An Idea is Born
The idea for this meeting came about in June 2020 as the direct result of the #BlackInNature hashtag created as part of #BlackBirdersWeek hosted by @BlackAFInStem on Twitter. Through this hashtag we were able to begin making our first introductions and connect with the Field School. The rest, as they say...is history.
Meet the Founders
Jasmin Graham President & CEO
Mote Marine Laboratory
Jasmin specializes in elasmobranch ecology and evolution. Her past research interests include smalltooth sawfish movement ecology and hammerhead shark phylogeny. She is a member of the American Elasmobranch Society and served on their Student Affairs Committee for two years. Jasmin completed internships with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Fort Johnson Marine Lab and FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management. She worked as an instructor for the Saturday at the Sea program through the Florida State University Office of STEM Teaching Activities. Jasmin has a passion for science education and making science more accessible for everyone. She is the project coordinator for the MarSci-LACE project, which is focused on researching and promoting best practices to recruit, support and retain minority students in marine science. She is excited to help open doors for more underrepresented minority students to join the exciting field of marine science.
Amani Webber-Schultz Chief Financial Officer
Amani recently graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Marine Science. During her undergraduate studies, she was a student researcher in the Fluid Locomotion Lab at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Elisabeth Sikes' Paleoceanography Lab at Rutgers. Both labs allowed her to experience different areas of marine science. In the Paleoceanography Lab, Amani identified different species of foraminifera from sediment cores. In the Fluid Locomotion Lab, Amani created 3-D models in Mimics Innovation Suite from CT scans for morphological studies of remoras. She is now a fellow at Field School in Miami where she participates in shark research and assists with teaching courses. Amani is a prospective graduate student and hopes to pursue a PhD. She loves meeting new people and is very excited to share her experiences and help others succeed in any way she can.
Carlee Jackson Director of Communications
Nova Southeastern University
Carlee is a recent M.S. graduate from Nova Southeastern University, where she researched the effects of provisioning tourism on nurse sharks in Belize. Originally from Detroit, Mi, she graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Biology from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where she was a Conference USA honor roll student-athlete. Through the CMED lab at NSU, Carlee assists with tagging sharks along the coast of Broward County. Carlee is a Marine Turtle Specialist at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center where she helps monitor the beach for sea turtle nesting activity and assists with medical procedures in their sea turtle hospital. She and her colleagues work closely with researchers at FAU who are studying effects of sand temperature on sea turtle embryo development during incubation. Carlee has previously been an environmental educator, taking students on outdoor educational field trips all across Florida. She is eager to expose more minority students to the field of marine science and hopes to inspire more diversity in this field.
Jaida Elcock Director of Public Relations
Howard University/University of Washington
Jaida Elcock is a graduate student at the University of Washington. Her research is on shark movement ecology. She is particularly interested in the movement ecology of migratory elasmobranchs, as this information is still unknown for many species. Jaida received her B.S. in Biology with University Honors from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has previously lived in landlocked states but has still been able to gain experience with marine animals through an internship at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. Though not an National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Jaida was recognized as an Honorable Mention for her research proposal. She has also been recognized as an American Elasmobranch Society Young Professional Recruitment Fund Scholar. Jaida is incredibly excited to help other underrepresented students light a fire within themselves to fuel a passion for marine sciences.