Meet Our Staff
All SM&NC school programs are taught by professional environmental educators, many of whom hold Master's Degrees. Our educators all have extensive experience teaching children about nature and the natural sciences in both indoor and outdoor settings. We look forward to meeting your group!
Lisa Monachelli, Director of Education
Lisa has been with the SM&NC since 2010. She holds Bachelor's Degrees in Biology and English/Creative Writing from WV Wesleyan College and a Master's Degree in Environmental Education from Southern CT State University. Before coming to SM&NC, she worked for CT DEP Divisions of State Parks and Education, Maine Audubon Society and the New Canaan Nature Center. In 2009, she was named the Outstanding Outdoor Educator for Connecticut by the CT Outdoor & Environmental Education Assoc. Her favorite part of sharing nature with children is to instill appreciation for "nature's underdogs" - those plants and animals often disliked. She is responsible for scheduling all programs, creating many of our public programs, teaching school and after school programs. She is responsible for program scheduling, creating curricula, teaching school and public programs. She is also one of SM&NC's beekeepers and serves as our Summer Camp Director.
Kendall Musgrave, Environmental Education Supervisor
Kendall joined the SM&NC team in 2017. She holds a B.A. in History from Bates College in Maine and a MS in History by Research from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to coming to SM&NC, she served as a teacher-naturalist for the Connecticut Audubon Society and as an outreach museum educator for the Bruce Museum. While admittedly a history fanatic, Kendall loves to share her fascination with the natural world with students of all ages and to encourage them to explore and embrace their curiosity. As one of the educators for the school programs everywhere from the farm to after school programs, Kendall is happy to teach students about everything from strange animal adaptations to the medical applications of leeches.
Victoria Jaffery, Manager of Heckscher Farm Administration
Victoria has been with the SM&NC since 2007. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from the University of Rhode Island. Before coming to the SM&NC, she worked at the Bronx Zoo, the CT Humane Society and various horse farms in the area. As Co-Manager of Heckscher Farm, Victoria is responsible for the overall care of our animals, managing farm staff and volunteers and working with our oxen team and working goats. She teaches many of our farm classes, including Otterly Amazing and Hands-on Heckscher.
Mark Mogensen, Manager of Heckscher Farm Operations
Mark has been with the SM&NC since 2008. He Holds a B.A. in Natural Resource Management and Engineering with a concentration in Wildlife Management from the University of Connecticut. Before the SM&NC, he worked for the State of CT Department of Environmental Protection for three years. Mark has a true passion for everything outdoors with an affinity for wildlife and landscape photography. As Co-Manager of Heckscher Farm, Mark is responsible for the daily operation and the maintenance of all farm grounds and buildings. Mark also teaches many classes on the farm including Hands-on Heckscher and the Junior Curator Program. Mark can often be found outdoors on the grounds tending to the farm.
Daniel Brubaker, Farm and Environmental Educator
Daniel has been at the SM&NC since 2013. He holds Bachelor's Degrees in Biology and Environmental Science from Eastern Mennonite University and a Master's Degree in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining the SM&NC team, he has worked as a park naturalist at the Lancaster County Environmental Center and has studied spotted owls in California, coyotes in Yellowstone, leopards in South Africa, and lynx in Ontario. Daniel works with daily care of our farm animals, is one of our oxen teamsters, and also teaches many of our farm and nature-based school and after school programs. He is also one of SM&NC's beekeepers and manages our organic garden and native planted spaces.
Jessica Dowling, Environmental Educator & Art Specialist
Jessica joined the SM&NC education team in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Green Mountain College, a liberal arts school in Vermont that focuses on ecological, social, and economic sustainability. Jessica has worked as a Science Educator at The Maritime Aquarium and posseses a variety of experience as an artist and illustrator. She brings to the position a lifelong love of creativity and the natural world, as well as a desire to teach children about the importance of protecting our environment.
Kara Oulighan, Environmental Education & Visitor Experience Specialist
Kara joins the SM&NC's education team as of fall 2018, having been with the Museum as a visitor services ambassador, summer camp registrar, and part-time educator since 2017. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Fairfield University. While Kara loves the outdoors and creatures of all kinds, she has always been particularly fascinated with the study of nature's most "social animals"—humans—and is driven to help foster connections between them. In addition to teaching nature-based educational programs on and off-site, Kara is most eager to grow and develop engaging public programs, self-guides, and other enrichment tools for enhancing visitors' experience of both the SM&NC and the natural world.
Amanda Wiley, Environmental Educator & Early Childhood Specialist
Amanda has joined the SM&NC team in 2018. She received her B.A. in Biology from Keene State College and, later, earned her M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University. Through her career Amanda has worked in the Jaffrey Rindge Cooperative School district and with Mass Audubon, Nature's Classroom, the Boston Museum of Science and the Pine Mountain Settlement School in Kentucky. Amanda enjoys all aspects for environmental education, especially with early childhood participants, and enjoys sharing live animals with the public (especially the snakes and farm critters). She has a strong interest in geology, outer space, ocean systems, ecosystem patterns, and many of the arts. She is passionate about sharing these interests with others and is looking forward to meeting you at SM&NC! Amanda will be teaching our newly-formatted Wonder Art parent/child programs.
Logan DeCastro, Environmental Educator
Logan joined the education team in Fall of 2018 after completing an internship with SM&NC the previous spring. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Purchase College in Environmental Studies and Biology. Logan has worked with children in a variety of settings, as a New York State Park Ranger, a long-term rock climbing coach, and at a variety of day camps. He has a passion for sharing parks and natural spaces with visitors and will be teaching a variety of SM&NC school and after school programs.