Ed Boyer - Field Station Co-director, Prescott College Faculty
As the Co-director of the Kino Bay Center, Ed's primary focuses are fundraising, facility development, and teaching undergraduate filed courses at the Center. Dr. Boyer teaches a Marine Biology field course at the Center every year, where the focus is on training students in marine ecological research methods. He also teaches Basic Biological Principles at Prescott College’s main campus in Arizona. Dr. Boyer's Ph.D. dissertation was on the relationship between predation, diversity, and community structure in marine ecosystems.
Lorayne Meltzer - Field Station Co-director, Research and Conservation Program - Coordinator, Prescott College Faculty
As Co-director of the Kino Bay Center, Lorayne is active in collaborative conservation efforts in the Sea of Cortez. Through her Marine Conservation classes taught at the Center, students learn firsthand about complex issues confronting marine and coastal environments. It is one thing to read in a book that 85% of everything caught on a shrimp trawler is discarded dead as by-catch back into the sea. It is quite a different learning experience to be sorting through the by-catch on the deck of a trawler, working along fishermen whose livelihoods depend on destructive fisheries practices. Upper division students have the opportunity to learn about conservation methods, while simultaneously contributing to real conservation projects. Lorayne also coordinates the Center’s Research and Conservation Program, and teaches a summer course in Surfing and Principles of Wave Dynamics in Baja California.
Gregory Smart - Station Manager
Gregory Smart is a native of Seattle, Washington and graduate of Prescott College with a degree in Marine Studies. He spent more than half of his college career taking courses at the Kino Bay Center and has returned after graduating as a field assistant to Marine Biology and Marine Conservation courses. In January of 2012 he assumed in his current position as Station Manager.
His other recent work experiences include building trails in the Cascade and Olympic mountains, working for salmon habitat conservation in Washington state, working the deserts and mountains of Utah as a native trout biologist, and in 2011 spending several months on Alaska's North Slope with the University of Alaska and the USGS as part of an effort to better understand arctic trophic systems and climate change's effects on tundra ecosystems.
The Kino Field Station continually draws him back with its unique mixture of incredible landscapes and ecosystems, engaging programming, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration, and warm community.
Lillian Drosen - Office Administrator
As an administrator at the Kino Bay Center, one of Lillian’s primary focus is with the organization and management of the financial and logistical facets of the operation. Originally from Los Angeles, California, at the age of fifteen Lillian moved to Bahia de Kino, the place she’s always loved since childhood. In 2002, Lillian left a career in registered practical nursing to begin working as a family resource coordinator for Positive Impact at an American institution in Kino. After Positive Impact closed in 2004, Lillian joined the staff of the Kino Bay Center. In addition to Lillian’s responsibilities at the Center, she enjoys spending time with her family, performing traditional Mexican folklore dance, trophy truck rally racing and motor cross. Her family is one of the original founders of the town of Bahia de Kino.
Cosme Damian Becerra - Transportation Coordinator
Cosme moved to Kino when he was six years old, and as a child lived in Estero La Cruz with his family. Cosme learned to drive a panga in the estero with one of his older brothers, who also taught him to fish. After attending primary and secondary school in Kino, he went to Hermosillo to study industrial maintenance at CONALEP, and began captaining a panga in Kino at the age of 17. At 18, he became a member of the fishing cooperative S.C.de P.P.y A.SAN JUAN SCL, and soon became the president.
In 2007, he began to work at the Kino Bay Center as the Transportation Coordinator. Cosme’s work involves taking university classes, researchers, and local school kids out in the panga to look for whales, study birds, and visit the surrounding islands, among other things. At the center, Cosme also applies all the knowledge he gained at the CONLEP: soldering, electrical work, engine repairs and maintenance, and also enjoys building new furniture for the ever-expanding Center - skills which he learned from another former station manager, Tom Donovan. Cosme and the members of his fishing cooperative were awarded a federal grant to take a course in sea turtle conservation, and in October 2010, they begin a project monitoring sea turtles at the Isla San Pedro Biosphere Reserve.
Julio Carrasco Paredes - Maintenance Coordinator
The oldest of five brothers, Julio was born in 1967 in Mexico City. He arrived in Kino with his family in 1981. At first his family supported themselves with artisanal wood carving, house construction, and fishing. In the following years, Julio worked as a gardener, waiter, bartender, house painter, carpenter, and much more. He began working for Prescott in 2004. We now count on Julio to keep the station alive and running. He lives with his family in Kino Viejo. On weekends, he and his soccer team enjoy losing games against other old men.
"I have learned a lot of new things in my job here at Prescott that I didn't know before; for example, ecology and to care for the environment. Conservation is not directly my job, but I support it and it has been a grand satisfaction to work all these years for Prescott. I have made many good friends as well."
Marlu Robledo - Environmental Education Program Coordinator
Marlu was born in Cortazar, Guanajuato, a provincial village in central México. She attended the Metropolitan Autonomous University (Mexico City) which provided her with an Environmental Engineer B.S. degree.
In 2006 Marlu moved to the "World's Aquarium" and started working with children and young people as an Environmental Education Fellow in the Kino Bay Center. After two years in this position she moved into her current role of Coordinator for the Environmental Education Program. Marlu works alongside the current Environmental Education Fellows who work with more than 600 local schoolchildren every week. Inspired by the community, she also works in collaboration with the local ecology clubs and community members to provide support for local conservation projects and leadership capacity building. Marlu is currently completing a Masters in Environmental Studies through a scholarship program with Prescott College Inc.
"These days I don’t take life too seriously, and I like to be part of the web of stories across cultures, generations, men and women, environment, science and the community ... but beyond this, here in Kino, in Prescott, and in my community I have found a reason to belong to the world ...to accompany the dreams of children and young people who re-invent the world every day."
Carolina Navarro - Environmental Education Fellow
Carolina received her B.S. in Oceanology and her M.S. in Ecosystem Management of Arid and Coastal Zones from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada. Her Master’s thesis was a social analysis of beach use in Acapulco entitled: "Socio-environmental diagnosis and integrated management proposal in three recreational beaches of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico”.
Through her Environmental Education Fellowship she gives weekly classes to hundreds of local school kids - she especially enjoys teaching lessons on islands and marine animals, such as invertebrates. She also analyses the impacts of the environmental classes on the kids attitudes, knowledge and behavior.
"In the Environmental Education Program at Prescott College I have learnt a lot about community work and beach-community relations, as well as multicultural life in the station where I had the opportunity to meet diverse opinions and ideas that enrich my way of thinking and working".
Yutsul Ramírez Pastrana - Environmental Education Fellow
Yutsul was born in January 1st 1987 in the State of Mexico although she grew up and studied in the state of Guanajuato. With a participative and hyperactive character, she was involved in cultural, sport and social action projects from an early age. At the Universidad de Guanajuato, she originally started a degree in the Environmental Engineering Program. After volunteering in the Environmental Microbiology Lab at CINVESTAV (Research and Advanced Studies Center) she finally decided to study Philosophy which included an academic exchange at Université Laval in Québec, Canada.
In Guanajuato she got involved in numerous educational, lecture promotion and social-
environmental activities, as well as practical and theoretical involvement in social movements, Latin American thought studies and liberal arts congress.
In 2011 she was elected as a fellow in the Environmental Education Program at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center. She works with 4° and 6° primary school and secondary students, with classes, field trips and community projects. The idea of the program is to help and support the kids in their discovery of natural resources and the social contexts that surround them in order begin to act and think critically about important conservation and community issues.
Héctor Pérez Puig - Research and Conservation Fellow
Originally from Mexico City, Héctor has had a strong interest in natural science from a young age. This developed into his current passion for marine mammals. Due to his interest in whales Héctor studied Biology at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma in Puebla with an undergraduate thesis based on the craneometry of spotted coastal pantropical dolphins (Stenella attenuata graffmani).
In 2004 Héctor completed a Masters in Marine Biology at CICESE (Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Baja California) with a thesis focused on estimating the abundance Northern migrating Gray Whale calves off the coast of Ensenada.
Héctor has worked and collaborated on projects with whales and dolphins for various institutions. In October 2009, Hector became the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation fellow for the Kino Bay Center. This post focuses on cetacean Photo Identification and documenting the distribution and seasonality of all marine mammal sightings. Héctor collaborates with researches at UABCS (Universidad Autónoma Baja California Sur) and other international scientists to study cetacean ecology both in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. Héctor also maintains the station’s User Day Database.
"Every day my entrance to the center gives me the opportunity to develop on a professional basis while enjoying what I enjoy most in life and above all not losing the sense of wonder in what I can see in the stunning Gulf of California."
Emily Wittman - Research and Conservation Fellow
Hailing from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Emily Wittman received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire in 2006. After completing a tropical ecology program in Costa Rica, she was inspired to focus her career on international wildlife conservation, and has since gone on to live and work across Latin America. Emily has participated in many biological projects including jaguar predation on sea turtle surveys, aquatic bird monitoring, and mammal tracking. In 2008, she completed her Master of Science degree in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University where her research focused on wildlife policy, reptile conservation, and farm animal welfare. Emily has spent three seasons monitoring the breeding success, ecology and behavior of waterbirds. As a Research and Conservation Fellow, Emily implements the Waterbird Monitoring Program which conducts multispecies research on migratory and resident waterbirds in a variety of local ecosystems from rocky islands to expansive estuaries. Her focus this year will be nest monitoring and productivity studies of endangered species with the goal of gaining conservation status in vital habitats.
“Coming to Kino Bay is a dream job that allows me to combine my passions for wildlife ecology, cultural exchange, and community-based conservation efforts all at the same time.”
Maria Johnson - Research and Conservation Fellow
Neil Clark - Conservation Intern
Elena Chavarria - Indigenous Community Partnership Program Coordinator
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Co-director, Research and Conservation Program Coordinator
220 Grove Ave, Prescott, AZ 86301
Kino Bay Center:
151 Calle Cádiz y Puerto Vallarta
Bahía de Kino, Sonora, México
ph: (+52) 662 242 00 24