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."
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."
Celia Chatham - Research and Conservation Fellow
A native to Northern California’s coast, Celia Chatham fell captive to the ocean before she could walk and has always found the more than human world enthralling. Her childhood was filled with hours well spent in the flower garden observing the movements of Lepidoptera or turning over stones to capture the larval inhabitants for examination and later release. By the age of ten she had determined that birds of prey were the “coolest” and demanded to stop and look at every raptor perched on a wire during the family road trip that year.
She recently completed her undergraduate degrees in Natural History and Ecology and Studio Art at Prescott College. Her fascination with, and love, for the ocean and coastal ecosystems led her to take several courses at the Kino Bay Center, which culminated in her Senior Project focused on the ecology and natural history of migratory shorebirds in a nearby estero. Since graduation she has worked in plant monitoring on restoration sites in the Sierra Nevada. She is thrilled to return to the Gulf of California and work with birds, coastal ecosystems and conservation.
As a Research and Conservation Fellow Celia works primarily with the Waterbird Monitoring Program, the Media and Conservation Fellow and the Prescott College courses that stay at the station. Her favorite flower is the California Poppy, her favorite flavor is lemon and the best weather in the world is a winter rainstorm at the ocean (when one is on land).
Maria Johnson - Research and Conservation Fellow
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 and conservation which has provided her the opportunity to combine her passions of the ocean and its protection, elasmobranchs, and visual arts.
“I am endlessly captivated by the relationship between humans and nature that, throughout history, has manifested as both destructive and controlling as well as respectful and intrinsically connected. 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.”
Irene Espinosa González Garza - Research and Conservation Fellow
The great outdoors and its wildlife have always held a beckoning call for Irene. This attraction has fueled her curiosity and driven her to pursue a career in biology. She received her Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and went on to join several projects including reintroducing Harpy eagles, monitoring seabirds, trapping small mammals, surveying for desert tortoises and doing behavioral studies with starlings. She then completed a PhD in Behavioral Ecology where her work focused on animal camouflage. Now as a Research and Conservation Fellow, Irene implements the Waterbird Monitoring Program. This year she will concentrate on tailoring monitoring protocols, conducting multispecies surveys in the region’s estuaries and recording productivity for focal species; all with the goal of conserving birds and their habitats.
“This job combines what I love best about science: challenging questions and lots of field work, it’s perfect!”
Jorge A. Miros Gómez - Environmental Education Fellow
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.
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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