Bermudian Claire Fox joined BIOS this month as a science education officer, bringing to the job her experience as a BIOS intern, and as a former employee and volunteer for a variety of island-based science education outlets, plus university-level science training.
Fox, 31, has partnered with BIOS education and community engagement director Kaitlin Noyes to coordinate a variety of educational programs for local students and those who come from abroad. With lockdowns and other ongoing restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, current programming includes virtual lessons that link BIOS offerings with the island’s public and private school curriculums. Her work will expand this summer to include the Institute’s Ocean Science Camp and the Bermuda Program, which pairs Bermudian students with BIOS scientists for marine and atmospheric science internships.
Fox, who was born in Bermuda and has spent her life on island other than to attend universities for environmental science studies in Canada and Wales, said growing up playing on the seashore fostered an appreciation of the ocean and outdoors.
“Summers were spent at Castle Point with my family and exploring the rocks with my sisters and grandfather,” she said. “We would go on adventures all over the island with my grandparents and we learned so much from them. We were always outside and preferably in the sea.”
Her experience at BIOS started in 2010 during the first of two summers spent attending Bermuda Program internships in the Institute’s phytoplankton ecology lab, where she worked with marine biogeochemist Michael Lomas, now at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine. She said her time in the lab, and conducting field work on board the BIOS-operated research vessel Atlantic Explorer, gave her the confidence needed to undertake a month-long marine research expedition in Indonesia the following year. It also helped her to forge ongoing, supportive relationships with BIOS staff.
Prior to joining BIOS, Fox was the assistant director with Waterstart Ltd., a position that included environmental programming and grant writing. She also prepared and instructed lessons for young children for the Bermuda Zoological Society and organized activities and lessons on-board voyages with the Bermuda Sloop Foundation. She graduated from Bermuda High School for Girls and holds a master of science in marine environmental protection from Bangor University in Wales.
Fox took over the educator position from Bermudian Kyla Smith, who joined BIOS in 2015 as an Ocean Academy educator and dive instructor and now holds the role of dive safety officer at BIOS.