Meet Our Judges

We are so excited for the opportunity to share our projects with these esteemed members of the scientific community of the Florida Keys!  Many thanks to all of our judges!


Mikayla Carrier

Reef Environmental Education Foundation 

Mikayla Carrier grew up in Michigan where she spent many summer afternoons at the lake participating in a variety of water activities ranging from kayaking to water skiing. In her free time, Mikayla enjoys playing guitar, volunteering with animal shelters, and camping. After getting Scuba Certified in the spring of 2019 in the Keys, Mikayla decided she wanted to explore a marine science education. The following year, she studied abroad in the Turks and Caicos to learn more on marine ecosystems. She hopes to pursue marine chemical biology after she expands her growing knowledge on marine conservation and restoration. Additionally, the community outreach she participated in while on South Caicos lead her to want more experience with marine education. Mikayla is very excited to be a part of 2021 Spring REEF team and to get a chance to interact with the Florida Keys community as a judge of this Science Fair!  


Summer Huber

Reef Environmental Education Foundation

Summer Huber grew up in northern Indiana near Lake Michigan where she developed her passions for sailing, swimming, and learning about aquatic organisms. Getting scuba certified in cold, murky, Midwest waters, she appreciates every opportunity she gets to dive in the ocean and experience its beauty. She graduated from Purdue University in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Summer also has a strong passion for veterinary medicine. She spent several summers working at a veterinary clinic, volunteered at Purdue’s veterinary teaching hospital, and took multiple animal science courses and labs throughout college. In the future, Summer plans to attend graduate school and study marine biology and ecology. She is thankful for the opportunity to intern with REEF for spring 2021 and is looking forward to being a part of Ocean Studies Charter School’s Virtual Science fair!

Riley Zoldi

Reef Environmental Education Foundation

Riley Zoldi is the Education and Outreach Lead Intern at Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). At REEF, Riley assists with all of the education programs, both in person and virtually, and engages the local Key Largo community with REEF’s mission to protect biodiversity and ocean life. Prior to her lead internship with REEF, Riley graduated from North Carolina State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science with a concentration in Biological Oceanography.

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Kristen Szpak

Director of Education at Island Dolphin Care

Kristen Szpak grew up on the coast of South Florida where she fell in love with the sea. She studied Biology and Science Education and went on to teach high school Marine Science, SCUBA Diving, and Environmental Science both in formal and informal academic settings. While earning her Master's Degree at The University of Miami studying Marine Mammal Science, Kristen developed a field studies program that connected students with local institutions to gain more hands-on experience in research and conservation. It was through this program that Kristen learned about Island Dolphin Care and the incredible work being done through their therapy and education programs. Her aim is to share her passion for the marine environment while teaching others what it means to be a steward of our oceans.

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Sierra Barkdoll

Reef Environmental Education Foundation 

Sierra recently graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Geography, a Biology minor, and a GIS certificate from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. During college, she got involved in sailing and SCUBA diving clubs, from which she became enamored with the open ocean and decided that she wanted to pursue a career in marine conservation! Joining an undergraduate research lab, Sierra spent a summer studying the threats to the critically endangered Bahama Oriole. Now, she just started working as a marine conservation intern with REEF where she is eager to develop as a young professional and share her passion for marine conservation. She is super excited to see what projects the students of Ocean Studies Charter School have accomplished!


Laura Bauman

Field Ecologist, Everglades National Park

Laura has a M.S. in Marine Environmental Science and Coastal Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.  She has worked extensively in Everglades National Park and Florida Bay working on water quality and hydrological monitoring projects, and helping operate and maintain a sea level rise experiment focused on impacts to the coastal Everglades ecotone marsh. 

Mackenzie Kawahara

Reef Environmental Education Foundation

Mackenzie Kawahara is an aspiring marine biologist from Manhattan Beach, California. She recently graduated from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Marine and Coastal Science and a minor in Japanese. While at UC Davis, she was involved in a few research laboratories and several marine animal husbandry positions, which is where her interest in coral reefs began. Another key factor in her desire to be a marine scientist is the ability to then share her knowledge with others. Since high school, she has been coaching gymnastics to children as young as two years old to early teens and attending UC Davis allowed her the opportunity to expand her teaching skills to the classroom. With her love for working with children, Mackenzie is excited to be a judge at the Ocean Studies Charter School’s Virtual Science Fair!


Ingelise Giles

Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida International University 

Ingelise Giles is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida International University where she prepares secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers in the FIUteach program.   She has conducted oceanographic and marine ecology research in South Florida and the Caribbean, and has taught science in middle and high school. Her current research is focused on understanding pre-service teacher identity development. 

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Laurie Brooks

Director, Provident Financial Services and the Provident Bank of New Jersey; Volunteer and Board Member for Pennekamp Park and other community organizations

Laurie Brooks is the retired vice president - risk management and chief risk officer for Public Service Enterprise Group (2002-2010).  Brooks currently serves on the Technology Committee and chairs the Risk Committee of Provident’s Board. She is secretary to the board of trustees of Ocean Studies Charter School, Vice President of the Garden Club of the Upper Keys and serves on the Advisory Board for the Enterprise Risk Management Program at North Carolina State University.

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Danica Reinicke

Head of Distribution and Partnerships for Smartfin

Danica Reinicke is the Head of Distribution and Partnerships for Smartfin, a nonprofit citizen science project working to fill a gap in crucial oceanographic data. Previous to joining Smartfin, Danica worked in engineering and product management roles in the medical, environmental, and safety industries. She has a BSE in Bioengineering with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Lindsey Crews

Science and Outreach Coordinator for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Lindsey Crews is a graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor's in Marine Biology and a Master's in Environmental Science, with specializations in Environmental Education and Interpretation and Management of Coastal Communities. Before working for the sanctuary, she was a park ranger at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and an educator with the North Carolina Aquariums. She loves exploring our beautiful planet and is always planning the next adventure. 

Shelly Krueger

Florida Sea Grant Agent

Shelly Krueger is the Florida Sea Grant agent for the University of Florida IFAS Extension for Monroe County.  Shelly has a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech and a master’s degree from Savannah State University in marine science.  Shelly is a marine biologist and enjoys teaching people about Florida's coastal environments.

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Ocean Studies Charter School

100360 Overseas Highway

Key Largo, FL  33037

Tel: 305-852-7700

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