BOAT CAMP Nature School crew represent a diverse background of skills and talents, but all have a true love for the spending time outdoors and sharing great adventures with kids, families and adults.
“Very friendly, always polite. My daughter is so comfortable with everyone. We think it is a fantastic program and are very lucky to have you here in Newburyport.” —A parent
Garry Dow, Assistant Director
Garry brings a deep and varied background in environmental education and outreach. Before he joined BOAT CAMP Nature School, where he worked with us part-time with our graduate courses for five years before joining us full-time in March 2013, Garry led the education department at The Trustees of Reservations’ Crane Estate and “SummerQuest” in Ipswich, MA. Previous to this position, he worked as a community outreach coordinator for Clean Air-Cool Planet, as well as an interpreter and coastal naturalist for the Department of Conservation and Recreation at Sandy Point on Plum Island where he studied and taught coastal ecology and cultural history. Garry holds a Master of Arts degree in environmental education from the University of New Hampshire (2007) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental journalism from Roger Williams University (2004). Garry lives in Newburyport with his wife and young son. He has lived by the sea for the better part of his life and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to teach the thing he knows best in the place he loves most. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debbie Lyons, Program Director
Debbie is a seasoned outdoor educator who teaches and coordinates a variety of programs at BOAT CAMP Nature School. Before joining our staff in May 2011, she earned an BS in Environmental Science from New England College. She was a seasonal park ranger for the US Army Corps of Engineers for three summers, at Hopkinton-Everett Lake in the Merrimack River Basin. After completing her MA in Environmental Education in May 2012, she became BCNS’s Program Director. Debbie loves BCNS and coming to work every day, but while she is not at work, she is foraging around Four Rock for her naturalists studies, snowboarding, or playing soccer. Debbie has completed Level II of Kamana Naturalist training and is now deep into Level III. She is also certified as a Cedarsong Nature School Level III Forest Kindergarten Teacher, and trained in wilderness first aid. You can contact Debbie@boatcamporg.
Capt. Rob Yeomans, Co-founder & Education Director
Capt. Rob has worked aboard the Erica Lee for 33 years, 21 of those as captain. He holds a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license, and has decades of experience fishing for a variety of New England species in the Gulf of Maine. In fall 2007, Rob and Kate formed BOAT CAMP Nature School in order to further pursue their passion for marine education by expanding nature-based education opportunities for all ages, tots to teachers, in the greater Newburyport area. Rob has been the owner/operator of the Erica Lee since 2005. When not at sea, Rob, teaches AP Biology and Marine Biology at Newburyport High School, where in 2011 he became chair of the science department. He taught biology at Lynn Classical High School from 1996 to 2005. He earned a BA Biology (1996) and a MA in Teaching Biology from Salem State (2000). During the summer of 2009, Rob also worked as a high school curriculum development consultant for a National Marine Fisheries education project on the Atlantic Sturgeon.
Rob was a 2009 recipient of the Swasey Grant for curriculum development at Newburyport High School. In November, he traveled to Monterey, California, to study humboldt squids. This trip included tagging the giant squids with Stanford University’s Dr. William Gilly and his staff from the Hopkins Marine Station. Rob returned with squid to be dissected with his high school marine biology students, as well as great connections and ideas to bridge the east and west coast ecosystems for his students at N.H.S. and at BOAT CAMP. You can read about his adventure and see pictures here!
In late fall, 2010, Rob received a second action research Swasey Grant to fund an trip to Tahiti in early January 2011 with Sea Education Association of Woods Hole’s Colleagues SEA Semester for one week. While there, Rob sailed aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. During the 2011-2012 school year Rob was awarded his third Swasey Action Research grant to study wildlife tracking with the great folks at White Pine Programs in Cape Neddick, Maine.
In April 2012, in recognition of his life-long passion for educating kids about the outdoors and the sea, both in the formal classroom and outdoors aboard the Erica Lee, Salem State University honored Rob with a Friend of the Earth Award. Prior award recipients include “A Civil Action” attorney Jan Schlictman, Congressman John Tierney and Governor Jane Swift. Rob is the first public school teacher to be honored with this award.
Contact Capt. Rob by email, email@example.com.
Kate Yeomans, Co-founder & Executive Director
Kate grew up on the water messing about in family-owned recreational boats along the salt marshes behind Plum Island and sailing the coast of Maine as far Downeast as Roque Island with her grandfather before heading to sea as a deckhand on the Newburyport Whale Watch boat Capt. Red at age 12, a seasonal job she held for more than ten years. During this time she attained, and still holds, a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license.
In May 2011, Kate earned a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Education at UNH. In August 2011, Kate and Rob were personally selected among applicants worldwide to participate in an Associate Mentoring program where together, and individually, they were mentored by Nicole and Jon Young, an internationally acclaimed author, tracker and mentor. Today, Kate is continuing this journey through personal mentoring with the 8 Shields Institute and participation in their many offerings to enrich her understanding of creating high quality, meaningful nature connection programs for our community.
Before jumping feet first into BOAT CAMP Nature School’s growth and development, Kate spent 15 years working as an award-winning investigative journalist who wrote about the sea and the people who worked and played upon it. She is the former editor of Embassy Cruising Guides, a series of four bi-annual guides spanning the cruising waters from Canada to Alabama. She has a BA in Journalism (minor in marine biology) from UNH (1995) and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College (1999). Her award-winning work appeared in Boston Magazine, Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, Cruising World, Commercial Fisheries News, National Fisherman, Offshore, Professional Mariner, Robb Report, Voyaging and others. She is the author of the nonfiction book Dead Men Tapping: The End of the Heather Lynne II, published by McGraw-Hill in 2003.
Rob and Kate met in first grade at Newbury’s Woodbridge School, only to later become high-school sweethearts at Triton Regional High School, where they first studied marine biology and oceanography. Kate and Rob were married in 1996 and have two young sons, with whom they share their love for boats and the sea. Rob and Kate have owned the F/V Erica Lee since April 2005.
Contact Kate by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Directors & Volunteer Committee Members
Crystal Daugherty, Development Committee Chair
Mike Flynn, Board of Directors, 1st Year
Alexas Kelly, Board of Directors, 1st Year
Alexas Kelly is currently a Contract Specialist with GSA’s Design & Construction Division for Region 1. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Analysis and Policy from Boston University, and interned with the MA Department of Environmental Protection researching, and writing a petition to the MA Legislature justifying the necessity for an Environmental Justice Bill. After graduating from B.U. she worked in the private sector as an Information Technology Consultant, and as co-owner of a green building company. During this time she renovated her 1889 home, featured on the NESEA Green House Tour, that showcased – the reuse and repurposing of materials, spray foam insulation, and integrated thermal solar for heating and electricity. While serving as Green Living Director for the Seacoast Energy & Environmental Design Coalition (SEED), she started Sustainable You, specializing in Zero Waste Consulting. She created – a sustainability curriculum, “Get Started Going Green” for an adult education course and a proprietary sustainability presentation for children and parents called “3 is The Magic Number: Reducing, Reusing, & Recycling” that she presented to audiences up to 500 people, including WGBH in Boston. She has published two articles entitled “Party On! Teaching your Children the Value of an Eco-Friendly Celebration” and “Reusable Bags: Paint them, use them, love them.” Alexas lives in Topsfield, MA with her three “green” kids who love to swim, surf, camp, dig in the mud, and spot wildlife. She is also a girl’s lacrosse coach and coed flag football coach. She believes in a holistic and effective approach to educating, inspiring, and empowering people toward sustainable living and businesses practices.
Kerry Lagueux, Board of Directors, 3rd Year
Kerry is a Lead Knowledge Analyst within the GeoAnalytics Group at the Boston Consulting Group. Kerry provides location-intelligence through data, visualizations, and analytics aimed at addressing place-based questions to help our client address the most challenging business problems. Prior to BCG, Kerry led the Marine GIS Group at the New England Aquarium where he researched conflicts between the North Atlantic right whale and human activities in the ocean, patterns of use in the context of marine spatial planning in the Gulf of Maine, and monitored satellite-tagged rehabilitated sea turtles in the wild. Locally, Kerry has served on Newburyport’s Open Space Committee. He has served on the board at BCNS since November 2010.
Sally Milliken, Board of Directors 2nd Year
As the parent of young children, Sally is deeply committed to helping her own and other young people connect to and enjoy the natural world so that they realize their day to day actions can make a real difference. She is an active participant in her children’s schools, including co-founding and co-chairing the Newbury Elementary School Reycling Committee. She also is a Co-Chair of the Newburyport Montessori School Parent Association. She has worked for several nonprofit environmental organizations, most recently at the Quebec-Labrador Foundation in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She has an undergraduate degree in biology and a master’s degree in environmental studies. She is thrilled about becoming a board member of BOAT CAMP Nature School and looks forward to helping link more members of the community with the amazing efforts of the organization.
Thomas Murray, Board of Directors, 2nd Year
Tom has a diverse background in education and the outdoors. He is a former high school principal, school administrator, and teacher in both public and private schools. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Natural Resources and Political Science degree, Tom began a teaching career in Denver, Colorado, working with gifted and talented students in an experiential based school. From there, he went on to earn a Masters Degree in Education, with a focus on special education and advanced graduate courses in Leadership. For many years Tom taught as a special education and outdoor educator in a small-specialized school for students with learning disabilities. During that time , Tom also worked with environmentally focused organizations such as the Audubon Society. While taking care of his young family, Tom currently works as an independent educational consultant providing services to both school districts, parents and students. Tom specializes in leadership development, organizational management, and learning disability issues.
Seasonal Educators and Crew
“All of the staff are great. They show enthusiasm, energy and are very professional.”–A parent
“The crew was helpful, enthusiastic, appropriate and knowledgeable.” —A parent
Jacques is a Massachusetts’ native with a California connection as he has spent a good amount of time teaching about the sea along the coast of California, mostly in the San Diego area. He has worked as a marine science instructor for the Mission Bay Aquatics Center and Sea Camp San Diego, a scientist for Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, as well as for a company that monitors water quality throughout San Diego county. Last summer, he returned home to New England and now lives in Portsmouth, NH. Jacques teaches 8th grade science at the Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Lynn, Mass. When not teaching, you may also catch him surfing or snowboarding. We hear he’s pretty darn good at both!
Bonnie’s roots run deep in our community as her family, for several generations, has run Fernald’s Marine on the Parker River. Bonnie grew up exploring the vast marshes and tidal flats of Plum Island Sound, a tradition she now continues with her own children. A graduate of Bradford college, where she earned a degree in marketing and also studied early childhood education and graphic arts, Bonnie spent several years as a marketing specialist for high-tech start-ups before returning to Newbury, where she lives with her husband Jim and children, Maxim and Nola. Contact email@example.com.
Dylan Corbett joins us this year for fifth year as crew, and this is his ninth year aboard the Erica Lee. Dylan attended St. John’s Prep, in Danvers, MA, where he was a drummer in the Jazz Combo and played lacrosse. Along with boating, he enjoys sailing, surfing, snowboarding, and crew. Currently he is rowing and studying biology at Hobart College in New York, while spending his summers at home in Newburyport working with us. This fall, he is headed to New Zealand to study marine science abroad.
Jessica holds a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has a lifelong passion for playing in the woods. Jessica has 12 years of experience as a professional naturalist and educator, and a great love for the wildlife and lands of New England. She is the author of Exploring Natural Connections, a book of playful games and creative activities for involving young people in learning more about nature. In 2002, Jessica founded Kestrel Education Adventures, based in Beverly, Mass. Jessica can often be found bicycling around New England or standing out in the rain watching frogs and salamanders.
Ale keeps us on track inside the boathouse and assists with our many programs. She is a senior Public Health student at the University of Massachusetts, just returning from a semester abroad in New Zealand where she was very much immersed in nature and the sea! She has traveled on relief teams to Haiti, Guatemala and Ecuador and plans on continuing with relief work abroad. She is EMT certified and loves kids, and we are excited to have her with us.
Jill grew up on the coast of southern Maine and loved tide pooling and beach combing from a very young age. Her love of nature lead to a career as an educator of Biology. She has a B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education (’97) from Northern Arizona University and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Science from UMASS Lowell (’03). She has taught Biology and Integrated Science for over 6 years. Before entering the field of education she was a member of Americorps. Her position at Americorps allowed her to lead extensive community outreach programs and environmental improvement projects with at-risk adolescents. Jill loves to share her knowledge of the ocean and to motivate students of all ages to learn science concepts.
Brian lives in Rye, New Hampshire where he spends much of his time hiking, kayaking, and exploring New England’s scenic mountainous and coastal areas. While he is very excited to join BCNS this year, he has over five years of experience working with children of diverse backgrounds, helping them to better connect with each other and their environments. Brian holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire (2011), and is currently a second-year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at Northeastern University, in Boston. He is interested in areas of Eco-Psychology, Eco-Therapy, and Mind-Body Medicine, and believes that engaging with nature is not only tons of fun, but can also be a highly educational and deeply therapeutic experience.
Sarah is a graduate of Newburyport High School and just finished her freshman year at Northern Essex. This is her first year working at BCNS, where she has spent the winter with us working with weekend birthday parties. She is super excited to start with the summer programs. Sarah loves working with kids and most of her volunteer work and internships have involved working with kids, including at Nock Middle School helping special education students with math, writing and life skills and at Mrs. Murray’s Nursery School. Sarah loves the outdoors, photography, traveling, art and music.
Sara attends Colby-Sawyer College where she will earn a degree in Biology in the spring of 2014. This summer Sara is working as an intern at BOAT CAMP Nature School, and the Gulf of Maine Institute. Growing up in Newburyport Sara has always been around the water and has gained some awesome field experience in her past three years at Colby-Sawyer. In addition to being a Biology student at school, she also is a two-season athlete running for Colby-Sawyer in cross-country and track. Sara is a team player and is looking forward to all of the adventures she is going to have with us this summer.
As a NH resident, Kim has always had a certain fascination with waterways, wildlife and outdoor adventures which lead her to an undergraduate degree in wildlife ecology and conservation biology at UNH. After a semester in New Zealand, where she studied recovering skink populations on pest-free islands, Kim found that her love for environmental and wildlife studies often paired with her love of sharing and teaching. She joins us this summer at BCNS as she finishes up her MA in Environmental Education at UNH.
Junior Program Staff & Boat Crew
Ana Moura Cook
Ana is a junior at Pentucket Regional High School. This is her second year as a full-time crew and her seventh year aboard the Erica Lee. She plays soccer, indoor track, and lacrosse. She loves working with kids as well as nature, traveling, and boating.
Polly Corbett, Newburyport High School
Olivia is going to be a junior at Georgetown High School. This is her second year as a crew member but this year will be her seventh summer on the Erica Lee. She loves being on the ocean, playing sports, and traveling around the world.
Madi will be a junior at Austin Prep in the fall. This will be her second summer working with us, though she started out as a participant several summers ago. Madi enjoys reading, travel, nutrition and fitness, and is excited for another fun filled summer!
Rachel Williamson, Triton Regional High School
BOAT CAMP Nature School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit marine and environmental educational organization. Our Board of Directors are: