Phil Zerofski was born and raised in Tewksbury, MA where summer trips to Cape Cod began a lifelong love of the ocean. He got his Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology from Roger Williams College in Rhode Island and then headed to the Florida Keys to begin his career as an outdoor educator and marine technician. Upon moving to San Diego in 1994 with future wife Amy, Phil started working with Mike Yeakle, the founder of SEACAMP Enterprises, and quickly took on the role of Program Director. In 1997, Mike sold the program to Phil and Amy and they have been in charge ever since. Upon moving to San Diego, Phil became an active volunteer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and in 2010 he was approached to take over their position as Marine Collector which was an offer he could not refuse. For the last 7 years, Phil has been wearing both hats but remaining active in supervisory and decision making roles as well as staff training and dive mastering at SEACAMP San Diego.
Amy Bergen Zerofski originally hails from New Jersey and then Maryland, getting her Bachelor’s Degree from Vassar College in New York State. Right out of college, Amy began her outdoor education career teaching Marine Biology at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in the Florida Keys. Upon moving to San Diego, Amy gained experience as a classroom teacher and then began her career with SEACAMP San Diego in 1995. In 1997 Amy and Phil took over ownership of SEACAMP San Diego and have had the reigns ever since. Amy also holds a Masters of Marine Science from University of San Diego where she is now also an adjunct Professor. Amy loves to travel with her husband Phil and their daughter Delilah anywhere they can do some fun family snorkeling!
Starting as a Marine Science Instructor, Whitney is our most senior employee. Since her start in 2003, Whitney has been devoted to providing the best experience to every student that attends SEACAMP San Diego. Rising to the Program Director position in 2007, Whitney’s enormous knowledge of marine science and local marine animals is invaluable to our program. She earned a Bachelors of Science from Coastal Carolina University in Marine Science in 2001. Her favorite activity at camp is the Floating Classroom Boat Trip where she is able to interact and share her expertise with students from all over the country. Whitney’s favorite marine animal is a basket star; she is always on the hunt to find this elusive invertebrate.
Erika started with SEACAMP San Diego in 2012 and quickly become an integral part of the inner workings of SEACAMP. A native San Diegan, Erika grew up in the North County community of Fallbrook. As one of the few non marine science majors, Erika has made great strides to improve her marine science knowledge. Earning her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University in 2008, Erika brings a level of organization and precision to her position as Administrative Director. She loves speaking to and helping teachers and parents learn more about SEACAMP San Diego. When you call the office you will likely speak to her or her counterpart Sue.
Sue is originally from Baltimore, MD. She attended Virginia Tech where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Chemistry. After graduating college in 1997, she moved to California after accepting a position as a Science and Outdoor Education Instructor at the Desert Sun Science Center. The following year, she moved to San Diego to become a high school math and science teacher. Prior to working at SEACAMP San Diego, Sue was Manager of Science Content at Scantron, where she managed the science portion of their K-12 educational products. This included developing, writing, and reviewing science materials and aligning them to state science standards. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from San Diego State University. Besides traveling, running, and hiking, Sue enjoys spending time playing tennis and going to the beach with her two boys.
Growing up on the rocky shores of Puget Sound in Seattle, Lilia dreamed of being a marine biologist for as long as she can remember. Attending summer SEACAMP San Diego as a camper in high school further inspired her to pursue her passion in the field. She received a degree in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and a minor in Marine Biology from the University of Washington, and was able to complete her studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Lilia has been a Marine Science Instructor with SEACAMP since 2016. She loves spending time in the water and sharing her excitement for the ocean with students, inspiring them to protect the underwater world and the incredible life it supports.
Matt has always been drawn to the ocean! Growing up near Baltimore, Maryland, he frequented the National Aquarium and enjoyed fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. Matt volunteered at the Louisville Zoo during his high-school years in Kentucky, which solidified his passion of working with animals. He graduated Seton Hall University in New Jersey with an Environmental Studies degree and began his career in outdoor education. Over the past five years, Matt has traveled around the country working with various organizations in California, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. With SEACAMP San Diego since 2016, Matt enjoys seeing his students connect with the ocean! Matt’s favorite aquatic activities include snorkeling and boogie boarding at La Jolla.
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Sara was born and raised in Manassas, VA where family beach trips to the Outer Banks sparked her interest in marine biology. She attended the University of Maryland and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Management. Sara’s marine science background includes aquatic entomology lab work, internships at the Department of Energy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Mammal Education in the Florida Keys, and STEM Education in southeastern Connecticut. Sara joined the SEACAMP San Diego team in the fall of 2016 and loves being able to explore the ocean each week with students from all over the country. Sara’s favorite part of SEACAMP San Diego is the snorkeling excursion during our all day boat trips, where each trip is a new adventure! Her favorite marine animals are Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and horseshoe crabs. Sara’s favorite ocean activities include sailing and open water swimming.
Chaucey spent a great deal of her childhood living on the water. When she was just 4 years old, her and her parents took a 3-year-long boat trip down the Mississippi River and back up the Atlantic coast. Spending most of preschool in Key West, Florida, it was during this time where she discovered her love for the ocean and all marine life. Ever since then, she knew she wanted to pursue a future in marine biology and conservation. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chaucey attended Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York where she majored in Marine Vertebrate Biology and Environmental Studies. During her time on Long Island, she conducted research on invertebrate zoology, sea grass ecology, and worked in marine mammal and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation. After graduation, Chaucey relocated to San Diego, California and started working at SEACAMP in January of 2017. Her favorite marine animal is the humpback whale and her favorite thing to do at SEACAMP is going on the all-day boat trip. She loves to go sailing and be in the water as much as possible!
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Brendan was born in Long Beach, California and has always been drawn to the ocean. As a child, Brendan spent his summers with his grandmother where he had the opportunity to attend summer camp at Dana Point Marine Institute. Due to the influence of his summer experiences, Brendan attended college on northern California coast at Humboldt State University. He majored in Recreation Administration with a focus in Dive Safety and minors in Scientific Diving and Business. His favorite marine animal is the great hammerhead shark and he loves to share is passion for sharks with the SEACAMP students. When he is not teaching about the ocean, you can find him surfing or scuba diving!
Ever since Mary was young she has always been passionate about the water. Growing up in Grand Rapids Michigan, she frequently visited the unsalted shoreline and got her SCUBA certification to explore shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. She became fascinated with the ocean during visits to Florida to see her grandparents. However, it wasn’t until a snorkel trip in Belize that solidified what she wanted to study and work in marine biology. Mary attended Michigan State University where she obtained Bachelors in Zoology with a concentration in Marine Biology. Mary is going into her second year with SEACAMP San Diego. Her SEACAMP activity is visiting the San Diego Zoo but her favorite thing about being an instructor is teaching the kids all about physical oceanography on beach walks and the importance of conservation.
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