Ms. Jennifer Donovan teaches 7th and 8th grade science classes at Trinity School in New York, and is the founder of the Biodiversity Project.  She has been a four-year participant on previous RET projects,  has worked on the Ecuadorian Biodiversity Discovery Project, and integrates science research into her curriculum.  Under Ms. Donovan’s mentoring her NYC classroom will design and conduct biodiversity plot experiments in Central Park, while simultaneous plot analyses are conducted by participating classrooms in Wyoming, Ohio and Alaska.  All participants will compile data and post results on a classroom website, along with survey site pictures, and their conclusions.  The experiences of the classrooms and scientists  will be shared interactively via The Biodiversity Project’s website and other interactive technology.

Ms. Donovan says, “My RET experience in Ecuador had a direct impact on my teaching.  Because I had participated in an ongoing research project and experienced research personally, I was able to create projects that would allow my students to do research and provide opportunities for my students to connect with “real” scientists.”

Mrs Amanda Shaw - Bayshore Elementary, Anchorage, Alaska usa

Mrs. Amanda Shaw is an elementary school teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, who is currently teaching first grade classes. She has been teaching with the Anchorage School District for four years.  She is currently in her fourth year of teaching and participating in the biodiversity project. She teaches science and all other subjects to first grade students at Bayshore Elementary. Mrs. Shaw attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks and received her degree in Elementary Education and is pursuing her Master’s in Educational Technology.

mrs. amy ness - albion elementary, north royalton, ohio usa

Amy Marie Ness is 3rd grade teacher at Albion Elementary in North Royalton City School District.  She has been teaching with the North Royalton City School District for seven years.  Her first three years were in the RTI position (Response to Intervention).  She currently teaches math, language arts and science to her 3rd grade students.  Her classroom consists of students who are on an individual educated plan (IEP) and students who are on tier paperwork (students who are able to receive additional support during intervention).  Mrs. Ness has a bachelors in PreK-3 with a Masters in Literacy. This will be her first year doing the project.

mrs. moitrayee chakraborty - sheth c.n. english medium school, ahmedabad, india

Mrs. Chakraborty completed her schooling at the Central Board of Secondary Education, as English, Math, Biology, Physics and Chemistry subjects.  She graduated from H.N.B.G.U (under UGC) university with Chemistry , Botany and Zoology as my subjects.  Mrs. Chakraborty is trained in Indian Classical Music from Allahabad University and a trained Bharatnatyam ( a kind of Indian Classical Dance form) dancer.  She has won international and many national awards for Music and painting.  She was a member of ECO CLUB in school as well as college level.


mrs. angela ochsner - torrington middle school, torrington, wyoming usa

Mrs. Angela Ochsner is a 7th Grade Life Science teacher at Torrington Middle School in Torrington, Wyoming.  This is her second year as a teacher, but 4th year participating in this project.  In 2010, Mrs. Ochsner traveled with the University of Wyoming to Ecuador as an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) where she learned how to collect and analyze caterpillar, wasp, and plant specimens.  She also had the great honor of working with Mrs. Laurie Graves and Mrs. Jennifer Donovan-Stump who were representative RET’s (Research Experience for Teachers) during the 2010 expedition.  In 2012, Mrs. Ochsner returned to Ecuador as an RET where she conducted several biodiversity surveys at the Yanayacu Biological Research Station for the biodiversity project.  Mrs. Ochsner and her students are excited to continue conducting the biodiversity survey in the southeast region of Wyoming!

mr. lamont clabaugh - big horn elementary, sheridan, wyoming usa

Lamont is currently in his fourth year of teaching and this is going to be his third year in participating in the biodiversity project. Lamont traveled to Ecuador in May of 2014 with his partner teacher. They did plot analysis and shared data with schools in Ohio, Florida, New York, Wyoming, Alaska, and India. He teaches science and all other subjects to fifth grade students at Big Horn Elementary in Big Horn Wyoming. Lamont attended Sheridan College for two years and received his Associates degree in Business. From there he continued his education at the University of Wyoming where he graduated with a BA degree in elementary education with a concentration in interdisciplinary early childhood. In his free time he likes to fish, golf, rodeo, and hang out at his family’s ranch.

Mr. Josh Andrews - St. Mark's Anglican Community School - Perth, Australia

Mr. Andrews is originally from New Zealand where he was teaching general Science and Senior Biology for the past 3 years in Auckland. He is a graduate of the University of Auckland where he majored in Biological Sciences and specialised in Marine Science. He enjoys the outdoors, travelling, and keeping fit. He has been lucky enough to live with a Zulu tribe in the jungles of South Africa, completed missionary work throughout the Kingdom of Tonga and taught English in South Korea. He is a recent immigrant to Perth, and is looking forward to discovering and sharing (along with the students), all the biodiversity this beautiful area of Australia has to offer.   

Ms. Catherine Hunter - Mission Heights Junior college, Auckland, New Zealand

Catherine currently works at a junior college in Auckland, teaching science and home ec to students in years 7-10.  She immigrated to New Zealand from Canada to complete her teaching qualifications and found a permanent job, enabling her to stay.  Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in environmental toxicology and is currently the Environmental Co-ordinator for her school. Aside from teaching, Catherine is an avid baker and loves hiking and geocaching. 

Mrs. Carmen Monge - Air Base Elementary, Homestead, Florida USA

Carmen is an early childhood educator at a magnet school for international education, where she is a team leader.  She is a National Board Certified teacher and has
20 years of teaching experience.  Carmen has also served as a mentor to teachers, developed curriculum, conducts teacher workshops and is a family involvement and community involvement specialist.

Mr. John Taylor - Trinity School, New York, New YOrk usa

John has been teaching middle school science for the past 25 years.  His primary field of study has been biology, with a focus on environmental science.  In addition to his academic work on environmental science, John has spent a great deal of time hiking and canoeing throughout the North East.  While he loves living in New York City, he finds that he loves to spend time in the wilderness.  This is a love that he strives to share with, and hopefully pass on to his students.

Dr. Bryan Stevens -Dixie State University, St. George, UTAh usa

Dr. Stevens graduated with a PhD in Entomology from the University of Wyoming.  Currently, Dr. Sevens is an adjunct professor in the Biological Science Department at Dixie State University.  He also consults with homeowners about their home and landscape pest issues.     

mrs. kathryn hindall - albion elementary, north royalton, ohio usa

Kate Hindall classroom experience ranges from grades 1 through 8th but is currently teaching 3rd grade in North Royalton, Ohio.  She has taught as both a general education teacher and a special education teacher.  This is her second year participating in the Biodiversity Project.  Her class will be compiling data in a forest biome.  The students will discover the different insects that are present in the woods near and around the school. The class will also connect this project to their writing curriculum.

mrs. Riddhi Shah - sheth c.n.english medium school, ahmedabad, india

Mrs. Riddhi Vipal Shah graduated from Gujarat University with a Master’s of Science in Microbiology and a Bachelor’s of Education in Math and Science.  While an undergraduate she was involved in the Eco club at the CNE campus.  Mrs. Shah involves her students in science fairs on a regular basis.  She also loves to read about different birds and animals and their natural histories.

dr. scott shaw - university of wyoming, laramie, wyoming usa

Scott R. Shaw was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1955. He started collecting insects at the age of four. From 1973-1978 he attended Michigan State University where he studied astrophysics and entomology. He attended the University of Maryland from 1979-1984 where he earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology. From 1984-1989 he worked at Harvard University in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Since 1989 he lives in Laramie, Wyoming, where he is a professor of entomology at the University of Wyoming and Insect Museum curator. Professor Shaw has discovered and named more than 152 new insect species (mostly wasps) from 29 different countries. Twelve insect species have been named after him by other scientists. He has produced more than 105 scientific publications about insect classification and evolution. He has named insect species after stars in the sky (Betelgeuse, Rigel, Orionis) and stars of late night television (Marshiella lettermani – a wasp named for David Letterman). His published suggestion for a Wyoming state insect, Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak Butterfly, was adopted by the Wyoming legislature and the governor in 2009. Over the past two decades, Shaw has extensively studied tropical forest insects in Costa Rica and Ecuador. His research on Ecuadorian insects has been funded by the National Science Foundation since 2004. In 2003, Shaw was awarded the UW Internationalization Award and Medal of Recognition for Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Internationalization. In 2010, Shaw was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award by the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Since 2005, he is an honorary Research Associate of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.

mrs. laurie graves - big horn elementary, sheridan, wyoming usa

Ms. Laurie Graves is an elementary school teacher in Big Horn, Wyoming, who has taught science at a variety of levels. Dr. Shaw met Ms. Graves in 2009 when she was teaching 3rd grade, and I collaborated with her class to develop legislation declaring the Sheridan’s Green Hairstreak as the Wyoming State Butterfly (which was signed into law in 2009). Ms. Graves was an RET science teacher on the June 2010 research expedition to Ecuador, where she met and collaborated with Jen Donovan and Angela Ostrander. Subsequently, Ms. Graves was selected as the 2011 Wyoming Teacher of the Year and was awarded the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Laurie holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary ed, she is an NBCT, and has a Master’s degree in educational leadership. She is currently teaching 5th grade in Big Horn, and teaching biodiversity lessons as related to the local floral and fauna. Ms. Graves will travel to Ecuador this spring of 2014 with her fifth grade teaching partner, Mr. Clabaugh, to serve as the project’s teacher scientists.

Ms. Timiko Gray - B. E. Mays High School - Atlanta, Georgia USA

Ms. Timiko Gray is a 10th year educator at Dr. Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta, Georgia. She teaches Biology, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science. She has had the honor of being selected as an award recipient for the Organization for Tropical Studies Inquiry in Rainforests and was granted the opportunity to conduct field studies in Costa Rica. She was a teacher award recipient for Paddle Georgia and kayaked over 100 miles down the Chattahoochee River while conducting water and fish monitoring. Timiko has recently been selected to conduct ecological studies in the Georgia Coastal Ecosystem Program at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, GA. Timiko was the 2014 teacher of the year for the Atlanta Falcons and 2014 teacher of the year for her school. She currently sponsors the Mays High School Urban Agriculture Club teaching “all things sustainable” especially urban food growth through hydroponics and aquaponics. Timiko has her bachelors in Biology and her Masters in Education. She is passionate about the outdoors and loves to share this with her students in every way possible. Timiko is excited about exposing her students to The Biodiversity Project.