2016-2017 AmeriCorps Members

Learn more about the NESS SEA AmeriCorps Program

Meet our NESS SEA AmeriCorps Alumni

Kelley Stephens, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Manager

Kelley graduated from Eckerd College with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science. While in College, she studied the effects of ecotourism on local dolphin populations in Kaikoura, New Zealand and traveled from Boston to the USVI aboard the tall ship, Spirit of Massachusetts. She has extensive experience teaching students from 5-18 years old in both marine and terrestrial environments. Past experiences include teaching marine science and island ecology at the Catalina Island Marine Institute in California, Sound to Sea in North Carolina, the Acadia Institute of Oceanography in Maine as well as at MarineLab in Key Largo, Florida. Kelley has also spent time working at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and at the New England Aquarium in Boston. Most recently, Kelley worked as a Lego Engineering Instructor, teaching basic engineering concepts to students using a wide variety of Lego materials. Kelley is a USCG OUPV Captain and a NAUI SCUBA Rescue Diver.

Elizabeth Allaby, NESS SEA AmeriCorps

Elizabeth Allaby grew up north of Indianapolis, Indiana. She completed a dual degree at Indiana University (IU) in Biology and Germanic Studies in 2013. Shortly thereafter, she completed her TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) certification with high hopes of living abroad and sharing her culture and language. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship from 2014 – 2016 to teach high school students in Linz, Austria. When school was not in session, she spent her summers working on an evolutionary research project in Zagreb, Croatia studying a native plant population. While in Croatia, Elizabeth spent considerable time on the Adriatic Sea and became SSI scuba certified. The more time she spent in and on the water, the more she realized her passion for the ocean. She found an opportunity to unite her enthusiasm for education with a focus on marine science as a NESS SEA AmeriCorps Ambassador. It is Elizabeth’s first time in New England and living near the ocean. She is thrilled to inspire teenagers via marine science and adventure sports. In her free time, Elizabeth avidly pursues all outdoor hobbies: hiking, surfing, and scuba diving to name a few.

Danielle Beers, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Danielle grew up in Monroe Township, NJ, spending every day each summer at the beach along the Jersey Shore. This cultivated her love for the ocean and in order to expand her passion for marine life and nature (and to escape the cold NJ winters), she attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received a dual BS in Marine Biology and Environmental Science as well as a minor in Chemistry. During her time at UNCW, she volunteered in two aquariums, became SCUBA certified, and worked as a surf instructor and marine educator at WB Surf Camp. Danielle also volunteered in various ocean conservation clubs that worked to end the use of plastics. She studied abroad at the National Oceanographic Centre at the University of Southampton in England which she partook in plankton research. In the summer of 2016, she worked at the American Littoral Society as a Coastal Education Intern working on habitat restoration projects and educating children on marine processes. All of these experiences allowed her to truly find a passion in educating the public on the marine environment to inspire others to protect the ocean and live more sustainably. She is excited to take on that same challenge this upcoming year by serving as an AmeriCorps Member for NESS and teaching ocean science to children of all ages!

Erin Christiansen, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Erin Christiansen grew up in a small town in the southeastern corner of Kansas before attending school at the University of Kansas. She recently graduated, in May 2015, with her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and minors in French and German language. While attending school, Erin worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence where she realized just how much she truly enjoyed working with students. The opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps member with NESS combined both her passion for the ocean and working with students and was the perfect opportunity for her to get her hands wet in the field of environmental education. Erin has lived her life inland until moving to the Connecticut coast, but she has always had a very strong love for orca whales, which grew into a vast love and interest for the ocean. Erin is a certified PADI SCUBA diver and she is very excited to try as many ocean adventure sports as she can and learn as much as possible about the New England coast. She is even more excited to work with the students in the New London public school system and at Ocean Beach to explore the local coastline together.

Evan Connolly, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Evan grew up in southern Rhode Island, spending countless hours outdoors and on the water. His love of the outdoors grew through many summers of family trips to the National Parks and other natural places throughout the United States. No matter how far from home, there was always a special place for him in Rhode Island’s beaches and coastal areas. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Natural Resource Economics and a minor in Marine Biology. Last year he served with Americorps City Year in Manchester, New Hampshire, teaching and tutoring alongside his partner teacher in a fourth grade classroom. Evan is most excited to serve with NESS and New London Public Schools to bring his classroom and collegiate experiences together! Outside of service he likes to hike, try every and any outdoor sport, and go to concerts.

Margaret Cozens, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Maggie is from the Danbury area but currently calls North Carolina her home. She attended school in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Appalachian State University, majoring in Global Studies and minoring in Spanish and geography. While in school, she was lucky to study abroad twice: once in Chile and another time with the Sea Education Association in the North Atlantic. She hopes to continue expanding upon her passion for environmentalism and adventure while working for NESS AmeriCorps this year, and is excited to be a part of the team.

Addison Hummel, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Addison was born in Redondo Beach, CA, but grew up in the Pacific Northwest, just outside of Portland, OR. He quickly developed a love of the ocean from regular trips to the beautiful Oregon Coast and annual family vacations back to Redondo. He migrated south after high school to attend the University of Redlands. After studying as much marine science as possible and doing research on River Otters in British Columbia, he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2011. Since then Addison has lived a nomadic lifestyle. He earned a SCUBA Open Water Diver certification in Belize, hiked through Great Britain and Spain, worked for a Fishing Lodge in Alaska and guided Kayak tours in Monterey, California. His passions for science, adventure sports and experiential education conveniently collide with the NESS SEA Americorps program. He's excited to hone his passions while exploring the east coast and serving the awesome community of New London!

Sean Linden, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Sean was raised in the small town of St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. Surrounded by the state's many lakes, Sean grew up swimming, boating, and fishing. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a degree in Earth sciences. During college, Sean spent his summers doing field work in the western U.S., as well as researching high pressure melt flows in silicate rocks. When he wasn't studying rocks, Sean worked at Catholic Youth Camp- Minnesota for four summers where he was the assistant program director and taught waterfront activities, like canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. After graduation, he decided to pursue a career in education beginning with his first AmeriCorps term at Urban Roots in Reno, NV. It is at Urban Roots where he was able to teach garden and STEM education in both an outdoor and classroom settings. Sean looks forward to expanding his passion for teaching with NESS where he hopes to use his knowledge in geology and gardening to supplement the organization's ocean science curriculum.

Mary Sedensky, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Mary grew up across the river in Mystic, Connecticut and has spent many days exploring the Mystic Aquarium. She attended St. Bernard School in Uncasville and recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Education-General Science. Mary will go back to UCONN next year to complete her master's degree and teaching certification. She has a great interest in the Next Generation Science Standards and outdoor adventure sports. When she is not setting children's hearts aflame for scientific knowledge, she can be found crocheting and attempting to cook Asian cuisine.

Sarah Taylor, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Sarah was raised on the gulf coast in Mississippi. Growing up she was only a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico. These early interactions with the ocean and its creatures began Sarah’s lifelong love of the water. When she was a pre-teen her family moved to Pennsylvania where she would eventually attend university at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, majoring in biology with a concentration in marine biology and environmental biology. She recently graduated in May of 2016. While in school she volunteered as a live animal helper at the North Museum in Lancaster and worked as a biology tutor, orientation leader, and direct care worker for individuals with disabilities. Sarah also had the opportunity to work as a collections intern at the Smithsonian, where she handled some of the earliest nautical charts made in the US. She recently returned from a trip to the Bahamas, during which she obtained her PADI Advanced Open Water certification. Sarah looks forward to spending the year with NESS and educating students on the wonders of the ocean and all the creatures within.

Edward Wilson, NESS SEA AmeriCorps Member

Ned grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. As a youth Ned attended many camps during the summer where he had an affinity for water sports. Following his passion he studied Biological Sciences at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs. During his time there he ran cross country and did track and field for all four years. Ned researched hypohydration and its effects on balance at the Korey Stringer Institute at UConn, where he was a thermal physiology research assistant. While at UConn he worked for the Adventure Center where he would help lead groups of UConn students on activities such as rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Following his affinity for the water, Ned applied through AmeriCorps to become a science educator at New England Science and Sailing. Ned looks forward to teaching STEM based education in an outdoor setting where he can combine his passion for biology and the love of the outdoors.