35246 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Home Port Marina
135 Orange St.
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Alan is the CMERA Director of Operations and Development. He creates teaches and creates new programs and classes to constantly update and improve the learning experience at CMERA. He is a United States Coast Guard licensed masters boat captain and has many years of experience in field research, handling and tagging animals, and species identification. He previously owned and operated a scuba diving charter company that was in Sport Diver Magazine UK and on the Military Channel documentary Quest for Sunken Warships: USS Oriskany. He also has numerous years of experience in law enforcement with the federal government. You can contact Alan at email@example.com
Paige Plier - Lead Marine Biologist
Paige is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife science and a minor in captive wild animal management. She also received her M.A. from the University of Florida in Environmental Science. She has worked as an Environmental Specialist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Pensacola. Paige is passionate about increasing awareness of modern day environmental issues and reviving positive human relationships with wildlife.
Matilda Miller - Marine Biologist
Matilda is a graduate of the University of Tampa. Matilda has been volunteering with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on the dive team to increase her experience with diving and marine animals. She is also working on a research project focusing on the feeding frequencies of dwarf seahorses in different temperature environments. This is Matilda's fourth year working with CMERA tagging and collecting data on elasmobranchs in the Gulf of Mexico. Matilda is planning on going into field research after obtaining her masters degree. You can contact Matilda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacey Jackard - Biologist
Jacey is from Haslett, MI where she graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife. Growing up, she spent most of her time outdoors or doing gymnastics, and later began to coach the sport after high school. Before CMERA, Jacey was a Park Naturalist at a nature center in Michigan, where she taught kids about flora and fauna. As much as she loves Michigan and the sport of gymnastics, aquatics and wildlife are her true passions. She is scuba certified and loves spending most of her time outdoors being active and in the water. This is her second year with CMERA, starting as a student and now continuing as an intern. She is excited to continue her professional and educational experiences so she can teach future generations.
MaKAyla Nguyen - Biologist
MaKayla is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello with a bachelor’s degree in Organismal Biology and a minor in natural sciences. Her undergrad research detailed the effects recreational activities had on mussel populations in the Lower Saline River. MaKayla plans to pursue a master’s degree in Marine Biology.
Moriah Moore - Marine Biologist- Consultant
Moriah has a master's degree in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies from Coastal Carolina University, a bachelor's degree in Marine Biology from the University of West Florida and a United States Coast Guard Captains masters license. Her specialty is elasmobranchs, but she is very knowledgeable in all areas of marine biology and has experience teaching marine biology at elementary, college, and public levels. She has gained experience in field research with different organizations around the globe, and has conducted her own independent elasmobranch research for several years.
While in undergraduate school, Moriah wanted to take as many opportunities as she could to gain experience in her field so that she would be a better candidate for graduate programs and for getting a job. She found several opportunities in the US and abroad and began the lengthy application processes for several organizations. These internships and research opportunities were very expensive and it was actually easier to get accepted into a study abroad organization than it was to get a position in the US. Moriah took a 10 week internship in Auckland, New Zealand and gained valuable experience with lab equipment and lab procedures, but did not get to do much field work at all. During those 10 weeks only about 16 hours were spent in the field. Many of the other interns in New Zealand had flown halfway around the world from landlocked states, had never done any field work, and expected to gain that experience through the internship. They were very disappointed. Moriah was still able to gain some field experience from her classes at the University of West Florida, but did not get to work in the field enough to add anything to her resume. Many of Moriah's friends opted for an internship at several labs and aquariums in the US, and again they were very disappointed to find that most of their time was spent in the lab or preparing food for animals at the facility, and only a few hours a week (if any) were spent in the field or working directly with the animals at the facility.
CMERA was founded to provide students the unique opportunity to be in the field and work directly with marine life. This program was designed to be 100% hands-on and in the field, so that each day you spent with CMERA you are on a boat catching and handling live animals. We are trying to give students the chance to use equipment, handle wild animals, and to participate in ongoing research. Many students choose a major without having any experience in their field of study. CMERA provides that experience so students can get a feel for real science outside a classroom or lab. Our application process is simple and we try to accommodate every applicant as best we can.
We hope that this experience will ignite a passion for science and research in the students involved, and we hope that this experience will help guide each student's path after they graduate. This experience has helped many of our previous students choose a specialty for graduate school, get accepted into other internships and into a career and we are thrilled to assist in that process!