Meet the
Penikese Island Team


Simon Miner

Executive Director

Developing a passion for nature and science at an early age, Simon combines a lifelong commitment to teaching with a clear dedication to environmental stewardship. A published researcher, formerly of Marine Biological Laboratories, Simon has also been a faculty member at the Children’s School of Science for the last 14 years. Keenly aware of the need for scientific literacy and environmental awareness, while teaching at the Children’s School of Science he strove to instill an appreciation for the natural world focusing on educating students in areas such as Embryology, Microbiology, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology, and Robotics. As a dedicated father and life partner, and an avid sailor, Simon enjoys navigating the waters around Cape Cod, and the Elizabeth Islands with his family.


Kimberley Ulmer

Programming Coordinator

Kimberly is a scientist, educator, and all around hydrophile. She has a passion for science education and outreach and she is committed to cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards.

Her years of experience in both formal and informal science education as well as nine years of research experience in genetics, neuroscience, and marine biology have enabled her to be an effective and innovative science educator. Kimberly taught Biology, Aquaculture, and AP Environmental Science at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA, where she also coached the sailing team. She also taught a course on Marine Science and Sustainability at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School as part of her role as the Director of Sustainability for Sail Martha's Vineyard. More informally, Kimberly has taught Marine Biology at the Woods Hole Children's School of Science, Biological Illustration at the Falmouth Academy Summer Program, and K-6 environmental lessons with Habitat Kids on Martha's Vineyard.

Kimberly believes everyone learns best through direct experience and hands-on activities. While a true dinghy sailor at heart, Kimberly has spent time aboard larger sailing vessels such as the 95' research vessel Sorcerer II, sailing from Panama to Bermuda during their second global ocean sampling expedition, sequencing sea water to search for novel organisms and novel genes. She also spent two weeks aboard Sea Education Association's 134' SSV Corwith Cramer, studying ocean plastics, and a few weeks aboard Tabor Academy's 90' SSV Tabor Boy.

You can usually find Kimberly with her chocolate lab, Yanmar, and if they aren't on the water in her 15ft wooden tugboat or in the water swimming, they are both dreaming about it.

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Crickett Warner

Head of Island + Island Keeper

Spending summers in Woods Hole as a child, Crickett remembers seemingly endless weeks of chasing fireflies, beachcombing, and sailing in her family’s wooden sloop, exploring the Elizabeth Islands, where she first caught sight of Penikese.

When her three adult sons were young, the family spent as much time outdoors as possible – hiking, camping, rafting, gunkholing, beachcombing, tree-climbing, sledding, skating.  Each year when school ended, they started a saltwater aquarium, spending the long days of summer searching for creatures to fill the tank, checking in each morning to see who survived the night (lesson learned: don’t put fiddler crabs in with a school of silversides…).  When summer came to a close, Crickett and her three sons bid farewell to their aquatic friends, returning them to their rightful ocean home, wondering who might wind up in the aquarium again next year.

Crickett believes deeply in the importance of environmental education and experiential learning.  Young adults are her favorite age group, with whom she tries to live and teach Louis Agassiz’ tenet of “study nature, not books.”

Crickett’s certifications and trainings include Wilderness First Responder, Youth Mental Health First Aid, American Camp Association Experienced Program Staff, Unlearning Racism in Geosciences, Health and Nutrition Coach, as well as being an ordained non-denominational minister.  

Aside from raising three sons, Crickett works in non-profit development, volunteers for community events, an organic farming organization, and serves on the boards of a local food pantry and yacht club.  She has sailed and assisted with scientific research aboard Sea Education Association tall ships R/V Westward and SSV Corwith Cramer.  When not on Penikese, she spends summer nights aboard her 20’ housefloat, and winter nights ashore, dreaming of the Island and the ocean.

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Dori Mebane

Science + Nature Camp Director

Dori serves as the Director of Penikese Science + Nature Camp, a job she has trained for since she was 10 and first went to sleep away camp. Nine years later she was a Head Counselor—and she stayed at camp for another decade.

Dori is, also, Clerk of the Board of Directors and has been with Penikese for over 20 years, having started as a volunteer for Penikese Island School. She is our licensing and compliance specialist and knows the ins & outs of most every state regulation for taking care of youth in a variety of residential settings.

Her other local gig is running cellular & molecular biology training programs at the MBL for international grad students and post-docs, a position she loves and is always learning from.

Dori is a graduate of Smith College & Harvard University. She lives in West Falmouth with her very clever husband, Bill, who also helps with all kinds of projects on the island. You may see them sailing by Penikese in their 1959 Concordia sloop Black Dragon…give a wave!  


Jim Newman

Vice Chair of Penikese Board /

Boat Captain

Jim Newman is a Penikese Island School board member, licensed boat captain, and island guide.  Professionally, Jim is an engineer, and he builds underwater vehicles for scientific exploration of the deep ocean.  Jim lives in Woods Hole with his family, a flock of eight hens, and a classic wooden sailboat.


M/V Richard S. Edwards

36’ Coast Guard Inspected 24-Passenger Vessel

A heated, dry cabin with a sturdy build and hull shape make the Edwards a safe and comfortable vessel for all of our trips to Penikese Island.