Marine CSI: Coastal Science Investigations was founded in 2014 by Kimberly Belfer, with collaborations 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 original resource books for publication. They are available for purchase here. Our outreach programs, Watershed Walkabout: Cape Fear and Watershed Walkabout: White Oak were developed from these resources, with an emphasis on the Cape Fear River and White Oak-New River basins. The mission of this program is to bring inexpensive, interactive, and inquiry-based 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 K-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.
With the success of these self-published resources, we saw a need for on-site and in-school field trip opportunities. In 2018, Marine CSI: Coastal Science Investigations (also known as Marine CSI) was incorporated as a for-profit business in New Hanover County, NC, to fulfill that need in the community. Our outreach programs, homeschool program, and Girl Scout badge program are all branded under the Marine CSI name. We have since self-published three more resources during the pandemic for children ages 6+ called the Explore Your Watershed series to help families build an awareness around their local ecosystems.
Our Director of Education/Owner:
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's degree in Marine Biology (minor in Environmental Studies) from Stockton University (NJ). From there, she had her first taste of marine science education at the NJ Sea Grant Consortium (formerly Marine Sciences Consortium).
She received a Master of Applied Science degree in Conservation Biology from James Cook University (Townsville, Australia), where she got to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Since then, she has dedicated her career to being an informal educator and program coordinator, working for various organizations and facilities, including UNCW MarineQuest, NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and Museum of Coastal Carolina.
Besides working on her business, in her spare time, Kimberly is a published historical fiction author. She has written novellas and novels on many different time periods and enjoys the research that goes into each one. Currently, she has six published books and is working on her next novel for publication. She also spends as much time as possible on the beach, collecting shells for her "shell box" she started as an educator with the NJ Sea Grant Consortium.