About Us

Laura Sirak-Schaeffer
Turtle Trash Collectors Program Coordinator


Laura was the lead educator implementing Turtle Trash Collectors programs both in-person and virtually, educating over 29,000 people worldwide! She previously coordinated MarineQuest's Ghost (net) Busters NFWF Fishing for Energy grant-funded project, where she educated over 12,600 students about the impacts of ghost nets on the marine environment with a life-sized inflatable whale! Laura also worked as an informal STEM educator at the Museum of Science, Boston where she facilitated school field trips and public programs. She earned her BS from Stockton University and her MS in Marine Science from the University of New England where she researched seal-fishery interactions. 

Kiran Sinha
Turtle Trash Collectors Program Assistant


 Kiran grew up in New Jersey and spent as much time as she could at the beach, learning about marine science. Her passion for the ocean inspired her to work with organizations such as Project Terrapin, NOAA, and the NJDEP at a young age. Working with these groups and conducting cleanups every weekend made her realize how important it is to protect our oceans. She then moved on to get her Bachelor of Science in marine science and environmental studies, with a focus in conservation from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. Kiran joined the MarineQuest team at the beginning of the 2TC grant in 2018 and has had the opportunity to teach over 29,000 students worldwide.

Dr. Sue Kezios
Director of Youth Programs & UNCW MarineQuest

Dr. Sue Kezios

Dr. K grew up on the Chesapeake Bay crabbing, oystering and fishing. She earned a PhD in Biology from Princeton University and spent the first half of her career conducting research on cell differentiation. Once her children enrolled in school she became concerned about the lack of science instruction they were receiving. This led to collaboration with the NIH to create KinderScience, a hands-on science education program for young children. In 1999 Dr. K obtained her North Carolina teaching certification and began working at UNCW. In 2006 she was named Director of Youth Programs and immediately began creating a new standards-based curriculum for MarineQuest, one that includes field research, marine technology, and diving.