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Summer 2019 Staff

Principal Instructors

Genevieve Black (Session I: Gulf of Maine Fisheries)
This will be Genna’s second summer teaching at BSSC. For the past three years, Genna has been a high school science teacher at Mountain View High School in Thorndike, Maine where she teaches biology, environmental science, ocean science, and anatomy and physiology. Prior to Mountain View High School, she worked at Mid Coast School of Technology. Genna 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.

Heather Sinclair (Session II: Exploring Maine Aquaculture)
Returning to BSSC for her second summer, Heather Sinclair, a middle school science teacher at Wiscasset Middle High School, lives in Edgecomb. She has lived in Maine for more than 10 years and “never further than a mile from salt water”. At Wiscasset Middle High School, Heather teaches life science and physical science. She 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”.

Amy Palmer (Session III: Marine Technology and Marine Debris)
BSSC welcomes Amy back for her second summer of teaching. 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.

Robert (Mason) Branch (Session IV: Art and Science of Sailing)
Mason Branch is returning to the BSSC for his second summer. An artist and educator, Mason 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.

Waterfront Manager

Brittany (Brigham) Payne
BSSC is so very pleased to have Brittany back this summer as the Waterfront Manager. 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 she was first exposed to teaching others, having served as Assistant Instructor for the scholastic sailing program, and it was through this work that 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 husband, 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. This will be Gray’s fifth summer on BSSC’s waterfront.

Anna Sirois
Anna will be returning to BSSC for her sixth year with the program and lives in Edgecomb, Maine. In the past summers she has worked to illustrate and publish BSSC’s first coloring book to share with the public. She will be entering her third year at St. Thomas University, in New Brunswick, Canada with an Honors in Human Rights. She is an active member at her school among various different positions, including a Tour Ambassador, International Student Ambassador, a reporter for The Aquinian, and going to be a Residential Advisor for her second year. She will be completing Moot Court work this summer as well as competing in Moot Court this fall across the U.S. She is also part of the Global Brigades St. Thomas University Chapter and will be in Honduras end of April to May to work alongside local community members towards public health goals. She will be working with a team to help built eco-friendly stoves in households to prevent respiratory problems, cement floors in homes to decreases the spread of parasites in homes, and sanitary stations to promote clean washing and bathroom use. Anna is looking forward to seeing returning students at BSSC improve this summer as well to meet newcomers to the program!

Mary (Becca) Ferguson
This is Becca’s third summer working at BSSC. “I’m very excited to be returning again as both a science and sailing instructor to BSSC”! Becca graduated from Bates College in 2018 with an honors BA in Environmental Studies, and a double minor in Chinese and Anthropology. She will be joining the program in the end of July when she returns from Taiwan where she spent the year as an ETA in Hualien on a Fulbright Scholarship. When she’s not sailing Becca enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, running, singing, and playing guitar and piano. Although she doesn’t know yet what she will be doing when the summer comes to an end, she’s excited to be spending time back home in Maine close to family and friends.”

Nathaniel “Nathan” Graves
This will be Nathan’s second 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 and interest in marine science goes far beyond his commitment to the Boothbay Sea and Science Center … he crewed aboard Belle Aventure (an 84 ft. ketch built in 1929), was a member of the US Naval Sea Cadet program, raced on the Boothbay Region High School Sailing Team, and, during his senior year of high school, worked side-by-side with scientists at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science. Currently a student at Maine Maritime Academy, Nathan is a member of Navy ROTC and an apprentice at Cross Point Yachts. “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 can use for the rest of their lives. Just look at what BSSC has done for me!”

Ashlyn Royal
“Hi, I am Ashlyn Royal! I am currently enrolled at Maine Maritime Academy and majoring in Marine Biology and Small Vessel Operations. I am also on MMA’s Swim team.” Ashlyn has loved the water and science for as long as she can remember and being able to study both has been “amazing”. “When I was growing up my parents served in the military, I bounced around a lot. Because of that I was able to go to all around Europe, South Korea, and a lot of the states in America. It also grew my passion for traveling and taking photos of my adventures. I cannot wait to start a new adventure here at Boothbay Sea and Science Center this upcoming summer!”

Alesha Gregoire
Alesha is a rising junior at Maine Maritime Academy studying Marine Biology and Small Vessel Operations. “I have spent my entire life in Maine surrounding myself with the outdoors. I love to ski in the winter and be around the ocean in the summer, whether that is water skiing or being at the beach. Before my time at Maine Maritime, I played softball, competitively skied, and played the violin.” While at Maine Maritime, Alesha has earned her Open Water SCUBA Certification and plans to get the Advanced Open Water Certification in Fall ’19. “After I graduate I plan to work on a research vessel as a mate and perform my own research.”

Kaitlyn Reny
“I’m Kaitlyn Reny and even though I have lived in Maine my whole life, this is my first summer at the Boothbay Sea and Science Center.” Kaitlyn is a sophomore at Maine Maritime Academy majoring in Marine Biology. “I am very excited to get the kids out on the ocean and instill confidence in their water skills, and most of all get them just as excited about science as I am through unique hands-on experiences.”

Junior Instructor

Adam Sirois
Adam is currently attending Lincoln Academy as a Sophomore. He has been sailing with BSSC since 2013. He started as a student at BSSC and throughout the years, he has become a junior instructor. Adam recently earned his US Sailing Level I Certification. Adam Sirois is also involved at the CLC YMCA in Damariscotta as a “Teen Leader”. Adam is on the varsity baseball team for Lincoln Academy and he has gone to multiple UMO prospect camps as a 3rd baseman. Adam can not wait to meet all the kids that come to the program this summer!

Apprentice Instructors

Brooklyn Cone
“I am starting my freshman year at The Derryfield School in Manchester, NH this fall.” This will be Brooklyn’s 5th summer at BBSC and she’s extremely excited to help teach sailing and marine science! Brooklyn also volunteers at a local school to help teach the ELL (English Language Learners) classes (1st-4th graders). “In my free time I love to read and spend time with friends and family and my three wonderful dogs. I love to play soccer and ski!” This will be Brooklyn’s second summer season as a BSSC Apprentice Instructor.

Cedar Cannon
This fall, Cedar will be a sophomore at Lincoln Academy High School in Newcastle, ME. Cedar is passionate about playing baseball as well as playing (bass guitar, cello, trumpet and piano) and listening to music. Cedar also loves science, sea creatures, and being on and in the ocean. Cousins who live in Maine, California, Florida and Nantucket (where he sailed last summer) have all inspired Cedar to respect and appreciate the ocean. “Inspiring and fun” is how Cedar best describes his experience at BSSC and he is excited to be back at BSSC this summer to learn more about sailing and marine science, to practice his leadership skills as well as to inspire younger campers to learn and love the ocean too.

Grace Campbell
Grace loves to learn! She is a student at the Boothbay Region High School and has participated in summer experiences at BSSC for the past three years. She enjoys observing, investigating, and exploring. She is an avid reader, writer and artist. Grace is a hard worker who gives 100% in all she does. She sets high expectations for herself and those around her. She has been a student leader in school, a student representative on the Parent/Teacher Organization and volunteers at local events, helping to make a positive impact in her community. Grace loves sailing and cannot wait to share her passion for the ocean with the students at BSSC! “Some of my favorite summer experiences have been at BSSC … I love being on the open ocean.”