NAME Elections • Back to Board of Directors page

Below are the nominated candidates for the upcoming 2021-2022 year. The following positions are open for election this year: President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, NMEA Representative, and Chapter Directors for Washington and Oregon. The Secretary and Treasurer positions are a one year commitment (although we hope you will stay longer, once elected). The President-elect position is a three year commitment as you move from President-elect to President to Past-president over the three year term. The NMEA Representative and Chapter Director positions are each two-year terms.

To learn more about each of these positions you can read over our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). If you are interested in learning more about any of the above positions, please send a letter of interest, your resume and a short bio (for the elections page of our website) to Cathy Carolsfeld at

Current NAME Members will receive an electronic ballot in August. If you don’t receive your ballot, please contact us at

Nominated Candidate Biographies—2021-2022

President-elect: Janice Elvidge, Washington

Secretary: Amy Cole, Washington
Amy Cole holds a combined BA in Zoology and Marine Biology from the University of New Hampshire. She has recently held the post of Marine Educator at the Seattle Aquarium, which included interpretive volunteer supervision, teaching, and curriculum and program development for the Citizen Science program. Prior to joining the Aquarium staff, Amy was an interpretive volunteer for exhibits and field programs. She also chaired the committee to develop and administer the Master Birder program at the Seattle Audubon Society, and for several years has reviewed submissions for King County water conservation grants. Her professional background also includes program management at Microsoft and biotechnology research in the Bay Area. She holds a professional certification in project management (PMP), and has enjoyed putting some of those skills to use as NAME Secretary.

Treasurer: Rob Coats, Oregon
Rob Coats was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of David Douglas High School. He attended both Oregon State University and Portland State University and received a BS in Elementary Education. Rob began his teaching career as a 3rd to 6th grade science teacher at Duniway Elementary in Portland. Rob taught science and math to grades 6, 7, & 8 at Jackson Middle School for 32 years and has been retired for two years.

Rob has been married to his wife Vicki for 34 years and has two sons, Jamey and Gus in their 20s. Rob’s first NAME conference was at Cowichan Lake in BC in 1993. Rob has rocked the position of NAME Treasurer since 2004.

Oregon Director: Fawn Custer
Fawn Custer has worked in both formal and informal settings for over 35 years. She earned a BS in science education, a BS in biological sciences, emphasis in aquatic marine studies, a MS in environmental education and a MS in integrated science with post graduate courses in learning behavior and free choice learning. Her current teaching license endorses biological sciences and chemistry, though her emphasis has been marine science for the majority of her teaching career. Before moving back to Oregon, Custer taught physical science for Jacksonville HS in Jacksonville, NC.   While developing and implementing marine science and environmental science lab classes for the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), Ms. Custer also taught high school marine science on-line, developed invasive species curriculum for educators and protocols for interpreters, and trained volunteers regarding intertidal organisms and the marine environment. As a member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), she has served as the President, and is currently the NAME Oregon Treasurer and Director. For five years, Custer was the CoastWatch volunteer coordinator before moving to the position of CoastWatch Citizen Science trainer.  Since 2008, she has coordinated the annual Sharing the Coast Conferences, co-hosted by NAME and Oregon Shores.

Custer continues to offer marine ecology presentations and workshops and to lead guided beach walks, both private and public.

Sitting Officer and Board Biographies—2020-2021

President: Kay Shoemaker, Oregon
Kay began her outdoor and environmental education career in Mexico, living and teaching with the Quilihua Indian Tribe from 1990-1993 during and after graduating from Linfield College in Portland, Oregon.  Her undergraduate BSN focused on transcultural youth health and education practices.

For the next twenty years, she staffed and directed the Northwest Outdoor Science School on the Oregon Coast during the school year, teaching and training staff and volunteers on forest ecology, marine biology, wildlife biology, salmon ecology, estuaries, watersheds, soil science and youth development.

Kay completed her graduate work at Alaska Pacific University in 2014, earning a Master of Science in Outdoor and Environmental Education while writing a book, entitled: “Exploring Ecology in Alaska: Reflective Storytelling as a Model for Environmental Education”.

Currently, she enjoys kayaking and skiing with her family, teaching diverse groups of teachers and students statewide about science and natural resources as a UAF Assistant Professor, and serving Alaska 4-H designing and teaching youth development and environmental education camps and programs.

Past President: Cathy Carolsfeld, BC
Cathy grew up in a small town in Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula.  Since then, she has lived, dived, studied, researched and taught biology from coast to coast to coast in Canada and other parts of the world.  From the get go, Cathy’s research interests were piqued by marine invertebrates.  She came to appreciate the power of “creatures as teachers” through her B.Sc., Honours and M.Sc. degrees at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Victoria.  Her combination of academic and practical knowledge about local and global marine environments, firm belief in the power of partnerships and love of teaching is the backbone of her work.  Over the past 40 years, Cathy has run WestWind SeaLab Supplies, Canada’s longest-lived supplier of living marine organisms for teaching and research; and the Seaquaria in Schools programs that now serve 24,000 local public school youth each year– both of which she has co-founded. Cathy continues to be committed to ensuring that students of all ages can experience the magic of marine ecosystems and creatures as teachers.

NMEA Representative: Maile Sullivan, Washington
As Washington Sea Grant’s Marine Education Specialist, Maile manages K-12 education and outreach programming helping to build ocean literacy among teachers, students and their families. She orchestrates all aspects of Orca Bowl and NOAA Science Camp, develops program partnerships, and designs and implements program evaluation tools. Maile’s history with Washington Sea Grant includes working as the organization’s event coordinator, NOAA Science Camp coordinator and education assistant.

Prior to working at Sea Grant, she also spent two years as a coral program specialist with NOAA Fisheries, where she managed regional coral reef efforts in U.S. jurisdictions and implemented the new, congressionally mandated Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program; and she served as the Education Director for Camp SEA LAB, where she grew its marine science education offerings from a five-week summer camp to year-round programming serving more than 1,500 youth annually. She also worked in the Netherlands Antilles as a marine conservation technician focused on community engagement. Maile has consulted for the National Geographic Society and the Ocean Conservancy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington.

Alaska Directors: Jennifer Howell & Kristina Tirman

Jennifer Howell—Jennifer moved to Anchorage in 8th grade as a Army Brat and fell in love with the ocean for the first time in high school on a humpback whale watching trip in Hawaii with her family. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys exploring the shoreline of Alaska every chance she gets. She loves working with local organizations to connect urban kids to the aquatic and marine world that is a big part of what makes living in Alaska so great. Her background is in environmental education and urban sociology.

Jennifer’s first NAME conference was in Bandon, Oregon in 2014 where she was the recipient of the first Bill ‘Sean’ Hastie Conference Scholarship Award. Jennifer remembers, “Walking in the doors I felt welcomed by a group of people who were happy to see someone from Alaska!  It was the first time I really felt part of something bigger and that maybe I might be able to figure out a way to make my passion for all things marine and education a real job.”

Jennifer is committed to inclusion and diversity in all aspects of education and has served on the board of the local Pride Foundation, and is an alum of Leadership Anchorage. She is a former President of NAME and looks forward to growing the Alaska chapter.

BC Co-Directors: Mary Holmes & Maia Carolsfeld

Mary Holmes—Mary grew up on the southern shores of Lake Ontario nestled in by the Niagara Escarpment, 40 Mile Creek, and orchards in the Niagara fruit belt.A perfect place to learn to love and explore the natural environment.Wherever life has lead her, proximity to water has always been necessary feature.She studied art at Sheridan College in Brampton, Ontario and at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary before embarking on a teaching career earning Bachelor of Education, Special Education Diploma, and Master of Education at the University of British Columbia.The MEd was in Curriculum Studies wherein she focused on using a seaquarium (70 gallon chilled saltwater aquarium with creatures and plants from the waters of the Pacific Northwest) to connect children to their ocean environment by getting past the desert-like surface of the ocean to explore the wonders beneath the waves.To capitalize on children’s natural ecophilia.Mary taught in SD36 Surrey Schools with a seaquarium for just over 15 years reaching over 400 students directly but thousands indirectly (and their families) as the seqauarium was in the prime location in the front foyer by the main office.Newly retired at the end of June 2019 Mary is looking for new adventures in marine and aquatic environments.

Maia Carolsfeld

Washington Directors: Woody Moses & Giovannina Souers

Woody Moses—I have always lived near water. My first years were spent in Nye Beach on the Oregon coast, and then we moved to Rhode Island where I grew up playing in the surf and the salt marshes. For college, I went to Vassar, uphill from the Hudson River. And then it was back to the West Coast for my Masters in Oceanography at Oregon State. After a short stint teaching at Lane Community College in Eugene, OR , I got a fulltime job teaching Environmental Science, Biology (marine and otherwise) and Oceanography at Highline – formerly Community – College just south of Seattle in Des Moines, WA. At Highline, I’ve been actively involved in our Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center, most notably running the monthly Science on the Sound speakers series. Outside of work, I enjoy exploring the waters and coastline of Puget Sound, the forests and meadows of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, and when I can, I like a song or two for singing, strumming or dancing.

Giovannina Souers—The Education Program Supervisor for City of Seattle Parks and Recreation, Giovannina oversees the Discovery Park Visitors Center and many naturalist staff who teach Environmental Education programming throughout Seattle Parks.  With a solid background in the development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of marine and urban environmental educational programming, Giovannina has a long history of working with diverse and low income communities and is a strong advocate of social justice, equity and access. Giovannina worked for the Seattle Aquarium for over 15 years before taking her current position with the city, she is an avid SCUBA diver, a PADI assistant instructor and loves to hike, kayak and spend time in nature as well as working in her garden or just reading a book in a hammock under a tree.

Oregon Director: Carrie “Acer” Heuberger

I am new to the NAME community, but have been involved with Outdoor Education in the Pacific Northwest most of my life. Third of four kids with a giant extended family, I was born and raised in the country between Canby and Oregon City.  I attended Canby grade schools and LaSalle High School in Milwaukie, OR. At the young age of 17, I began what would prove to be a long career working in a residential camp setting – Camp Arrowhead (Girl Scouts).  In 1998, I graduated from Western Oregon University as a licensed  teacher with a BS in Elementary Education & Interdisciplinary Studies with a Specialty in Natural Sciences. While in college, I discovered the world of Outdoor School.  ODS married my love of camp with my love of teaching Science perfectly, so after graduating, I became a Field Instructor for Northwest Outdoor Science School (NOSS)  at Camp Adams. A couple of years later, I moved into the Site Supervisor position.  After a good run, I felt the need to honor my original dream of classroom teaching. So, I taught 6th grade Math & Science at Inza Wood Middle school in Wilsonville, OR for four years. For reasons too big to list here, I decided to return to educating in the world of Outdoor School – back outside!

Returning to Environmental Education in a residential setting at this stage in my career was more intentional and meaningful this time around. I have spent most of my time since 2009 as the Site Supervisor for NOSS at Camp Westwind. Westwind is located just North Lincoln City nestled between nearby headlands and the Salmon River.  In partnership with Westwind Stewardship Group, we have become leaders in restoration, preservation, and education surrounding this important estuary ecosystem. The property also includes a lake and ever-changing tide pools. Our everyday lives and lessons are dictated by the tides, which present unique challenges and wonders all year. I have the privilege of leading a seasonal staff team, as we mentor high school volunteers each week in the Spring and Fall. We host 5th/6th grade “citizen scientists” for the week as they learn about Forest, Beach, and Estuary ecology and environmental science. Of course, while with us, they learn the importance of leadership, interdependence, stewardship, conservation, and the strength of diversity – both in nature & in society. I feel privileged to be part of a community that works tirelessly to connect kids, teens, and adults to nature in a meaningful way. Once we connect, we care. Once we care, we consider the natural world in our everyday choices.  I cannot think of any curriculum more important in the world today.

Over the years, I have also been part of the Residential Outdoor Environmental Educators (ROEE) community, which includes members from all over the US and Canada. I have helped organize and facilitate our conference each time Oregon has hosted (3 times over the last 15 years). I have also spent a total of 13 summers working at Camp Arrowhead as everything from a cabin counselor to the Camp Director over the years. I have since “retired” and enjoy volunteering for that program these days. Arrowhead is part of a National Scenic Area overlooks the Columbia River Gorge near Stevenson, WA. While there,  girls can learn water recreation skills (swimming, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, wind surfing, paddle boarding, etc.), and help monitor and care for the threatened Western Pond Turtles in the lake. These experiences, combined with a lifetime love of hiking, camping, photography, and existing in the fresh air make me who I am. I imagine I’ll find some kindred spirits in the NAME community. My long-time friend and colleague, Kay Shoemaker, has told me all good things, and I look forward to collaborating, inspiring, and supporting each other soon.