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About NYSMEA > Officers

Lane RosenPresident-Lane Rosen, John Dewey High school, NYCDOE
Lane Rosen is currently a NY State Licensed Biology and General Science teacher who has been teaching science for 17 years in Brooklyn, NY.  Lane has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters of Arts in Secondary Science Education from Brooklyn College. 

For the past 13 years Lane has been teaching Marine Science at John Dewey High School in Coney Island. He has worked with over 2000 students.  He is very passionate about teaching marine education to high school students and guiding them into college programs and marine careers.  Lane and his students take field trips to the American Museum of Natural History, the NJ and NY Aquariums, Cold Spring Harbor Hatchery and Kingsborough Community College Marine Education Conferences.   Under Lane’s guidance the John Dewey High School Marine Science Program students currently raise trout, maintain a marine laboratory with live organisms, and participate in oyster gardening,  coastal cleanups and marine environmental awareness programs.  JDHS students are currently monitoring oyster growth and environmental conditions in the mouth of the Hudson River Estuary.  Lane and his students have also done salt marsh and sand dune restoration. 

Lane serves as a community service site supervisor; providing community service opportunities for students.   Lane and his students partner with multiple community organizations.   In concert with Partnership for Parks, they have participated in coastal cleanups and marine environmental awareness events for over a decade along Coney Island Creek at Kaiser Park.  In 2005 Lane received an award from President Bush for his work on Project CREEK; an environmental partnership between the NY Aquarium and JDHS on coastal habitat restoration.  In 2011 he received a Service Learning Award for Community Awareness from Mayor Bloomberg.

In addition to Marine Science activities, Lane has taught a variety of camp programs such as, rocketry, entomology, botany and nature.  He has done research in parasitology, studying endoparasites and ectoparasites on field mice. 

Merryl KafkaVice President – Informal Education, Merryl Kafka, retired, NY Aquarium
In her capacity as Curator of Education (and a 30-year career history) at the N.Y. Aquarium, Dr. Kafka has been instrumental in providing exciting, marine science programming to community groups, families, school children, and teachers throughout the New York City area.  Her efforts, along with the dedication of her colleagues, resulted in producing one of the most creative and awarded aquarium education departments in the nation, as well as co-founding the successful Rachel Carson HS of Coastal Studies in Coney Island. Merryl has also worked with the NYS DEC for 14 years, in concert with the NY Aquarium, to help citizens avoid wetland violations and advance public programming via Project P.O.W.E.R: Protecting Our Wetlands with Educators and Regulators, creating a unique national model.

Merryl is the recipient of many awards; from the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency for Coastal America’s Restoration Award for “Project Creek”, an environmental partnership award on habitat restoration in Coney Island, to recently receiving the “Lifelong Devotion to Marine Education Exemplary Service Award” from NYSMEA, which she has been a member since 1979. She is currently a summer adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College’s AREAC (Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center), co-teaching “Urban Marine Ecology” for the College Now program for high school students, and an onboard educator for whale and dolphin watching on the American Princess in Ft. Tilden.  She also serves on the advisory committee of Dowling College’s Center for Estuaries, Environmental and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (C.E.E.C.O.M.). Merryl will continue to ensure that our coastal treasures remain understood, appreciated, and protected for generations to enjoy.

Dr. Kafka received her M.S. Degree in Biology and N.Y. State Certificate of Museum Studies from New York University, and earned her doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University.

Dale StanleyCollege Vice President- Dale Stanley, Nassau Community College
Dale was born and raised in the Bronx and spent her summers on the North Shore of Long Island, mostly in/on/near the water. She now lives in Nassau County and still spends as much time as possible in/on /near the water. Dale is an Associate Professor at Nassau Community College where she teaches Marine Biology, Marine Science and General Biology to both Honors students and “regular” students. Dale teaches several field courses and spends many hours a week teaching in /on / near the water. She is both the Marine Coordinator and the Honors sections Coordinator for General Biology 1 and 2. She received a B.S. in Biology from Marymount Manhattan College, a M.S. in Biology from Fordham University and began her PhD studies at NYU where she completed the course work and her research project and went on maternity leave, never to return. Dale spent nearly 20 years doing mucopolysaccharide and prostaglandin research on kidney function and fish gills at NYU Medical Center. Her career as an educator began in the early 90’s. Dale taught biology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College and Nassau Community College as an adjunct while raising children and taking education courses at Adelphi University. She has studied oceanography, marine biology, ichthyology and marine ecology as well as secondary science education.

Secondary Vice President- Blanca Ching, Fort Hamilton H.S.
Blanca Ching is a licensed NYCity Dept of Education Earth Science teacher. She has been teaching this subject for the past ten years at Fort Hamilton HS in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BA and MS degrees in
Geology from Brooklyn College.

Following her graduation, and prior to teaching, she worked for several years as a field geologist for the non-profit North Eastern Science Foundation located in Troy, New York.

Ms Ching is very active in several professional organizations including the New York State Marine Educators Association (NYSMEA), Science
Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS), and Science Council of New York City (SCONYC).


Elementary Vice President- Andrea E. Oliver, Gillen Brewer School
Andrea E. Oliver is presently the science and technology educator at the Gillen Brewer School. She educates students with emotional and learning disabilities from ages 3-10 years old. She enjoys engaging her students in various topics but especially those dealing with marine biology. Andrea has recently been awarded the Siemens Foundation Science teacher Initiative Award 2008, for her 10 years of service to students with special needs. Andrea is received her undergraduate degree with university honors in developmental psychology at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. She continued her education at Touro College receiving a master’s in special education and general education. She is presently a graduate student at the City College of New York in secondary science education, and intends on receiving her doctorate in science education. For the past 6 years, she has been a docent at Liberty Science Center in New Jersey teaching visitors in the majestic “Our Hudson Home” exhibit, about the Hudson River and the inhabitants that live in this estuary. During most weekends you can find Andrea at Asphalt Green studying to get her PADI certificate Open water II or over at West Harlem Piers teaching local kids catch and release techniques, and how to be good stewards of the Hudson.

Treasurer- Sarah Richards, Saint Ann’s School
Sarah Richards has taught science at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY since 1987. During her tenure there, Sarah has taught General Science, Earth Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Oceanography, Marine Biology, and Meteorology. She has also served as Chair and Associate Chair of the Science Department. Sarah started a two-week Summer Science Camp for middle schoolers at Saint Ann’s eight years ago, and has coached a team for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl for the past ten years. Sarah believes in the importance of experiential learning, and has designed and led many field trips for her students. From 1989-2001, she took her high school students on a week-long trip each spring to the Hofstra University Marine Lab in Jamaica, and since 2002, she’s been leading comparable trips to the Florida Everglades and Newfound Harbor Marine Institute on Big Pine Key. Sarah was selected to participate in the Sea Experience for Teachers sponsored by the Sea Education Association in 1991, and the Down Under, Out Yonder program sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation in 2009.

Sarah received her B.A. from Oberlin College, and her M.S. in Science Education from Oregon State University. She has been an active member of the NY State Marine Education Association since 1993, and currently serves as NYSMEA’s Treasurer and Annual Conference Coordinator. She was awarded NYSMEA’s Kinghan Service Award in 2004 and the SCONYC (Science Council of New York City)’s Science Education Award in 2005. In 2006, Sarah served as co-chair of the annual National Marine Educators Association Conference, which was held in Brooklyn, and was elected to the NMEA Board of Directors in 2008, where she serves as the chair of the History Committee. In her spare time, Sarah is the principal second violinist of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling - especially to destinations where she can SCUBA dive with her husband, Clive, and 11-year-old son, Thomas!

David StolarzSecretary- David Stolarz
BBA in Marketing from Hofstra University. Masters degree in Geography from Hunter College. Fulfilled requirements of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate from CUNY Graduate Center. Started career as a County Surveyor. GIS professional since 1990. Spent 22 years in county government, 10 years building Enterprise GIS. Six years on National Board of Directors of ASPRS. Developed a national conference workshop on career development in the geosciences. NSF Fellowship bringing GIS into the high school classroom. Currently semi-retired, sailing, playing volleyball and serving on international geospatial standards committee, along with other local associations (Friends of Hempstead Plains at NCC). NMEA member and active NYSMEA member since 2005. Winner of the NYSMEA Kinghan Award in 2012. "Geospatial Learning in the Classroom: A Call for Collaboration" in Ripples, May 2012.






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