Would you like the SM&NC to come to you?

Our SM&NC in the Schools Outreach Programs are designed to provide in-class, hands-on programming for groups that cannot travel to the museum or that would like additional program experiences in-school. Have a goat, chinchilla, or lizard visit your classroom, travel 600 years in the past to discover Woodland Indian life, create a map of Connecticut, explore the three rock types, and more!

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Meet Our Staff

All SM&NC school programs are taught by professional environmental educators, many of whom hold Master's Degrees. Our educators all have extensive experience teaching children about nature and the natural sciences in both indoor and outdoor settings. We look forward to meeting your group!

Lisa Monachelli, Director of Education
Lisa has been with the SM&NC since 2010. She holds Bachelor's Degrees in Biology and English/Creative Writing from WV Wesleyan College and a Master's Degree in Environmental Education from Southern CT State University. Before coming to SM&NC, she worked for CT DEP Divisions of State Parks and Education, Maine Audubon Society and the New Canaan Nature Center. In 2009, she was named the Outstanding Outdoor Educator for Connecticut by the CT Outdoor & Environmental Education Assoc. Her favorite part of sharing nature with children is to instill appreciation for "nature's underdogs" - those plants and animals often disliked. She is responsible for scheduling all programs, creating many of our public programs, teaching school and after school programs. She is responsible for program scheduling, creating curricula, teaching school and public programs. She is also one of SM&NC's beekeepers and serves as our Summer Camp Director.

Kendall Musgrave, Environmental Education Supervisor
Kendall joined the SM&NC team in 2017. She holds a B.A. in History from Bates College in Maine and a MS in History by Research from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to coming to SM&NC, she served as a teacher-naturalist for the Connecticut Audubon Society and as an outreach museum educator for the Bruce Museum. While admittedly a history fanatic, Kendall loves to share her fascination with the natural world with students of all ages and to encourage them to explore and embrace their curiosity. As one of the educators for the school programs everywhere from the farm to after school programs, Kendall is happy to teach students about everything from strange animal adaptations to the medical applications of leeches.

Victoria Jaffery, Manager of Heckscher Farm Administration
Victoria has been with the SM&NC since 2007. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from the University of Rhode Island. Before coming to the SM&NC, she worked at the Bronx Zoo, the CT Humane Society and various horse farms in the area. As Co-Manager of Heckscher Farm, Victoria is responsible for the overall care of our animals, managing farm staff and volunteers and working with our oxen team and working goats. She teaches many of our farm classes, including Otterly Amazing and Hands-on Heckscher.

Mark Mogensen, Manager of Heckscher Farm Operations
Mark has been with the SM&NC since 2008. He Holds a B.A. in Natural Resource Management and Engineering with a concentration in Wildlife Management from the University of Connecticut. Before the SM&NC, he worked for the State of CT Department of Environmental Protection for three years. Mark has a true passion for everything outdoors with an affinity for wildlife and landscape photography. As Co-Manager of Heckscher Farm, Mark is responsible for the daily operation and the maintenance of all farm grounds and buildings. Mark also teaches many classes on the farm including Hands-on Heckscher and the Junior Curator Program. Mark can often be found outdoors on the grounds tending to the farm.

Emily HerzEnvironmental Educator & Wildlife Specialist
Emily joined the SM&NC at the beginning of 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology with a minor in Education from the University of Maine. Emily previously worked as an interpretive naturalist at Meigs Point Nature Center in Madison, CT and an environmental education intern for the Maria Mitchell Association in Nantucket, MA. She also was a visitor services intern for Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut and, most recently, an environmental education intern at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, FL. Over the past 10 years, Emily has volunteered for the CT DEEP Wildlife Division on a variety of wildlife and education projects. She looks forward to sharing her life-long passion for wildlife and conservation with visitors and students.

Kara Oulighan, Environmental Education & Visitor Experience Specialist
Kara joined the SM&NC's education team in fall 2018, having been with the Museum as a visitor services ambassador, summer camp registrar, and part-time educator since 2017. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Fairfield University. While Kara loves the outdoors and creatures of all kinds, she has always been particularly fascinated with the study of nature's most "social animals"—humans—and is driven to help foster connections between them. In addition to teaching nature-based educational programs on and off-site, Kara is most eager to grow and develop engaging public programs, self-guides, and other enrichment tools for enhancing visitors' experience of both the SM&NC and the natural world.

Sydnee Foster, Environmental Educator & Animal Care Specialist
Sydnee joined SM&NC in 2016 after she graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Central Connecticut State University. Sydnee previously worked at Roaring Brook Nature Center, where she practiced wildlife rehabilitation, in addition to educating the public on the natural history of Connecticut. Most of the time, Sydnee can be found overseeing the care of our animals in Heckscher WILD! & Overbrook Nature Center.  When not perfecting her craft, Sydnee enjoys spending time outdoors identifying birds and other wildlife.