The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station’s staff is composed of highly-qualified, award-winning science educators and administrative staff who bring with them professional experience, in-depth knowledge, and a broad range of skillsets.
Our instructors are highly passionate about marine biology and the study of coastal ecosystems. We love sharing this passion with curious children who have also discovered both the excitement and importance of marine life.
Charlene Mauro is the Director of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Through Pensacola State College, she teaches Marine Biology and Oceanography to area dual enrollment students who in turn educate young children that attend programs on site. In addition to serving as the Director of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, she serves as the first ever Science Specialist for the Santa Rosa County School District. Mrs. Mauro has successfully written grants to completely transform a vacant ranger station into a fully functional science field station. Since its official opening in August 2009, the station has been host to over 8,000 students and community members for programs concerning the local marine environments.
The award winning programs provide hands-on, feet-wet curriculum that educates and challenges participants of all ages how to be stewards of our marine environment. Knowing the immense positive impact that scientific research and teacher professional development has made on her career, Mrs. Mauro makes at least two professional presentations annually at local, state, and national levels. Past honors include National Marine Educator of the Year, Outstanding Florida High School Science Teacher of the Year, University of Florida Distinguished Educator, EPA’s Presidential Award, Gulf Guardian Award, Navarre area Citizen of the Year, University of West Florida Outstanding Young Alumnus, 2016 Johnette D. Bosarge Memorial Award, and a finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Mauro is an active member in professional and community groups including the Gulf Coast Ocean Observation Systems (GCOOS), Florida Association of Science Supervisors, National Marine Educators Association, National Science Teachers Association, and Rotary. By example, Charlene encourages her students to find their passion, seek opportunities, make a difference, and always continue to learn.
Biologist, Assistant Director
Heather received a BS in Biology from the University of West Florida. She is a REEF certified Eco-diver who has been trained in reef surveying. While working as an undergrad at the University of West Florida, she gained extensive field and lab experience studying water quality and monitoring local water systems. Heather has been appointed to serve on the Santa Rosa County Marine Advisory Committee and most recently selected for the NRDA Artificial Reef Project – Procurement Evaluation Committee. In these appointments, Heather aids in decision making on local marine issues. Heather was a student at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station and now is the Assistant Director.
Cris had the great fortune of moving a bike-ride away from Navarre Beach Marine Science Station after she left her position as Director of Education and Exhibits at Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. Her experience of working in the Education Departments of Harbor Branch Oceanographic, Sea World, IGFA, and the Brevard Zoo along with classroom teaching, has guided her in developing past camp curriculums and bringing in new ideas with Charlene. She has an M.E.d from the University of Florida and is a Master Florida Master Naturalist. Cris currently serves on the inaugural board for the Space Coast Regional Chapter, and writes for Charlene from Melbourne.
Lead Teacher, Grades 6-8
Mrs. Amy Cozart is a fourth year teacher in Santa Rosa County. She currently is teaching eighth grade science at Woodlawn Beach Middle School where she was Rookie of the Year in 2016. Mrs. Cozart is passionate about the marine ecosystem with her background in marine animal training. She has taken the passion of the marine environment by including Citizen Science lesson projects on the invasive lionfish. She has been able to provide this opportunity through nearly $15,000 in awarded grants for the project. Mrs. Cozart is an active member in professional and community groups including the National Marine Educators Association, National Science Teacher Association, and Gulf Breeze Will Do.
Lead Teacher, Grades K-2
Emily Simon is a Kindergarten teacher at West Navarre Primary School. She attended North Carolina Wesleyan College and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with a certification in Education K-6. Emily is a member of the Florida Marine Science Educator Association and the Florida Geographic Alliance. She was Santa Rosa County Rookie of the year in 2013 and was awarded West Navarre Primary’s 2017 Teacher of The Year. She was born in Milton and raised in Fort Walton Beach. Her parents and grandparents instilled the love of our local waters and the importance of taking care of it while enjoying it. Emily has been married for 18 years to Rob Simon and they have three children- Bobby 15, Emma 13, and Elijah 10. In her spare time Emily enjoys paddle boarding and hiking.
Lead Teacher, Grades 3-8
Outdoors and animals have always been a fascination to Danna Chatwell. Studying every detail from why it moves like it does to how it acquires its food. Danna graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Elementary Ed 1-6, General Special Education K-12 and received a Master of Education in Science 1-9. Of all the grades she has taught, 7th grade has been her favorite. Danna came to Woodlawn Beach Middle School 7 years ago and have loves every minute teaching science. Going to work is not only a joy but also her hobby. When the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station opened its doors another dream came true. To work out doors learning about the wonderful place we live and the wildlife that surrounds us was a summer job that was too good to be true. Not only does she enjoy working near the Gulf of Mexico, she LOVES surfing in it. Sitting on the outside waiting for a wave and watching the wildlife pass underneath completes her love for science.
Lead Teacher, Grades K-5
Jordan West received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in psychology and went on to Washington, D.C. for two years where she worked on Capitol Hill. Now, she is coming up on her third year teaching. She taught third grade for two years and is now teaching fifth grade. At Oriole Beach Elementary she serves as a STEAM teacher and a Discovery Educator Network Ambassador. She has been involved with the Marine Science station from the beginning when it was established in 2009.
Lauris Joyner, Lead Teacher grades 6-12
Lauris Joyner has been a science Teacher for 20+ Years. He has taught Biology, Biology Honors, Biology AP, Physics, Physical Science, Earth/Space Science, Astronomy, and Marine Science. Past honors include Navarre High School’s Teacher of the Year in 2010. Lauris has spent his entire life fishing, swimming and boating in the marine environment.
Lead Teacher grades 6-8
Glenn Rutland has been in the classroom for 33 years. (21 of those years have been in Santa Rosa County). During that time she has taught Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, Life Science, and gifted learners in Middle and Elementary schools in Georgia and Florida. Glenn was a finalist for the NASA astronaut Teacher in Space program. As a result of this accomplishment she has been a member of NASA/NEAT (Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers) for the past eight years. Glenn presents many teacher workshops using materials and knowledge gathered from the NASA education program. Rothschild Middle School Teacher of The Year, Holley-Navarre Intermediate Teacher of the Year, Air Force Association State of Florida Aerospace Teacher of The Year and Wilmington College Educator Alumni Award are just a few of the accolades that Glenn has received during her teaching career. Although she has relocated to Georgia, Glenn is still involved at the station during the summer.
Pete Della Ratta
FYCCN/Guy Harvey Fishing Camp
Pete DellaRatta grew up in Gulf Breeze, Florida since he was 5 years old and after graduating from Gulf Breeze High he attended the University of South Alabama on a baseball scholarship. Pete went on the play Professional Baseball as well as Manage /Coach professional baseball for parts of 8 years for numerous teams. Fishing has become a lifelong passion that has transcended into his professional career. He began his teaching career in 2004 at Woodlawn Beach Middle and after 7 years transferred to Holley Navarre Middle as the Dean of Students where he is currently on staff. He has managed to develop, finance and implement educational programs for the past 10 years which has taught thousands of middle school students the importance of fishing, boating and conservation. Students are able to learn various aspects of fishing, boating, and conservation during school time for all students in the 7th grade as well as receive a rod and reel of their own through Grants provided by Fish Florida. Through various grants/donations from other entities, Pete has helped maintain Kid’s Fishing Clinics for numerous organizations from the Optimist Club, Sertoma, Rotary, Boy/Girl Scouts, Church Organizations, Local Fishing Clubs, the Navarre Pier, Masonic Lodge Special Needs Clinic, Pensacola State College, as well as helped bring fishing, boating, & conservation clinics to numerous other schools in Santa Rosa County. Last year Pete was the Lead Instructor at the Guy Harvey Clinics and will resume that role with help from Mike Flowers and numerous other individuals. Pete’s love for the water and passion for teaching has helped students from around the area learn various aspects of fishing, boating, and conservation which will help to make a difference in our community and in the lives of our future stewards of the water.
The ULTIMATE Kayak Guide
“Kayak Dave” Barker, returned to Navarre 1997 after working in sewing factory for 14 years, to pursue all things kayak. Kayak Eco-tour guide 17 yrs. IFAS FL Master Naturalist student/instructor. He is a volunteer for Santa Rosa Marine Extension, Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center and Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary. Dave is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.