Bochner, Laura

Greetings! I am an educator at the Colburn Earth Science Museum in Asheville, North Carolina. At the Colburn, I lead classes in earth, space, and physical science for students in pre-K through 8th grade and run two after-school science clubs on geology and oceanography. Originally from eastern Pennsylvania, I attended Lafayette College, where I studied Geology and Environmental Science. While an undergraduate, I conducted research in paleoclimatology that utilized Integrated Ocean Drilling Program core samples to reconstruct the climate history of the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. I am super excited for School of Rock and the opportunity to learn more about the deep sea drilling process aboard the JOIDES Resolution! When not planning activities for my students, there’s a good chance you’ll find me dancing, doing yoga, digging around in the garden, or hiking in the world’s oldest mountains! Can’t wait to meet everyone!

Clark,  Molly

I grew up on my family’s dairy farm, where I discovered my love for science and nature. I went to Michigan State University where I earned a degree in Biological Science, Chemistry, and Integrated Science. I taught 4 years in a brick-and-mortar classroom before finding Michigan Connections Academy. I enjoy teaching virtually and having the ability to employ creative ways to teach various sciences. I’m extremely excited to embarking on this adventure!

Erler, William

Ahoy Sailors! My official name is William C. Erler and my mother is responsible for all of the confusion in my life as I have grown up to respond to my middle name, Chris. I am a graduate of Muskingum College with a BS in Earth Science. I earned my Masters degree in Geoscience online at Mississippi State University. I have taught Earth Science for 20 years now (2 years cyber). I enjoy fishing, rock collecting, Old English Sheepdogs, coaching Science Olyjmpiad and spending time with my wife. My biggest accomplishments as a teacher are earning a teacher of the year award from the National Association of Earth Science Teachers in 2004 and earning 6 PA State Championships coaching the Science Olympiad.

Lockard, Christina

I currently teach Earth science at Commonwealth Connections Academy. I currently teach Earth science at Commonwealth Connections Academy. I have been teaching for five years in the classroom and before that worked as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow and an environmental educator. I originally earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, but fell in love with teaching while I served in AmeriCorps. I got my Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and have been teaching middle school and Earth science ever since. I am lucky to work in a wonderful school where I get a chance to work with such a diverse group of students from all over the state.


Meyer,  John

I am looking forward to going back to sea! I currently teach 3rd grade with Oregon Connections Academy and my students are so excited about this next adventure. This is my first year with ORCA and only my second year teaching. I previously was an Operations and Production Manager for  an Electronics company and I owned a small furniture store. I have Bachelors in Business from Linfield College and a Masters in Teaching from Concordia University. I spent many years with the Civil Air Patrol educating youth in Aeronautics and have spent several years at sea with the U.S. Navy. I am looking forward to working with and learning from all of my shipmates.

Nakamura, Christine

Hello fellow science enthusiasts! I am Christine Nakamura and have been teaching middle/high school science for 8 yrs at a virtual public charter school (Connections Academy). I have a Masters in teaching science with a focus on Geology and have participated in field research through the STAR, and FIST programs. My passion is for developing Virtual Field Trips and helping other teachers to develop their own.

Paige,  Jeff

I am 56 years old and have taught in Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. I have taught a variety of classes ranging from Kdg PE to 12th grade physics. Currently I teach Physical Science, Chemistry Concepts, Principles of Engineering(PLTW) and Principles of Technology. I have 4 adult children, 1 granddaughter and 2 great granddaughters. My wife is a pharmacist and we love to boat and golf.

Rottet,  Thomas

My name is Tom Rottet. I teach 7th grade science as well as 11-12th grade anatomy and physiology. I have practiced chiropractic since 1995. I taught several classes for local community colleges while still practicing chiropractic full time and found I loved teaching. I got certified to teach in 2010 and now teach full time and practice chiropractic part time. I am married and have an 18 year old daughter and a 16 year old son.


Smith,  Mary Lou

I was born and raised in southeastern Connecticut, just 30 miles from Long Island Sound, and grew up exploring the outdoors and investigating everything that crossed my path. For the past 14 years, I’ve worked as a Science Curriculum and Instruction Specialist for a regional education service center in Connecticut. As a former classroom teacher, environmental educator, and director of Early Childhood Environmental Education, my commitment to educating children and adults in science spans well over two decades. My love of learning and science has not at all lessened over time, as evidenced by my continued quest for new opportunities (and for his continued support, my husband is a saint!). I hold a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut, an M.A.T. from Sacred Heart University, and a Master of Science in Geoscience from Mississippi State University.


Sommer, Krista

My name is Krista Sommer. I live in Pittsburgh, PA with my husband and my two cats. I have a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Secondary Education- Biology. I am working on my Masters of Science in Education – Middle School Mathematics. I worked as an environmental consultant for 5 years before going back to school for teaching. This is my fourth year teaching at Commonwealth Connections Academy. I am exciting to work with all of you.

Stewart, James

I have been teaching with Oregon Connections Academy for just over one year and I serve as HS Science Department Chair. I came to teaching after a career in management at the US Postal Service. My undergraduate training was in Geology, Math, and Mechanical Engineering. While studying Geology at the University of Oregon, I had the opportunity to operate an Electron Microprobe analyzing crystal and chemical composition of experimental samples to create igneous rock phase diagrams.

Taylor, Jordan


My name is Jordon Taylor, and I currently teach 9th-12th grade Digital Photography, Digital Art I, and 3D Modeling at Commonwealth Connections Academy, a cyber charter school. I am in my 5th year at CCA, working out of our main office in Harrisburg PA where I also reside. Before teaching, I earned my BA in Fine Art and BSBA in Marketing from Shippensburg University. After graduation I worked as a graphic designer, and briefly lived in New Orleans before moving back to PA and earning my Art Ed certification.
In my spare time, I enjoy creating my own art (illustrating and painting) and spend countless hours in the gym. Over the past 2 years I have competed as an amateur bodybuilder with moderate success. I am also the new father of a 5 month old English bulldog named Princess Penelope Pants (or Penny for short).

Will, Cara

I am a science teacher in central Ohio. I have taught online for the last four years, both at high school and college level. I currently teach biology, anatomy and physiology, and marine science to high school students. I have developed and taught oceanography courses for college students at Tiffin University. I am married and have 5 kids, 4 boys and 1 girl (she rules the roost!). I am very active, as are my kids, so we stay very busy. I am signed up to run a Warrior Dash when I return on June 1st, so I may be running laps on the ship! 🙂


Collins, Jennifer

I have been in love with the ocean ever since 4th grade because the school librarian would let me take home filmstrips of Jacques Cousteau and the deep-sea world. I was in awe of what was yet to be discovered. This interest, along with frequent visits to the Cal Academy in SF, prompted me to get a degree in Zoology from UC Davis. My passion for education came as a surprise my Jr. year in college, when I was randomly invited to serve as a math tutor at a summer school in Kent CT. This is where I met Sebastian, a challenging child that asked me “Why do you care so much? Nobody else does” after the umpteenth time of trying to positively redirect him away from sticking pencils into the fan and towards some basic algebra. He eventually got himself expelled from the program (not the first time he had been expelled), but his words have stuck and inspired me throughout my career.

I currently work on formal and informal programming at Deep Earth Academy to bring scientific ocean drilling science to students, teachers, and the public. My favorite part of my job is managing the School of Rock programs! Before coming to this job, I taught middle school and high school science and math, worked at the Museum of Paleontology at UC Berkeley on projects such as Explorations Through Time, the Understanding Evolution website, and Understanding Science website, and developed curriculum and museum materials for different folks. In my free time I work on efforts to bridge the gap between the science community, educators, and the public through the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science. I love to travel, and because of my job and because my husband is a marine biologist, I have traveled to many great places to do science with a diversity of scientists. Other random stuff; one of my life goals is to run in every state in the US, and on every continent; I have two amazing kids; the Muppets absolutely terrify me and are banned from our house; I am not a sci-fi fan at all, but got obsessed with the new Battle Star Galactica series! 😉

Duggan-Haas, Don

The core of my job is to help Earth and environmental science teachers kick butt at their jobs. This will be my second JR Expedition, and I look forward to working with the educators aboard to help them kick butt, while they return the favor.

I’m the Senior Education Research Associate at the Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth. What that means is I work in teacher professional development and curriculum materials development, and in research on the effectiveness of that work.

Before joining PRI in 2008, I’d worked as a high school science teacher and professor of science education. I’ve taught at Michigan State, Cornell, and Colgate Universities, Kalamazoo College, Norwich (New York) and Tapestry High Schools.

Lewis, Jon

I still recall the fateful day as a freshman when I went to talk about jobs with a U.S. Forest Service employee and he mentioned two disciplines, hydrology and geology. It was at that moment that I came to appreciate that my love of playing in and observing the natural world could be assets in my studies. I promptly transferred from a small school in West Virginia to the University of Vermont and majored in geology. It was the right decision for me. From there I went directly to the University of Tennessee to work an M.S., which I earned in 1988 while working in environmental consulting. After a few more years of environmental work I moved on to UConn to work a Ph.D, finishing in 1998. My Ph.D. work focused on the structural history of the SW Japan margin.

Fast forward through postdocdom to 2004 when I joined the faculty of the Geoscience Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Soon after starting at IUP, the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) project commenced. I was honored to sail on the Chikyu as a Structural Geologist on IODP Expedition 315 in 2007. This was a logical extension of my work on the on-land structural history of SW Japan. In addition to SW Japn, I am working to understand the configuration of active faults in central Costa Rica and to constrain the crustal architecture of the Taiwan arc-continent collision. I continue to be active in the IODP, having recently completed a 3-year stint on the U.S. Advisory Committee and by serving yet again as a School of Rock instructor. Get ready for the SCIMPI SOR 2013!

Reese, Brandi

I am a molecular biogeochemist and my research emphasizes the interaction of the active microbial community with the geochemical environment. Specifically, I am interested in the sulfur and iron biogeochemical cycling and sediment diagenesis. Through the use of geochemical techniques such as hard X‐ray fluorescence spectroscopy I have been able to characterize the solid sediment biogeochemistry. Additionally, I use molecular techniques such as RNA/DNA extraction, reverse transcription/PCR amplification, mRNA transcript quantification, and next generation sequencing to characterize the active microbial community. It is through these methods that I am trying to understand important questions for life in the subsurface:
-How active is the microbial community within the sediment?
-How genetically connected are microbes between global locations?
-What geochemical variations lead to the geographic isolation of microbial communities?