Sound to Sea Staff
After graduating with a BS in Elementary Education from the University of WI Milwaukee, Mindy joined the Peace Corps. For two years she lived on an island roughly the size of Bogue Banks, except that she was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, rather than a few miles from the coast. As a Peace Corps Volunteer to the island nation of Kiribati, Mindy spent her time teaching at the Junior High School. One afternoon while swinging in her hammock in her stick house Mindy came across an announcement for the Sound to Sea Environmental Education Program; she somehow knew this would be her next adventure. She didn't know at the time that it would also become her home. Mindy has worked at Trinity Center since 2002, first as an instructor and then as the Sound to Sea Program Coordinator. As an instructor, Mindy enjoyed the unique atmosphere of teaching hands-on in an outdoor setting. As program coordinator, she found herself drawn to curriculum design and program development. She now enjoys doing both in her position as Trinity Center Program Director. In her free time you can find Mindy driving children to their sport practices and cheering them on from the sidelines. After adopting three wonderful kids several years ago, Mindy continues to welcome foster children into her life.
Sound to Sea Program Coordinator
Meghan grew up in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. She chose to travel south for college to the University of Maryland. After graduating with a degree in zoology, Meghan went on a study abroad near Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya, studying wildlife management and ecology. She discovered her love of learning in nature amongst the elephants, wildebeest, and hyenas. She came to Sound to Sea in 2005 and taught as an instructor for 2 years. Meghan then moved to Washington State to be closer to family. There she worked as a naturalist at a wildlife park, teaching people about native northwestern animals like moose, wolves, and banana slugs. The sun, sand, and waves lured Meghan back to North Carolina and Sound to Sea in 2011, where she is now Program Coordinator. Meghan loves sharing her love of the natural world, especially mollusks, with anyone who would like to know. In her free time, you can find her collecting shells, playing outside, or sleeping.
Taylor grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she frequently camped and hiked with her family. She acquired a love for nature and spent summers living on a ranch in Wyoming near Yellowstone, and working at a mountain biking shop in Colorado. Wanting to pass on her passion for the outdoors, Taylor graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in Conservation and Wildlife Biology. She’s very thankful to be working as an environmental educator! Taylor enjoys spending most of her time outdoors, painting, hiking, climbing, and biking!
Caroline is from Clemmons, NC. She graduated from North Carolina State University (Go Pack!) with a degree in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Caroline grew up visiting National Parks and has had a passion for nature ever since. Additionally childhood trips to the Outer Banks cemented her love for this unique environment and sparked her interest in barrier island ecology. Working here at Sound to Sea has combined Caroline’s love for teaching kids with her love for all things outdoors. In her free time she also loves hiking, reading, and hanging out on the the beach.
Kelli was born and raised in Oklahoma. Her love of plants and nature lead her to going to school at Okstate to get a degree in natural resources ecology and management with a concentration in forest ecology and management. After completing a couple of internships in forestry she decided to go into education. She wants to share her passion for nature with kids and help cultivate students’s love of nature. She spends her time swimming in the ocean, going to church and coffee shops, and exploring towns in North Carolina.
Sarah grew up in New Jersey then moved around with her family until they settled in Charleston, SC 8 years ago. Having loved animals and water her whole life, she studied biology with a concentration in marine biology at the College of Charleston, graduating in 2020. After working weddings in Charleston to save money for a while, she moved to California this past summer to work as a marine science instructor at a sea camp on Catalina Island. There, she taught fish, shark and invertebrate labs as well as lead guided campers kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding around the cove. In her free time, Sarah loves to swim, draw, do yoga, listen to music and podcasts and read in her hammock. Back at home, Sarah has a little dog named Frankie and a fluffy gray cat named Earl.
Kara was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She always had a love for animals and grew a strong appreciation for the outdoors while exploring the Cleveland Metroparks system of nature reserves surrounding the Cleveland area. She recently graduated from Ohio University with a Wildlife and Conservation Biology degree. She worked at Sound to Sea in the summer of 2021 and fell in love with the coast and found a passion for outdoor education. Kara is very excited to continue her journey here at Sound to Sea while enjoying the beach and all the biodiversity this island has to offer!
Gillian (AKA Gill) grew up in a small town in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, but since she was very little she felt deeply connected to the sea! This led her to pursue a Marine Science degree from the University of Delaware, and upon graduating in 2018, she began her journey as a marine science outdoor educator in the Florida Keys. From there, she headed to Alaska to work for the Sitka Conservation Society doing youth programming and community engagement, and then spent some time thawing out on the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i, living and working on an organic nursery and also stayed with a local family as their nanny for a while! After spending some time back on the east coast working for a marine science summer day camp in New Jersey, she decided to try out life on the opposite coast and headed west to work as a naturalist/environmental educator for Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria, California. She is simply thrilled to be here in the outer banks for the first time! Gill loves to be outdoors all day every day, and enjoys surfing, diving, running, hiking, beach combing and beach bumming, and pretty much any other outdoor activity she can get her hands on!
Raegan grew up in south Louisiana and was a Girl Scout for much of her childhood. Through Girl Scouts, she explored the outdoors and fell in love with nature. When she got older, she decided to go to school for her other passion, teaching! Raegan graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and discovered she could combine those two interests. She worked in east Texas at a botanical garden where they instructed school and public groups in environmental science lessons focusing on the local ecosystem. After leaving Texas, Reagan found herself at the International Crane Foundation teaching the public about the conservation efforts that help bring awareness to these unique birds. She is excited to bring her teaching skills to this new environment on the N.C. coast.
Kealy (AKA Sunflower) has been working in Outdoor Education since 2017 and has worked in several locations from the East coast to the West coast and back! Sunflower grew up going to nature-centered camps in her home state of PA from ages 6 to 18 and rediscovered her passion for teaching in the outdoors in her final years of college. She graduated from Penn State University in 2017 where she was an active member of many philanthropy groups such as Penn State THON, Alpha Phi Omega, AAUW, and more. After finishing school, she worked briefly in real estate before moving to the San Juan Islands in Washington state, where she worked at YMCA Camp Orkila for two years. During the pandemic she moved home to PA, where she took a position as a nanny and spent time with her family and did ALL THE CRAFTS with her niece. This is Sunflower’s first time living and working so close to the Atlantic Ocean and it has been exciting to learn the new flora and fauna in this region. Sunflower enjoys spending time reading on the beach, watching movies, and volunteering with the local Sea Turtle group.
Ethan grew up in western Pennsylvania where he spent most of his childhood gallivanting through the hills and canoeing in the Allegheny River. His family spent nearly every summer cooped up in a van driving from national park to national park, which grew in him a deep desire to learn about and protect the natural places of the Earth. As an adult, Ethan received a B.S. in Environmental Science and Geology from West Texas A&M University. During his time in undergrad, Ethan worked various positions with summer camps and other sites doing outdoor education and recreation. This inspired him to seek out and apply for the Sound to Sea program following college. When he isn't teaching with STS he enjoys fossil-hunting, hiking, and chess.
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