Sylvia Yang, Aquarium Director | Sylvia.Yang@wwu.edu
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 student involvement. She received her PhD 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 eelgrass ecology and estuarine science research and stewardship.
Bruce Claiborne, Education Director | Bruce.Claiborne@wwu.edu
Bruce Claiborne retired from Bainbridge High School in 2005 after teaching biological marine science for 35 years. He worked as PADI Dive Master Assistant Scuba Instructor before beginning at the Center in 2009. He received his Bachelor of Science and teaching certification from WSU and completed his 5th year studies at UW. In 1996, he participated on the first UW REVEL cruise exploring hydrothermal vents off the Washington coast. In 2002-2009, he was the science advisor and diver for the educational DVD, Return of the Plankton. Bruce works with the area school districts, private and home school groups to schedule the field trips to the SEA Discovery Center. He teaches and maintains the learning stations in the SEA Discovery Center’s Floating Lab.
Lauren Kemper, Volunteer and Program Coordinator | Lauren.Kemper@wwu.edu
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.
Barbara Wyatt, Lead Teacher | Barb.Wyatt@wwu.edu
Barb Wyatt has been an Education Specialist at the SEA Discovery Center for the last seven years, pursuing her passions for teaching and Marine Science while sharing her love for the Salish Sea with 4-6 graders. Barb also works on Bainbridge Island with Island Time Activities. She has spent over thirty years teaching and engaging people in a myriad of educational learning opportunities on sailing vessels, in the out-of-doors, and in public and private schools. Barb Wyatt is a Washington State Certified Teacher with endorsements for K-8 Elementary Education and 4-12 Science. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education, from The Evergreen State College.
Bettye Shifrin, Office Assistant | Bettye.Shifrin@wwu.edu
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.
Joyce Nishimura, Substitute Teacher | Joyce.Nishimura@wwu.edu
Joyce Nishimura taught middle school science on Bainbridge Island for 34 successful years until her retirement in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries in 1970 from the University of Washington and her Master of Education degree in Educational Technology from City University in 2000.
Her teachings included classes in Life Science, Physical Science and Earth Science, as well as Marine Science, and stream monitoring. She is a substitute teacher at the Center and enjoys sharing the excitement of discovery with young learners.
Sam Larson, Aquarium Assistant