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Staff

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

Lorayne Meltzer - Field Station Director, Research and Conservation Program Coordinator
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As Director of the Kino Bay Center, Lorayne is active in collaborative conservation efforts in the Gulf of California. Lorayne coordinates the Center’s research, education and community outreach programs toward the realization of the mission and vision of Prescott College and the Kino Bay Center. Through her Marine Conservation classes, 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 issues and solutions, while simultaneously contributing to the conservation projects conducted through the Center’s programs.

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, Boat Captain

Cosme Damian Becerra - Transportation Coordinator, Boat Captain
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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.  Since 2010, Cosme and a few fishermen from the community have formed a Sea Turtle Monitoring Group that formed with support from CONANP.

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."

Olivia Osuna - Conservation Fellow / Environmental Education

Olivia Osuna - Conservation Fellow / Environmental Education
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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 - Resident Researcher / Marine Mammal Research and Community Outreach

Héctor Pérez Puig - Resident Researcher / 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."

Horacio Cabrera Santiago-Community Projects Coordinator

Horacio Cabrera Santiago-Community Projects Coordinator
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Horacio is originally from Cajeme.  He has a bachelor’s degree in ecology, a master’s degree in science and completed his doctoral studies in management, use and preservation of natural resources, with a specialty in ecology of arid zones. He has worked in the Gulf of California on a range of topics, like environmental management policy, promoting sustainable fisheries, driving community participation in conservation, coordinating environmental education programs and leading non-profit organizations that work in the conservation of natural resources of the region. Horacio is thrilled to have joined the Prescott College Kino Bay team where he will be working to give greater impetus to local community projects in addition to promoting community participation in decision making on issues of management and conservation of Estero Santa Cruz.

Laura Monti-Indigenous Community Projects Coordinator

Laura Monti-Indigenous Community Projects Coordinator

Elise Gilchrist-Conservation Fellow/Media and Communications

Elise Gilchrist-Conservation Fellow/Media and Communications
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Elise’s lifelong passion for nature and art began in the early days of exploring ecosystems around her home and drawing the animals that she saw. She followed this path to a degree in animal behavior from Franklin and Marshall College where she studied animals ranging from red-tailed hawks in Lancaster, PA to spotted eagle rays during a semester abroad in Turks and Caicos. After graduation she spent two years living in Thailand working as a research assistant for Think Elephants International, a non-profit foundation that promotes Asian elephant conservation through research and education. Most recently she illustrated a children’s book called My Backyard Elephant that aims to enhance environmental literacy in young people.

            It was through these experiences that she became passionate about conservation and recognized the ever-growing need to communicate about environmental issues and research in a way that is impactful. She hopes to put her skills as an artist and a communicator to use in helping spread the word about the amazing work going on at the Kino Bay Center.

Martha Verónica Maldonado Bracamontes-Conservation Fellow/Environmental Education and Community Leadership

Martha Verónica Maldonado Bracamontes-Conservation Fellow/Environmental Education and Community Leadership
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A proud Sonoran native, the biologist Martha Veronica Maldonado Bracamontes was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Ever since she was a child, she and her father have shared a passion for nature and the great inquietude to know and discover places in this beautiful state.

With an adventurous and curious spirit, the biologist concluded her studies at the University of Sonora in the field of Biology, specializing in Land Management of Natural Resources, and became the first generation to pursue this interesting profession in the state of Sonora. Before leaving university she shared experiences with fellow students similarly engaged in science, and to this day is very good friends with her peers with whom she collaborated in activities of environmental education and wildlife monitoring. Throughout her career she has been involved with institutions devoted to the care and conservation of the environment, where she has both learned and shared her knowledge. To this day she continues to learn about nature, indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and the management of natural resources, enjoying her job and trying to give back to the planet even a fraction of what these experiences have given to her. She joined the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies as a Conservation Fellow in the Environmental Education and Community Leadership program in August 2015.

Lindsay Adrean-Conservation Fellow/Waterbird Monitoring Program

Lindsay Adrean-Conservation Fellow/Waterbird Monitoring Program
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Lindsay’s interest in coastal ecology and waterbirds grew out of many years spent on the beaches of Massachusetts. A desire to explore led her to the Pacific Northwest where she worked with waterbirds in the diverse habitats of Oregon and Washington. After completing her M.S. thesis entitled “Caspian Tern foraging ecology and predation on juvenile salmonids in San Francisco Bay, California” at Oregon State University, Lindsay gained wildlife management experience working on avian predation issues in Oregon’s estuaries.

Lindsay is the Waterbird Monitoring Program fellow for 2015-2016 and in addition to field work she will be developing a three-year plan for the program. She is looking forward to learning about Sonora’s unique coastal habitats and most excited for spotting Black Skimmers, her favorite waterbird. 

Cameron Rudibaugh-Conservation Intern, Science

Cameron Rudibaugh-Conservation Intern, Science
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Hailing from the Buckeye state, Cameron grew up with a distant fondness of the ocean and its many macro fauna. It was his passion to study marine biology, primarily Elasmobranchs, from books, frequent trips to aquariums, Sea World, and documentaries. As his passion grew, so did his awareness of the ever pressing environmental issues surrounding both the marine and terrestrial worlds. He attended the University of Mount Union where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Environmental Science. During his senior year, Cameron generated a thesis which analyzed the bio-remediation of a chemically contaminated Ohio River tributary.

Following graduation, he moved to North Carolina where he worked as an Endangered Species Technician at Marine Corps. Base Camp Lejeune. His work entailed monitoring species such as red-cockaded woodpeckers, loggerhead sea turtles, and rough-leaf loosestrife, as well as collecting nesting and species distribution data on coastal waterbirds. Cameron wishes to attend graduate school in the fall of 2016 with the hopes that his time in Kino Bay will help launch him onto a career path in marine resource management and environmental sustainability.

 

Dylan Barnes-Conservation Intern, Environmental Education and Media

Dylan Barnes-Conservation Intern, Environmental Education and Media
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Born and raised in Prescott, Arizona, Dylan is a recent Tulane University graduate, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and International Development. Mr. Barnes focused his degree on community-led development and natural resources, completing his senior thesis in the Peruvian Amazon analyzing the intricate relationships between native communities, indigenous federations, oil companies, and the national government. Having known the Prescott College and Kino Bay communities from a young age, he has seen and experienced the passion, creativity, and determination that the Kino Bay Center inspires in the students, children, families and professionals with whom it interacts. Dylan is excited to use his own education and skills to learn and make an impact within this beautiful region of the world.

Max Laurrer-Conservation Intern, Waterbird Monitoring

Max Laurrer-Conservation Intern, Waterbird Monitoring
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Ever since I was little I loved fishing, swimming, and camping. My love for marine biology started after many snorkeling trips in West Palm Beach where I grew up. I loved being in the ocean and seeing so many different species. Throughout my schooling I focused all my attention on biological studies and earned a degree in Biology with an emphasis in ecology and conservation, and a minor in chemistry. Throughout college I studied humpback whales in Hawaii and secretive marsh birds in Illinois. My senior thesis was on the effects on wildlife after connecting floodplains to their original river systems. After college I traveled to Costa Rica to study nesting sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean. I hope to attend graduate school for wildlife biology in the fall of 2016. I believe that my work here at Kino Bay will greatly strengthen my skills in field biology and avian studies.

Micah Riegner

Micah Riegner
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Micah is a student of environmental studies at Prescott College who hopes to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May 2016. His fondness for birds started when he was young, and currently manifests in bird watching, bird recording, bird photography, and bird illustration. He is native to Prescott AZ, but migrates to the Brazilian Amazon in the summers to guide tours for Amazonia Expeditions and Cristalino Lodge.  He is currently a bird intern tasked with surveying seabirds, shorebirds, and Clapper Rails of the Kino Bay region. He hopes to enter into a graduate program at Louisiana State University to continue studying and painting birds in the tropics. His hero is Alexander von Humboldt and favorite color is rufous.

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