Pre-College Programs

BELL: Florida Keys Faculty

Brown University The Tropical Coast: Florida Keys

Lauren Watka graduated from Brown University with a Master's in Environmental Studies in 2012 and continues to explore the natural, and specifically marine, world at every opportunity. She received a B.S. in biology and has conducted research at Brown University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dartmouth College in subjects from micro- and molecular biology to ecology. In addition to research, Lauren has worked as a fisheries scientist on a few New Bedford commercial fishing boats and as an educator with the New England Aquarium in Boston.  Now back at Brown, as a Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, Pre-College Programs, she enjoys the opportunity to learn alongside seasoned environmental education veterans and students new to the field. As a Providence resident, Lauren supports local food and fishery initiatives, bikes as a means of transportation, and serves with her church in the city.

Erik Donofrio recently finished his M.S. from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. While there he looked at the relationships between foraging success, optimal microhabitat selection, and water velocity in juvenile Chinook Salmon. Erik holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Lynchburg College in Virginia, where he double majored in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. He had the amazing opportunity to work with students as a Resident Assistant for 4 years as an undergraduate and as a Teaching Assistant for 3 years as a graduate student. In his time as a Teaching Assistant, he helped run the lab section of the Ecology class for the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. In between degrees, he worked for The Nature Conservancy on the Massachusetts Chapter’s Fire Management Team, where he assisted with the management of fire-adapted communities using prescribed fire and mechanical treatments. He has also worked with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, where he helped create sustainable trails to two 14,000-foot summits in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in Colorado. Originally from South Windsor, Connecticut, he now resides in Athens, Georgia where his hobbies include playing and watching sports, reading, birding, cooking, eating good food, and exploring the great city of Athens.

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