Meet Our Staff

Herring Gut Learning Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, political affiliation, age, or religious beliefs in the administration of its programs.

Kathy Barker

After 39 years spent in public, private and state level education systems, Kathy Barker and her husband Bob retired to Spruce Head Maine. Not ready to give up her passion for teaching and learning, Kathy spent 18 months looking for a way to meaningfully contribute to an educational endeavor in her new community. Then she "met" Herring Gut Learning Center. She was immediately drawn to the creative and important mission of the center as well as the opportunity to be part of a growing outreach to impact as many Maine students as possible.

Kathy brings her experience as teacher of children, professor/teacher for adults, and in management/leadership. She has served as principal, director of services, and a county/state educational leader. She has also established international educational programs for students with disabilities and faced the challenges and rewards of running a non-profit school.

Kathy was honored with the Beekman Award of Leadership in Michigan for her persistent and relentless quest for high quality instruction for all students of all abilities. Her greatest satisfaction continues to come from watching the success and accomplishments of students and faculty.

Elizabeth Bowe

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Originally from a small town in Western New York, Liz has always had a love of the waterfront, fishing and flipping over rocks in Conesus and Hemlock Lakes. She quickly fell in love with Maine on a family trip, and decided to spend 4 years at the University of New England receiving her B.S. in both Marine Biology and Aquaculture & Aquarium Science with a minor in Mathematics. During her four years at UNE, Liz was able to conduct research in the Ornamental Fishes Aquaculture lab and intern at the Maine State Aquarium. After graduation, Liz spent time in Florida as a camp counselor, but missed the mountains and cold New England waters so she jumped on the opportunity to find herself back in Maine working with the Maine State Aquarium. With a love of the ocean, education, and aquaponics, she was thrilled to accept a position at the Herring Gut Learning Center! Liz loves to travel and in her spare time she can be found hiking, rock climbing and kayaking all around the beautiful coast of Maine!

Holly Merrow

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Holly moved to Maine over 25 years ago from NH after graduating from Plymouth State with a B.S. in Marketing and Economics.  After ten years working in the financial market, she decided that she wanted to make a bigger difference in the world. In 2004, she graduated from the University of Maine with a Masters of Science degree in Education.  

She comes to Herring gut with over 15 years in Education, working with students in the public schools from grades K-8.  She has experience working with the Outward Bound School and Expeditionary Learning in the POrtland School District. Holly is also a former student of Herring Gut, learning how to teach year long aquaponics projects with her 3rd graders.  

Holly enjoys photography, reading, hiking and walking with her dog Hank on the beach.  She loves volunteering as a foster mom for dogs in need of forever homes and is a six time triathlete, raising money for cancer research and programs in Maine, for the Maine Cancer Foundations Tri for A Cure.

Georgie Burruss

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Georgie grew up in Massachusetts where she spent summers sailing on Farm Pond and exploring the rocky coast of Cape Ann. She attended Tufts University, earning her Bachelor's of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies. During her undergraduate career, she traveled to The Bahamas and Costa Rica to conduct research in both terrestrial and marine systems. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she worked in the Coral Lab at the New England Aquarium, studying climate change impacts on a temperate coral species. In 2015, she moved to The Bahamas to work at the Cape Eleuthera Institute for the Flats Ecology and Conservation Program. There she worked on a variety of projects, studying plastic ingestion by pelagic sportfish, post-release survival of triggerfish and yellowtail snapper, and conducted rapid ecological assessments of mangrove creeks. She also taught semester-long applied scientific research courses to high school students at The Island School and led outreach programming for over 600 local and international students. In 2018, Georgie earned her Master's of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Her research focused on using acoustic telemetry to track movements of bonefish, Albula vulpes, to locate reproductive habitat, investigate environmental cues for migration, and understand predator/prey dynamics at spawning aggregations. During her time at Michigan State University, Georgie was a teaching assistant for introductory biology and marine biology courses and she led a study aboard program to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. She is very excited to apply her experience in education, both formal and informal, and marine research at Herring Gut! When not working, Georgie enjoys traveling, playing with dogs, running, and nordic skiing. She is especially excited to see fall foliage for the first time in 5 years!

Heather Richard

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Heather grew up in Gorham, ME and spent most of her childhood exploring the outdoors and in awe of the natural world. Before joining the team at Herring Gut Learning Center, Heather received a B.A. in biology from Clark University in Worcester, MA studying the evolution of threespine stickleback fish. After a nature interpretation internship through Project Puffin in 2005, she began her career as an experiential science educator, working at outdoor education programs based in New York, West Virginia, Florida and California. In 2016 she received a M.S. degree through San Francisco State University studying plastic pollution in aquatic habitats.

For Heather, returning to her home state of Maine to share and explore the ocean with students and teachers is a dream come true. Her other dreams include playing in a rock band and visiting the ocean’s depths in a submersible- not necessarily at the same time. Heather also enjoys outdoor adventures, traveling, expressing creativity through art and writing, and listening to waves on the shore.

Katie May Laumann

Aquaculture and Marine Science Teacher

Katie May became interested in marine science in 7th grade when she attended an outdoor science camp at the Catalina Island Marine Institute.  She went on to study biology at Southampton College of Long Island University and later earned a Master’s degree from Columbia University, where she studied seafood sustainability in the restaurant industry.  While working towards a Ph.D. in Marine Science at the College of William and Mary, she taught middle school science as a “scientist in residence” through the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 program.  After completing her dissertation research on sturgeons and earning her doctorate, she worked as a fisheries manager for the state of Virginia.  Katie May is thrilled to re-join the world of education as a member of the Herring Gut Learning Center team. She first fell in love with Maine while visiting on her wedding planning trip, and is excited to relocate with her husband and cat (Berlioz)!  Katie May is eager to explore Maine’s hiking trails, tidepools, and culinary scene.  During her free time, she enjoys travelling, cooking, and jogging.

Heidi Timmermann

Executive Assistant to the Executive Director

Originally from New York State, Heidi moved to Thomaston at a young age where she was educated through the local school system. Heidi went on to attend both Thomas College and University of Maine systems where she earned a certificate in paralegal studies and an associate degree in liberal arts. 

Growing up, Heidi’s summers were spent picking blueberries, clamming and exploring the beaches in front of her family’s cottage on Maple Juice Cove in Cushing. Heidi’s family cottage was built by hand by her great, great aunt, Annabelle Williams. Annabelle travelled the world with her father, Heidi’s four times great grandfather Herbert Williams who was a captain upon the whaling ship “Frederick Billings."  Several stories and souvenirs from their adventures together have been passed down through generations of her family, sparking Heidi’s interest and love for the sea.

In addition to working at HGLC, Heidi was previously part owner and operator of Thomaston Grocery. Heidi now owns and operates Save Your Thyme Catering based in Rockport. In her free time, Heidi still enjoys exploring Maine’s various beaches, boating, road trips, traveling, cooking, event planning and photography. Heidi has three children and resides with her youngest daughter, Sophia in Rockport.




Inspiring a New Generation through Marine Education

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