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 explorers@REEF.org to find out more.
Education Advisory Panel Members
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.
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
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.