Staff

Lorayne Meltzer - Field Station Director, Research and Conservation Program - Coordinator, Prescott College Faculty

Lorayne Meltzer - Field Station Director, Research and Conservation Program - Coordinator, Prescott College Faculty
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As 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.  

Martin Ziebell - Field Station Manager

Martin Ziebell - Field Station Manager
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Martin grew up on the island of Cyprus where he worked with the Cyprus Fisheries Department Lara Reserve Sea Turtle Project before moving to the U.S. He has been visiting the Gulf since the early 90's, sailing, sea kayaking and instructing courses with Prescott College. As part of his graduate work in Marine Studies he studied and documented the small-scale fishing fleet in Bahia de Kino. Most recently he has been teaching the oceanography section of Dr. Ed Boyer's Marine Biology course at the Center. "The opportunity to live and work in Bahia de Kino with Prescott College is a dream come true for me."

Lillian Drosen - Office Administrator

Lillian Drosen - Office Administrator
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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 Damian Becerra - Transportation Coordinator
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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

Julio Carrasco Paredes - Maintenance Coordinator
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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."

Carolina Navarro - Conservation Fellow / Estuaries, Environmental Education and Community Leadership

Carolina Navarro - Conservation Fellow / Estuaries, Environmental Education and Community Leadership
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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".

 

Jorge A. Miros Gómez - Conservation Fellow / Environmental Education and Community Leadership

Jorge A. Miros Gómez - Conservation Fellow / Environmental Education and Community Leadership
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Jorge is originally from Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz. He received his Bachelor´s degree in Environmental Sciences at the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada City. His thesis was an application of GIS in the management of solid residues for the municipality of Ensenada. Jorge has worked in various ecological studies and aquaculture management plans. He was coordinator of environmental clubs and has been involved in planning various activities and environmental events.

In September 2013 he was elected as a fellow in the Environmental Education Program for the Prescott College Kino Bay Center. He teaches in primary schools and also collaborates on field trips and community projects.

Olivia Osuna - Conservation Fellow / Environmental Education and Community Leadership

Olivia Osuna - Conservation Fellow / Environmental Education and Community Leadership
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Olivia was born and raised in Cajeme, Sonora. Since an early age she has always been fascinated by natural sciences and while growing up developed a special interest in ecology which led her to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences Engineering at the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON). She has been involved in local social and ecological movements with small non-profit organizations seeking to contribute to community welfare.

In summer 2014 she was chosen as an Environmental Education Program Fellow. She teaches ecology classes to kids in elementary schools and also participates in field trips and other community activities within the program. Her goal is to encourage environmental awareness and critical thinking in Kino’s people; especially new generations so that they are able to develop a profound sense of place and know their role as individuals and as community in the sustainable management of their region’s natural resources.

Her favorite ecosystems are semi-arid lands (with a special love for the Sonoran Desert) and coastal wetlands so it is a wonderful thing for her to have them both in Kino and feed her sense of wonder.

Héctor Pérez Puig - Conservation Fellow / Marine Mammal Research and Community Outreach

Héctor Pérez Puig - Conservation Fellow / Marine Mammal Research and Community Outreach
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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 coastal pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata graffmani).

Héctor completed his Masters in Marine Biology at CICESE with a thesis focused on Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) calf abundance estimation from shore-based surveys near Ensenada.

Héctor has worked and collaborated on projects with whales and dolphins for various institutions. In 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 spatial and temporal distribution of all cetacean sightings from the region. Héctor collaborates with researches at UABCS 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."

Maria Johnson - Conservation Fellow / Fisheries, Media, and Information Exchange

Maria Johnson - Conservation Fellow / Fisheries, Media, and Information Exchange
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An Arizona native, Maria remained in the desert to attend Prescott College in 2009, intrigued by the opportunity to study the ocean close to home. An immediate love for the Gulf of California emerged during her first semester there and she continued to take classes at the Kino Bay Center for the remainder of her studies. A particular interest in the small-scale fisheries of Kino ensued, resulting in her senior project, “La Vida de Los Pescadores”- a photography exposition and series of interviews illuminating the struggles, the stories, and the hopes of local fishers. Following graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in marine conservation, Maria was awarded a fellowship in media, fisheries, and conservation which has provided her the opportunity to pursue her passions of the ocean and its protection, fish & fisheries, as well as visual arts.

“I am endlessly captivated by the relationship between humans and nature in its many forms. I seek to understand, explore, and communicate this theme through art in hopes of contributing to the vision of a balanced world where all life thrives. I am so grateful to be able to pursue this dream in this beautiful little town where the desert meets the sea.”

Tanner Humphries - Conservation Researcher / Waterbird Monitoring and Outreach

Tanner Humphries - Conservation Researcher / Waterbird Monitoring and Outreach
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A native of Seattle, Washington, Tanner Humphries has always been drawn to the natural world and felt the need to help protect and conserve it. While studying at Western Washington University, he worked as the Science Editor for the award-winning environmental student publication The Planet, spent a summer studying mycorrhizal fungi in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, and conducted a research project on anthropogenic disturbance to a local heron colony. Since obtaining his degree in Environmental Sciences he has monitored butterfly populations and recorded plant phenology in sub-alpine meadows in North Cascades National Park and Mount Rainier National Park and studied trophic cascade relationships between wolves and riparian vegetation in Yellowstone National Park.

He is passionate about Wildlife Conservation and loves contributing to research endeavors in the field. He is thrilled to be supporting the Waterbird Monitoring Program through Prescott College's Kino Bay Center. The unique landscape and unbelievable diversity of birds here inspire him to help contribute to the program's goal of conserving habitat for all bird species.

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

Talya Shragai - Conservation Researcher / Waterbird Monitoring and Outreach

Talya Shragai - Conservation Researcher / Waterbird Monitoring and Outreach
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Talya Shragai was born in Berkeley, California and grew up with a love of camping, hiking, and all things outdoors. She is a recent graduate of UCLA where she earned her degrees in biology and international development studies with a focus on the intersection between animal behavior and human systems. As development expands, the overlap between human activity and wildlife habitat grows at an ever-increasing rate, and she is fascinated by the ways these two worlds continuously depend on, destruct, and affect each other. Talya’s previous field experiences include working with blue-throated macaws in the savannahs of Bolivia and a study of the comparative physiology of chipmunks in Yosemite National Park. Talya is thrilled to have joined the Prescott College Kino Bay team where she is working with the Waterbird Monitoring Program and has quickly fallen in love with the diverse wildlife and unique environment of Kino. In her spare time Talya likes exploring the mountains behind the field station and sitting in the sunshine with a good book. Her favorite Kino waterbird is the white ibis.

Tara Boag - Conservation Researcher / Fisheries, Marine Mammals, and Support

Tara Boag - Conservation Researcher / Fisheries, Marine Mammals, and Support
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Tara Boag originally comes from Ontario, Canada, but grew up all over the place. Her love for the ocean led her to study marine science in southern Maine, where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in May of 2014 in marine biology. Tara spent all of her free time working in a fish research lab and completing her thesis on the age and growth of the black dogfish, Centroscyllium fabricii. Over the course of her studies in the classroom and the lab, she became more and more fascinated with the complicated science of fisheries biology and hopes to pursue a career studying the effects that we as humans have on the sea.

Tara has been working as an intern at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center since October 2014. She came to Bahia de Kino to be part of the shrimp bycatch project and is also learning to work with marine mammals. 

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