Marine Educator - Danielle has a B.S. degree in Animal Behavior Research from the University at Buffalo and a M.S. degree in Environmental Science from SUNY Brockport. She has an advanced SCUBA certification and even lived in Fiji for a month while she dove with and studied sharks on a marine reserve. Danielle has been studying sharks for several years and had previously worked at a public Aquarium in New York.
Sandy is an award winning author. Her book "Let the River Run Silver Again" has won accolades from Izaak Walton League of America, NSTA, and was recognized as the 2006 Green Earth book. She is a Marine Biologist (MS, UNC-Wilmington, 1989), science educator, and conservationist. During the past twenty years, she has worked with universities, state and local agencies, and private organizations throughout the middle Atlantic region on aspects of marine biology and the monitoring, conservation, restoration and interpretation of freshwater and marine systems. She presently lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where she consults and writes on environmental matters.
Andrew's knowledge of the marine environment goes beyond books - it is often derived from first hand experience! He grew up along the Atlantic coast, from Rhode Island to Florida, and even spent several years on the Pacific coast of Peru. Out of high school, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy. While there, Andrew's love for the ocean led him to learn how to SCUBA dive and he later became a SCUBA instructor. He has over 300 dives to his name in such far off locations as Victoria, Canada; Bonaire, Netherland Antilles; and Capri, Italy; as well as many local areas. Once out of the Navy, Andrew returned to school to earn a degree in Biology from Old Dominion University. While continuing his education, he served on the VA Marine Science Museum (VMSM) stranding team in VA Beach, rescuing whales and other injured marine animals. This led to a position with the education department of VMSM, where Andrew worked for several years. Upon recognizing the need for marine education resources in the DC Metropolitan area, Andrew founded Under the Sea in 1995.
Mary Beth Wilson
Summer Camp Director and Volunteer Coordinator - Abbie is a recent graduate of Northeastern University's Marine Biology undergraduate programs. A native of New England, she grew up on her parents' sailboat and tidepooling along the coast of Maine. She has worked on whale watches, marine biology summer camps, and urban farms. She is a NAUII certified SCUBA diver and has dived in Panama, Boston, Puget Sound, and Thailand. If she was a sea creature, she'd be a humpback whale and the only thing she loves more than the natural world is teaching about it.
Marine Educator - Sarah Ramsden cares for a collection of fish and reptiles, such that she has been called curator of her own little zoo. After an odd year pretending to be a professional oboe player, she completed her B.S. in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University studying catfish sound production. From 2013-2015, she studied the seasonal migrations of Atlantic stingrays while completing her M.S. in Marine Sciences at Savannah State University. Fun Fact: Sarah was terrified of sharks until she was about 10; now she takes every opportunity to kiss them!
Mary Beth grew up in Southern California; on a second grade field trip, she learned about leatherback sea turtles, and she proceeded to lecture anyone she met about keeping plastic trash out of the ocean. She studied art and biology the College of William and Mary, and spent the next ten years doing work ranging from graphic design, to coordinating special orders for Barnes & Noble, to freelance costume design, to custom framing. And then Mary Beth met Andrew... she has worked as admin & bookkeeper, outreach instructor, and Assistant Director/staff supervisor for Under the Sea and now the Glen Echo Park Aquarium as well. She is also "Mommy" to the two greatest children ever born!! (And she really hates getting her picture taken.)
Natalie Wilson was born into science and she's never thought about moving to anything else except art! She started out as a budding paleontologist, then switched her discipline choice to paleoanthropology and archeology. Natalie can be seen at festivals and special events, teaching and demonstrating at a touch tank as well as people twice her age. In addition to her dozens of aquatic "pets", she has a ball python and a Basenji terrier.
Meet the Team
Our instructors are more than educated marine biologists - they are experienced teachers, too! Our director, Andrew, used to teach SCUBA and has gone diving in many locations. Sandy is an award winning environmental author.
To keep up with the latest news, we belong to various professional organizations such as NMEA (the National Marine Educators Association) and MAMEA (the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association). We both attend and speak at these conferences. We also subscribe to many journals, magazines, etc., to keep current with the latest news and discoveries in marine biology. Our instructors travel around the world to learn firsthand about the ocean and the creatures in it.