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Summer 2018 staff

Education Program Director

Anneliese (Lili) Pugh
Lili Pugh recently left the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center as their K-12 Education Program Coordinator after 6 years of filling this role. She has a master’s degree in Oceanography from the University of Maine and has many years of experience as an informal educator. She taught several years as a Teacher Naturalist at Massachusetts Audubon Society and has been, and is currently, a swim and ski coach. She completed the Maine Volunteer Master Naturalist program in 2012 and enjoys being outside, especially by the water, whether fresh or salt. She is the mother of two high school students who keep her busy when not working. Lili lives by the Sheepscot River and loves to watch the changing of the tide. Lili is excited to be joining the Boothbay Sea and Science Center as their Education Program Director. Lili will coordinate and direct BSSC’s educational programs helping to make each child’s experiences with the ocean as inquisitive and exciting as possible. “Connecting science to sailing is a great match that can provide the opportunity for greater appreciation of our water planet.”

Principal Instructors

Heather Sinclair (Session I: Farmer and the Sea)
Heather Sinclair is the middle school science teacher at Wiscasset Middle High School and lives right here in Edgecomb. She has lived in Maine for more than 10 years, never further than a mile from salt water. She teaches life science and physical science, and believes in a modeling approach to science education, where students learn about natural phenomena before utilizing vocabulary and formulas to describe their new knowledge. She has taught every science class imaginable to all grades from 6th to 12th, including Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Oceanography, Genetics, and Science Fiction. She has a BS in Biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching. She believes that hands on learning, science education, and advocacy is critical for students today. Heather agrees that Isak Dinesen said it best when she wrote “the cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea”.

Robert (Mason) Branch (Session II: Points of View)
Mason Branch is an artist and educator who has taught at all levels, including AP studio art and art history. He has worked in public and independent schools in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Fort Worth and Austin TX. Currently he is teaching High School Art in New York City. He has received a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston and an MFA in painting from American University. Mason has been involved in all aspects of schools from chairing a Fine Arts department to leading students on overnight camping trips to coaching. During graduate school he spent time living and studying in Perugia, Italy. He was born during the summer in Boothbay and grew up sailing. He raced sailboats in High School and taught sailing for many years. He is a landscape painter and enjoys painting pictures of the Maine Coastline. He is excited to be returning to the Boothbay Sea and Science Center to teach Session II Points of View: Art and Science of Sailing.

Genevieve Black (Session III: Hook, Line, and Sinker)
Genevieve is a high school science teacher. She teaches biology, environmental science, ocean science, and anatomy and physiology. Genevieve has worked at Mount View High School for two years, and before that worked at Mid Coast School of Technology. She graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 2014 with a degree in Marine Biology. Her passion for fisheries science comes from growing up on a lobster boat in Belfast, Maine where her father still fishes. Since graduating college she spent a season working for the Maine Department of Marine Resources sampling lobsters around the state. Aside from lobsters and teaching Genevieve loves cooking and traveling whenever possible.

Amy Palmer (Session IV: Tech and Trash)
Amy started her career as a naturalist at environmental education centers from Ohio to California to Alaska. She studied sea turtles in Hawaii and experienced first-hand the “great Pacific garbage patch.” Amy studied marine science at Moss Landing Marine Lab in California, focusing on lingcod migration using remote sensing technology. She then became a middle school science teacher on an island in Maine! “My most recent adventures include leading a middle school Lego Robotics team, teaching 2nd graders how to code, and creating a mini village powered by renewable energy with 4th graders using a 3D printer and lots of ingenuity”. Amy is currently the K-8 STEAM teacher at the Saint George School in Tenants Harbor.

Laura Karson (Session V: Women Of The Sea)
Holding a BA in Geology from Carleton College, Laura comes to the Women Of The Sea (WOTS) program with backgrounds in tall ship sailing and experiential education. She has sailed as both a student and deckhand with the study abroad program Sea Education Association. She also sailed as an educator on the vessels Clearwater and Adventuress, teaching sailing and marine biology to students and adults on day trips and overnight programs. Laura taught leadership and character development to middle school, high school, and college students at The Leadership School at Kieve. At Coastal Studies for Girls, Laura worked with high school girls in a semester program centered around science and leadership. “I’m excited to become part of the BSSC community and for the chance to work with another group of empowered young women.”

Waterfront Director

Brittany (Britt) Bridgham
Whether sailing from Kittery on her father’s boat or diving in Bonaire with her scuba club, Britt has always held a love for the Ocean. Hailing from the New Hampshire coast, she followed her passion to Maine Maritime Academy where she received bachelor’s degrees in both Marine Science, and Vessel Operations and Technology. It was at Maine Maritime that Britt was first exposed to teaching others. Serving as Assistant Instructor for the scholastic sailing program, she developed a passion for teaching others about sailing. Her maritime career has taken her from the Caribbean to Alaska but educating children and instilling a sense of confidence in them is what is most important to her. “I believe that sailing not only builds lifelong skills, but also encourages children to explore the world around them and discover for themselves that wherever they want to go, there is a way.” When not teaching on the water, she enjoys being outdoors as much as possible and loves camping, hiking and exploring with her fiancé, JM, and their dog Atlas.


Gray Ferris
A founding staff member of the Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Virginia native Gray Ferris has been spending summers in Boothbay Harbor as long as he can remember. He began his sailing experience with his father on their Catalina 22 before participating in the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club’s junior sailing program. After turning 16, he began to work as an apprentice instructor, and in the following years, as an instructor and director of the program. In 2013 Gray began working with the BSSC and has been thrilled that his schedule has allowed him to return nearly every summer since. In addition to teaching sailing, Gray was a member of the University of New Hampshire’s sailing team and active crew for GMORA sailing events. When not out on the water, Gray plays the french horn in the Orquesta Sinfonia Sinaloa de las Artes in Culiacan, Mexico.

Anna Sirois
Anna just completed her first year at St. Thomas University, in New Brunswick, Canada. She is excited to return home to Edgecomb, Maine for another summer working with the Boothbay Sea and Science Center, as this will mark her fifth year with the program. As a very involved participant at the Center Anna’s looking forward to the new developments and progress at BSSC. Anna is the illustrator of the newly released Boothbay Sea and Science Center’s coloring book. A writer for The Aquinian, the St. Thomas University school paper, she is looking forward to writing weekly BSSC news articles reporting the many sailing and science activities taking place in the program – published in the Boothbay Register. At school Anna misses the ocean and the community of Boothbay and can’t wait to get back to sailing and science with the students at BSSC.

Mary (Becca) Ferguson
This is Becca’s second summer working at BSSC. “I’m very excited about returning as one of the sailing and science instructors at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center”! Becca will be graduating from Bates College this spring with a BA in Environmental Studies, and a double minor in Chinese and Anthropology. Becca has been honored with a Fulbright Scholarship to Taiwan where she will be an English Teaching Assistant. When she’s not sailing Becca enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, running, singing, and playing guitar and piano. She will be spending the end of April and May in Togiak, Alaska doing Indigenous Archaeology with a group of students from Bates. Although she doesn’t know yet what she will be doing next year she is looking forward to post-graduate life!

Josiah Henderson
Josiah is a life-time resident of Brunswick, Maine, and is completing his undergraduate degree at St. Lawrence University in New York. At St. Lawrence, Josiah majored in Environmental Studies and Economics and worked for the Volunteer Services Department. Last summer he took a summer away from BSSC to work for a non-profit food bank and pantry in Brunswick. Josiah is excited to return to Boothbay for his third year as a BSSC instructor. His grandfather, George, is a longtime resident of Boothbay Harbor, and some of Josiah’s fondest memories include exploring the rocky coast of the ocean and operating power boats while growing up. During his free time, you can find Josiah hiking and camping in the mountains, cooking, or listening to some jammin’ tunes. “I took one summer away from BSSC to see what it would be like to work in an alternate work environment, but I found that nothing beats the joy of teaching children the lessons of the sea that I was fortunate to discover during my childhood on the coast of the beautiful state of Maine.”

Madison Reckman
Madison Reckman is a Sophomore at Maine Maritime Academy and is in the Marine Science program. She is originally from Cincinnati, OH – a graduate from Kings High School. Madison’s background includes swimming instructor, lifeguarding and sailing. She comes this summer to BSSC with an open water scuba diving certification. Madison hopes to one day work as a physical oceanographer.

Katelyn (Kate) Smith
Kate Smith is a Sophomore at Maine Maritime Academy where she’s studying Marine Science and Small Vessel Operations. She has lived her entire life in Maine and has gained a deep admiration for the Maine coast. Kate hopes to work on an oceanographic research vessel in the near future.

Nathaniel (Nathan) Graves
This will be Nathan’s first summer as a BSSC Instructor. Nathan was one of the 19 participants at the Center during its inaugural summer in 2013. Nathan’s passion for the sport of sailing goes far beyond his commitment to the Boothbay Sea and Science Center – he has been crewing aboard Belle Aventure (an 84 ft. ketch built in 1929), is a member of the US Naval Sea Cadet program, races on the Boothbay Region High School Sailing Team and is an apprentice at Cross Point Yachts. This fall Nathan will be a student at Maine Maritime Academy. “I really like working with all of the staff and kids at BSSC. We always have a lot of fun and I like the fact that I’m helping kids be more positive and learn things they will use for the rest of their lives. Just look at what BSSC has done for me!”

Nerissa Larrabee
Nerissa is a rising senior at Maine Maritime Academy majoring in marine biology and small vessel operations. Her home is in Penobscot, Maine, but she grew up in Caribou. She enjoys the outdoors and doing arts and crafts. Cooking and baking are also a favorite activity of hers and she has even served as the steward on weekend trips for the Arctic Schooner Bowdoin. She also cannot decide what her favorite season or place is, loving the snow, the sun, the woods, the beach, the sea, and most places in between. Nerissa was a Science Instructor at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center in 2017, and is excited for this coming summer. “Last year I learned a lot about myself and my ability to teach. I want to continue to share my passion for science, nature, and learning.”

Junior Instructor

Adam Sirois
Adam will be going into his second year at Lincoln Academy this fall. Adam was an Apprentice Instructor last summer and will be a Junior Instructor this upcoming summer. Adam prides himself on being a great athlete in baseball, swimming, basketball and sailing. An active baseball player for eight years, he has always had a passion for the sport. Adam is achieving high honors this 2017-2018 school year. He is involved in many organizations at Lincoln Academy that include playing the trumpet in his school’s jazz band ensemble, being a member of the Interact Club where he is involved in fundraising and volunteering activities and as a sailor on the sailing team at the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club. Adam will earn his US Sailing Level I Certification in May. Adam has been with the Boothbay Sea and Science Center program for five years – he was one of the first students in BSSC’s inaugural summer in 2013. Adam’s looking forward to joining the staff and is excited to meet and work with all of the youth in the Program. “I cannot wait to get started as a Junior Sailing Instructor.”

Apprentice Instructor

Francesca Fulmer (Session I: Farmer and the Sea)
Francesca is a freshman at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida. As a freshman, Francesca made the Head School List in the fall, start at second base on the varsity softball team, and was on the junior varsity weightlifting team. Francesca volunteers at Grace & Grits a local soup kitchen, Habitat of Humanity, and Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. Honoring her outstanding academic and community achievements, she has been awarded the Alumni Giving Fund Grant – a grant awarded to a student at Trinity Preparatory School that demonstrates the potential for academic achievement, leadership, and participation in and contribution to extracurricular pursuits. This will be Francesca’s third summer at BSSC, “I’ve really liked my summer time as a Stay’s’l at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center and I’m very excited about returning as an Apprentice Instructor”!

Brooklyn Cone (Session II: Points of View)
This fall, Brooklyn will be a freshman at The Derryfield School in Manchester, NH. This will be her fourth summer at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center and, according to Brooklyn, she’s enjoyed it every year. “I decided to go to BSSC because my grandmother heard it had a good sailing program and wanted me to go since she had been a sailing instructor when she was younger. The first year I went I immediately loved sailing and learning about marine science.” Brooklyn’s hobbies include writing, drawing and playing basketball and soccer. “I wanted to become an apprentice this year because I want new campers to have the same fun experience I had when I started.”