Naturalists

Katherina Audley is founder and director of theWhales of Guerrero Research Project, an effort to study and protect humpback whales and support community developmenton the Pacific coast of Mexico. Fifteen years of marine mammal studies have brought her up close to whales, dolphins, and pinnipeds in Alaska,Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, and New Zealand. Katherina has worked in Bahía de Potosí, Mexico for the past 16 years.

Martha Brown has worked with Oceanic Society at Midway Atoll and Palmyra since 1992.   Martha is senior editor at the Center for Agroecology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  Her articles have been published in a number of natural history magazines and she has contributed to a number of natural resource management plans.

Jennifer Cruce holds an MS in Conservation and Biodiversity and is currently in the doctoral program at the University of Exeter in Cornwall. Ms. Cruce was a Natural Resources Conservation and Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Ulithi Atoll, Yap, FSM from September 2004 through November 2006. During this time, she was the project supervisor of the 2005 and 2006 Ulithi Turtle Tagging Project on Gielop and Iar Islands. She has worked on coral reef surveys in Palau and is a certified diver. She has worked with the Oceanic Society since 2006 as a sea turtle biologist and naturalist.

Katherine Cure holds an M.S. degree in tropical marine ecology and fisheries biology from James Cook University in Australia.  Her specialty is tropical reef fish, their ecology, and population dynamics.  She worked as an assistant in reef monitoring surveys for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and is knowledgeable of coral reef species in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indo-Pacific.   She served as the Oceanic Society's Belize Field Station coordinator for two years.  She currently works as a naturalist on a seasonal basis,  and is based at  the University of Guam Marine Lab.

Based in Kona, Hawaii, Matthew has been a scuba diver and underwater videographer for more than 20 years. He has worked on productions for the BBC Natural History Unit, Discovery Channel, and numerous independent films, and has coauthored scientific papers on larval fish. Since 2000 he has been conducting offshore diving to observe and film pelagic gelatinous animals at night, a dive he calls “Black Water.”

Roberta Dean has been in the field of ocean science education for the past 30 years.  As MARE Center Coordinator for the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution, she conducts professional development for teachers and informal educators in science pedagogy and ocean science education.  Co-founder of UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science MARE Program and co-author of MARE's award-winning K-8 ocean science curriculum, used in more than 800 schools nation-wide, and internationally. 

Formerly with the San Francisco-based Project Ocean, with the Oceanic Society, she has led natural history trips for teachers to the Bahamas, Belize, and Mexico.  Dean founded and served as Executive Director for the Sonoma Sea School, at UC Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, and was a classroom teacher for 10 years.

Kip Evans is a professional photographer and underwater explorer. During the past 10 years he has worked on dozens of National Geographic Society projects. Kip's images have been widely published in thousands of books, exhibits, advertisements and documentaries worldwide. Kip has also worked as an educator and naturalist for over 20 years

Photographer Susan Middleton has specialized in portraiture of rare and endangered animals and site. She is a photographer, author, curator, producer, lecturer, and educator. She was Chair of the Department of Photography at the California Academy of Sciences from 1982 to 1995, where she currently serves as Research Associate. In 2006 Middleton produced a documentary film: "Archipelago: Portraits of Life in the World's Most Remote Island Sanctuary. She has worked as a Midway naturalist and photography specialist since 2010. 

Linda Searle is a conservation biologist and educator who coordinates marine conservation programs in Belize through ECOMAR, a nonprofit founded in 1996 to promote “conservation through education.” She holds a master’s degree in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University and bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Miami. Her research interests include coral reefs, sea turtles, and more.

Wayne Sentman:  Wayne is our Director of International Eco-tour Programs and a long-time Oceanic Society naturalist who has been leading educational programs around the globe for the last 20 years. Wayne holds a Master's degree from Harvard University in Environmental Management, has a diverse background in marine mammal and seabird research programs, and has helped to teach undergraduate field research programs in Laikipia, Kenya since 2003. 

Susan Sherman has a B.S. in Biology. She is a science educator in California and recently won a national award for teaching talented youth science. Susan has led naturalist history trips for the Oceanic Society for the past 15 years including two previous trips to the Amazon. She is an experienced rafter and has traveled the world extensively. She is very knowledgable about the ecology of the rainforest and marine mammals.

Juan Carlos Solis has worked as a naturalist for the Oceanic Society since 1997, and has led expeditions to Baja California, South America, and Antarctica.  Currently, he is the Public Programs Manager for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and is a former naturalist for the East Bay Regional Parks District. He is knowledgeable about tropical wildlife and ecology, and has a special interest in birds.

Bruce Stewart received his Bachelor of Science in Zoology at the University of California at Davis and completed graduate studies in marine science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. He is former Director of Public Programs at the Birch Aquarium, and served as Program Curator at Monterey Bay Aquarium and Education Director at Texas State Aquarium.

Karen Stone holds a degree in Wildlife Management and a Marine Mammal Guide Certificate.  She worked as a dive instructor and whale guide in the Silver Banks Whale Sanctuary in the Dominican Republic for 2 ½ years.  She has studied sperm whales with marine biologists, and worked as a dive master in Palau, Tahiti, and Indonesia.  She moved to Tonga in 2004 to work with humpback whales, studying their behaviors and song recordings.  She has worked with Oceanic Society for 4 years leading Tonga humpback whale trips.

Isidore Szcepaniak, holds an M.S. degree from San Francisco State University. He is a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences' Department of Mammalogy. He has conducted research on harbor porpoise in the Gulf of the Farallones for 25 years, and has conducted humpback whale research in California and in Costa Rica.

He has worked as a naturalist for the Oceanic Society since 1986 leading trips to the Dominican Republic, Canada and Costa Rica. He teaches classes on marine mammals at San Francisco State University and the California Academy of Sciences.

Pepper Trail, Ph.D. from Cornell University, studying of the Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock in Suriname. He has studied the behavior and conservation of birds around the world with the support of the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and other groups. He works as wildlife and forensic biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Although his specialty is birds, his interests range broadly from mammals to poetry and photography.

Since 1999, he has led trips to Suriname for the Oceanic Society.

Breck Tyler has worked as a naturalist and field biologist with the Oceanic Society at Midway Atoll since 1997. Breck received his M.S. in Marine Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and is currently an Associate Specialist at the Institute of Marine Sciences at Long Marine Laboratory. He wrote an environmental assessment for the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Samantha Whitcraft holds a Bachelor’s in Natural Sciences from Harvard University and earned her Masters of Marine Affairs and Policy at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. As a conservation biologist, she has worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Geographic, WildAid and local communities to research and develop sustainable ecotourism and "citizen science." A resident of Florida, her fieldwork has taken her to the Amazon, Kiribati, the Bahamas, Fiji, and the Galapagos.