President Elect

Chris Petrone

Christopher Petrone is the Marine Education Specialist with Delaware Sea Grant, which is housed within UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. Based at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, he conducts professional development for classroom teachers and informal educators in the ocean sciences. Additionally, Chris works with K-16 teachers and students, as well as informal students groups, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to increase environmental and ocean literacy and access to ocean science research. Through resource development and classroom and field programs, Chris engages learners through interactive, content-driven discussions combined with hands-on, inquiry based field and lab activities. He has a B.S. in Biology from Washington College (MD) and an M.S. in marine biosciences from the University of Delaware. Prior to his current position, Chris has been a classroom teacher, commercial oyster grower, and a Marine Education Specialist with Virginia Sea Grant and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where he worked on the Bridge website. He has served MAMEA as the Masthead editor (2008-2012), several conference planning committees, Delaware Representative (2012-present), and the Social Media Committee chair. He also serves on the NMEA 2014 conference planning committee, the NMEA Board of Directors, and several NMEA committees.

Lauren Albright

Lauren Albright is the School Programs Coordinator at the National Aquarium. She joined the National Aquarium in 2012 and has been a MAMEA member since 2011. Lauren holds a dual master’s in Park and Resource Management and Environmental Education from Slippery Rock University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University where she majored in Marine Biology and Ocean Science and Coastal Studies. Lauren has worked in the environmental education field for 7 years, both at the National Aquarium and the North Carolina Aquariums (Fort Fisher and Pine Knoll Shores). In her current position she is responsible for working with school groups for both onsite programs at the Aquarium and outreach programs at their schools, teacher workshops, homeschool programs, and is the education intern supervisor. She also served on the NMEA 2014 planning committee as the Exhibits chairperson. In addition to MAMEA, Lauren is also a member of the National Marine Educators Association, the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators and the Association of Nature Center Administrators.


Carol Hopper Brill

Carol Hopper Brill is a Marine Education Specialist with the Marine Advisory Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point. She holds Ph.D. in marine zoology and has spent much of her career interpreting marine science and science process. She is an advocate of using experiential and hands-on education in both informal and formal settings. At VIMS, Carol helps develop professional development opportunities for science teachers, coordinates the Blue Crab Bowl (Virginia Regional NOSB), helps manage a project that prepares VIMS grad students for working with science teachers in local science classrooms, and conducts outreach presentations about careers in marine science. She is one of two VIMS Representatives on the VA Resource-Use Education Council (environmental education). A MAMEA member since 2003, Carol has served as VA Representative and as President. She has been polishing her scribing instincts as MAMEA Secretary since 2013. Other MAMEA activities include serving as Chair of the Grants Committee, contributing to the Mentoring Committee by coordinating the NOSB Coach awards, and she has assisted several annual Conference Committees. One of her favorite pastimes is collecting interesting sand!

Allie Toomey

Allie Toomey is currently the Program and Digital Coordinator for EarthEcho International in Washington, DC. She works with school districts and community groups across the country to spread a love and passion for our Water Planet through project-based learning and digital and social media-based initiatives. Previously, she worked in field education in the mountains of California and on the coast of the Long Island Sound, and has field research and community outreach experience with the Delaware Shorebird Project in Delaware Bay. Allie holds a B.A. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology with a minor in Education from the Ohio State University. Last year, Allie had the privilege to work with the NMEA14 planning committee to bring the conference to her hometown of Annapolis, MD. Growing up splitting time between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Allie has had a life-long passion for the environment and education and is excited to have found a community of like-minded folks at MAMEA.

Maryland Rep

Maria Madero

Maria Madero was born and raised in Baltimore City and has always had a passion for science and teaching. Maria brought her passion to the National Aquarium, Baltimore where she joined the education team in 2009. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Goucher College and is currently an Education Specialist-Youth Programs. With more than 10 years of experience in the environmental education field, Maria has connected youth with the environment by creating and implementing programs for various audiences from pre-K to teachers. Maria is responsible for the direct implementation of the Aquarium’s afterschool high school work-study program (Aquarium on Wheels), summer camps for Baltimore City youth (Henry Hall), and the college internship program. Maria is a member of the National Marine Educators Association, the National Afterschool Association, the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators, and the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA). She first joined MAMEA in 2011 when she attended the Annual Conference held in Williamsburg. Since then, she has been very active in the organization and served as a member of the 2012 Conference Committee organizing the concurrent and poster sessions as well as is proudly serving on the board since 2013 as the current MAMEA Maryland Representative. She was on the Conference Committee for MAMEA’s hosting of NMEA 2014, leading a team of Youth to host a Youth Ocean Conservation Summit at the conference. She is also a MAMEA grant recipient. She truly has a love for the organization and is excited to continue to be engaged with such a great group of people!

North Carolina Rep

Patrick Curley

Dr. Pat Curley is the Director of The Science House at the NC State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Morehead City. Through The Science House, Dr. Curley develops and implements professional development and support for place based and citizen science programs for formal and informal educators on the coast of North Carolina, helping them to make “Coastal Connections” through introducing them to coastal science resources and showing them how to integrate coastal marine science into the NC K12 curriculum. Some of the programs that Dr. Curley is currently involved in are:

•  Coastal Connections Math and Science Partnership Grant for grade 6-9 teachers

•  Coastal Inquirers, Burroughs-Wellcome Grant for middle school students

•  Students Discover Grant – Citizen Science training for teachers.

•  CMAST Sea Wolves- Program Advisor for 4H program for High School students interested in Environmental and Coastal Marine Sciences.

•  Crystal Coast Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing- Salt Water Fly Fishing program for wounded and disabled Veterans.

•  Eastern Section Chair for the Environmental Educators of North Carolina

•  Member- North Carolina Marine Science and Education Partnership

•  Member- Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership

Jessica Kochman

Hello, my name is Jessica and I am from northeastern Ohio. Growing up I spent every summer at camp and the NC coast. This is where is found my love for nature and the outdoors. I went to college in southeastern Ohio where I received an associate degree in Ecotourism and Adventure Travel and a bachelor degree in Outdoor Recreation and Education. In the spring of 2011 I moved to North Carolina and began working as an environmental educator at the Don Lee Camp and Retreat Center. After 5 seasons as an educator I became a full time employee with Don Lee as the Environmental Education and School Program Coordinator. During the spring and fall of the school year we provide hands-on environmental education activities for students of all ages throughout North Carolina. Our focus is teaching students the importance of our natural world and what we can do to take care of the place we live. Some of the activities we offer to school groups include Salt Marsh and Beach Study, Neuse River Study, Herpetology, and Fossils. During summer, Don Lee becomes a residential summer camp. Each week we have about 200 campers participate in a variety of summer programs. One program that we offer is called Marine Science Camp. Marine Science Campers get to experience a variety of ecosystems along the coast while working with individuals who focus on conserving our coastal waters. During my free time I love to explore what our state has to offer. I will always have a place in my heart for our coast and would be honored to represent an organization that focuses on conserving the coast that we love. Thank you for your consideration!

Jenny Fuller

Jenny Fuller began her journey towards a career in coastal environmental education in 1996 with an AAS in Marine Technology. She later completed a BS in Biology and an MS in Fisheries. She has been involved in environmental education in multiple capacities for the last 15 years. Most recently, Jenny has been a part of the education team at Fort Caswell after a move back to coastal NC, helping to write and implement an education curriculum for use at their 248 acre campus on the north east end of Oak Island. She has been a member of MAMEA for a number of years now, networking through workshops and drawing inspiration for curriculum development through MAMEA resources. In her spare time Jenny can be found hanging with her family doing a little back-water fishing, or unwinding on the beach enjoying the salty sea air.