Board of Directors
Arthur Kopelman, Ph. D.
Dr. Arthur "Artie" Kopelman is a population ecologist whose research interests, since 1987 include the study of fin, humpback, and other whales of New York and New England; and since 1995, the population dynamics of pinnipeds 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. He received his Ph.D. in Biology in 1982 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. Dr. Kopelman was named to the position of Professor Emeritus of Science and became only the 9th Professor Emeritus in FIT's 75 years
In May 2010, Dr. Kopelman was appointed a 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 Service Professor Emeritus
Dr. Kopelman is a board member of Save the Great South Bay, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Marine Mammals at SUNY Stony Brook, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
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 Masters 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 teaches outdoor nature programs for Seatuck Environmental Association and is 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. It’s Facebook Group has over 2100 members as of July 1st, 2015, mostly from towns along Long Island's South Shore. Save The Great South Bay brings together committed local citizens, baymen, fishermen and marine scientists who seek to breathe life back into a dying bay so that their children and grandchildren can fish, clam, swim and sail as they had.
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 Squ, Union Squ, 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.
Mike Mc Kenna is currently the systems and database coordinator for Eastern Suffolk BOCES and has been working on developing applications in the educational industry for over 36 years. Mike has always had a passion for marine life since he was a child and spends most of his free time volunteering for two non-profit organizations the Riverhead Foundation and CRESLI.
While at the Riverhead Foundation over the past 18 years has assisted 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 assisted in data collecting on whale watches and seal walks for the past 9 years and currently a member of the board of directors at CRESLI representing volunteers.
Sixto E. Portilla is currently an adjunct lecturer of Ichthyology, Physical Oceanography and Science of Natural Systems, and runs the marine labs in the Department of Earth and Marine Sciences at Dowling College. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the City University of NY, investigating the effect of 2 omega-3 fatty acids on the cold weather adaptability of the hard shell clam, Mercenaria mercenaria. In 2015 he began investigating the environmental factors preceding historic fishkills of Atlantic menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus, some claiming 100s of thousands of fish per event, through the lens of cell membrane homeoviscous adaptation. His presentation today describes the development of a theory linking diet and decreasing atmospheric temperature to these massive menhaden fishkills.
Mr. Douglas Schmid has been a science and environmental educator for over 28 years and currently leads 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.