Tony McDowell joined Earthplace as Executive Director in 2013, bringing with him a lifelong passion for the outdoors and the environment. Prior to that, he enjoyed a 30 year career in marketing and business management for companies in the paper and forest products industry, including a role on the global sustainability committee for the Finish leader Stora Enso. Tony is a long-time Westport resident, who has served on several nonprofit boards including: founding board member of the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, president of the board of the Child Guidance Center of Southern CT, and member of the board of the Northeast Community Church, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Tony was born and raised in Norwalk, CT, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Boston University. Tony freely admits, to anyone who asks, this is the most fulfilling role he has ever had. On many summer evenings, you can spot Tony sailing along the shore of Long Island Sound on his 1963 Pearson Ensign.
Amee Borys has been an educator since 1997 and has taught at every level from preschool to fifth grade. She has served Earthplace in many ways including summer camp counselor, classroom teacher, and as the assistant director of the Earthplace Preschool before becoming the current director. Amee is also the Earthplace Summer Camp co-director and is the creator of the After School Enrichment Program. Additionally, Amee is an Earthplace member. Her two children, who graduated from the preschool program, remain connected to Earthplace by participating in volunteer efforts, programs, and summer camp. Earthplace has a special place in her life as a parent and as an educator.
Sarah Crosby is a marine ecologist with training in conservation science and extensive research experience in coastal and marine ecosystems. Sarah received a B.A. in biology from Tufts University in 2006 and a M.Sc. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 2009. While at URI, her research concerned a salt marsh under consideration for restoration, and she focused on the marsh fish community and human impacts on the landscape. After finishing her Master’s, she began a Ph.D. program in ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University, which she completed in 2014. Sarah’s doctoral research focused on the resilience of coastal ecosystems to human and climate impacts. Sarah has been director of the Harbor Watch program since January, 2015.
Many people know Becky as “Miss Becky.” After college Becky bounced around the Northeast before making Earthplace her home for over a decade. She has a degree in Biological Aspects of Conservation and Environmental engineering. She is on the Board of the Backyard Beekeepers Association and Past President of Connecticut Outdoor Environmental Education Association. Although now rooted in Connecticut she still calls Wisconsin home, with her love of cheese and Wisconsin sports teams.
Sophie joined the Earthplace senior leadership team in March 2019. Sophie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Zoology from Royal Holloway, University of London and has worked in non-profit development for over nine years. Sophie manages the annual fund, major gifts and events, as well as overseeing marketing initiatives.
Sophie lives in Westport with her family, two cats, two dogs (and a horse).
Mary is from Oakville, Connecticut and joined the Harbor Watch team in February 2020. She has a B.S. in Natural Resources and the Environment from the University of Connecticut, where she studied Water and Climate Resources. Her studies focused on freshwater wetland ecosystems of the Northeast.
As the Research Assistant, she is involved in sample collection in the field, processing samples in the lab, and entering and processing Harbor Watch’s data.
Pete has over 30 years of experience in the environmental field as an educator, aquarist, manager and researcher at Earthplace. He holds a BA and MS in biology from the University of Bridgeport and is a published co-author on a study on American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) hemoglobin. He was also the editor of Connecticut Naturalist magazine from 1976-1995. Pete maintains the financial and budgetary records for Harbor Watch as well as the water quality databases for data analysis and reporting. Additionally, he provides technical support for the development of the Quality Assurance Testing Protocols and acts as a team leader for sample collection.
Devan joined the Harbor Watch team in February 2018 as the Unified Water Study Equipment Loan Program Coordinator and began in her current position of Science Operations Coordinator in January 2019. She moved to Connecticut in 2014 from Pennsylvania where she is originally from. She holds a B.S in Marine Science-Biology from the University of Tampa. Devan’s primary responsibilities include the management and execution of Earthplace research projects, contributing to Harbor Watch’s ongoing water quality research program, and management of Earthplace’s citizen scientists and other volunteers.
Kathy joined Earthplace’s Development & Marketing Department in May 2019. She comes to us with over seven years of experience in marketing communications specializing in event planning, WordPress-based websites, newsletters, proposals and reports, sales presentations, and database management. Kathy has also organized all aspects of domestic and international events including finance, logistics, and promotional design.
Kathy received her BA from Hamilton College. She currently resides in Westport with her daughter, son, and 2-year old Havanese.
I have been a part of the Earthplace family since 2015. I have worked as part of the visitor services team and marketing team in various roles and couldn’t be more excited in my current role as Operations Manager for education programs.
My favorite childhood memory is playing kickball in the summer with neighborhood kids and having to run home as soon as the street lights went on.
Sammy Riccio joined Earthplace the summer of 2018 after graduating from Franklin and Marshall with a B.A. in Biology. While in college, her research focused on plant pollinator interactions as well as museum education. At Earthplace, she predominantly teaches nature programs and creates the exhibitions in our museum.
In her spare time, Sammy is a hobbyist beekeeper and volunteers in the Yale Peabody Entomology department sorting and identifying their insect collections.
Nikki began interning with Harbor Watch in 2009 and was hired full time in October 2010. She holds a BS in environmental science and policy from Marist College. Nikki oversees Harbor Watch monitoring projects, provides technical support for the development of the Quality Assurance Testing Protocols, and acts as a team leader for sample collection and laboratory testing. She is also the co-coordinator of the education and volunteer programs and is a co-captain for the juvenile benthic marine fish trawl surveys.
Kasey started her journey with Harbor Watch in March of 2017 as a Research Assistant and in 2019 became the Laboratory Director. She came to us from Indiana and has a BS from Purdue University in Fishery and Aquatic Science and a minor in Wildlife Biology. She is responsible for managing the Harbor Watch Laboratory. This includes completing Quality Assurance Testing Protocols, maintaining ample lab supplies, keeping equipment in good working condition, and leading undergraduate interns. Outside of the lab, she assists with sample collection and processing, data entry, and analysis, and support of the various education programs.