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Dana Henderson (she/her)

Public Programs Manager


Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans


Dana has been with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium since 2011 and is currently the Public Programs Manager in Mote’s Education Division. Her role facilitates unique experiences for guests by translating Mote’s breakthrough research into fun and engaging programming for people of all ages and backgrounds. Programs managed include our robust homeschool programs, family programs, birthday parties, sleepovers, behind the scenes tours and the care and program use of our education animal ambassadors. 

She is currently a Certified Interpretive Guide Trainer for the National Association for Interpretation, a national non-profit professional organization dedicated to cultural and natural resource interpreters. At Mote, she trains staff and volunteers on simple interpretive techniques to more effectively convey Mote’s mission to guests. She spent 8 years on the Florida Marine Science Educators Association Board of Directors culminating her term on the President’s Chain as Conference Chair of the FMSEA 2022 annual conference “Reunion on the Reef: Celebrating an Ocean of Resilience”, which highlighted coral reef ecosystems and diversity, equity and inclusion best practices.

Her background includes being a teaching assistant at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, MS, followed by an internship researching humpback whales at the Whale Center of New England in Gloucester, MA. She worked for several years as a Marine Science Educator at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach, NC. After a brief hiatus from marine life as Education Supervisor of the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter working with birds of prey and rehabilitating wildlife, she returned to marine science education at Mote in February 2011 as a Marine Science Educator II, followed by the role of School Programs Coordinator leading her to her current role as Public Programs Manager in 2022. In addition to marine science education and conservation she is passionate about animal rescue and equal human rights. Her goal is to empower all people, regardless of demographics or background, to be good stewards of our marine environment through positive and meaningful experiences and to mentor fellow educators in the art of interpretation so they may effectively influence the next generation of change makers.