Meet Our Staff

Herring Gut Learning Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, political affiliation, age, or religious beliefs in the administration of its programs.

Kathy Barker


After 39 years spent in public, private and state level education systems, Kathy Barker (she/her) and her husband Bob retired to Spruce Head Maine. Not ready to give up her passion for teaching and learning, Kathy spent 18 months looking for a way to meaningfully contribute to an educational endeavor in her new community. Then she "met" Herring Gut Learning Center. She was immediately drawn to the creative and important mission of the center as well as the opportunity to be part of a growing outreach to impact as many Maine students as possible.

Kathy brings her experience as teacher of children, professor/teacher for adults, and in management/leadership. She has served as principal, director of services, and a county/state educational leader. She has also established international educational programs for students with disabilities and faced the challenges and rewards of running a non-profit school.

Kathy was honored with the Beekman Award of Leadership in Michigan for her persistent and relentless quest for high quality instruction for all students of all abilities. Her greatest satisfaction continues to come from watching the success and accomplishments of students and faculty.

Elizabeth Bowe

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Originally from a small town in Western New York, Liz (she/her) has always had a love of the waterfront, fishing and flipping over rocks in Conesus and Hemlock Lakes. She quickly fell in love with Maine on a family trip, and decided to spend 4 years at the University of New England receiving her B.S. in both Marine Biology and Aquaculture & Aquarium Science with a minor in Mathematics. During her four years at UNE, Liz was able to conduct research in the Ornamental Fishes Aquaculture lab and intern at the Maine State Aquarium. After graduation, Liz spent time in Florida as a camp counselor, but missed the mountains and cold New England waters so she jumped on the opportunity to find herself back in Maine working with the Maine State Aquarium. With a love of the ocean, education, and aquaponics, she was thrilled to accept a position at the Herring Gut Learning Center! Liz loves to travel and in her spare time she can be found hiking, rock climbing and kayaking all around the beautiful coast of Maine!

Georgie Burruss

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Georgie (she/her) grew up in Massachusetts where she spent summers sailing on Farm Pond and exploring the rocky coast of Cape Ann. She attended Tufts University, earning her Bachelor's of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies. During her undergraduate career, she traveled to The Bahamas and Costa Rica to conduct research in both terrestrial and marine systems. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she worked in the Coral Lab at the New England Aquarium, studying climate change impacts on a temperate coral species. In 2015, she moved to The Bahamas to work at the Cape Eleuthera Institute for the Flats Ecology and Conservation Program. There she worked on a variety of projects, studying plastic ingestion by pelagic sportfish, post-release survival of triggerfish and yellowtail snapper, and conducted rapid ecological assessments of mangrove creeks. She also taught semester-long applied scientific research courses to high school students at The Island School and led outreach programming for over 600 local and international students. In 2018, Georgie earned her Master's of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Her research focused on using acoustic telemetry to track movements of bonefish, Albula vulpes, to locate reproductive habitat, investigate environmental cues for migration, and understand predator/prey dynamics at spawning aggregations. During her time at Michigan State University, Georgie was a teaching assistant for introductory biology and marine biology courses and she led a study aboard program to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. She is very excited to apply her experience in education, both formal and informal, and marine research at Herring Gut! When not working, Georgie enjoys traveling, playing with dogs, running, and nordic skiing. She is especially excited to see fall foliage for the first time in 5 years!

Haley Havens

Marine Science Camp Director

Initially drawn to the sciences through exploring the marshes and lakes of Wisconsin, Haley (she/her) moved to Boston to continue her education in new ecosystems. Initially interested in general biology, she spent time working on a Bill and Melinda Gates malaria eradication project before deciding to transition to the marine and environmental sciences and set off for the Cape Eleuthera Institute. She joined a research team investigating the spatial dynamics of juvenile green turtles and the seagrasses that compose their primary food source. There, she fell in love with shallow marine ecosystems, and the community outreach and youth involvement critical to growing community-based conservation efforts. She returned to school, where she was active with a campus divestment campaign urging Northeastern University to divest from fossil fuels (they still haven't). Her final year of school occurred mostly outside of the classroom, with time split between a renewable energy project with youth organizers in Roxbury, MA, the Grabowski Fisheries Science and Marine Ecology Lab (where she learned that lobsters can escape any enclosure), and Trader Joes. Haley graduated with a degree in Environmental Science, and after a year as a cider maker with Prospect Ciderworks, she is ready to jump back into her real passion: sharing learning experiences with others and growing community-based support for conservation. Catch her for a game of pool, some bouldering, or teach her how to sail!

Bree Bennett

Marine Science Summer Camp Counselor Intern

Bree (she/her) is a current wildlife ecology student at Auburn University in Alabama! She is a southern, adventure loving 21 year old who grew up in the Smokies of Tennessee and then moved to beautiful Alabama for the end of high school and college. Bree is currently a teacher at a nature preserve and serves as volunteer coordinator for a student-run non-profit dog rescue. Her favorite past time is hiking until she comes across the perfect, tall tree to hammock underneath. Bree can't wait to lead and learn from the Herring Gut campers!  

Elizabeth Terry

Marine Science Summer Camp Counselor Intern

Elizabeth (she/her) is originally from Milwaukee, MI, but has spent the last four years studying Environmental Studies, Biology, and French at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Elizabeth loves to spend my free time reading, painting, baking, and spending time outdoors. A fun fact about Elizabeth is that she has recently crossed two things off of her bucket list: learning how to snowboard and getting SCUBA certified! She is very excited to be working with the Herring Gut team this summer!

Resources

ExploreLearnGrow

Inspiring a New Generation through Marine Education

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