Ohio Office Staff
Lindsey Christ, Executive Director
I am no stranger to Forfar! I first visited Forfar as a high school student and then again in college to do the Christmas Bird count. My time on Andros was transformative and I am thrilled to work for IFS and continue to push forward our field study programs and reach new students and new audiences.
I have been working for non-profit organizations in the field of environmental education for the past 20 years. I have an undergraduate degree from UNC-Asheville in Environmental Studies and a Master's degree from the University of Florida in Interdisciplinary Ecology. I was the former Executive Director of Keep Franklin County Beautiful, Inc. and Camp Wyandot, Inc.
Matt Underwood, Marketing Program Coordinator
I’m the new Marketing Program Coordinator at IFS. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2013 with a BBA in Marketing and moved to Columbus shortly after. In my previous positions, I’ve helped to develop marketing plans, coordinate events, and have worked as a recruiter. I enjoy any type of outdoor activity such as whitewater rafting, snowboarding, snorkeling, and more! I’m very interested in environmentalism and sustainability and am excited to utilize my skills here at IFS.
Forfar Field Station Staff
Vivienne Main, Station Director
Hi I’m Vivienne the Director of Forfar Field Station. After graduating with an MSci in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of Glasgow Scotland, I completed an internship with the Clyde River Foundation. Then I left Scotland behind and moved to Dahab, Egypt where I managed the Open Ocean Science Centre, worked as a SCUBA diving instructor, developed EECAA (an environmental NGO) and promoted environmental community initiatives. I’m excited to share my passion for science, the ocean and environmental awareness with everyone here at Forfar.
Ahmed Burad-Mendez, Acting Assistant Director
I studied Marine Biology in Mexico where I was born and raised on the Peninsula de Yucatan, Mexico. I'm a certified Divemaster and Full Cave Diver. I have studied and worked in different coasts of Mexico, developing skills on scientific field work/research. My research focuses on ecological and socioeconomic aspects of the spiny lobster fishery.
Rand Romas, Intern
After graduating from Ohio University in 2013 with a Degree in Marine, Freshwater, and Environmental Biology, I worked with AmeriCorps in Athens, Ohio restoring problematic watersheds. From Ohio I ventured to North Carolina where I worked for Marine Fisheries and collected data on the gill net fishery, focusing on endangered Sea Turtles and Sturgeon. After spending the last year working with NOAA and NMFS in the Bering Sea, I can't wait to work at Andros, the place I first fell in love with the ocean. For All At Last Return To The Sea...
Kirsty Ballard, Intern
Growing up on an island surrounded by the riches of the Mediterranean sea ignited my ambition to pursue a career in marine science and conservation. Consequently, I completed my BSc in Marine Biology in 2015 at Newcastle University, England. I was fortunate enough to conduct the research for my undergraduate dissertation as a member of the shark team at Cape Eleuthera Institute, and also had a chance to explore the coral reefs in Bermuda on a final year fieldtrip. A keen interest in tropical marine ecosystems, particularly shark ecology and biology, quickly developed, so I stayed on at Newcastle University and wrapped up my MSc in International Marine and Environmental Consultancy this summer. My Masters research project took me to the Maldives, where I investigated shark abundance and distribution patterns. But my love for the ocean exceeds academia; in my spare time I’ll take any opportunity to be in or on the water including; SCUBA diving, freediving or surfing.
Victoria Sperow, Intern
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. After earning my BS in Marine Biology and Zoology at Humboldt State University in 2013 I became an environmental educator. I started teaching students in the bay area about marine sciences from the SF bay on the R/V Robert G. Brownlee then relocated to Orange County, CA to teach outdoor education as a Naturalist of the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. During the summer seasons I worked as the Marine Science Intern at the Pennington Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island spending my days in the water teaching Boy Scouts about the kelp forests, intertidal zonation and oceanography. This past summer I became the Nature and Science Program Specialist of Camp Keff teaching a wide range of science subjects to campers. I love science, marine ecosystems, and exploring.
Shannan Yates, Intern
I obtained a BSc. in Biology with a minor Chemistry at the College of The Bahamas. My current interest of study involves lizards found in the Bahamas, Cuba and the West Indies i.e. the lion lizards, iguanas, curly tails and including invasive reptiles and amphibians. I am actively involved in conservation efforts as I am a volunteer at The Bahamas National Trust, where I mainly assisted with educational efforts. Most recently, I assisted the Shedd Aquarium Bahamian Iguana research program in the Exuma cays (2016), with there on going conservation efforts of the Bahamian Rock Iguana. My previous research projects were presented at the 2014 and 2016 Bahamas Natural History Conferences, placing 1st & 2nd in the student presentation series. My passion for not only self-knowledge but also public understanding of wild reptiles and amphibians will see me working with wildlife for the foreseeable future to better understand them and the role humans play in their adaptation, populations and general ecology.
Sara Orofino, Intern
I'm a native of a small town in northern California called Placerville. I graduated from Oregon State University in 2014 with a B.S. in Zoology and a minor in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy. I spent my first year after graduation working in Thailand, first in Chiang Mai as an education and outreach intern with the Save Elephant Foundation and then on the island of Koh Phi Phi as a Divemaster with Princess Divers. The past year I have worked as a Planning Assistant analyzing compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. I love getting outdoors, reading, diving and exploring the seas and I'm excited to be a part of the team!