Protecting nature through research, education, and outreach

Stronach appointed Interim Executive Director

Dartmouth, MA – Robert “Brodie” MacGregor, chair of the Lloyd Center’s board of directors, has announced that, Rachel Stronach, Director of Education at the Center, has been appointed interim executive director while the ongoing search for a permanent replacement for retiring executive director, D’Arcy MacMahon continues. Ms. Stronach will assume her new duties on Monday, January 21st, following Mr. MacMahon’s final day at the Center.

rachel-stronach-1“Ms. Stronach is well posi­tioned to main­tain the Center’s momentum during this critical period of leadership tran­si­tion,” MacGregor said in a statement to the board and staff released on Friday. He noted that the Center was undertaking a search on a national scale for a new chief executive officer.

Mr. MacMahon was chosen to be the Lloyd Center’s chief executive in 2003, following the untimely death of Donald Tucker who had led the organization for four years. Responding to the news of Ms. Stronach’s appointment, Mr. MacMahon said, “Rachel is a gifted teacher who combines depth, presence and story-telling power in her classes. She engages adults and youth with an infectious and intelligent energy and has a well-known passion for marine biology and environmental education. The board has made an outstanding choice”.

“In my role as interim executive director, I look for­ward to working with my Lloyd Center col­leagues and the board of directors in building upon the Center’s con­sid­er­able strengths in research, education, and community outreach,” Stronach said. “I also look for­ward to fos­tering the exciting ini­tia­tives in which the Center is a key force.” In addition, Ms. Stronach will continue to coordinate, contract and bill all Lloyd Center Education Programs.

Ms. Stronach joined the Lloyd Center as Director of Education in August 2009 and has proven to be a valuable member of the staff. She has played a major role in the success of the Lloyd Center’s Climate Science Learning Project (CSLP), a unique undertaking that teaches science and mathematics by incorporating these fields into a hands-on outdoor environmental education program. Under Ms. Stronach’s command as Director of Education, the Lloyd Center has been chosen as the lead educator for the Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) Southeast Region 2013 Summer Institute. Ms. Stronach has been an active member of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL) since 2009 and now serves as the Vice Chair.

Ms. Stronach received a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

No stranger to the South Coast environmental scene, Ms. Stronach interned at the Lloyd Center in the summers of 1997, 1998 and 1999, where she conducted environmentally-themed classes, programs and workshops for school children and was an assistant teacher for summer science programs, focusing on the ecology of the southeastern Massachusetts coastline.

In 2000, she served as a research intern at the New England Aquarium in Boston, where she was a lab/field assistant for the Massachusetts Freshwater Aquatic Biodiversity Program, collecting, sampling and classifying freshwater invertebrates and overseeing the testing of water quality at various field sites. The following year, she served as an education intern at the Nature Conservancy at Nags Head Woods in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, where she developed and implemented environmental programs for school-age children, lead ecologically-themed hikes and kayaking trips for the general public, and developed trail guides for visitors based on natural history and the flora and fauna of Nags Head Woods.

In September 2001, Ms. Stronach joined the Center’s highly regarded teaching staff, where she worked for four years as an Educator/Naturalist, before departing in 2005 to pursue her Master’s Degree. While on the staff, she taught in every one of the Center’s educational programs, both in schools and at field sites, and was responsible for the development and implementation of summer courses in coastal ecology and marine biology for students entering grades five through eight.

In November 2007, Ms. Stronach presented at the 17th Biennial conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Cape Town, South Africa and, in April 2009, presented at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Ms. Stronach has been a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) and the Marine Technology Society (MTS), and is a National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Certified SCUBA Diver.

From January 2008 through June 2009, Ms. Stronach worked as a 7th and 8th Grade Mathematics & Science Teacher/Teacher Intern at New Bedford’s Global Learning Charter School, where she was responsible for the implementation of mathematics and science curriculum in line with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.