the ocean. Since 2017 she has co-led small groups of Georgia State students in field experiences in Florida Keys as part of the REEF Ocean Explorers Education Program.

Selina Heppell is a Professor of Fisheries Science and Head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State University who is passionate about science communication and diversifying science through inclusive activities that “demystify” the important work that we do. She earned her degrees in Zoology at University of Washington, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. Her research on sea turtle conservation planning and marine fisheries ecology has connected her with many agencies and people around the world. Selina has been a diver since 1985 and became a marine educator while volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium as a teenager

Lauren Twele is currently an Education Specialist at Tampa Bay Watch, which is a non-profit dedicated to protecting and restoring the estuarine habitats of Tampa Bay.  In her role she facilitates Estuary EDventures field trips and summer camps for grades K-12 and develops activities and curriculum for these program offerings.  Lauren is a graduate of The University of Tampa where she earned a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology and a minor in Education. Having always been passionate about conservation education and inspiring youth to protect our aquatic habitats, she has worked at several organizations as a science instructor including The Florida Aquarium and Seacamp Association, Inc., and also has experience as a first mate on eco-tourism boats around the Tampa Bay area. In her free time, you can find her helping assist scuba classes as a divemaster, dog sitting, paddle boarding, and hiking through America’s national parks. 


Todd Bohannon was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but grew up in Bellevue, Washington since the age of four. They received a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from The Evergreen State College in 1997 and a Master’s in Teaching from Antioch University-Seattle in 2002. Todd has worked as an educator in the greater Seattle area for over 20 years, working exclusively in small, public, alternative schools, also known as option schools. They have also worked extensively in environmental education for nearly three decades, which includes leading numerous trips of middle school students to the Peruvian Amazon with No Barriers Youth. Todd has been working as an educator and curriculum designer for the Grouper Moon Project with REEF since 2011.