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Meet the Team 2015

Julie Allen Julie
Third Grade Teacher
Irwin Intermediate
Fort Bragg, NC
Hobbies: Back-packing, running, traveling, hiking with my dogs, really anything that gets me outside!
What I am looking forward to:
Exploring a new (to me) landscape with like-minded educators, challenging myself with new experiences, visiting the Jaguar Preserve, learning about Belizean culture and ecology so I can in turn inspire my teaching!

Pat BakerPat
Reading Specialist
Manteo Elementary School
Dare County
Hobbies: yoga, biking, beachcombing, kayaking
What I am looking forward to: I am so excited to be experiencing the diversity of Belizean habitats with other teachers from North Carolina and Belize. My hope is to share this experience authentically with my MES students and colleagues

Jennifer BrowndorfJennifer
Sixth and Eighth Grade Science Teacher
Hillburn Academy
Raleigh, NC
Hobbies:Running, Reading, Hiking, Traveling, Gardening
What I am looking forward to:Bringing interesting experiences back to North Carolina to share in my classroom, exploring and learning about the ecology of the rainforest, and having an exciting adventure.

Doreen Cunningham
Assistant Dean, Associate ProfessorDoreen
Saint Augustine’s University
Wake County
Hobbies: acrylic painting, trail walking, bootcamp/crossfit and learning new things
What I am looking forward to: I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge as it relates to life and the ecosystems of Belize; developing innovative pedagogical techniques as I network with a diverse group of educators, and experiencing new adventures and developing new skills.

Terry Anne DennyTerry
Elementary Music Teacher
Lacy Elementary
Wake County
Hobbies: fossil collecting, reading, sewing, hiking, birdwatching and exploring nature.
What I am looking forward to: Being in a rainforest; seeing new animals, birds and plants; snorkeling; climbing Mayan ruins and experiencing the culture and ecology of Belize while making new friends.

Melissa DowlandMelissa Dowland
Coordinator of Teacher Education
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Hobbies: Camping, hiking, photography, reading, exploring the wonders of the natural world
What I am looking forward to: Learning about the incredible tropical plants and animals of Belize, swimming in a waterfall and snorkeling in the ocean, sharing an adventure with other educators, and picking up new ideas and techniques to apply to other teacher workshops I lead!

Blair DriverIMG_9410
Eighth Grade Science/Social Studies Teacher
Pactolus Schooll
Pitt County
Hobbies: Reading, Going to the beach, Playing with my dogs
What I am looking forward to:Exploring the Belizean Rainforest and visiting the Mayan Ruins. I want to bring my adventure back to my students, colleagues, family and friends.

Fred Hass
Cary Academy
Wake County
Hobbies: Mountain biking, climbing, backpacking, piano, reading, robotics, cooking
What I am looking forward to:I’m looking forward to experiencing a culture different from my own, traveling and learning from people who share my interest in science, ecology and teaching, and exploring the rainforest and other ecosystems. I am also looking forward to sharing my experience in Belize with my students when I return to the classroom.

Annabelle Rodgers HardyAnnabelle
Elementary Coordinator
Asheville City Schools
Buncombe County
Hobbies: reading, hiking, biking, exploring new places
What I am looking forward to: Exploring new environments and cultures, snorkeling for the first time and having new adventures. I am excited to have the chance to be a curious learner and bring that wonder and curiosity back to my work as an educator.

Diane MoserDiane
Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher
Rogers-Herr Middle School
Durham County
Hobbies: world travel, photography, genealogy, reading
What I am looking forward to: I am eager to journey to a new country and explore its natural wonders, capture its sights in words and images, immerse myself in a different culture, and practise my Spanish! As a lifelong learner I know this experience will inspire me, and ultimately, inspire my students.

Paul Norales
Belize City, Belize
What I am looking forward to:

Brad Rhew by Ken MartinBrad Rhew
Science Teacher
Walkertown Middle School
Forsyth County
Hobbies: Hiking
wine tours
What I am looking forward to: Connecting with other educators from across the state and creating engaging activities to bring back to the classroom.

Sherry Ann RivasSherry Ann Rivas
Kindergarten Teacher
San Juan Bosco Roman Catholic School
Dangriga, Belize
Hobbies: Meeting new people, traveling to new places, relaxing on the beach and football (soccer)
What I am looking forward to: I’m looking forward to having a wonderful time and to learn more about my country, Belize

Taylor Strode
Art Teacher
Concord High SchoolTaylor
Cabarrus County
Hobbies: Anything outdoors, coaching and playing soccer, and spending time with my family.
What I am looking forward to:The chance to explore another country, meet its peple and experience their culture. Futhering my appreciation of the world and bringing my experiences back to my students, friends and family.

Liz Baird (Institute Leader)
Director of Education
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Wake County
Hobbies: Kayaking, hiking, reading, fostering golden retrievers
What I am looking forward to: Seeing Nathan, our guide and the beautiful places in Belize. I look forward to snorkeling on the reef, finding Red-Eyed Tree Frogs, and visiting Monkey River Village where we have worked for many years. I cannot wait to share this with such an outstanding group!

Jason Cryan (Institute Leader)Jason
Deputy Museum Director of Research and Collections
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Wake County
Hobbies: kayaking, martial arts, cooking (& eating) yummy food!
What I am looking forward to: Sharing my love of nature and experience in tropical biology with educators from NC and Belize, and learning from everyone in return!

Nathan Forbes
Tour guide
Nathan has been guiding the Museum’s annual Tropical Ecology Institute for more than 15 years. He came to a Museum workshop (Summer Field Institute) in June 2002.

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