Introducing Team STARRS 2020

Hello! I’m Yeiny Moreno, a recent Smith College graduate with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. After spending a summer teaching hygiene, nutrition, and health in Guatemala and working as a counselor in a summer camp in New York City, I’ve developed an interest in child development and education. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and though I loved interacting with the marine environment around me, I never got the opportunity to learn about how to take care of it. I first got the opportunity when participated in the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program last year.  I had an amazing experience not just teaching the kids but also learning from them about the island, the reef, and what they care about. Though I’m sad that we won’t be returning to the island this summer, I’m grateful that we still get to do remote work that can be used in the future.

Hello! My name is Glenda Perez and I’m a rising senior at Smith majoring in Environmental Science & Policy and Education, with a concentration in Translation Studies (Spanish & Portuguese). I’m passionate about teaching in a way that is fun/relatable for students, have worked in several classrooms, and am also particularly interested in marine science in the Caribbean. I participated in the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures program last year, and I’m excited to be working on educational materials for the island! I learned so much from my time with the kids from camp and out researching the reefs, which makes me eager to work on lesson plans again to connect with kids who can find ways to support environmental efforts in their own community.

Hi Everyone! My name is Cassandra Gonzalez and I am a rising senior at Smith College. I am a Psychology major and work at the Smith College Museum of Art. I hope to take what I have learned from my time running camps and tours at the museum to create effective lesson plans this summer. Before going to Smith I attended a Marine Science Magnet High School in Connecticut and last year I studied abroad in Australia through the SIT Sustainability and Environmental Action program. I’m hopeful that I can take what I have learned about environmental science and apply it to my work here. I anticipate that through my work I can improve upon my teaching and expand my knowledge of environmental science while encouraging participants to take action. I intend to promote positive change within the San Pedro community and am hopeful that I will be able to come to Belize next year and meet the campers!

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Gates and I am a rising Junior at Smith. I am majoring in Education with a Museums Concentration and hope to work as a natural sciences museum educator after graduation. For many years I have enjoyed teaching and learning from students in my home town of Pierre, South Dakota at our local Children’s Museum- the South Dakota Discovery Center. I love teaching my students about the natural world around them and how they can be conservationists and advocates in the community. In return, they teach me their perspectives on our ever changing world and remind me to be always curious and fearless in the pursuit of new knowledge. Unprecedented circumstances have uprooted our expectations and normal operations, but I know our team won’t let any obstacle stop our teaching and learning. We will work together to make this new reality an opportunity for critical thinking, problem solving, change making, and community building- and I can’t wait to have fun doing it!

Hello! My name is Genesis Canizales and I’m a rising junior at Smith College. My major is Environmental Science & Policy with a minor in Economics. I am very interested in teaching our campers the importance of our natural resources. This will be my first experience with creating lessons in the marine sciences but I am very excited to build upon my environmental knowledge and to be immersed in research to provide the campers, teachers and community  in San Pedro with engaging materials that address reef ecology and sustainability topics.

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