New York State 

Marine Education Association

Being Updated

NYSMEA exists to promote marine awareness and encourage the growth and exchange of instructional resources within the scientific, commercial, and educational communities. We hold an annual conference, periodic meetings, lectures, workshops, field trips, boat trips and produce a monthly newsletter, "The Strandline", which alerts members to upcoming activities and new postings on our Web site. Our Web site also includes lesson plans, job postings, research opportunities, field trip destinations, and marine-related links. 

President - Lou Siegel

In May of 2021 Lou began a term as president of NYSMEA. From 2003 to 2018 Lou was the Science Coordinator at the L. I. South Shore Estuary Reserve. As an adjunct professor at Adelphi University, From 2012 to 2016, Lou taught an intensive, one week graduate course. Marinating MST was part of the NOYCE Program and was directed at pre- and in-service teachers. The aim of the course was to expose students to the Biology, Chemisty, Physics and Math of the local Marine environment. Lou has also been an adjunct associate professor at Dowling College teaching Biology, Physical and Environmental Sciences and Marine Biology and was a co-PI of their NSF NOYCE Scholars Program which ended in January of 2014.
In June of 2003 he retired from 36 years as a teacher and Science Chairperson on the high school level. He was an early author and teacher of the NYC Marine Biology curriculum offered at the experimental John Dewey HS in Brooklyn; Chair of the Dept. of Science and Oceanography at Beach Channel HS in Queens; and Chair of the Science and Technology Dept. at Oceanside HS on LI. Lou was a founder, past president and active board member in the 35 year old New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA.) He has chaired several of their annual student and teacher conferences and was the initial web master of the web page. Lou edited "Learning in the Estuary," a compilation of lesson plans, in 2002. Lou has long been involved in pre- and in-service teacher education. His course, Shipboard Marine Science, funded by grants from private corporations, and the EPA, has been taken by a large cross-section of teachers and environmental educators. He developed the South Shore Estuary Learning Facilitators Program (sSELF) which trained students and environmental groups to monitor the environment.
Lou spends much of his spare time with his wife and 5 grandchildren, preferably outdoors.
Lou's interests include photography, sailing, and kayaking and he has reportedly been seen fishing for striped bass.

Executive Director (Appointed)Adam Riback

 Adam Riback is an Investment Consultant at Fidelity Investments. He holds 7 professional licenses (series 7,63,66,9,10 and the New York State Life & Health) Adam has been serving the financial community for over 25 years.  His expertise in finance and budgeting has helped us receive funding from various sources from private folks who just want  to make a difference in the Coney Island and south Brooklyn community to a Fortune 100 company.  Adam is instrumental at planning, organizing and executing our "It's My Estuary Day" in the Spring and "International Coastal CleanUp" in the Fall. Adam was born and raised in Sea Gate which is a private community located in Coney Island.   Adam is very active in his local scuba diving community.  He is the current Vice President of the former NYC Sea Gypsies, which has been renamed in 8/2022 to Big Apple Divers which is a not for profit social and scuba diving club that has been around since 1971 and based in Manhattan.  He also volunteers for Beneath The Sea which is the world's largest scuba diving expo held at the Meadowlands annually.  Adam is a certified Dive Master through Scuba Schools International and loves being underwater as often as he can.  Adam was asked by the late Gene Ritter who was locally famous for exploring the waters off the coast of Coney Island and discovering the "DreamLand" bell that went down in a fire off the tip of a wooden pier over 100 years ago. It rested in 20 ft. of water for over 100 years while thousands of people swam within 100 ft. of it.  Adam had a lot of respect  and admiration for Gene Ritter and was amazed at these events that Gene was responsible for helping to get started.  Adam intends to pick up where Gene Ritter left off by keeping "It's Mt Estuary Day" and "International Coastal Cleanup" alive and strong. His goal is to recruit local teachers that will help partner in these events to create a much better experience for the local urban inner city student. Adam's strives to create more free community educational events for everyone but focused on students of all ages.

Treasurer- Sarah Richards, Saint Ann’s School
Sarah Richards has taught science at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY since 1987. During her tenure there, Sarah has taught General Science, Earth Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Oceanography, Marine Biology, and Meteorology. She has also served as Chair and Associate Chair of the Science Department. Sarah started a two-week Summer Science Camp for middle schoolers at Saint Ann’s eight years ago, and has coached a team for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl for the past ten years. Sarah believes in the importance of experiential learning, and has designed and led many field trips for her students. From 1989-2001, she took her high school students on a week-long trip each spring to the Hofstra University Marine Lab in Jamaica, and since 2002, she’s been leading comparable trips to the Florida Everglades and Newfound Harbor Marine Institute on Big Pine Key. Sarah was selected to participate in the Sea Experience for Teachers sponsored by the Sea Education Association in 1991, and the Down Under, Out Yonder program sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation in 2009.

Sarah received her B.A. from Oberlin College, and her M.S. in Science Education from Oregon State University. She has been an active member of the NY State Marine Education Association since 1993, and currently serves as NYSMEA’s Treasurer and Annual Conference Coordinator. She was awarded NYSMEA’s Kinghan Service Award in 2004 and the SCONYC (Science Council of New York City)’s Science Education Award in 2005. In 2006, Sarah served as co-chair of the annual National Marine Educators Association Conference, which was held in Brooklyn, and was elected to the NMEA Board of Directors in 2008, where she serves as the chair of the History Committee. In her spare time, Sarah is the principal second violinist of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling - especially to destinations where she can SCUBA dive with her husband, Clive, and 11-year-old son, Thomas!

Secretary - Lisa Breslof

College Vice President - Dr. Meghan Marrero

Elementary Vice President - Thomas Greene

Special Education Vice President - Blanca Ching

Committee Chairs-(Appointed)

Awards - Dr. Merryl Kafka

In her capacity as Curator of Education (and a 30-year career history) at the N.Y. Aquarium, Dr. Kafka has been instrumental in providing exciting, marine science programming to community groups, families, school children, and teachers throughout the New York City area.  Her efforts, along with the dedication of her colleagues, resulted in producing one of the most creative and awarded aquarium education departments in the nation, as well as co-founding the successful Rachel Carson HS of Coastal Studies in Coney Island. Merryl has also worked with the NYS DEC for 14 years, in concert with the NY Aquarium, to help citizens avoid wetland violations and advance public programming via Project P.O.W.E.R: Protecting Our Wetlands with Educators and Regulators, creating a unique national model.

Merryl is the recipient of many awards; from the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency for Coastal America’s Restoration Award for “Project Creek”, an environmental partnership award on habitat restoration in Coney Island, to recently receiving the “Lifelong Devotion to Marine Education Exemplary Service Award” from NYSMEA, which she has been a member since 1979. She is currently a summer adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College’s AREAC (Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center), co-teaching “Urban Marine Ecology” for the College Now program for high school students, and an onboard educator for whale and dolphin watching on the American Princess in Ft. Tilden.  She also serves on the advisory committee of Dowling College’s Center for Estuaries, Environmental and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (C.E.E.C.O.M.). Merryl will continue to ensure that our coastal treasures remain understood, appreciated, and protected for generations to enjoy. 

Dr. Kafka received her M.S. Degree in Biology and N.Y. State Certificate of Museum Studies from New York University, and earned her doctorate in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University

Program - Christopher Drew

Education - Leann Winn

Financial - Sarah Richards

Annual Conference - Sarah Richards

NMEA Representative - Leann Winn


Student Conference

Public Relations

It's My Estuary Day - Adam Riback

Past President-Lane Rosen, John Dewey High school, NYCDOE
Lane Rosen is a NY State Licensed Biology and General Science teacher who has been teaching science for 19 years in Brooklyn, NY.  Lane has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Masters of Arts in Secondary Science Education from Brooklyn College. 

 For the past 15 years Lane has been teaching Marine Science at John Dewey High School in Coney Island. He is very passionate about teaching marine education to high school students and guiding them into college programs and marine careers. Lane educates his students beyond the walls of a classroom with experiences at the American Museum of Natural History, the NJ and NY Aquariums, Cold Spring Harbor Hatchery, Newtown Creek DEP center and Kingsborough Community College Marine Education Conferences. Lane and his students in the John Dewey High School Marine Science Program have raised trout and horseshoe crabs, maintained a marine laboratory with live organisms, and participated in oyster gardening, coastal cleanups, salt marsh and sand dune restoration and marine environmental awareness programs.

Lane has been instrumental in leading local environmental awareness events like It’s My Estuary Day, the Great Fish Count and the International Coastal Cleanup on an annual basis. These events draw hundreds of local students from a variety of K-12 schools, as well as many community partners. Such events allow students community service opportunities and have led to collaborative relationships with many community organizations, marine educators and coastal and environmental agencies. 

In 2005, Lane received an award from President Bush for his work on Project CREEK; an environmental partnership between the NY Aquarium and JDHS on coastal habitat restoration. In 2011, he received a Service Learning Award for Community Awareness from Mayor Bloomberg. Recently, he won the 2016 Educator of the Year Award by Education Update. He is co-founder of the Brooklyn Marine STEM Education Alliance which is a collaborative group of schools working with partners in marine STEM endeavors. In 2017, the Brooklyn Marine STEM Education Alliance received a partnership award from the NYCDOE.

NYSMEA Address:

Tom Greene

Physical Science Dept.

Kingsborough Community College

2001 Oriental Blvd.

Brooklyn, NY  11235

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