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Staff Bios

We have a diverse team of people working to write curriculum, direct professional development workshops and manage an online learning community forum for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth program. Our staff, listed here, is supplemented by the many scientists and curriculum experts who have consulted on this project.

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Kanesa
Duncan Seraphin
Kanesa is the principal investigator for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. Kanesa is an associate professor in the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) and the director of the UH Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education. She holds a BS in biology, an MS in zoology, a PhD in zoology (for work studying scalloped hammerhead sharks), and a post-baccalaureate education certificate in secondary science education. She is also an experienced classroom teacher and holds a secondary science credential for the state of Hawaii.
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Joanna
Philippoff
Joanna is the program manager for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum and the professional development component of the program, Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI). She coordinates the creation and implementation of professional development as well as the production of curriculum materials. Joanna has a BA is biology from the University of Delaware and an MS in zoology from the University of Hawaii. She discovered her passion for science education while working with students and teachers on an intertidal monitoring program during her graduate studies in marine biology. She is currently pursing a PhD in educational psychology at the University of Hawaii, her work will focus on science professional development.
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Truc
Nguyen
Truc oversees and participates in research on the online learning community of the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. Her research focus at CRDG is the impact of the Web on learning. She possesses an EdD in educational leadership, an MEd in educational technology, a BA in zoology, and a certificate in marine science education.
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Lauren
Kaupp
Lauren is currently the Educational Specialist for science and STEM for the State of Hawaii Department of Education, where she provides leadership in the planning, design, development, and implementation of state science and STEM programs. As part of the Exploring Our Fluid Earth/Teaching Science as Inquiry–Aquatic project, Lauren developed curriculum and designed and facilitated professional development. Prior to joining the EOFE/TSI team, Lauren taught high school chemistry and physics at the University Laboratory School in Honolulu for five years. Lauren completed her EdD in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California. Lauren also holds a BS in chemistry and an MS in oceanography, for which her thesis research explored the distribution of dissolved iron and aluminum in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific.
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Alyssa
Gundersen
Alyssa was the project manager for the online components of Exploring Our Fluid Earth from 2011–2012. She supported the program by coordinating curriculum components and acquiring visual media. Before joining the TSI team, Alyssa worked as a curriculum manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Services Center and was a grants coordinator for NOAA’s Office of Education in Washington, DC. She has a BS in marine biology and an MEd in social foundations of education.
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Matt
Lurie
Matt was a curriculum developer for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project from 2011-2014. Matt brought a passion for writing science content and developing activities that was driven by his own experiences as an ecologist. Matt has conducted experiments both in and out of the water; his research has included projects on sea urchins in Tahiti, parrots in Australia, algae in California, and forest plants in Hawaii. Matt earned a BS in marine biology from University of California Los Angeles. In Hawaii, he earned his masters and PhD degrees from the Department of Botany. His doctoral work focused on investigating factors that allow non-native plant species to become successful invaders. Matt will be a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow starting in 2016.
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Darren
Okimoto
Darren is a co-principal investigator for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. He is a specialist with the University of Hawai`i Sea Grant College Program and serves as the Extension Leader. He holds a BA and an MS in zoology, and a PhD in biology (for work studying circadian rhythms in a variety of fish species). He also taught undergraduate biology and human physiology courses at the University of Delaware and a natural resources course at the American Sāmoa Community College.
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Darren
Lerner
Darren is a co-principal investigator for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. He serves as the associate director at the University of Hawai`i Sea Grant College Program and affiliate research faculty at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology where he conducts a research program focused on environmental physiology of fishes. Darren earned his BA in political science and psychology from the University of Missouri, Columbia, an MS in zoology from Oregon State University, and a PhD in organismic and evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
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Frank
Pottenger
Frank serves as the content and pedagogical advisor to the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. He is one of the original authors of the Fluid Earth and Living Ocean texts from which the current curriculum was developed and the father of the Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) pedagogical framework. Frank has BS and MS degrees in natural science as well as MEd and PhD degrees in counseling and science education. He is a professor emeritus at CRDG and still actively engaged in research on inquiry teaching.
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Byron
Inouye
Byron is the curriculum material illustrator for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. He is also a graphic designer for the Marketing and Publication Services (MaPS), in the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), where he has worked for over 25 years. He received his BFA in graphic design from UHM.
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Erin
Baumgartner
Erin is a consulting curriculum specialist for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project. She reviews program materials for content accuracy and relevance as well as inquiry-based pedagogy. She was the former program manager for Exploring Our Fluid Earth and is now an associate professor of biology at Western Oregon University. Erin has a BA in biology and a PhD in zoology with research experience in organismal classification and animal behavior as well as a post baccalaureate certificate in secondary education and high school teaching experience.
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Lori
Ward
Lori Ward is the managing editor at the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG). She edits curriculum material on range of topics for CRDG programs. She holds a bachelor's degree in marine ecology and master's degrees in linguistics and nonprofit management.
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Kate
Wade
Kate was the Program Development Assistant for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project from 2010–2012. She was responsible for editing and aligning content with state and national standards and with the Ocean Literacy Principles. Kate also coordinated resources for the curriculum. Kate has a B.S. in Marine Biology and earned a M.Ed. in Education Psychology from University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) where she conducted a multiple case study examining inquiry-based instruction and behaviors associated with the Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) professional development project. Kate is currently developing a curriculum resource directory for the Mid-Atlantic region.
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Frank
Jumawan
Frank was involved with the development of the online learning community of the Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum project associated with Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) professional development from 2010–2013. He is currently with Kamehameha Schools as a distance learning assistant and UHM’s Technology & Distance Programs as a graduate assistant. He is also in the learning design and technology doctoral program at UHM. Frank received his BS in exercise science and health management and has an MEd in educational technology.
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Jordan
Wang
Jordan was an undergraduate student assistant for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum project and Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) professional development program from 2010–2014. He supported the team through a variety of tasks ranging from preparing activity kits for workshops to cataloging text citations. He is currently in medical school at the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine.
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Alex
Parisky
Alex was a program assistant for the Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) professional development project from 2010–2012. He was the point of contact for teachers pursuing professional development credit through the Hawai`i Department of Education’s Professional Development Experiences that Educate and Empower (PDE3) program. Currently, Alex is responsible for managing the Just in Time grant for credit/non-credit programs and developing curriculum for remedial and developmental math and English support for Agriculture, Ethnopharmcognosy, and Veterinary Technology programs. This includes developing new course content and modifying existing course materials for online learning. Alex is a national board certified teacher and a learning technology expert. He has a MEd in curriculum studies with a focus on science education and a second masters degree in instructional technology. Alex holds a PhD in Education in the field of Educational Technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
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Fan
Yang
Fan is the content editor of the Explore Our Fluid Earth (EOFE) website. She also assists teachers in pursuing professional development credits through the Hawai`i Department of Education’s Professional Development Experiences that Educate and Empower (PDE3) program. Fan has an MS in Instructional Technology. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Learning Design and Technology at UH Mānoa. Her dissertation research investigates students' motivation in computer supported collaborative learning.
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David
Lin
David is a curriculum developer for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth project and a UHM doctoral student in the Department of Biology. His professional interests include community ecology, stable isotopes, marine invertebrates, and science education. Dave's undergraduate research theses at UCLA assessed pollution from shrimp farming in Tahiti and Panama using stable isotope tracers. He earned his MS at UHM studying the ecological effects of open-ocean fish farming in Hawai'i. Dave's current PhD research investigates how sandy-bottom marine food webs respond to human impacts such as overfishing and pollution.
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Brittany
Supnet
Brittany was an undergraduate student assistant for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum project and Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) professional development program from 2012–2014. She supported the team through a variety of tasks ranging from ordering supplies and processing stipends to editing the curriculum and finding curriculum images. She is currently a sales and marketing coordinator at Star of Honolulu.
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Hal
Richman
Hal Richman, PhD, is an information technology specialist at UH Sea Grant who joined the program in 2001. Initially, he worked to document the products of Sea Grant’s research and extension programs. He also introduced the use of an on-line proposal submission software called Webnibus that was initially developed by Oregon State Sea Grant. Since that time, he has worked to merge this software with the tracking of Sea Grant research and extension programs and the documentation of their products. This led to the development of an application titled eProjects, a web interface database system to integrate and manage these tasks. Hal earned a bachelor's degree in zoology and a master's in zoology and computer science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and a doctorate in endocrinology from the University of California at Berkeley.
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Narrissa
Spies
Narrissa is a curriculum developer for Exploring Our Fluid Earth, and current graduate student at UH Manoa. Narrissa has an MS in Conservation Biology and Environmental science, and is currently pursuing a PhD in zoology. Her research background involves applying molecular biology techniques to non-model organisms. Her dissertation research includes developing molecular biomarkers to detect stress on coral reefs, as well as characterizing the reproduction and stress profiles of the super coral Leptastrea purpurea.
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Hal
Richman
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Jillian
Paulino
Jillian is an undergraduate student assistant for the Exploring Our Fluid Earth curriculum project and Our Project In Hawaii's Intertidal (OPIHI) professional development program. She supports the team through a variety of tasks ranging from ordering supplies to editing the curriculum. She is from Hilo and currently an undergraduate student in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language.
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William
Brown
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.