Sheryl Christy Gilmore

Position at AIO: Executive Director
I’ve worked at AIO: 41 years… time flies when you’re having fun!
I’m from… Michigan
Right now I live in… Michigan and Maine and Florida
My favorite area of study is… Everything!

Sheryl Christy Gilmore, the Executive Director and Owner of AIO, is beginning her 41st season. For 15 years, Sherry taught and directed environmental education programs in southern Maine. She received her B.A. & teaching certification from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and continues working towards her Masters in Science Education. Other experiences include classroom teaching, teacher training and teaching marine biology from a 101 ft ship on Puget Sound. Sherry has taught marine science in the local schools and has written curriculum for classroom teachers and started offering workshops to bring the outdoors into the classroom before it was fashionable back in the 1980’s. She is PADI certified, and developed and runs AIO’s Tropical programs and the Florida Exploration program. For many years, she has been working with other Healthy Ocean Coalition members nationwide and the Ocean Conservancy, meeting with Congress members in Washington, DC to share our work and encourage them to keep a focus on important ocean issues. She is also working on expanding the “winter” program offers to include trips to explore other marine environments around the world.  Her other interests include marine mammals, coastal ecology, traveling, music and her family.

Jim Gilmore

Position at AIO: Associate Directer
I’ve worked at AIO: 33 years
I’m from… Illinois
Right now I live in… Michigan and Florida
My favorite area of study is… Documentary film

Jim Gilmore, Associate Director/Co-Owner of AIO, is Professor of Cinematic Arts and Visiting filmmaker at Flagler College in Saint Augustine. Previously, he was Clinical Professor of Journalist & Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he taught courses in media production, documentary and photojournalism.  For 33 seasons, Jim has worked behind the scenes on advertising, promotion & administration. He holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College and M.A. in Broadcasting and Film from the University of Iowa. Jim is an award- winning documentary filmmaker and President of his own production company, Acadia Pictures. His new documentary, Fielding Dreams: A Celebration of Baseball Scouts, recently premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival and won a Telly Award for Long Form Documentary.

Kathy Dubbs

Position at AIO: Co-Director of Programs
I’ve worked at AIO: 34 years
I’m from… Michigan
Right now I live in… Texas
My favorite area of study is… Geology and Biology

Kathy Dubbs returns as the AIO Co-Director for her 34th summer. With a B.A. in Biology from Kalamazoo College in Michigan and a M.S. in Geology from Stephen F. Austin University in Texas, Kathy is currently teaching Geology and Oceanography at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. She has spent several years teaching marine studies and env. education in a variety of ecosystems. Previously a teacher/ program director for an environmental center in New England as well as an instructor of tropical marine ecology in Florida, Kathy also teaches in the Jamaica, Belize, Bermuda and Florida programs. She is also PADI & Life Guard certified. Her interests include hiking, running, birding and wildlife conservation. Each spring, she and her husband, Tim, volunteer for the National Park Service patrolling for nesting sea turtles along the Texas Gulf Coast. And she always wins at backgammon!

Timothy Dubbs

Position at AIO: Co-Director of Programs
I’ve worked at AIO: 29 years
I’m from… Texas
Right now I live in… Texas, of course!
My favorite area of study is… Geology and Physical Oceanography

Timothy Dubbs is joining us for his 29th summer as the Co-Director of Programs. He has a B.S. in Environmental Geology from the U. of Mississippi, a M.S. in Environmental Science and a B.A. in Anthropology from the U. of Texas, Dallas. Tim has taught and directed in science field programs in New York and Texas. Most recently, Tim was a core teacher at Houston’s ISD’s Outdoor Education Center where he spent more than 25 years. Additionally, he has been a classroom science teacher within the Texas public school system. Tim devotes much time and effort to environmental issues including sea turtle conservation and wilderness preservation. He has research experience in alpine ecology at UTD field camp in Colorado, habitat survey and restoration in Wyoming and has studied at the Black Hills geology field camp. He is a PADI certified scuba diver and a YMCA trained lifeguard. Tim is a blues music aficionado, has skydiving experience, and also has interest in historic aircraft and auto racing.

Matt Lubicky

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 21 years
I’m from… Illinois
Right now I live in… New Jersey
My favorite area of study is… Marine Ecology

Matt Lubicky will return for his 21st summer. For the past 6 years, he’s been teaching earth science, honors biology, and robotics at Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, New Jersey. Prior to this he spent seven years working for Houston ISD Outdoor Education Center where he was an Outdoor Education Leader. Matt has a B.A. and B.S. from UNH with degrees in English and Marine/ Freshwater Biology, respectively. He spent a year teaching honors Biology at Dover High School where he enjoyed teaching about the intersection of science and history, whaling and evolution. He has conducted research on the Atlantic Cod stock in the Gulf of Maine and studied at SEA Semester, sailing from Honolulu to San Francisco while completing research on phytoplankton in the Pacific. Matt has worked for the AIO Tropical and Florida programs, as a substitute teacher and a volunteer/tutor at 826 NYC’s Superhero Supply Co. In his free time, Matt enjoys just about everything outdoors, from Ultimate Frisbee to photography to woodworking and visiting thrift stores.

Chris Cayo

Position at AIO: Recreation Staff
I’ve worked at AIO: 14 years
I’m from… Miami, Florida
Right now I live in… Miami, Florida
My favorite area of study is… Fishing

Chris Cayo returns to us for his 14th summer as an AIO Staff member. Chris (or CJ as many of us call him) has attended more of the AIO programs as a student than anyone and now he’s pleased to be working with the students as a staff member. He lives in Miami, Florida in the summer and sometimes winters in Colorado so he can partake in two of his favorite past times: diving and skiing. CJ has extensive SCUBA experience and helps oversee our salt water tanks during the summer and shows us all up with his diving skills on the Belize programs. He has worked with injured youth and veterans for several years and loves giving back!

Alicia Navarrete

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 10 years
I’m from… Rochester, New York
Right now I live in… Moorestown, New Jersey
My favorite area of study is… cultural anthropology

Alicia Navarrete returns to AIO for her 10th summer with extensive teaching experience, including 8 years with the Houston ISD Outdoor Education Center, the Rochester Rotary Sunshine Campus for students with disabilities, Little Tree Education (a Montessori school), and Kinderker (a bilingual pre-school in Nicaragua). Alicia has a BS in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego. Currently, Alicia is a Senior Faciliatator at the Princeton-Blairstown center, which provides adventure-based, experiental education to youth from historically marginalized communities. Alicia is a certified ACCT Level II practitioner, a wilderness first aid responder and a certified lifeguard. She loves to travel and relishes outdoor activities of any and all sorts, performing basic carpentry and going to movies.

Gabrielle Dietrich

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 2 years
I’m from… Connecticut
Right now I live in… Connecticut
My favorite area of study is… Humanities, Performing Arts and Life Sciences

Gaby Dietrick is joining us for her first as a teaching staff member bu has been a student in our program and was an intern in college. Since that time, Gaby has gone to earn her BA in Literature and Secondary Education from American University in Washington, DC and her Masters in Social Justice in Education from Trinity University also in DC. Though she is from CT originally, for the past 10 years, Gaby has taught elementary and middle school students in Washington, Virginia, and Maryland.  In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming and traveling. Gaby is excited to return to MDI and AIO this summer!

Bruce Stephen

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 14 years
I’m from… Lincoln, Nebraska
Right now I live in… Lincoln, Nebraska… after many years spent in other parts of the country
My favorite area of study is… Language and culture

Bruce Stephen is returning to AIO for his 14th summer. He had spent many summers with us starting in 1994 and then went on to conduct field survey work throughout the country, returning to Acadia National Park for research a couple of times. Besides the summers, Bruce is an instructor in all of our winter programs (Jamaica, Bermuda, Belize and Florida). He publishes about his work regularly and has also written a few self-published books on marine science topics that can be found at Amazon. For the past 16 years, he has taught Biology, Genetics and Marine Biology at a college in Lincoln, Nebraska but is now teaching marine science and statistics to graduate students at Unity College in Maine. Teaching both undergrad and graduate classes, he recently developed a new graduate class about the impact of marine predators on coastal ecosystems. He also works with exemplary high school students to design and implement research projects. He has been working with disabled adults this past year as a job coach. When he’s not working in academics, Bruce teaches drumming and plays drums in his band, Tolerating Bob. They’ve recently released two songs found on Spotify and iTunes. Bruce has his BS in Biology from SUNY College at Cortland, his Master’s of Science in Biology/Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts and his Ph.D in Applied Ecology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His family has spent many summers in Owls Head, Maine so he’s looking forward to returning to the east coast again!

Rosalind Bailey

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 2nd summer
I’m from… Vermont
Right now I live in… Florida and soon to be California!
My favorite area of study is… studying coral conservation and how climate change affects our coastal communities

Rosalind Bailey joins us for her second summer as a member of the teaching staff. Rosie is another member of the staff who has also been a student in the program. She has won several scholarships and internships for her work in science, most notably the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship which took her to Hawaii where she was an educational outreach intern at the Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center. Rosie has spent the past two years as a research assistant in the Putnam Lab at URI and was at the Bermuda Biological Institute of Science in the fall of 2021. Other work experiences include Ogontiz Camp as a crew manager and as a pharmacy tech. She spent this past year working at Disney in Florida, traveling to Hawaii and planning for grad school.  She joins the Catalina Island Marine Institute staff in California starting this fall.  We’re excited to have Rosie back as a staff member!

Emily Shopland

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 6 years
I’m from… East Hardwick, Vermont
Right now I live in… Saco, Maine
My favorite area of study is… cetacean behavior

Emily Shopland is joining us for her 6th summer as a teaching staff member but she is no stranger to AIO. She (and her brother) have been students in the program, too. Emily received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Biology from the University of Rhode Island and then started her teaching career at the Compass School before moving into her own classroom of 5th and 6th grade students to teach Math and Science at the Danville School in Vermont. After a lifetime in Vermont, Emily moved to Maine where she teaches 5th grade at Alfred Elementary School in Sanford. She spent four summers at W. Alton Jones Environmental Education Center in Rhode Island as an outdoor science educator. Emily is looking forward to returning to AIO and sharing her love of the ocean and our program to a new generation of students. Welcome back, Emily!

Akiva Garfield

Position at AIO: Teacher of Oceanography
I’ve worked at AIO: 4th summer
I’m from… Oneonta, NY
Right now I live in… New Paltz, NY
My favorite area of study is… Geology and Astronomy

Akiva Garfield is back for his 4th year as a staff member after graduating from SUNY New Paltz in New York with a BS in Geology, a minor in Astronomy and his Master’s in secondary education. He has spent time identifying areas of erosion and other threats to streams in Delaware County. Last summer he was a Watershed Steward with the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership where he worked at educating boat owners on preventative actions to avoid spreading invasive species of plants. Akiva has also spent many years lifeguarding and is a competitive swimmer. This year, Akiva has started rock climbing and working at the SUNY planetarium as well but took 6 months to travel and learn in Australia. He is currently teaching 10th grade Earth Science at Spackenkill High School in NY.  Welcome back, Akiva!

Grace Gilmore

Position at AIO: Head Cook
I’ve worked at AIO: many years
I’m from… Michigan
Right now I live in… Baltimore, Maryland
My favorite area of study is… Alicia Navarette

Grace Gilmore is returning for her 12th summer and her 5th as the Head Cook (she makes wicked good food!). In previous summer’s she has held several positions as a part time chef’s assistant, teaching staff member and Intern Coordinator. Grace graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan with her B.A. and from Sarah Lawrence College in NY with her M.F.A. In the off season, Grace is an actor, stage manager, lighting designer and has performed at the Kennedy Center, studied theatre in London, and spent two seasons as a principal acting member at the Mercury Store in NYC. Grace currently works for Loyola University in Maryland in the Career Center and is getting married in early June. She’ll put on her chef’s hat for another summer!

Griffin Gilmore

Position at AIO: Chef
I’ve worked at AIO: 10
I’m from… Maine
Right now I live in… Michigan
My favorite area of study is… Japanese Language

Griffin Gilmore is returning for his 10th summer at AIO. He graduated from McNally Smith College of Music with his Associates Degree in music performance and will graduate this fall with a B.A. in Japanese Languagur and Culture from Eastern Michigan University. He spent his fall semester studying in Osaka, Japan. When he’s not studying Japanese, Griffin is an avid skateboarder. Welcome back, Griffin!

Steven Gourley

Position at AIO: Staff
I’ve worked at AIO: 3rd year
I’m from… McDonough, Georgia
Right now I live in… Summerfield, FL
My favorite area of study is… Marine mammals

Steven Gourley returns for his 3rd summer as a teaching staff member.  . He continues to pursue his studies as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi where he is pursuing a degree in Marine Biology though he’ll be transferring to a Florida college this fall.  Steven has been volunteering at the Hattiesburg Zoo, working closely with zoo keepers to care for the animals. He has also been working with the Sawfish Conservation Society to get the word out about their endangerment.   He’s looking forward to working with the AIO students this summer and we look forward to having him!

Pam Shelton, RN

Position at AIO: Nurse
I’ve worked at AIO: 13 years
I’m from… Maine
Right now I live in… Portland, Maine
My favorite area of study is… Sailing

Pamela Shelton RN is returning for her 13th summer as our nurse. Pam has worked in many different areas of nursing and she is certified in case management… being sure the patient is receiving proper care. She has been involved in home health care, alternative nursing, occupational health, and hospice work and spent five years at Mercy Hospital in Portland. Pam has also been a RN Clinical Instructor and, most recently, she has been working in Maine schools as a substitute school nurse. This experience has been invaluable in how to navigate the pandemic with children so they’ll be in good hands this summer! She’s also a sailor from way back. Pam is grateful to be returning to beautiful Mt. Desert Island (and we’re incredibly grateful for her)!

Lars Ruecker

Position at AIO: Oceanography Intern Staff
I’ve worked at AIO: 3 years
I’m from… Massachusetts
Right now I live in… Maine
My favorite area of study is… Marine Biology and Policy

Lars Ruecker is currently a senior at the University of Maine Orono working towards a BS in Marine Science.  Lars was a student in our program several times and has also attended all of our winter programs.  He has worked as an intern during the summer of 2022 and came back for our last session to help out last year.  This year, he’s returning for the full summer again and, we’re hoping, as a teaching staff in 2025.  He is currently researching octopuses and other cephalopods.  When he’s not in classes or working, Lars was on the rowing team and enjoys hiking, swimming and most other outdoor activities.  Welcome back, Lars!

Anna Kathawala

Position at AIO: Intern Staff
I’ve worked at AIO: First summer
I’m from… New York City
Right now I live in... Berkeley, California
My favorite area of study is… Environmental History and Policy

Anna Kathawala has been a student at AIO is now joining us on the staff as one of our oceanography interns.  She is a sophomore at UC Berkeley in California, studying Environmental Policy and Political Science with a minor in German.  Even though marine science isn’t her academic focus, marine conservation is a big part of the work in environmental policy and something that AIO does each year working with the Healthy Oceans Coalition and Ocean Conservancy. Anna continues to explore her love for the ocean through traveling and snorkeling. In her free time, she loves doing anything outdoors (triathlon, hiking, climbing, kayaking), baking, reading, and going on adventures.  She’s looking forward to indulging those hobbies in one of the most beautiful spots in the world this summer!

Ronan Gilmore

Position at AIO: Kitchen Staff
I’ve worked at AIO: 4 year
I’m from… Michigan
Right now I live in… Michigan
My favorite area of study is… theatre and history

Ronan Gilmore has been at AIO since he was born and has worked in the kitchen for 3 summers, off and on.  He is currently in his second year at Lake Michigan College and is pursing a liberal arts education for now while exploring his options.  He is the captain of his Esports team and is earning a certificate in esports as well. He also a member of the international Thespian society and is also studying voice.  Welcome back, Ronan!

Tyler Ritchey

Position at AIO: Kitchen Staff
I’ve worked at AIO: 2 year
I’m from… Michigan
Right now I live in… Michigan
My favorite area of study is… gaming, making pizzas and watching anime

Tyler Ritchey is returning for his second summer on the kitchen staff.  Tyler is a pizza professional and is currently a manager at Cottage Inn Pizza in Ypsilanti, MI. He is an avid skateboarder and his favorite animal is a cat.  Looking forward to having you back, Neko!