2022 - 2023 MATES Project Terrapin Leaders
Karen Tsang '23
Karen has been a part of our outreach program for the past three years developing lessons. This year our outreach will increase its scope and Karen will be an integral part in developing our new outreach items. She is also a part of the Rally for Barnegat Bay project and conducts independent research.
Iliana Vasslides '23
Iliana is a senior at MATES and has been involved with Outreach for three years now. She loves working with others and helping them learn about our terrapins and why it’s important that we keep them safe. She is an integral part of Project Terrapin's Outreach mission.
Chloe Uy '24
Chloe has been involved in Project Terrapin the past two years serving as an Outreach instructor and helping with events from Jenkinson's Aquarium to Terrapin Tuesdays. She is student researcher who likes to help other students and serves as a mentor for our younger students.
Kailey Miller '24
Kailey has been involved in Project Terrapin the past two years serving as an Outreach instructor and helping with events including Jenkinson Aquarium's Terrapin Appreciation Day. She is student researcher who serves as a mentor to other students.
TJ Cooke '24
TJ has been involved in Project Terrapin the past two years serving as an Outreach instructor and working on developing outreach lessons related to terrapins for middle school students. He assisted with our Summer Experience Program and will be a key instructor for our Outreach Programs.
Abigail Jones '25
Abby has been involved in all aspects of Project Terrapin the past two years serving as an Outreach assistant and even helping with terrapin research in the field during the summer. Abby volunteers her time at events and is an integral part of Project Terrapin.
Angelo Amato '23
Angelo has been involved in Project Terrapin the past three years. He has been instrumental in conservation and assisting in room 158 with tank maintenance and care. He completed his Eagle Scout Project at Island Beach State Park by constructing a terrapin hatchery at the Nature Center in the spring 2021.
Haley Austin '24
Hatchling Care Assistant
Haley has been active in Project Terrapin working with our Events this past spring and Hatchlings. She will assist with coordinating our hatchling division in making sure that the terrapins are well cared for this year. She also assisted with our Summer Experience this year.
Matthew Thomas '25
Hatchling Care Assistant
Matthew made a great impression his first year working with our hatchling and yearling terrapins. He was there on a daily basis and learned a lot about the care requirements. We look forward to Matthew serving as a hatchling care leader this year.
Sophia D'Arienzo '23
Hatchling School Coordinator
Sophia has been involved in Project Terrapin the past three years helping with Care and volunteering during lunch/activities period at MATES. She has vast experience with the hatchlings and will work together with Sarah to coordinate hatchlings care and safety for the headstart program.
Ethan Johnson '23
Ethan has been a part of our care program for the past three years both in school and caring for turtles at his home. He shares his experience by training new care members as we will continue to care for turtles at school. Ethan has developed an excellent care program.
Andrew Cagliostro '24
Care Supply Coordinator
Andrew has been involved in many aspects of MATES Project Terrapin the past two years helping with Care and Events. He is involved with community projects and is student researcher. Andrew also provides care for our adult female terrapin over the summer.
A.J. Ostapovich '23
Hatchling Care Coordinator
AJ has been working with our hatchlings and the hatchlings tanks over the past three years. AJ is responsible for the overall care of both temporary and permanent hatchlings in captivity. AJ has been instrumental in maintaining the hatchlings over the years and is a wealth of knowledge about our program.
Joseph Fossa '24
Joe has been an active member of Project Terrapin throughout his two years at MATES. He works with events, outreach and rumor has it that he was even SCUTES. Joe will be working with developing care protocols and training new care members.
Morgan Zylinski '25
Assistant Care Leader
Morgan is in her second year MATES and has made an impression in terms of her turtle care efforts and involvement in student research. We look forward to another great care year and for years to come with Morgan's leadership.
Megan Thomas '23
Hatchling Care Coordinator
Hi! My name is Megan Thomas and I am a senior at MATES. I began working with the MATES hatchlings in my sophomore year. Since then, I have been caring for the hatchlings, maintaining their tanks, and observing their health until they are ready to be released back into their natural habitat. I am excited to work with this year's new batch of hatchlings!
Caroline Liebmann '24
Caroline started volunteering with Project Terrapin when she was a freshman. Caroline is passionate about environmental conservation and hopes to learn more about fieldwork and our local ecosystems. In her spare time, Caroline is a member of Lacey Township Marching Band and Jazz Band. She is instrumental in conservation initiatives with Project Terrapin
Michelle Kagramian '24
Assistant Conservation Leader
Michelle has been involved in Project Terrapin the past two years serving in numerous capacities. She worked events like Jenkinson's Aquarium Turtle Appreciation Day. She is student researcher who is always willing to help others and get involved in community projects that improve our environment.
Broden Connolly '24
Assistant Events Coordinator
Broden has been with events the past year sharing information about terrapins and conservation at multiple events from Ocean Fun Day to Terrapin Tuesdays. He is a student researcher who interacts well with the public and enjoys talking about terrapins at our events!
Community and Administrative Support
Victoria Yakes '23
Victoria has been active in Project Terrapin Outreach and Events throughout the past couple of years. She is a student researcher at MATES and mentors students with their research project. Both Victoria and Hailey will promote Project Terrapin awareness many ways this year.
Hailey Hart '23
Hailey is a senior at MATES who has been active in many aspects of Project Terrapin from Outreach to Events. She will continue to serve as a leader and provide an overview for Project Terrapin. Hailey served as an instructor for our Summer Experience Program and often volunteers!
Grace Leavitt '24
Grace has been active in Project Terrapin the past two years and has been involved in Events and many community projects. She holds a number of leadership positions at MATES and has a knack for getting things done. She is a student researcher and we look forward to her fundraising efforts.