Sea Turtle Camp Team

The Sea Turtle Camp team is comprised of expert marine science educators and an administrative staff who bring with them professional experience, in-depth knowledge and a broad range of skill sets. Sea Turtle Camp counselors are passionate about marine biology and the study of coastal ecosystems, and they are excited to share this passion with curious campers who have also discovered the importance and wonder of this field.

Employment at Sea Turtle Camp is extremely competitive. We examine hundreds of applications before selecting members of our elite team. All applicants must go through our intense three-part interview process and comprehensive background check. We take only the top candidates and are extremely proud to provide one of the greatest employment opportunities available among summer camps. Upon hiring, all counselors must attend our mandatory staff orientation prior to the start of each season. Required qualifications include American Red Cross certification in Lifeguarding, CPR and First Aid.

Our founder, Jen Civelli, plays a fundamental role in the hiring and training of each team member. Jen has worked as a chemistry instructor at Cape Fear Community College and UNC-Wilmington and has spent many years working with Jean Beasley at the Sea Turtle Hospital. She and her family continue to play a huge role in raising awareness and funds for this amazing organization.

Our mission statement of empowering youth to become independent, proactive stewards of the environment is deeply shared by our team. We are conscious of the fact that without the ocean there is no life on earth. We have dedicated our lives to educating campers about environmental conservation, living a lifestyle that is harmonious with this purpose, and exploring new ways of sharing our mission.

Kasey Schollenberger - Program Director

Trip Counselor Hawaii

Kasey was born and raised in Toms River, New Jersey. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, she was able to visit the beach year round and develop a true connection to the ocean and all of the related wildlife and ecosystems. At a very young age, she knew that she wanted to spend her life developing her passion for the ocean and marine life.

In 2008, Kasey moved to North Carolina to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). While completing her degree, she volunteered and interned at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Soon after graduating, Kasey interned at the University of Georgia’s Marine Extension Service and Aquarium as an environmental educator. This is where her passion for environmental education flourished. Following that internship, Kasey decided to further her education and returned to UNCW to pursue a Master’s of Science degree in Environmental Science and Coastal Management. Kasey has a wide variety of education experience in the fields of marine and environmental science, which have all deepened her love for public outreach and all things related to the marine environment.

When Kasey isn’t teaching about the ocean, she can be found at the beach reading a book, hiking, kayaking, or doing just about anything outdoors! She is very excited to have found her way back to Wilmington and loves that she gets to spend winters in North Carolina instead of freezing in New Jersey!

Bailey Kaufman - Program Coordinator

Trip Counselor Hawaii

Bailey grew up year-round on Fire Island, New York. She spent her entire childhood on the sands of the tiny barrier island, always doing her part educating visitors, local communities, and other parties about her hometowns’ wildlife, history, and environmental issues. She has deep love and respect for the ocean and all it offers. Her goal is to help others feel the same by educating them about the importance of marine and coastal ecosystems.

In 2016, Bailey ventured to St. Augustine, Florida, to receive her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a minor in Spanish at Flagler College. She was an active member of the college’s sustainability club and always volunteered within the community. During her final semester, Bailey interned at Anastasia State Park and gained abundant experience working with Florida’s wildlife, especially with sea turtles! After graduating in 2020, she completed a 50-week AmeriCorps service term through Conservation Legacy, serving as the Community Volunteer Ambassador for Fire Island National Seashore. During this time, her interest in conservation, community outreach, and environmental education grew stronger. She is currently enhancing her outdoor teaching skills and science/nature content knowledge through the North Carolina Environmental Education Certificate program.

Bailey spends her free time surfing, painting, hiking, cooking, practicing yoga, and exploring nature. She loves to travel and encourages individuals to travel sustainably and support local communities!


Michaela LeMay - Program Coordinator

Michaela was born and raised in Massachusetts and moved to South Carolina in 2014. She decided to trade in the cold, snowy winters for warmer weather and the coast and has since fallen for the beauty of the Carolinas. She completed her undergrad at Coastal Carolina University in Marine Science with a Biology minor.

After graduating, she started her career as a park ranger with SC State Parks. While working for the organization she was able to rediscover a passion of educating youth about the natural resources of the coast. Inspired by her work, Michaela decided to return to school and is almost finished with her master’s in Youth Development and Leadership at Clemson University.

While working for SC State Parks, she volunteered with SCDNR’s Sea Turtle stranding and nesting programs. She spent four summers responding to sea turtle strands, working on sea turtle nests, and educating the public in Myrtle Beach, SC. Due to her work with sea turtles, Michaela is a very early riser and with her free time can be found reading, somewhere outside, or searching for something new to learn.


Jeb Brinkley - Program Coordinator

Jeb was raised on a farm in rural Virginia, where he grew up racing motocross and spending his childhood outdoors. In high school, he played football and lacrosse, but spent most of his time as a pole vaulter for the track team. He would spend his summers in Virginia Beach with his family, where he learned how to surf at 8 years old.

Jeb moved to Wilmington in 2018, where he received a bachelor’s in environmental science and started teaching surf lessons on Wrightsville Beach. During his summers in school, he would spend every day in the water, either surfing or teaching others how to surf. Surfing has allowed Jeb to travel to some amazing destinations, with surf trips in Florida, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, Canary Islands, and even Iceland. He now spends his free time either surfing, riding dirt bikes, or with his puppy named Boots.

Jacob Peck - Program Coordinator

Jacob was born in a small town in Maryland, but his life changed dramatically when his family decided to move to Hawaii when he was still young. He grew up on the small island of Kauai and spent his childhood exploring the jungles and enjoying the beaches as much as possible. Most days were spent going cliff-jumping, free-diving, or surfing, but pretty much always in the water.

After high school, he left the sunshine behind and headed off to college in Oregon, pursuing a degree in Youth Ministry and Education. During his summer breaks, he worked at a camp in Oregon and led middle and high school groups through high ropes courses and rock climbing adventures. After graduation, he had to leave the grey overcast skies behind and headed back home to Kauai. From there he continued to work with all ages of students in a wide range of jobs, but all with the goal of investing in and empowering the upcoming generation of kids.

After getting married, Jacob and his wife Mariella (and their cat Mabel) decided to change things up and moved out to Wilmington, NC. In his spare time, he is still out in the ocean as much as possible and loves surfing more than ever. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and hanging out with his cat.

Kim Macdonald - MBA/MBI Unit Leader

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Kim’s summer adventures to the beaches of Massachusetts are what first sparked her lifelong love for marine ecosystems. Ever since her first trip to the ocean, she has been enchanted by the intricacies of marine life, with horseshoe crabs and sea turtles among her favorite animals!

After attending high school in Colorado Springs, Kim embarked on a gap year where she applied her passion for wildlife and environmental conservation to projects around the globe. She interned at a sea turtle research center in Ostional, Costa Rica, examining sea turtle eggs, nests, shells, and behaviors. She also assisted in the construction of hatcheries for baby green sea turtles. In South America, Kim volunteered on a rainforest conservation project team in the Amazon and worked at a monkey rescue center in Puyo, Ecuador. She protected the Amazon’s wildlife from threats such as habitat destruction, while ensuring the monkeys’ well-being and happiness through medical care, psychological support, and daily feedings.

Kim is currently studying ecology and environmental science at the University of Colorado and dedicates her time to exploring wildlife dynamics within various ecosystems. She recently interned at a wildlife rehabilitation center where she provided vital care to mammals and birds in Colorado. She nursed them back to health from injuries and illnesses while managing their enrichment activities and eventual release back into the wild!

Kim is super excited to pass on her passion for protecting marine ecosystems to all the campers this summer!

Savannah Steet - MBA/MBI Unit Leader

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Savannah is so excited to join the Sea Turtle Camp team as a Unit Leader. Growing up at summer camp, she fell in love with the outdoors and found a lifelong passion for environmental science and conservation. After graduating with a degree in Sustainability Science, Savannah moved to Texas to teach outdoor education, where she fell in love with nature-based learning. Since leaving the desert, she has been in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, working as a ski and snowboard instructor and loving every second. Some of her proudest accomplishments include becoming a nationally certified snowboard instructor, establishing a Little Free Library on her college campus, and conducting a thesis project on avian conservation in urban ecosystems. In her free time, Savannah loves to read, swim, do yoga, and bird watch, and her favorite animal is a jellyfish. She can’t wait to learn and teach about ocean conservation and marine life, try surfing, and meet all of you!
Isabelle Paris - MBA/MBI Marine Educator

Isabelle’s love for the ocean came from growing up on the coast of Connecticut. She moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 2020 to study at the University of South Carolina. Isabelle graduated in the fall of 2023 with a degree in Environmental Studies, and Graduation with Leadership Distinction in Research. While in college, Isabelle founded the Gamecock Surf Club, served as the vice president of the Carolina Mountaineering and White Water Club, became PADI advanced open water diver certified, and Red Cross lifeguard certified. She loves being outdoors and has a passion for animals. Her hobbies include photography, surfing, snorkeling, and hiking. She is so excited to be working as a Marine Science Educator and have the opportunity to teach kids to view the ocean with as much love as she does.

Dylan Beeson - MBA/MBI Marine Educator

Dylan is a marine biology student at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where she is also a member of the women’s swim team and scuba club! She has always felt a strong passion for the ocean, despite growing up in the landlocked plains of Oklahoma, due to summers spent snorkeling and scuba diving in the Cayman Islands. Dylan loves being in the water, whether it be swimming, snorkeling, or paddle boarding!

Through her love of swimming, the ocean, and marine life – her life goal is to become the next closest thing to a mermaid. She hopes in the future to pursue a career in marine veterinary care to assist in the rehabilitation and release of marine animals. While she loves all animals, golden retrievers and sea turtles are her favorite. Dylan is so stoked for the opportunity to meet everyone this summer and become a part of the amazing team at Sea Turtle Camp!

King Hastings - MBA/MBI Camp Counselor

King Hastings was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia. He is a junior at Georgia College and State University. In his free time, King enjoys watching and playing sports and spending time with his family and friends. Ever since he was young, he has had a love for all species of animals. Some of his fondest childhood memories are with his family at St. Simons Island. He has always enjoyed swimming and being outdoors in the sun! His family would always make a trip to the Georgia Sea Turtle Hospital, making a fun day out of it! He is very excited about this upcoming summer at Sea Turtle Camp! 

Erynn Brady - MBA/MBI Camp Counselor

Erynn Brady, from New Jersey, went to the Jersey Shore each summer as a child. This is what sparked her interest in our oceans. She has been a competitive swimmer since she was eight years old. Erynn graduated in 2021 with her degree in Marine Science and General Biology from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. During Erynn’s years at ESU, she held positions in the Marine Science Club and was a member of their women’s swim team. She is scuba certified and is ready to keep diving in new locations and explore the underworld of our oceans. Erynn has experience working with various ages of students by teaching them the necessary skills of water safety and how to swim properly and this continues to be a passion of Erynn’s. She has worked on dolphin, whale, and bird watching boats, where she was a research intern. Erynn participated in taking photos of marine life for the company’s ongoing photo identification research as well as educate guests about the species that were in the touch tank. Her favorite marine species is the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. She especially enjoys it when they are showing off their acrobatics. A fun fact about Erynn is she recently read and watched the Harry Potter series and believes she would fit into the Gryffindor House. Erynn also has four dogs at home! Her goal for this summer is to educate the next generation on how we can protect our marine life’s home!

Verania Sosa - SCUBA Marine Educator

Verania’s journey began in Miami, Florida, where her love for the ocean blossomed. Pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology at Stetson University and recently completing her Master’s in Marine Ecosystems and Society at the University of Miami, she delved into her passion for marine life. During her Master’s studies, she also served as a snorkel and kayaking guide, leading tours off the mangrove coastline and exploring the coral reefs and shipwrecks of Biscayne National Park. Her academic pursuits have allowed her to closely work with various marine creatures, including sea turtles, dolphins, seals, and her favorite, the majestic beluga whale. Living on a Greek island for research was a highlight, where she conducted groundbreaking studies on local dolphin populations. Verania is especially eager to share her enthusiasm for marine biology with all the campers and looks forward to meeting each and every one of them. Outside of her scientific endeavors, she finds solace in snorkeling and scuba diving, immersing herself in the underwater wonders. At home, she finds joy and companionship with her golden retriever and four bunnies, who light up her days.

Raymond Alexander - Carolina Ocean Odyssey Unit Leader

Raymond Alexander is a Florida native with a passion for water. He is a substitute teacher, commercial fisherman, boat captain, writer, and marine educator. In his free time, his hobbies are scuba diving, fishing, surfing, playing disc golf, and beach volleyball. He has a Bachelors degree from Saint Petersburg College and a Florida Substitute teaching certification! He is a volunteer for various marine organizations including tagging fish, collecting marine trash, and tagging freshwater turtles. Nothing drives him more in life than marine education as it is his absolute passion. Every day he wakes up eager to teach people about what he loves. He is looking forward to showing campers an awesome summer!

Lyndsey Butler - Carolina Ocean Odyssey Unit Leader

Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, Lyndsey found her passion for marine science while spending time on the beach with family in Massachusetts at a young age. Through her time volunteering with the Student Conservation Association and gaining a scuba certification as a teenager, she learned the fundamentals of sustainable conservation and solidified her resolve to pursue a career in environmental education.

Upon completing her degree in Marine Biology at the University of Stirling in the UK this spring, she is excited to return to the States and use her newfound knowledge to protect marine ecosystems from present and future challenges. She especially loves salt marshes, and when not mucking about in the mud she can be found reading or kayaking with friends!

As a returning camp counselor, she is committed to providing campers at Carolina Ocean Odyssey with a fun, engaging, and educational experience. She is excited to share her knowledge and love of marine biology and looks forward to inspiring campers to develop a deeper understanding of the ocean and its inhabitants.

Aine Jones - Carolina Ocean Odyssey Marine Educator

Aine is a nursing student at Samford University! She grew up in Marietta, Georgia but always would spend my summers on a barrier island off the coast of Florida where she was a paddle board instructor and tour guide. Aine started paddle surfing at 15 and this is how she found a love for all things related to the ocean. Her favorite time to paddle board or surf is early in the morning when the wind is low and dolphins are out. Aine’s favorite ocean animals are sharks, specifically bullsharks! She has a strong desire to educate the young about worldly conservation and how to take care of our ocean and all things that live in it. Aine wants to spark a light in them for the beauty that is before them! She is honored to be a part of this team and cannot wait to meet you all this summer!

Meg Taggart - Carolina Ocean Odyssey Marine Educator

Meg’s love for marine biology started after watching an episode of Shark Week, and she was instantly hooked! After attending Florida International University for marine biology for the first three years of college, she transferred back to her home state and currently studies environmental science at Indiana University. She’s spent her whole life loving all things water and ocean, but her most memorable experience was when she spent two weeks studying marine science in St. Martin and getting scuba certified! Meg fell in love with the wildlife and ecology of the East Coast two summers ago when she was a marine science camp counselor in South Carolina, and she’s extremely excited to bring her passion for marine science and conservation to Sea Turtle Camp this summer! In her free time, Meg loves to travel, play music, paint, and hang out with her dog Queso. 

Jordan Ziegler - Residential Photographer

Jordan grew up right in the center of Florida in the city of Winter Haven. Growing up she loved the beach and the culture, making it a goal to move closer to the coast. After getting into photography in middle school and sticking with it through high school, she developed a passion for it and decided to pursue that as a career. She moved to Daytona Beach in 2020 to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Photography from the University of Central Florida. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to live closer to the coast and get an education in what she loves to do. Here she started to get involved with surf photography, scoring a job with a local surf school, photographed for the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, FL, and made some lifelong friends. She hopes to be able to travel all over the world and photograph the people and places she comes across.

Michael Miceli - NC Residential Food Service Manager

Michael was born on the Island of Staten…New York City. His greatest love of mankind is the ocean and its awesome mysteries, sounds, ebbs, flows, and colors. The Atlantic Ocean is one of his favorite bodies of water. He has lived beside some of the world’s most beautiful oceans, including the Caribbean staying on The Virgin Islands and most of the Caribbean Atolls, islands and Isla Margarita in Venezuela, the Mediterranean while in Mallorca, Spain, the Pacific while enjoying the coast of California, and Montauk, NY, which offers great swells and surf. Michael has been working in the hospitality industry since he was thirteen and has been able to experience the vastness of both the Atlantic and Pacific in his travels.

His Italian heritage has influenced his cooking along with Asian and American flare and styles. He creates his cuisine from what’s available and uses his great taste buds to ensure excellent meals.

Michael’s real passions besides cooking are writing, hiking, exploring, snorkeling, being a great friend, and a voracious reader. Too competitive in board games, he usually opts for being the judge.

The environment that Sea Turtle Camp offers gives him extreme pleasure and he is excited to provide many awesome meals this summer while meeting any dietary restrictions that may be presented to him!

Kaiya Steele - NC Residential Kitchen Staff

Kaiya grew up in Montana is is currently in her second year of culinary school.  She will be graduating in May, just before she comes to camp!  She loves skiing, going for long walks while listening to music, running, knitting, and journaling.  She will be coming back for her second year at camp!

Sherrian Brown - NC Residential Kitchen Staff

Sherrian “Sherri” Brown is an eclectic, urban hippie born and raised in the great state of Georgia. She grew up with a love of all things artistic and creative.  This is what led her in 1996 to enroll in The Art Institute of Atlanta’s School of Culinary Arts. This is where she gained her passion for cooking and creating in the kitchen. This led Sherri down her Culinary career of baking and pastry, cake decorating, catering, and much more.

Not only is Sherri great at food service/hospitality, but she is also a professional makeup artist, body paint artist, and natural hair stylist. She has used these skills as a freelance makeup artist for the past 10 years to style and direct photoshoots. 
Sherri is a mother of two amazing daughters  (22 & 25) and a grandmother of a precious three-year-old grandson. She may be a mother and grandmother,  but she loves to laugh out loud and dance like no one is watching. Sherri loves all things nature, all genres of music, travel, and animals.  In her downtime, you will definitely find her with her oversized headphones on basking in the sun.
Madeline Hallahan - Trip Leader (Spring Break)

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Madeline’s passion for the outdoors began with summer vacations to the shores of Lake Michigan. She expanded her horizons in 2011 by applying to be a camper at Sea Turtle Camp! It was her first time seeing the ocean, and she hasn’t stopped dreaming of it ever since! She made some lifelong friends at camp and was completely inspired to work outdoors.

Madeline graduated from Illinois State University as a Noyce Scholar with a BS degree in Secondary Biology Education in 2019. She conducted research in Costa Rica, worked in a bumble bee lab, played volleyball, and studied barrier island ecology as extracurriculars in college. 

Madeline has experience in being a nature camp counselor, team building, and high ropes course facilitation. Madeline taught high school biology and also led extensive cycling and canoeing trips for Camp Miniwanca in Michigan. She was an Environmental Educator/ Coordinator for Science Adventure School in West Virginia. Some of her favorite STC memories take place during the 2023 Hawaii program with Molly and Ryan.

Her favorite adventure so far has been a 24-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. She loves to recreate the outdoors by cycling, canoeing, running, and white water rafting. She strives to share her excitement by engaging youth in exploring the natural wonders that surround us every day. Madeline now leads excursions in Rocky Mountain National Park while living in Colorado.

This is Madeline’s FOURTH STC program, and she is so excited to work with this team again in the Keys!


Molly Ripka - Trip Leader (Spring Break)

Without a doubt, Molly is one of the most invertebrate-obsessed people she knows. Her love of weird crabs and cephalopods may seem strange after growing up in a small Michigan town, but after dissecting a squid in a high school oceanography class, she knew she was hooked (pun intended) on marine biology and ecology.

Since then, Molly has graduated with a bachelors degree in marine biology and a minor in zoology from Eastern Michigan University, worked at a retail fish store caring for a variety of aquatic organisms (including cool crabs!), and taught streamside biology programs, nature programs, marine ecology, and aquarium biology in various settings, including at Sea Turtle Camp in North Carolina. She has also had a variety of marine research and dive experience in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Mexico working with animals such as cuttlefish, corals, fish larvae, and apple snails.

Most recently, Molly could be found doing the crab walk with purple land crabs in the Florida Keys while teaching hands-on marine biology to school groups, as well as chasing ghost crabs on the shores of Hawaii with Sea Turtle Camp students. Through snorkeling, scuba diving, and tide pooling, Molly loves to spend time with sea critters and continue sharing her love for the ocean. She is sometimes in a crabby mood when people don’t laugh at her crab jokes, but she understands; not everyone is a crab-ulous as she is!

Ryan Tucker - Trip Leader (Spring Break & Hawaii)

Ryan’s passion for the ocean and conservation began at an early age. His family enjoyed traveling to many of the country’s national parks and protected lands. Growing up in California, Ryan was never too far from the outdoors. With the Sierra Nevadas to the East and the Pacific Ocean to his West, he was always surrounded by nature. While studying Marine Biology and Kinesiology at Humboldt State University, Ryan found a new passion, swimming with the local flora and fauna of the cool, nutrient-rich waters of the Pacific. When he isn’t swimming with fish or stepping from rock to rock in the intertidal, Ryan enjoys hiking, biking, and adventuring in the great outdoors. This is Ryan’s SEVENTH summer at STC and he can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. There is so much to see and experience when it comes to the ocean, it is so vast and unexplored… what wonders lie beneath those crashing waves? He hopes you will come join him and find out. Let’s blow some bubbles!

Abby Kiser - Trip Leader (Hawaii)

Abby was born and raised in Michigan and grew up spending most of her weekends at the lake. She has always been a water bug at heart. One of her first experience’s seeing the ocean was when she attended Sea Turtle Camp. From that moment on she knew she wanted to be a marine scientist. Abby loved being a camper so much that she came back for Surf Camp one summer and to get scuba certified the next. While attending college she became a marine educator for camp and a intern at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital. 

She attended Coastal Carolina University and earned her bachelors degree in marine science in 2020. In August of  2021 she obtained her masters in teaching science at CCU. She is now teaching high school marine science.  In her free time she enjoys looking for sharks teeth and shells, going fishing, and swimming. Abby looks forward to meeting campers and sharing her passions of ocean conservation with them. This will be her third summer as a counselor!