Mote Hires Community Engagement Coordinator for STEM Outreach

Mote Marine Laboratory is pleased to announce that Elaina Todd has been hired as the Lab’s  Community Engagement Coordinator. Todd will help Mote share its world-class marine science with people of all ages, particularly by helping underserved and underrepresented groups participate and stay connected with STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math).

Todd’s goal is to help people engage in science and connect with the environment in fun, interactive and meaningful ways to inspire stewardship of natural resources.  Her personal mission aligns with Mote’s 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan, the "blueprint" guiding the growth of Mote research and education. The 2020 Vision calls for significantly increasing Mote’s connection with underserved and underrepresented audiences by the year 2020.

Todd, who came to Florida from Guam, developed environmental literacy curricula for the University of Guam and taught Environmental and Marine Biology courses at the Guam Community College. She also worked for the Guam Coastal Management Program as a Special Project Coordinator, developing and implementing a community-based social marketing campaign to prevent wildfires and restore watersheds.

Todd started her work on Oct. 22 at Mote’s main facility on City Island, Sarasota. She will work closely with Mote’s education and outreach programs, its public Aquarium and its numerous marine research programs — and she says she is already feeling right at home.

“My first week at Mote has shown me that this is where I belong — working with passionate people who want to share their knowledge, expertise and excitement for their work with others,” Todd said. “I can't wait to take that and share it with the rest of the community.”

“We are so excited and fortunate to have Elaina as part of our incredibly dedicated, hard working and talented Education team,” said Aly Busse, Assistant Vice President for Education at Mote. “She brings outstanding experience, energy and passion to this new position and we are eager to get started.”