Marine CSI: Coastal Science Investigations was founded by Kimberly Belfer, Director of Education, in 2014, with collaborations with and assistance from Regina Borriello and Kasie Regnier. Regina brought her expertise as a high school biology teacher and Kasie brought her experience as an informal educator to adapt our resources for publication. Our two educator resources, one for Kindergarten through 8th grade and one for high school, have been made available for purchase on Amazon.com. Watershed Walkabout: Cape Fear is an outreach program developed from these two resources with an emphasis on the Cape Fear River basin and salt marsh-tidal creek ecosystem. The mission of this program is to bring inexpensive hands-on and interactive environmental lessons to schools in the southeastern region of North Carolina.
Marine CSI: Coastal Science Investigations is designed to assist both formal and informal educators with resources to teach marine science concepts, local ecology, and marine conservation to Kindergarten through 12th grade students. The intention of the resource guides is to provide supplemental lessons for science curricula and on-site programming. Each lesson has been correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards.
After the success of the published books in 2014, Kimberly made the decision to develop educator training modules and present them as workshops. The first was at Brookdale Community College (NJ), where a total of 12 teachers participated. In 2016, Kimberly presented a session at the annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association to 32 educators. In 2017, Kimberly presented sessions at the annual conferences of the National Marine Educators Association and Environmental Educators of North Carolina, with 24 and 18 attendees respectively.
In 2018, Marine CSI: Coastal Science Investigations was incorporated as a for-profit business in New Hanover County, NC. Our outreach program, Watershed Walkabout: Cape Fear, is a branded program under this business name. Kimberly hopes to bring these lessons to the students of the county and beyond in the future.
Our Director of Education:
Kimberly Belfer is a certified Environmental Educator in NC and has received certificates in Project WET, Project WILD, Project Aquatic WILD, Wonders of Wetlands, and Project Learning Tree. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology (minor in Environmental Studies) from Stockton University (NJ). From there, she had her first taste of environmental and marine outreach education at the NJ Sea Grant Consortium (formerly Marine Sciences Consortium).
She continued her education and received a Master of Applied Science in Conservation Biology from James Cook University (Townsville, Australia). She has dedicated her career to working as an informal and outreach educator and program coordinator, working for various non-profit organizations and facilities whose focus remains in supplemental programming, including UNCW MarineQuest and the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.
During a nine year hiatus from Wilmington, NC, she lived and worked on Jekyll Island at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, and at the Jersey Shore, with the non-profit organization Save Barnegat Bay. These two facilities gave her the opportunity to coordinate volunteers and develop and pilot new education programs.
Returning to Wilmington, as the owner and Director of Education for Marine CSI, her goal is to bring her expertise and knowledge of informal education to other educators and students. Her success with a K-8 program in NJ is the foundation for what will be a successful program and personal endeavor for her in NC.