ABOUT

Marine Educators - Marine Biologists - Environmental Advocates
We are Project Oceanology

Project Oceanology is a non-profit education and research facility dedicated to nurturing student and public interest and enthusiasm for marine sciences.

Project Oceanology’s mission since 1972 has been to nurture interest and inspire enthusiasm for science and for our planet’s marine environment from our waterfront facility in Groton, Connecticut. Project Oceanology is a year-round, marine science educational organization governed by local school districts and in collaboration with universities and other educational institutions.

Project Oceanology's vision is to be the center of excellence for inquiry, and place-based science and marine education serving the evolving needs of our global community.

OUR TEAM

IMG_1442_edited.jpg

JIM MCCAULEY

Executive Director

Having proudly served in the United States Coast Guard for 30 years, Jim came to Project Oceanology as Executive Director in April 2016. After commanding several cutters and serving as the Academy's Commandant of Cadets, Jim brings leadership, program development, and operations management experience to the team. Jim earned a Masters of Science in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the US Coast Guard Academy. He also holds a USCG unlimited tonnage Master of Oceans captain's license. 

In his free time, Jim loves spending time with his family, being on the water or in the woods, and volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America. 

ProjectOceanology_Certified-Teacher-Marine-Biologist_Aboard-EnviroLab_edited_edited.jpg

CALLIE SCHEETZ

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Callie grew up spending her summers lobstering, clamming and exploring the coast of Long Island Sound. She has always loved marine biology and is passionate about teaching. She is a full-time instructor and has been working at Project O as an educator for over 9 years. Callie received her B.S. from Roger Williams University in Marine Biology and Elementary Education. During this time she spent a semester at SEA sailing from Tahiti to Hawaii aboard the S.S.V. Robert C. Seamans. She received her M.S. from Southern Connecticut State University in Biology where her research focused on the effects of temperature on lipofuscin concentrations in juvenile lobsters. She is currently a CT certified teacher in grades K-12 and holds her USCG 100-ton Master of Inland Waters captain’s license along with her American Red Cross Lifeguard, CPR, AED, and First Aid certifications.

 

When Callie isn’t at Project O you can find her spending time with her family, hiking, kayaking, and fishing!

IMG_2535_edited.jpg

DEBBIE SAYER

Full-Time Marine Science Educator

Debbie has always had a love of all things related to the ocean and is passionate about inspiring others to care about the planet. She received her BS in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island and worked as a naturalist and environmental educator for 8 years. Debbie has fond memories of her time as a camper and after-school student at Project Oceanology and is thrilled to be back here as an educator.

 

When she isn't at work, Debbie enjoys spending time with family, lawn bowling, and playing fife with the Westbrook Drum Corps.

IMG_0644_edited.jpg

MARISSA GUSTAFSON

Full-Time Marine Science Educator

Marissa graduated from UCONN Avery Point in 2013 where she worked as a two-time summer intern in the Marine Science Building under Jamie Vaudrey. As a previous Project Oceanology camper, she now teaches as a full-time educator at the same facility that helped develop her love for marine science. She has previously spent time working tagging sharks and stingrays in Myrtle Beach, SC, and Clearwater, FL through a program called CMERA.

 

When she's not working Marissa loves to take walks with her dogs and scavenge the beach for sea life and treasures. 

Amy Stockburger

AMY STOCKBURGER

Full-Time Marine Science Educator

A native to Connecticut, Amy is no stranger to Long Island Sound. She graduated with a B.S in Environmental Science from Colby-Sawyer College during which time she served 2 summers as a Project Oceanology intern and confirmed her love for both marine science and education. Amy also holds teaching certifications in science grades 5-12.

 

When not at work, Amy enjoys paddleboarding, hiking, and spending time with family (especially around a campfire!)

Marie Whalen.jpeg

MARIE WHALEN

Full-Time Marine Science Educator

Growing up in New Jersey, Marie spent her summers exploring tide pools and jetties down the shore. After graduating from Duke with a B.A. in Earth & Ocean Sciences, she attended Tulane to pursue her M.S. in Earth & Environmental Science. While in New Orleans, Marie researched wetland restoration and coastal conservation across southern Louisiana. She worked as a Research Physical Scientist for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS before relocating to Connecticut in July 2021.

 

Whether it's for Coast Guard Academy football or exploring the coast, Marie likes to get outside and enjoy the sun with her husband & their dog whenever she has the chance. 

Hazel Levine.jpg

HAZEL LEVINE

Part-Time Marine Science Educator

Hazel is a marine scientist and educator who grew up tooling around on boats and snorkeling every chance she got on Cape Cod, MA. She has spent the last 20 years traveling the country and immersing herself in marine science jobs that range from studying barnacles to dissecting blue whales. She has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a M.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota in Duluth, with a specialty in fisheries. She has worked as a part-time educator for the last two years at Project Oceanology. 

 

When she isn't working, you will find her snorkeling and swimming in the summers and skiing and playing soccer in the winters with her family. 

Brian Tucker.heic

BRIAN TUCKER

Part-Time Marine Science Educator

Brian has had a passion for the ocean and the life within since his early childhood, spending his summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Keene State College in New Hampshire. He has worked as an environmental educator and as an elementary school teacher. This work has taken him all over the country. Brian received his M.A. in Teaching and elementary teacher certification from Oakland University in Michigan. Brian is in his 4th year as an educator with Project Oceanology. 
 

In his free time, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, going to the beach, skiing, hiking, birdwatching, camping and standup paddle boarding. 

John McNulty.png

JOHN MCNULTY

Part-Time Marine Science Educator

John is a part-time Marine Educator at Project Oceanology. He is a retired AP Biology/Marine Biology teacher from Berlin High School who brought his students down to Project O for many years. He is now adding his experience and expertise to continue educating students and adults who utilize Project O. If you happen to be in a group that he is leading or teaching, be forewarned that he can't help pouring out marine science knowledge to you. 

"Our goal at Project O is to give you the best experience we can while you're here with us. See you at Project O!"

Katherine Cuzco

KATHERINE CUZCO

Part-Time Marine Science Educator

Kat graduated from McDaniel College in 2019 with a major in Biology and Environmental Science. She has studied abroad at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Galapagos and has volunteered in a sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica. Kat was born and raised in Ecuador and was always surrounded by nature which allowed her to understand the importance of nature. Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in Environmental Ecology at the University of New Haven. She has been part of Project Oceanology since the summer of 2019. 

Kat loves the outdoors. In her free time, she likes to go hiking, travel, and try new foods. 

IMG_0732_edited.jpg

IAN MORRISON

Full-Time Captain

Ian has been on the water most of his life. He graduated from UCONN with a B.A. in Coastal Studies, and has served in both the U.S. Army (1990-1994) and the CT Army National Guard (1994-1997). He holds a USCG 100GRT Master's License, and began working at Project Oceanology in 2003. He also worked for Interport Pilots as Captain/Mate on vessel Connecticut Pilot from 2004 - 2009.

 

In his free time, he is a member of the Co. I 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Civil War Re-Enactment Group, and enjoys fishing and playing guitar. 

ProjectOceanology_Stern-Station_EnviroLab_edited_edited.jpg

BRAE RAFFERTY

Part-Time Captain

Brae has always been interested in environmental work and completed his undergraduate studies at William Penn College, where he majored in biology. His interest in marine science led him to obtain an M.S. degree in marine studies from the University of Connecticut. He joined Project Oceanology’s faculty as the second full-time instructor 7 years after the program began. For over 35 years, he was a Project Oceanology Marine Science Educator. Brae also holds a USCG 100 ton Master of Coastal Waters license, and certifications as an American Red Cross Lifeguard, CPR, AED, and First Aid. 

 

While not at work Brae’s commitment to the environment continues. He has served for over 30 years as the Chair of the Town of Groton’s Conservation Commissioner. He also is past chair of the New London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation and continues to serve on the board as well as the boards of the Avalonia Land Conservancy and Pequot Woods.

Matt Konon

MATT KONON

Part-Time Captain

​Matt has worked as a licensed mariner since 2003 and first joined the Project Oceanology team in 2007. His diverse experiences include crewing overnight cruises along the Intracoastal Waterway, captaining dinner and excursion vessels on the Potomac River and Delaware Bay area, and leading whale-watching expeditions in Alaska. He holds a 200-ton Maritime Captain's license and a B.S. in Business Administration from Charter Oak State College.

 

When he's not having fun at Project Oceanology, Matt enjoys driving his children to soccer practice and music lessons and tending to his chickens, honey bees, and apple trees.

IMG_0668.JPG

LESLEY DE LABRY

Administrative Manager

Lesley is the Administrative Manager at Project Oceanology. She is our scheduling coordinator, HR rep, and manager of our facility and main office. 

A CT native, and local resident of Fisher’s Island Sound, Lesley was the Director of Administrative Operations at the Groton Long Point Yacht Club for 17 years before joining Project Oceanology in 2018. Her career experience also includes an Educator in violence prevention for SECT public schools and the USCG Academy Admissions office.

 

Lesley enjoys hiking, sailing, skiing and all activities centered around the ocean.

IMG_1246.jpg

RAYMOND MASTRONUNZIO

Building Custodian

With over 20 years experience in public building maintenance, an Associates degree in Business & Finance, and a Bachelor's degree in Community Development from UCONN, Raymond joined the Project Oceanology team over a decade ago.

 

In his free time, Raymond enjoys furniture design and fine woodworking, and antique automobile design and preservation.