Board of Directors
Arthur Kopelman, Ph. D.
Dr. Arthur H. ("Artie") Kopelman, is one of the co-founders and president of the Coastal Research and Educational Society of Long Island. He is also CRESLI's senior scientist/naturalist, and web-master.
Dr. Kopelman is a population ecologist whose research interests, since 1987, include the study of finback, humpback, and other and whales of New York and New England; and since 1995, the population dynamics of the seals of NY. Through the use of photo-identification, Dr. Kopelman has been examining the site fidelity of harbor seals at Cupsogue Beach Park in Westhampton Beach, NY, since 2006. In 1982, he received his PhD in Biology from The Graduate School and University Center of CUNY.
Dr. Kopelman was a Full Professor of Science in the Department of Science and Mathematics, Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of NY, and retired in July 2020, after 39 years. He is now a Professor Emeritus (the 9th individual to receive this honor in FIT's 80 years). In May 2010, Dr. Kopelman was appointed to the rank of SUNY Distinguished Service Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor conferred upon instructional faculty in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Dr. Kopelman is now a SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Dr. Kopelman is also an Lecturer (part-time) at SUNY Stony Brook, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, teaching courses pertaining to marine mammals
Maria Brown has been recognized as High School Science Teacher of the Year from the Science Teachers Association of New York State and received the Terri Peters Grant for Forensic Analysis of Ancient Egyptian Artifacts from Archaeological Digs and the Geology Service Award. Ms. Brown is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Prior to becoming a science teacher, Ms. Brown was a Senior Environmental Scientist from EEA, Inc., where she was responsible for wetland restoration projects in the Long Island region. She was also an Environmental Scientist for Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation and a Field Ecologist/Geologist for TAMS Consultants, Inc. Ms. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Geology from Queens College, a Master's degree in Environmental Science from Long Island University, and is certified to teach General Science, Earth Science and Biology.
Amanda L Johnson, M.S. Ed.
Amanda is an elementary teacher on Long Island specializing in Early Childhood Nature Education. She received her Master's in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education in NYC in 1996. She has been actively involved, through volunteer work, in Long Island marine mammals since 1988. Amanda, the treasurer of CRESLI, is also one of its co-founders and develops the education outreach programs.
Amanda taught outdoor nature programs for Seatuck Environmental Association and was the head teacher and developer of Little Peepers, the first nature center-based program of its kind in Suffolk County. It is located at the South Shore Nature Center in East Islip. Little Peepers uses the natural world as the guiding theme when presenting science, art and music, math, language and literacy, dramatic play and other curriculum areas. In this way, they address each child's total development with an interesting and hands-on program that teaches children to love the world around them.
Marshall Brown, with Sayville High School '77 classmate Howard Ryan Founded Save the Great South Bay, an environmental non-profit dedicated to the bay’s revitalization at their 35th High School Reunion, just ten weeks before Sandy on August 4th, 2012. Marshal is now the Executive Director of the Long Island Conservancy, and organization dedicated to "restoring habitat wherever we can" by replacing invasive species with appropriate native species
Previously, Marshall Brown founded Wired Towns, a company dedicated to bringing wireless and web technologies to Main Streets anywhere. Marshall has a deep love of technology and its power to transform, especially on the local level. He believes that only through innovation can we hope to address the challenges of the day, whether these challenges are environmental or educational. As the Internet becomes pervasive, it is changing the way in which we consume, produce and distribute media, and how we interact socially and economically. He is committed to playing a role in shaping a future that is fast becoming a reality.
Prior to Wired Towns, Marshall Brown was Founder and CEO of Wi-Fi Salon, which began in 2002 as an advocacy group for public Wi-Fi in NYC. From Oct 2004 to Oct 2008, he delivered free public Wi-Fi to 10 major NYC parks (Central, Washington Square, Union Square, The Battery, Riverside, Prospect, Flushing Meadows, Van Cortlandt, Pelham Bay, and Orchard Beach) in 18 locations.
Prior to his life as a Wi-Fi entrepreneur, Marshall worked for 10 years in IT consulting, working with Fortune 1000s and start-ups alike. Prior to that, Marshall pursued a PhD in English. He was a Teaching Fellow at Harvard for 5 years. He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from The University of Chicago, and studied at Heidelberg and Columbia.
Monique is a 4th generation Sayville resident and local community activist. She received her BA from SUNY Stony Brook in 1983 and an R.N. in 2005. Ms. Dussault served 6 years with New York State Marine Mammals and Sea Turtle Stranding Program (1990-1996), is actively involved with marine environmental and conservation issues, and is a board member of the Long Island Mycological Club. She has been a CRESLI volunteer since 1996 and was elected to join the Board of Directors in 2004.
Marianne McNamara, Ph. D.
Dr. Marianne McNamara is a Professor of Biology at Suffolk County Community College. Specializing in marine biology, she spent several months at sea in nearby Long Island waters, as well as the Eastern Tropical Pacific and Antarctica, studying the feeding ecology of zooplankton. She has served as a naturalist and educator for numerous local organizations including the (former) Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, Ward Melville Heritage Organization, Long Island Divers Association, and the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island (CRESLI). She continues to work with CRESLI as a naturalist aboard summer whale watching trips out of Montauk.
Dr. McNamara was awarded the Jerry R. Schubel Graduate Fellowship for her role in transmitting science into forms that are accessible to the public and has participated in several workshops demonstrating the use of improvisation theatre exercises to improve scientific communication with actor Alan Alda. Dr. McNamara is advisor of the Marine Science Club she founded at SCCC and mentors students interested in pursuing marine biology and/or biology degrees and careers. She was and is a Co-PI on various NSF-funded STEM grants at SCCC and continues to promote scientific and ocean literacy as a traveling lecturer in SCCC’s Professors on Wheels program.
Mike Mc Kenna is a recently retired systems and database coordinator for Eastern Suffolk BOCES and had been working on developing software applications in the educational industry for over 40 years. Mike has always had a passion for marine life since he was a child and spends most of his free time volunteering for CRESLI. Volunteered for the Riverhead Foundation for 18+ years assisting in the rehab and the successful release of hundreds of seals and sea turtles back out in to the wild. As well as a number of dolphins and porpoises including the first Risso’s dolphin to be successfully released back in to the wild in North America. While at CRESLI, he has been a whale watch naturalist, and assisted in data collecting on whale watches and seal walks for the past 13 years and currently a member of the board of directors at CRESLI representing volunteers.
Mr. Douglas Schmid has been a science and environmental educator for over 28 years and led the Outdoor Environmental Education Program, which provides authentic field science experiences to tens of thousands of students each year. He has designed and led field research courses for students and teachers to study marine mammals on other species in Alaska, Patagonia, Dominica, Panama, Baja, etc. He has consulted for the New York State Education Department for science education matters and taught at Adelphi University, and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science at Nassau Community College. He has served in numerous professional organizations for science education and is the President of the Long Island Science Education Leadership Association
Kimberly "Ly" Williams
Kimberly "Ly" Williams, a New York State Master Teacher teaching for over 20 years, earned her BS in Biology/Marine Science and MS in Coastal Oceanography at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook, certified in 7-12 Earth Science, Biology and General Science 7-12 with a 5-6 Grade Extension, is an adjunct professor at SUNY Stony Brook teaching MAR 101 (Long Island Sound Science and Use) and MAR 104 (Oceanography), elective graduation requirements at Smithtown High School. She is passionate about bringing science opportunities to students, colleagues, and community, and serves as a board member or committee chair for several non-profits where she helps bridge the gap between science and the public. She has spent summers conducting research with scientists, colleagues, and students at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Roger Payne’s Whale Research Facility in Patagonia, aboard a variety of research vessels, serving as a “Teacher At Sea” for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and as a Marine Science Camp Director for underserved students from around NY. As a conservationist and water advocate she always looks forward to continuing her own learning, sharing her experiences with others, and encouraging everyone to spend as much time in the field with her as possible.