Ohio Office Staff
Lindsey Christ, Executive Director
I am no stranger to IFS or 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 and outreach since 1997. I have BS degree from UNC-Asheville in Environmental Studies and a MS degree from the University of Florida in Interdisciplinary Ecology. I conducted my master’s research in Brazil on plant-animal interactions and biological control of invasive species. I taught Biology, Botany, and Environmental Science at Columbus State Community College for nearly 5 years. I have been in non-profit management since 2003 and was the former Executive Director of Keep Franklin County Beautiful, Inc. and Camp Wyandot, Inc.
Becky Schmitthenner, Program Coordinator
Prior to IFS, I completed a year of service in Washington, DC through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps where I worked for a public charter school with a two-generation model of learning focused on educating immigrant families. Before my time in DC, I earned my BA degree from Wittenberg University with a major in Sociology and a minor in Communications. In my time as an undergrad, I was a founding member of the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative (LNI), a nonprofit focused on eliminating malnutrition and stunting in Lesotho, South Africa. I was fortunate enough to visit Lesotho on a service-learning trip in 2015 and currently serve on the board for LNI.
My passion for the outdoors stems from spending my childhood hiking and kayaking at my family’s cabin in Pennsylvania. I’m thrilled to be working at IFS and love supporting such an important mission.
Vivienne Main, Program Coordinator
After graduating with an MS degree 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 and worked as a SCUBA diving instructor. While there, I developed the Egyptian Environmental Conservation and Awareness Association (an environmental NGO) and promoted environmental community initiatives.
I spent two and half years as the Station Director at Forfar Field Station sharing my passion for science, the ocean, and environmental awareness while managing daily operations on island. I’m excited to continue working for International Field Studies from the Ohio office!
Forfar Field Station Staff
Hannah Tannenbaum, Station Director
I’ve been involved in environmental education ever since I became a PADI Dive Instructor in 2010. Throughout my summers in college, I worked for Broadreach, an experiential-education organization, as a dive instructor and trip leader in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. After graduation, I joined Broadreach full-time for two-years as a Program Coordinator for their marine science and advanced diving trips. I left Broadreach in fall of 2016, with the amazing opportunity to live on a sailboat in the South Pacific ending in Fiji. I remained in Fiji for a few months working as a dive instructor in the beautiful rainbow reef off Taveuni Island, before I returned to the US to start graduate school, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. At Scripps, I conducted research on the relationship between the recreational dive industry and climate change, and earned my Masters of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation.
I am so excited to be part of the team at Forfar to continue to educate and prepare our students and environment for a healthier future.
Certifications: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, PADI EFR Instructor, DAN First Aid/CPR
Alex Borriel, Environmental Educator
I grew up in Connecticut spending my days exploring tidepools at the beach or trying to identify butterflies and caterpillars in my backyard. Coming from a family of divers, I earned my open water certification when I was 14 and worked up to completing my IDC and getting my PADI Dive Instructor certification in 2016. Since then, for the past few summers, I have worked for Broadreach, an outdoor experience-education organization, teaching high school and middle school students how to dive in the Caribbean. During the off-season, I was in school at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY where I earned my BA in Environmental Studies with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. I spent one of my semesters abroad in Hong Kong, where I was exposed to a different array of environmental issues and approaches to those issues.
When I don’t have my head underwater, you can usually find me doing something active outside or with my nose in a book. I am excited to share my passion for the world around us and conservation while on Andros!
Certifications: PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, Primary and Secondary Care Certification, CPR/ AED/ First Aid Instructor, Wilderness First Responder
Jarra Chapman, Environmental Educator
The ocean has been a consistent support system in my life having grown up on the east coast of Australia. It has provided me with comfort, happiness, a feeling of meditation, and a wealth of understanding. It only makes sense to me to spend the rest of my life giving back by connecting with others to inspire the same desire to appreciate and protect our environment.
I majored in Wildlife Biology and Marine Biology earning my BS from Griffith University in Australia. Since graduating, I have been working towards gaining as much experience as I can in the field of environmental science. I recently spent a year in the Philippines, obtaining my Divemaster certification and conducting coral reef and sea turtle research. I am very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the educational work at Forfar Field Station.
Certifications: PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced Open Water, PADI Rescue Diver, PADI Divemaster, PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Specialty, PADI Enriched Air Diver Specialty, First Aid/AED/CPR Certification
Haleigh Collins, Environmental Educator
I began my college education as a Deaf Education major but knew I needed to follow my heart and find something I was passionate about. I switched my major to Marine Science due to my love of the ocean and the mysteries it holds. I fell in love with learning again and earned my BS in Marine Science with a minor in Geology from Texas A&M University at Galveston. I gained valuable research experience from completing my thesis on the environmental reconstruction of the climates of The Bahamas over the past 8,000 years. My research allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the climate cycles, karst topography, and ecology of The Bahamas throughout geological history.
Shortly after completing my degree, I became a Maritime Education Coordinator at Sea Star Base Galveston, a non-profit that teaches aquatic and maritime education. I spent my time there teaching oceanography, swim lessons, kayaking, and deck-handing on their educational vessel. My years of being a summer camp counselor and outdoor educator have prepared me for an amazing year as an Environmental Educator at Forfar.
Certifications: American Red Cross Lifeguarding (First Aid, CPR, AED), American Canoe Association Level 2 Kayak Instructor, U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat certification, U.S. Sailing Safe Powerboat Handling, Texas Boater’s Education, American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, NAUI Basic Scuba Diving, American Red Cross When Help is Delayed, and American Red Cross Fundamentals of Canoeing.
Mike England, Environmental Educator
I am a Colorado native and spent most of my time growing up exploring the Rocky Mountains. While in college I assisted in sea turtle conservation in Panama. After graduating from the University of Colorado in 2013 with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, I obtained a job on the coast of Georgia conducting sea turtle conservation and leading environmental tours. I returned to my home state and began to work at the Denver Zoo as a zoo educator participating in outreach and informal education programs. Conservation and educating local communities has become my passion and I am extremely excited about the opportunity to share this as an Environmental Educator on Andros.
Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, PADI Divemaster, PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider, PADI Equipment Specialist, Red-Cross Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR Certification, Leave No Trace Trainer Certification
Aaron John, Environmental Educator
I am from Nassau, Bahamas and graduated from the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute in 2018 where I obtained an Associate Degree in Agriculture Science. During my time at the Institute I was a member of the BNT Eco-Warrriors club. My love for the environment has increased by several folds and continues to fascinate me. In my free time I love to go crabbing, snorkeling, fishing and of course diving in blue holes. I plan to further my studies in the area of Agriculture and Marine Science.
I started working at Forfar Field Station in June of 2018 and I’m looking forward to another season!
Certifications: PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace Trainer Certification, ACA Kayaking, First Aid/AED/CPR Certification
Will Mahoney, Environmental Educator
Although I have lived in five states and two foreign countries in my life, I consider myself a New Jersey native. I graduated from Gettysburg College with a BA in Environmental Science with a focus on Policy and Management. I entered college wanting to be an elementary school teacher but after taking an Oceanography class my sophomore year, I decided that I wanted to make the environment the focus of my education efforts. My educational background and love of fishing, especially the world’s fisheries, allowed me to not only fall in love with the outdoors but realize just how important it is to protect our planet’s wild spaces.
I have a background as a naturalist and an environmental educator, and have a passion for sharing my love of animals and science with others - especially children and young adults. I am excited to take this passion and share it with students from all over the world at Forfar Field Station.
Certifications: Red-Cross First Aid/AED/CPR Certification
Franchesca Palomino, Environmental Educator
I have always loved the ocean and the marine environment since I was very young. Growing up in The Bahamas and being surrounded by water is one of the main reasons for my fascination and passion for the sea. As I grew older, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that involved the ocean. I earned my BS in Small Island Sustainability: Environment and Ecosystems Management from the University of The Bahamas. While earning my degree my love for the environment grew even more. I learned so much about my homeland and the beauty and value it holds ecologically which inspired me to expand my focus to educating people on the Bahamian environment.
I have also worked as a swim instructor for toddlers and children. I enjoy swimming, reading, and am a huge movie buff. My main goal is working to educate the public on the importance of the Bahamian environment.
Certifications: Swim Instructor with First Aid/AED/CPR Certification
Tayt Stafford, Environmental Educator
Growing up in the Sandhills of North Carolina, I had the opportunity to be exposed to a diverse environmental landscape. With the Appalachian Mountains to the west and the Outer Banks to the east, there was always different terrain to be explored. I was constantly fascinated by wildlife and nature as a child and would watch documentaries about coral reef ecosystems in tropical waters. This healthy relationship with the outdoors and my passion for coastal environments pushed me towards pursuing a career in Marine Biology. I graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in Biological Oceanography and a minor in Zoology. During a study abroad program, I had the opportunity to visit Forfar Field Station for a month where I worked with a research team examining the mosquitofish inhabiting blue holes of Northern Andros.
I have spent the past year working at a North Carolina State park as a Naturalist guide leading excursions and providing educational programs to the public and school groups. I love teaching others while getting hands-on with nature! One of my hobbies is making videos and taking photos of all the cool animals I find while exploring the outdoors. I always knew I wanted to come back to Andros and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to gain more knowledge while working with the Forfar team!
Certifications: NAUI Open Water, Prescribed burn/ Wildland firefighter certifications S-130 and S-190, First Aid/AED/CPR Certification