The Center for Science Learning (CSL) offers an array of programs and resources that inspire people to value the biological richness and cultural heritage of our diverse world and make a positive difference in its future. CSL initiatives are designed to foster science interest, understanding and engagement, and contribute to our understanding about how people learn science.
Betty A. Dunckel, Ph.D.
Program Director/Associate Scientist
Education: Betty received her bachelor’s from Cornell University and master’s degree in teaching from the University of New Hampshire. Her doctorate is from the University of Florida in science education, with a specialization in informal education.
Experience: Betty has formed innovative partnerships and developed numerous programs that promote science interest, understanding and engagement for diverse audiences. She also works with exhibit development, visitor research and program evaluation. Betty has received federal, state and foundation grants for her projects. She provides administrative oversight for all CSL programs and special projects.
Amy D. Hester
Education: Amy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in wildlife ecology and conservation, with a minor in zoology. She continued her education at UF, obtaining a master’s of fisheries and aquatic sciences.
Experience: Amy began her career in science conducting fish surveys for the U.S. Geological Survey. She quickly learned that while she loves science, her real passion is imparting her enthusiasm for science and nature to others, and fulfilled this passion as an environmental educator both domestically and internationally. Amy returned to her hometown in 2011 to work as the Florida Museum’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Florida Museum Projects: Volunteer orientations, volunteer newsletter, volunteer winter potluck, annual recognition reception, Junior Volunteers, assist with ButterflyFest, Earth Day and Collectors Day
Volunteer Program Assistant
Education: Eve is currently in UF’s Honor Program double majoring in Anthropology and Zoology.
Experience: Eve began her time at the Museum as a Junior Volunteer, serving as Camp Teacher Assistant, giving tours of exhibits such as Sue, and working with researchers in Lepidoptera.
Florida Museum Projects: While Eve participates in all aspects of the volunteer program, her main focus is on building the Museum’s relationships with youth and young adults.
School Programs Coordinator
Education: Dianne has a bachelor’s in science education from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in marine ecology from Old Dominion University.
Experience: Dianne has worked in education at the Florida Museum since 2007. Previous positions include marine extension agent with UF IFAS/Florida Sea Grant, natural resource specialist in Broward County and high school science teacher.
Florida Museum Projects: All School Programs offerings
Education: Diane received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the Johannesburg College of Education in South Africa.
Experience: Diane taught fourth grade for 10 years in South Africa, prior to relocating to the United States with her family in 2001. She volunteered at the Museum as a School Program Docent and has worked in education at the Florida Museum since 2004.
Florida Museum Projects: All School Programs offerings
Catherine Ward Carey
Public Programs Coordinator
Education: Catherine has an associate of science in zookeeping from Santa Fe College and bachelor’s from UF’s Liberal Arts and Sciences interdisciplinary degree program.
Experience: Catherine previously worked in the Florida Museum’s Interpretation Department at Dickinson Hall. She returns to her Museum roots after 25 years with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Education Department.
Education: Tiffany earned her bachelor’s from the University of Florida in family, youth and community sciences with a specialization in animal sciences.
Experience: Tiffany first volunteered at the Florida Museum as a docent and became an employee in 2004. She previously volunteered with the University of Florida Veterinary Hospital’s Wildlife Center and the Treasure Coast Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
Florida Museum Projects: Temporary exhibit openings and programming, Trashformations, Collectors Day, ButterflyFest, University of Florida Creative B program, camps, birthday parties, Junior Volunteers
Chelsea M. Collison
Education: Chelsea has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University.
Experience: Chelsea first volunteered at the Florida Museum as a School Program Docent and became an employee in 2015. She previously worked at the Hippodrome Theatre as a box office supervisor and art gallery coordinator and at the Alachua Conservation Trust. Chelsea has also interned at various nonprofits and organizations including Rock the Earth, Voices for Biodiversity and the City of Gainesville Division of Cultural Affairs.
Shari Ellis, Ph.D.
Education: Shari received her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and master’s and doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Utah.
Experience: Shari has worked at the Museum since 2004. Her time is distributed among program evaluation, curriculum and resource development, grant writing and project management. She has held faculty appointments at a number of institutions where she taught courses in developmental, cognitive and experimental psychology. She is an adjunct affiliate faculty member in the UF department of psychology.
Florida Museum Projects: PCP PIRE, iDigBio, AVATol, Marvelous Explorations through Science and Stories (early childhood science curriculum), Nature Viewing Along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (phone app), Discovery Room