We acknowledge that we are on the traditional homelands of the Puyallup Tribe. The Puyallup people have lived on and stewarded these lands since the beginning of time, and continue to do so today. We recognize that this land acknowledgement is one small step toward true allyship and we commit to uplifting the voices, experiences, and histories of the Indigenous people of this land and beyond.
Julia (she/her) is committed to leveraging her experiences in the maritime industry, business, environmental education, technology, and marine biology to grow equitable programs that encourage community stewardship actions in the PNW. Julia is defending her M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Guam, studying Tridacna maxima population genetics. Julia also has a B.A. in Environmental Education from Western Washington University. Born and raised in the PNW. Some of her past experiences include working as a naturalist for the Cousteau family in Grand Cayman, training as a marine biologist and ROV pilot in the Mariana Islands, five years as Communications Director for a silicon-valley startup, and captaining power and sailboats in the US and Caribbean.
Kaela (she/her) is the Education and Community Outreach Coordinator. Kaela started with the Seaport in 2019 as an intern for the EcoKayak program and was hired on in 2020 after she graduated to help create virtual education programs. Kaela graduated from University of Washington in Tacoma with a bachelors in Environmental Sustainability with a focus in Law and Policy. Kaela is driven to inspire students and community members alike about the wonderful world of science! She is often compared to Ms. Frizzle (the cartoon) and loves that. Kaela currently runs the EcoKayak program, teaches other programs, organizes outreach community events and participates in the Seaports DEIA committee. When she is not at the Seaport she runs her small business creating jewelry, camping with friends, and spending time with her partner and their cats Clam Chowder & Gizmo.
Jenn (she/her) earned a dual bachelors in marine science and biology from the University of Miami and a PhD in biology from Penn State University. Her experiences teaching in small-group, hands-on, learning environments fueled her passion for science education and she is thrilled to be able to work at the Seaport. As Education Program Manager, she has enjoyed the opportunity to reimagine science education, together with school districts and community partners, to include hands-on opportunities for all, even under challenging circumstances. She especially appreciates the time she gets to spend with students on field trips or virtual lessons in their classrooms. Outside the Seaport, she continues to spread her passion for science and nature by leading outdoor play-based classes in her local community for preschool-aged children. She loves being able to share her interests with her three young sons through those classes. In her spare time, she also enjoys reading, being active, scuba diving, and spending time with her dogs.
Phil (he/him) has a long association with the Seaport starting in 2010 when he served on the Seaport Advisory Committee representing Tacoma Public Schools teachers. Phil participated in sessions to envision the educational space at the Seaport and our science programs to support students in the South Sound Region. A year later, Phil formed Stadium High School’s Green Club in partnership with the Seaport that brought students to the Seaport for both land and boat-based programs. In 2016, Phil partnered again with the Seaport and lead a full semester marine biology class in which his high school students researched and articulated the skeleton of the humpback whale that currently hangs near our educational space. After 18 years of teaching science for Tacoma Public Schools, Phil retired in 2017 and joined the Seaport Staff in our education department. Phil enjoys teaching students of all ages at the Seaport and passes his passion for the environment and learning on to our students. Phil is also a volunteer backcountry ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and on the Snoqulamie Pass’s Nordic and Alpine Ski Patrols.
Charlene (she/her) has been teaching at the seaport museum for 4 years, after 38 years of teaching. She enjoys working with all students who participate in the varied seaport programs - both in the museum and on the water. Given the unique opportunities afforded the students in the surrounding communities, she is an enthusiastic supporter of the Foss Waterway Seaport’s education program!!
Connor (he/him) joined the Seaport in the summer of 2022, after serving as an AmeriCorps member at Pierce Conservation District. It was there that he first dipped his toes into Environmental Education and sharing his passion for the outdoors and wildlife with the students of Pierce County, and hopes to continue that work at the Seaport. Connor graduated from Colorado State University with two Bachelor’s degrees in Zoology and Conservation Biology, and then worked at an environmental consulting company in Colorado before moving to Washington State in 2021. One of Connor’s main professional goals is to work hands-on with as many animals as possible, and he is excited to pursue that goal as the Salmon Program Manager. When away from work, Connor enjoys hiking, birding, reading, playing music, and exploring everything the PNW has to offer.
Cori (she/her) joined the Seaport as a science educator before taking on the Boat Shop Coordinator position. Born and raised in Maine, she grew up with a love for the outdoors and a passion for sharing it with others. She has been lucky to work as an instructor and guide throughout the US, Central America, and Europe. Cori found sailing as a teenager, and was immediately hooked. She spent years working towards a US Coast Guard Captain’s license and has since dedicated herself to sharing the joy of sailing, cruising with folks ages 7 to 74! Though she loves having fun in the sun, her favorite part of sailing is the lessons it teaches about communication and teamwork. In her free time Cori enjoys climbing, biking, playing chess, backpacking, and tinkering on projects.
Education programs could not run without the work of our amazing seasonal staff members! They bring enthusiasm for science and teaching to students of all ages and are dedicated to providing an unforgettable experience.
Click below to check out our current staff openings. If you are interested in volunteering with Education, please email firstname.lastname@example.org