Director: Andrew Wilson
Andrew’s knowledge of the marine environment goes beyond books – it is often derived from first hand experience! He grew up along the Atlantic coast, from Rhode Island to Florida, and even spent several years on the Pacific coast of Peru. Out of high school, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy. While there, Andrew’s love for the ocean led him to learn how to SCUBA dive and he later became a SCUBA instructor. He has over 300 dives to his name in such far off locations as Victoria, Canada; Bonaire, Netherland Antilles; and Capri, Italy; as well as many local areas. Once out of the Navy, Andrew returned to school to earn a degree in Biology from Old Dominion University. While continuing his education, he served on the VA Marine Science Museum (VMSM) stranding team in VA Beach, rescuing whales and other injured marine animals. This led to a position with the education department of VMSM, where Andrew worked for several years. Upon recognizing the need for marine education resources in the DC Metropolitan area, Andrew founded Under the Sea in 1995.
Assistant Director: Mary Beth Wilson
Mary Beth grew up in Southern California; on a second grade field trip, she learned about leatherback sea turtles, and she proceeded to lecture anyone she met about keeping plastic trash out of the ocean. She studied art and biology the College of William and Mary, and spent the next ten years doing work ranging from graphic design, to coordinating special orders for Barnes & Noble, to freelance costume design, to custom framing. And then Mary Beth met Andrew… she has worked as admin & bookkeeper, outreach instructor, and Assistant Director/staff supervisor for Under the Sea and now the Glen Echo Park Aquarium as well. She is also “Mommy” to the two greatest children ever born!! (And she really hates getting her picture taken.)
Education Specialist: Sandy Burk
Sandy is an award winning author. Her book “Let the River Run Silver Again” has won accolades from Izaak Walton League of America, NSTA, and was recognized as the 2006 Green Earth book. She is a Marine Biologist (MS, UNC-Wilmington, 1989), science educator, and conservationist. During the past twenty years, she has worked with universities, state and local agencies, and private organizations throughout the middle Atlantic region on aspects of marine biology and the monitoring, conservation, restoration and interpretation of freshwater and marine systems. She presently lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where she consults and writes on environmental matters.
Kim Lowther – Education Specialist. Kim runs our summer camps, Discover Nature Classes, and Holiday Day Camps. She can also be found at the aquarium on Saturdays, helping guests learn about the Chesapeake Bay!
Kim grew up locally in Annandale, Virginia. She spent her youth exploring creeks, camping, and traveling when not attending school. She attended Falls Church High School then studied at Allegheny College earning her B.S. in Environmental Science. She then earned her M.S. in New Hampshire at Antioch University of New England becoming certified to teach biology in high school. After moving to Michigan she began teaching high school biology and decided that she enjoyed teaching informal education at such places as nature centers and outdoor education centers. Her first permanent job was at Discovery Creek Children’s Museum in Washington, DC teaching environmental education for 12 years. After teaching environmental education to a wide variety of elementary and middle school students in the DC metro area, she decided to branch out and teach her own classroom of preschool students. Then, she taught preschool for 11 years at Pender Hill preschool in Fairfax, Virginia, creating science programs for preschoolers. Feeling called back to teaching environmental science, she decided to go back into teaching about the environment. She was extremely excited to find that the space Discovery Creek Children’s Museum at Glen Echo Park was taken over by Glen Echo Park aquarium and teaching programming about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, her passion. Kim joined Glen Echo Park Aquarium in December 2017.
Christopher Robin – Educator and Gate Keeper! Christopher studied theater and acting (you might have seen him in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!), ran Rainbow Company – a traveling show that did children’s theater in schools, and leads ghost tours in Washington DC!
Touch Tank Guest Star: Natalie Wilson
Natalie Wilson was born into science and she’s never thought about moving to anything else except art! She started out as a budding paleontologist, then switched her discipline choice to paleoanthropology and archeology. Natalie can be seen at festivals and special events, teaching and demonstrating at a touch tank as well as people twice her age. In addition to her dozens of aquatic “pets”, she has a ball python and a Brazilian terrier.
Head Idea Man and Sand Spreader: Zachary Wilson
Zachary comes up with the most amazing ideas for exhibits and often works during special events, such as Carousel Day and Booquarium. He is a walking encyclopedia of animal facts and loves to show guests around.