Charlene Mauro is the Director of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Through Pensacola State College, she teaches Marine Biology and Oceanography to area dual enrollment students who in turn educate young children that attend programs on site. In addition to serving as the Director of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, she serves as the first ever Science Specialist for the Santa Rosa County School District. Mrs. Mauro has successfully written grants to completely transform a vacant ranger station into a fully functional science field station. Knowing the immense positive impact that scientific research and teacher professional
national levels. Past honors include National Marine Educator of the Year, Outstanding Florida High School Science Teacher of the Year, University of Florida Distinguished Educator, EPA’s Presidential Award, Gulf Guardian Award, Navarre area Citizen of the Year, University of West Florida Outstanding Young Alumnus, 2016 Johnette D. Bosarge Memorial Award, and a finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Mauro serves as a mentor for the UWF-Teach program and UWF STEM Scholars. is an active member in professional and community groups including the Gulf Coast Ocean Observation Systems (GCOOS), National Marine Educators Association, National Science Teachers Association, and Rotary. By example, Charlene encourages her students to find their passion, seek opportunities, make a difference, and always continue to learn.
development has made on her career, Mrs. Mauro makes at least two professional presentations annually at local, state, and
Anne Laurenzi - Water Quality Coordinator
Anne Laurenzi has been a Florida science teacher for over 10 years and was an Escambia County Teacher of the Year in 2018. A New York native, she has lived in Florida for much of her life. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a chemistry minor from Simmons University in Boston, MA and a Master of Science degree in Ecology from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. Her graduate coursework and research focused on global climate change and long-term human environmental impact and took her to biodiversity hotspots such as the Andes mountains in Peru and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
In addition to traditional classroom teaching, she has educated students in marine science in the Bahamas and in rainforest ecology in Costa Rica eco-educational programs. With a passion for conserving the environment, she feels she can have the most positive impact on the world through education. She especially enjoys teaching students in natural settings "where their textbooks come alive." "There is simply no substitute for teaching students about the environment than out in nature," she says. Through environmental outreach and education, she desires to inspire others to make positive, ecologically-minded changes in their lives. Her mission is to create the next generation of environmental stewards and problem-solvers that will find solutions to our most pressing environmental problems.
"Kayak Dave" Barker - The ULTIMATE Kayak Guide
"Kayak Dave" Barker has been a Station supporter since its earliest days in 2009. After seeing Charlene Mauro's enthusiasm in getting the Station started, he offered to do what he could to help make it successful - and he has been doing that ever since! Recognizing the value of his own personal educational experiences, he especially loves "the skills and knowledge the students gain by being instructors" to elementary school students on their field trips to the NBMSS. Needless to say, Kayak Dave is integral in maintaining one of the most memorable activities at the Station - kayaking!
Kayak Dave returned to Navarre in 1997 after working in a sewing factory for 14 years to pursue all-things-kayak. As a kayak ecotour guide and business owner for 20+ years, an Associate Instructor for the Florida Master Naturalist Program, and water quality analyst/volunteer for Water Watch, Dave shares a wealth of knowledge of our local environment with our students and attendees of our programs. He is also a volunteer for Santa Rosa Marine Extension, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, and Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary. Dave is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Emily Bagley- Outreach Coordinator
It was during Emily's senior year at Navarre High School that the NBMSS opened. In fact, she and some of her fellow classmates helped make it happen by petitioning for the repurposing of the old ranger station in Navarre Beach Marine Park to be made into a classroom by the sea at a Board of County Commisioners meeting - and look what it has become over 10 years later! Emily has been involved with the Station ever since, starting out volunteering, then working summer camps, and now as the Outreach Coordinator. She says "I love the whole vibe of the place. You are instantly welcomed - all the students, staff, and volunteers are beaming with friendly attitudes. They are so keen to share everything that they have learned with you. It's one of those places that makes you feel comfortable no matter your level of science studies. The power of a love for a shared interest is the best feeling in the whole world."
Emily loves sharing the marine science knowledge she has gained through her time at the NBMSS with others. She is passionate about helping people understand, rather than fear, the ocean. She loves the look on their faces when nervousness changes to wonder as she teaches them something new or they interact with a "scary" organism for the first time. "You learn so much and then want to share what you have learned, and to me that is the best thing you can teach," she says. She also educates people on practical things they can do to make a difference. She explains that visitors often ask what they can do to help, and "I respond by telling [them] to take more than what they brought to the beach. Take all the trash from the things you brought to the beach and pick up the extra trash." These are simple actions that Emily also teaches her two young children. It's a great example of how small habits can have a huge collective impact our marine environment.
Award-Winning Summer Camp Lead Teachers
Danna Chatwell, Grades 6-8
Outdoors and animals have always been a fascination to Danna Chatwell - studying every detail from why it moves like it does to how it acquires its food. Danna graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Elementary Education 1-6, General Specialist Education K-12, and received a Master of Education in Science 1-9. Of all of the grades she has taught, 7th grade has been her favorite.
Danna came to Woodlawn Beach Middle School seven years ago and loves every minute teaching science. Going to work is not only a joy but also her hobby. When the NBMSS opened its doors, another dream came true: to spend the summers working outdoors learning about the wonderful place we live and the wildlife that surrounds us. Not only does she enjoy working near the Gulf of Mexico, but she also LOVES surfing it! Sitting on the outside waiting for a wave and watching the wildlife pass underneath completes her love for science.
Emily Simon, Grades K-2
Emily Simon is a kindergarten teacher at West Navarre Primary School. She attended North Carolina Wesleyan College and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a certification in Education K-6. Emily is a member of the Florida Marine Science Educator Association and the Florida Geographic Alliance. She was Santa Rosa County Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was awarded West Navarre Primary's 2017 Teacher of the Year.
She was born in Milton and raised in Fort Walton Beach. Her parents and grandparents instilled the love of our local waters and the importance of taking care of it while enjoying it. Emily has been married to Rob Simon for over 20 years and they have three children, Bobby, Emma, and Elijah. In her spare time, Emily enjoys paddle boarding and hiking.
Ginni Rushing, Grades K-5
Ginni Rushing attended the University of Florida where she received her Master's degree in Elementary Education (K-6) and specialized in Early Childhood and Psychology. She is a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) third-grade lead teacher at Holley-Navarre Intermediate School, where she was honored as 2020 Teacher of the Year.
As a 25-year veteran teacher, she creates an environment where creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking are key. Having grown up as the daughter of a Coast Guard Commander, she has always lived near the coast and has a passion for all marine life. In her spare time, she enjoys snorkeling around Navarre Beach reefs, kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing.
Shelly Mann, Grades K-5
During the school year, award-winning teacher and Santa Rosa County leader in education, Shelley Mann teaches 7th Grade Career & Technical Education at Woodlawn Beach Middle School. Shelley has been involved with the Station since its earliest days by going on field trips, overnight trips, teaching summer camp, and volunteering - she does it all!
Shelley fully embraces the mission of the NBMSS and loves "assisting the rock star students" in educating visitors about conserving our marine environment. With a daughter and granddaughter who live on Maui, marine debris is a topic that she is especially passionate about. Spending her summers teaching future generations about environmental awareness allows her to make a positive impact on this important issue. Shelley wants visitors to the Station to "fall in love with any tiny piece of the sea - the coast, the wildlife, the science - just one thing." By sharing in Shelley's enthusiasm for all-things-ocean, this would be easy to do!
When he's not giving kids unforgettable fishing experiences during the summer or entertaining local audiences with his mad bass guitar-playing skills, science teacher extraordinaire, Casey Fearon, can be found wowing his 8th graders in his Gulf Breeze Middle School classroom. As Santa Rosa County's 2008 Rookie of the Year, Casey's passion and enthusiasm for science education has been evident from the start of his career. As the husband of NBMSS Director, Charlene Mauro, Casey has been an integral part of the Station even before it opened!
Camping, fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving have always been part of Casey's life. These activities, as well as a natural curiosity about how the world works, fostered in him a love of science and appreciation for the environment at an early age. What he loves most about the NBMSS is "seeing the 'light bulb moments' of kids as they gain understanding and a sense of stewardship for our environment." He also "enjoy[s] seeing the shouts of
Casey Fearon-FYCCN/Guy Harvey Fishing Camp
excitement when students see plankton under the microscope as they realize how much life is all around us in the Gulf."
Casey is passionate about scientific literacy and believes that everyone should spend time outdoors learning about every ecosystem they can. he says "I hope people will understand how truly connected and interwoven all the ecosystems of our planet are. Once you get a grasp on that, you realize that EVERYTHING matters."
Glenn Rutland was in the classroom for 33 years. During that time she taught Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, Life Science, and gifted learners in Middle and Elementary schools in Georgia and Florida. She retired from Santa Rosa County School District in 2014. Glenn was a finalist for the NASA astronaut Teacher in Space program in 2004 As a result of this accomplishment she is a member of NASA/NEAT (Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers ) Glenn was also a teacher coach for the ZERO-G flights and a Stephen Hawking Fellow
Rothschild Middle School Teacher of The Year, Holley-Navarre Intermediate Teacher of the Year, Air Force Association State of Florida Aerospace Teacher of The Year, Civil Air Patrol SE Regional Teacher of The Year and Wilmington College Educator Alumni Award are just a few of the accolades that Glenn has received during her teaching career.
Cassie had no interest in the marine science field whatsoever when she volunteered at Autism Odyssey in 2021. After that day, her plans changed. Cassie credits this experience as the spark of her love for the ocean. Her favorite thing about the station is, “the friends that I have made, and the opportunities I have been given [that] are truly one of a kind.” After her second year at the station, she plans to pursue a career in environmental/mechanical engineering to help solve the problems rooted in human impacts on the environment. She also is avid in caretaking for her hermit crabs.
Sailor took to the water like a fish when she first moved to Florida. Not long after the move, the NBMSS opened and began teaching summer camps. Since she was old enough, she attended camps (sometimes more than one). Following her brother's path to the station, she was eager to get involved as soon as she could. Volunteering at events since middle school, Sailor was more than pumped to start as a marine biology student. Following an exciting first year, including a trip to the Keys and a GCOOS grant, she is excited to start her senior year. Sailor can't wait for the adventures to come. After high school, she plans to go to college and see where life takes her.
Hope has loved the ocean since she was little. She enjoyed watching marine animals on the National Geographic Channel since she was four. In first grade, she had a field trip to NBMSS and it grew her closer to the ocean. Ever since she waited to become a student at the Station. She was able to join her junior year of high school and loved educating kids who loved the ocean as much as she did when she was small. She’s now happily a second-year student during her senior year! After high school, she wants to dig deeper in science and wants to major in biology or chemistry in college to become an oral surgeon.
Ever since moving to Navarre in 2017, James has been fascinated by the Gulf of Mexico and all of its amazing qualities. One of James' first experiences and most influential decisions to take the class was the annual Guy Harvey fishing camp held by the science station. “It was my first time seeing people do stuff that I had a true passion for like Fishing, and I remember when I found out that they were high schoolers my mind was set that I would do that when I got to high school." Halfway through his sophomore year, he was met with an opportunity to be a part of the school’s ocean bowl team. Once he arrived at the station, James dove headfirst into as many community services and camps as he could get involved. “One of my favorite things about being a part of the science station is the camps, I love to see the smiles on the kids' faces as they remind me of what I must have looked like when I was their age.” James is now looking to his second year with the station and hoping to go to college to major in marine biology.
When Sarah moved to Navarre from Wyoming in 2019 at the beginning of her freshman year, she was instantly interested in all things marine related. After taking a marine biology class at the high school her sophomore year she was introduced to the NBMSS by her teacher. Sarah was very excited to sign up for the class because of her love for teaching and the ocean. She participated in as many opportunities she could, like helping take water samples to test water quality in the sound, and going to the Florida keys to scuba dive! Sarah is very excited that she gets the opportunity to become a second year to further her understanding and teach others. Upon graduation she plans to attend college to one day become a teacher.
Emily Wilson is a senior at Navarre High School, during her first year at NBMSS she received her scuba certification and rekindled her appreciation for the ocean and its many inhabitants. Her favorite thing about NBMSS is the continuous learning opportunities and the many animals that we care for at the station.
Cade is a lifetime local that has a passion for fishing, preserving our marine ecosystem, and educating others about our marine environment and why it is so important. Aquaculture is Cade’s personal project and he is still learning more about it every day. The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station is Cade’s second home where he has developed his passions and created new ones. He plans to continue his passions through college at The University of West Florida.
Awesome Volunteer Staff
In 2014, when Zak's high school guidance counselor asked him if he was still interested in the NBMSS marine science course, he said, 'yes, who wouldn't want to spend two hours of the school day at the beach?!' What he didn't know, was how much that decision would change his life. All these years later, Zak is still involved with the program because he cares about the program's mission and wants to contribute to its growth. He also wants to give back to a program that has given him so much. He explains that through his involvement at the Station, "I gained a voice. I gained the ability to speak confidently and communicate in an intelligent way. I also gained great networking opportunities."
In addition to kayaking, Zak loves teaching summer camps. "The gratification of teaching someone's child for a week and seeing them come back everyday excited to learn again" allowed Zak to discover his love of teaching which, ultimately, set him on his current career path. Zak is also a mentor for high
school students at the Station. He uses these educational settings and outreach events to express to others that "every action they perform has a reaction in the environment around them. Not all positive, not all negative, but their education will hopefully help to mitigate the negative." After high school, Zak served in the Army where he received two commendation medals and was a leader, educating new scouts in their duties and responsibilities. He is currently a student at Pensacola State College and will be pursuing a degree in education at the University of West Florida.
The NBMSS has played a role in Tucker's life for many years. As a kid, he attended numerous summer camps at the Station and developed a passion for the ocean and marine life. In 2016, when he was a junior at Navarre High School, Tucker had the opportunity to attend classes at the Station. He credits that experience with igniting his desire to become a marine biologist and is a recent graduate of the University of West Florida's marine biology program.
He is most passionate about sustainable fishing, conserving and maintaining fish populations, as they play a crucial role in the food chain. In addition to being a mentor for current high school students at the Station, he teaches the Guy Harvey Fishing Camp during the summer. Working at the Station allows him to share his love of fishing and the outdoors with others. He wants visitors to the Station to "recognize how important and fragile our coastal environments are and that we need to preserve and maintain them for the future."
Katie Bray was born and raised in Navarre, where her adolescent adventures were always beach related. She did not realize how the water would impact her life until she attended the NBMSS class her senior year. She taught people of all ages and loved the positive impact she had on her community through the program. After that, her spark of interest in marine biology and the great outdoors inspired her to pursue a Bachelor's degree in biology at the University of West Florida. During her years in school, she researched plant ecology and the microbial ecology of the Gulf of Mexico.
Although ocean and marine conservation is one of her passions, her first passion is people. After Graduating in 2021, Katie became a coordinator with the Okaloosa County Tourism Department, where she focuses on getting kids out on the water. Combining her passion for people and marine conservation, Katie shares her love for the water and inspires others. She continually helps NBMSS, volunteering to teach for summer camps and outreach events.
Grace Ter Haar
Grace has grown up around water, but never took much interest in what was in it. After joining the class at the Marine Science Station, Grace was able to learn an immense amount of information, from the infinite amount of large and microscopic animals, to the different aspects of water. Grace also discovered a passion for aquaculture and taking on new challenges. Her favorite part about the station is the opportunity to inform others about the different forms of life in all types of water.
Sam is a student at Eckard College in South Florida, pursuing his passion in marine science. Whether Sam is diving or fishing, he is always in the water looking for fish. From a young age, Sam has had a passion for being out on the water. It's grown so much that he even shared his passion with the children working at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station