Lauren Kemper, Volunteer Coordinator |

Lauren Kemper became the Volunteer and Program Coordinator in August, 2014 after completing an environmental science degree at the UW in Tacoma where she gained experience in environmental education and water quality studies. As the Volunteer Coordinator she manages volunteers, provides training, and ensures volunteer benefits. As Program Coordinator, Lauren organizes, schedules, and runs several youth programs for individual students and groups or classes as well as birthday parties and other SEA Discovery Center events.

Denise Kilkenny-Tittle, Director of Education and Outreach  |

Denise Kilkenny-Tittle joined the SEA Discovery Center in March 2018. She has a passion for the environment and teaching people of all ages. Formerly, she was an elementary and substitute teacher, Puget Sound FieldSTEM Coordinator, Wisconsin Groundwater Guardian Coordinator; a Park Ranger for the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon; and a Project Learning Tree Facilitator in eastern Idaho. Besides being an active mom, she enjoys volunteering, recreating in the outdoors, gardening, making crafts, and playing sports. She received her Masters of Science in Natural Resources: Environmental Education and Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Middle School Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and two Bachelor of Sciences in Forest Recreation Resource Management and Sociology from Oregon State University-Corvallis. As the Associate Director of Education and Outreach, she manages pre-K-12 education programs, develops and modifies curriculum, and provides professional development opportunities for teachers.

Sam Larson, Aquarium Assistant


Bryan McNeil, Aquarium Manager


Colin Nelson, Facilities Manager


Bettye Shifrin, Office Assistant |

Bettye Shifrin was part of the team that worked to reopen the Center in 2007. She came to the Pacific Northwest in 1980 and began her administrative career with the Central Kitsap School District, moving on to the position of executive assistant and security administrator for Honeywell Marine Systems Division at Keyport.  She then worked for the Naval Undersea Museum Foundation for 25 years, managing the finances, grants, scheduling, and more.  Bettye is semi-retired and enjoys her position with WWU, handling the office administration, volunteer procedures, and assisting the rest of the staff to further the goals of science education.

Sylvia Yang, Director and Marine Ecologist |

Recently (2017), Dr. Yang joined the staff at the SEA Discovery Center as Director and research scientist who is engaged in the community, enriching the center’s educational and aquarium programs, and facilitating college student involvement. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Washington and was an NSF GK-12 Fellow, developing investigative marine science curriculum for high school. She has a passion for communities, mentoring students, helping others identify and achieve their goals, and facilitating lifelong learning. Currently, students and citizen scientists at the center engage in scientific research on the Liberty Bay estuary, native Olympia oysters, eelgrass, and other aspects of marine ecology.

Marine Educators:
  • Bruce Claiborne
  • Evona Cole
  • Lesley Cashon
  • Mindy Fohn
  • Hanna Jones
  • Julie Leung
  • Robin Muir
  • Eurydice Pentz
  • Audrey Slane
  • Carolyn Standridge
  • Mary Zabinski
Staff Alum:
  • Barbara Wyatt
  • Joyce Nishimura
  • Niki Robbers