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STEM Resource Center

The St. Johns River Water Management District is all about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as our staff work in these fields and many others each day to preserve and protect Florida’s water resources. These dedicated staff members are passionate about their work on behalf of the state’s residents and share their experiences and inspirations here in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.

Meet some of our staff:

Jessica Beach:
Love of outdoors, STEM subjects drew engineer to district

Following her passions for nature and problem solving brought engineer Jessica Beach to the St. Johns River Water Management soon after graduation from the University of Florida in 2004.

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Allyson Burke:
Parents encouraged her dream to work for the environment

For most people, crossing paths with a large diamond back rattlesnake wouldn’t be the highlight of their day. But for Allyson Burke, seeing the large reptile while on a site inspection was a reminder of why she loves Florida’s ecology.

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Melisa Diolosa:
Great respect for natural world drives regulatory scientist

Melisa Diolosa was a Michigan transplant attending Florida Institute of Technology in the 1990s when she first learned about the nearby Indian River Lagoon, the 156-mile-long estuary covering 40 percent of Florida’s east coast.

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Lauren Hall:
Biologist enjoys challenges of field work

Plying the waters of the Indian River Lagoon in a research vessel is a dream job for St. Johns River Water Management District biologist Lauren Hall.

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Lori Morris:
Career path was a calling at an early age

Some people are fortunate to realize at an early age the career path they’ll choose. It’s almost as if the career has chosen them, a phenomenon often described as a calling. Lori Morris falls into this category.

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Christine Mundy:
City kid’s love of nature started with TV’s Wild Kingdom

As a teenager growing up in the middle of Chicago, Christine Mundy was fascinated with the natural world as it was depicted in television shows like Wild Kingdom. Her love for and fascination with the complexity and beauty of the natural world inspired her pursuit of a degree in environmental science.

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Dr. Ann Shortelle:
Passion for science began as a child

As a girl growing up in Oklahoma, Dr. Ann Shortelle recalls the daily walk to her elementary school and the footbridge that crossed the creek where she collected tiny fish and tadpoles in a mason jar.

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Deb Stone:
Love of outdoors led to life’s work

Deb Stone leads the charge against invading marauders lurking in some of Florida’s most scenic places and she couldn’t be happier.

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Emily Wakley:
Interests in water, the outdoors and the environment guide career path

It’s another hot Florida afternoon when Emily Wakley steps out of her truck to visit a local plant nursery in central Florida. The trip is to review compliance with a consumptive use permit, part of her responsibilities as a hydrologist with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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Christine Wentzel:
College course, site visit opened door to career

A lifelong love of nature and the outdoors led Christine Wentzel down a path to her 22-year career as an environmental scientist with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922