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Kate Schafer’s lifelong love of the oceans and marine life was sparked in Woods Hole as a student in Bettina Dudley’s Advanced Marine Biology at CSS. A few years later she attended Stanford University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While living in Jamaica after graduation, she became fascinated with the incredible diversity of life on coral reefs, so she returned to California to earn her Ph.D. in integrative biology at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation research was largely spent in Belize, studying mantis shrimp and pygmy octopuses. While in Belize, she witnessed a coral bleaching event at her study sites. This experience and others have led her to commit to doing everything she can to stave off the climate crisis’s worst impacts and advocate for sustainability at every level. Kate has taught high school biology and environmental science for 16 years, and is now the chair of the science department at Sequoyah School in Pasadena. Her summers bring her to Woods Hole, for many years as a CSS instructor, and now as the school’s Director, where she is excited to pass her love of science and nature onto a new generation of students.
Jessica Rencher joins the CSS team every summer from the Rocky Mountains. She instructs teaching candidates at Colorado State University. Her Early Childhood Education courses focus on K-3 literacy, science, and math. Previously, Jessica dedicated her talent as a first-grade teacher inFort Collins, Colorado, a zip-line guide in the coastal Redwoods in Santa Cruz, California, and an advisor to international students at The American School in Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland. However, of all these adventures, teaching science in Woods Hole remains her all-time favorite experience. CSS gave Jessica her first official teaching job in 2010; the rest is history. She’s a passionate educator, an avid science enthusiast, and committed to being a life- long learner. Jessica graduated with a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in teaching from California Polytechnic State University and earned an M.Ed. from Colorado State University. Currently, she’s a Human Resources and Education doctoral candidate at CSU. Jessica enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing the violin, traveling, reading, skiing, and hiking with her Siberian Husky.
Becky Lash is often endearingly referred to as the ‘keeper of the school.’ She has been involved with the Children’s School of Science almost every summer since 1963, when she was just a wee lass in Seashore Life. She is passionate about science education and creating engaging experiments! Becky’s teaching career started at CSS in 1977, with some summers off here and there. Among her favorite classes to teach are Entomology and Ornithology. Before her extensive teaching career, Becky went to Penn and Cornell, where she earned her degrees. Recently, the CSS Board convinced her to join the leadership team. She plays an instrumental role in developing innovative courses while honoring the long-standing traditional CSS classes. Becky considers teaching in Falmouth Public Schools, being an aquarist at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, and being a landscaper/gardener three of her most enjoyable jobs. She is currently obsessed with being part of the New England Aquarium’s sea turtle rescue and rehab team. Take some time this summer to chat with Becky about her work with the sea turtles!
2023: Susan Burke, Catherine Cramer, Eric Hines, Eve Weiss
2024: Elizabeth Chappell, Roger Colinvaux, Joe DeGiorgis, Christine Field, Virginia Land McGuire
2025: Ronnie Cooperstein, Chris Kinkade, Jennifer Sheetz, Aminta Steinbach
President: Roger Colinvaux
Vice President: Virginia Land McGuire
Treasurer: Ronnie Cooperstein
Clerk: Chris Kinkade
Curriculum Chair: Becky Lash
Teaching Assistants Chair: Josh Olins
Recording Secretary: David Epstein
Ways and Means Committee Chairs: Gail Diamond, Emily Yang
Archives: Dorothea Mautner, Charlotte Emans Moore
Entrance Desk: Ellie Armstrong
Extension Classes: Susan Laster, Susan Burke
Hospitality: Erin Meyer, Elizabeth Smylie
Newsletter: Naomi Altschul
Sustaining Fund: Roger Colinvaux, Kitty Brown, Jackie Stephen, Becky Lash, Gideon Moore