Maia Griffith was raised in Ventura County in Southern California where her parents instilled a love of the outdoors from an early age. She graduated in 2021 from University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies. As an undergraduate, Maia spent her time playing ultimate frisbee, working in research labs studying everything from autonomous underwater vehicles to kelp forests to mantis shrimp, and volunteering with the Berkeley Student Food Collective. After graduating, she helped conduct field research on juvenile salmonids in Northern California before moving to Hawaii to work for the Hawaii Island Hawksbill Project monitoring and protecting nesting female turtles and their hatchlings. Now on Pigeon Key, she is pumped to share her passion for all things ocean!
Katie McLaren was born and raised on the waters of Lake Michigan in Grand Haven, MI where she earned her Associates of Science degree from Grand Rapids Community College. Her summer job as a park attendant for the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation department founded her love for the outdoors and passion for the environment. This passion inspired her to move to Florida to continue her education and pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of South Florida in St Petersburg. While living in Florida she also spent eight months participating in the Disney college program at Walt Disney World when she drove trams in the Magic Kingdom parking lot. During her last semester at the University of South Florida she completed an internship on the USF Tampa campus doing behavior observations and data collection of domesticated mallard ducks. She is now extremely thrilled to be given the opportunity to teach the next generation of future environmentalists about the importance of environmental protection and marine conservation on Pigeon Key.
Belle Stallard was raised for much of her life in Okinawa, Japan, a small island in the Pacific surrounded by amazing marine and non-marine wildlife alike, which helped her develop a passion for animals and nature. She moved back to the States and to Virginia where she attended college. Belle got a B.S. Degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Psychology, taking a lot of classes focused on birds throughout her college career. She has worked with kids most of her life, from nannying and babysitting, to being a camp counselor. Most recently she worked at a zoo in Texas as an education intern, developing curriculum for education programs and summer school, running said programs, participating in career fairs, and doing special event work. Belle has a Wilderness First Aid Certification, is currently working on her SCUBA Open Water and plans on getting higher certifications in the future. She hopes to share her passion for the wilderness and exploring with the kids on Pigeon Key.
These three gals will aid in the running of our marine science education center, summer camps and outreach events. We will have an information booth and touch tank at the Marathon Seafood Festival on March 12th-13th this year!