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.
Becky Schmitthenner, Program Coordinator
I just recently completed a year of service in Washington, DC through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. I worked as the Communications Assistant for a public charter school with a two-generation model of learning focused on educating immigrant families. Prior to my time in DC, I earned my bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University with a major in Sociology and a minor in Communications. At Witt, I was a founding member of the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative (LNI), a non-profit that provides food supplements to malnourished families in Lesotho, Africa. I was fortunate enough to complete a service-learning trip to Lesotho my junior year and currently serve on the board of directors 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.
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.
Jade Reinhart, Intern
I am a Steve Irwin wanabe, and therefore I aspire to travel the world and learn all things biology. I earned a bachelor's degree from Missouri State University in Wildlife Biology and Geotourism.
I have worked many years in the tourism industry, I have captained boats in Missouri and Florida, I have worked as a sea turtle biologist, a zookeeper, and a crew leader for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park before venturing to Andros.
I grew up at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. I simply love being outdoors and learning about nature's interconnectedness from water to bugs to bears to humans and all that is in between. I love hugging every dog I see, I love dancing, I love games, and I love laughing so long my sides hurt.
Kathryn Malinowski, Intern
Ever since I was a little kid I was obsessed with the ocean, rather than playing with dolls I played with toy sharks and other sea creatures. My passion for the ocean and conservation grew after spending two months in South Africa volunteering on a variety of shark related projects, including great white sharks. In 2014 I graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Environmental Studies.
After graduating I traveled to Fiji and spent four months volunteering and conducting daily underwater reef surveys. I lived on a very remote island and learned the importance of the reef to many locals. After volunteering I was interested in learning more about marine parks and protected areas, I then went back to University to receive my Master’s of Science in Protected Area Management at James Cook University. During my time at JCU I was able to experience some of the best diving on the Great Barrier Reef and Thailand. During my studies I also completed my PADI Divemaster certification.
Mike England, Intern
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 Education Intern on Andros.
Charlotte King, Intern
Although I grew up in the landlocked state of Ohio, the ocean has captured my interest since I was a little girl. I graduated with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Denison University but catered my studies toward marine conservation by spending a semester in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
I’m interested in all aspects of marine conservation. I have learned about maritime law and attended the United Nations 2016 Climate Summit in Morocco, COP22, done field research on coral reefs and other habitats of the Caicos bank, completed a behavioral study of inland college students to learn more about ocean conservation behaviors, and even worked as a zookeeper with numerous exotic species including stingrays. My curiosity towards the ocean knows no bounds! I also very much enjoy singing, dancing, playing ukulele and guitar, and taking extended naps in hammocks with a good book and a good dog.
Matthew Speegle, Intern
My devotion for the sea grew out of the days I spent exploring the California Oceans and Beaches. I am from the Bay Area in California and was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that loved the beach. Like most kids, I was constantly changing my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up but I always came back to the Ocean.
I graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy. During my time there, I spent a semester abroad on the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands where I was immersed in marine science and fell in love with the kaleidoscope of colors that made up the ocean floor. Since then, I have tried to find every opportunity to work as a Naturalist in every type of environment so that I can help others find their love for the natural world. When I am not spending my time on the beach, I am probably playing sports, fixing something or reading a good book.
Abigail Baker, Intern
As a native Vermonter, I love spending my time outside climbing mountains, looking for critters in the woods, or diving in the lake.
I was first SCUBA certified in 2013 while attending my first year at Florida Keys Community College in Key West, Florida and returned to Vermont to get my Advanced Certification. Although diving in the murky waters of Lake Champlain was a drastic change, I fell in love with the idea of combining my passion for diving and my love for the state of Vermont. I obtained my dive master with the Waterfront Diving Center in Burlington, Vermont, where I worked for over a year.
Rome Newbold, Intern
I am from Love Hill, Andros and graduated from Central Andros High in 2016 where I was a member of the BNT Navigators club. Myself and a classmate received 2nd place for our presentation “Conserving Marine Life” at the Agriculture and Marine Expo in 2016 and we were the only team from a family island entered in the competition. My hobbies include crabbing, fishing, and swimming in blue holes and I am currently majoring in Computer Programming at Broward College in Florida, USA.
Aaron John, Intern
Hello 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 also a member of the BNT club under the name Eco-Warrriors. My love for the environment has increased by several folds and it just continues to fascinate me. In my free time I love to go crabbing, snorkeling, fishing and of course diving in blueholes. I plan to further my studies in the area of Agriculture and Marine Science.