Dr. Jill Richardson, Co-Founder/Director

Jill Richardson began working as a scientist in the marine environment over 13 years ago in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she assessed the sustainability of local lobster harvesting. This is where her passion for other cultures and the development of resource management programs began. Her marine science adventures culminated in a Bachelor of Science (Biology) and a Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) degree from the University of California, San Diego and a Doctoral degree from the Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science (University of Miami). During her graduate career, she conducted groundbreaking research on coral reef ecology, pathology, and conservation and won various awards of achievement for her research on coral diseases at national scientific meetings. She also conducted three years of pioneer research on the coral reefs of Dominica, West Indies, which has contributed to a greater understanding and the improved management of Dominica’s coastal ecosystems. During her many excursions to Dominica, she assisted with teaching and program development for the Institute for Tropical Marine Ecology (ITME), an undergraduate study abroad program on the island. Her desire to mix creativity, education, and research led her to Dolphins Plus, a marine mammal facility in Key Largo, where she developed extensive experiential learning programs for students of all ages and marine science educators. While there, she also conducted long-term research projects on the progression of mother-calf social behaviors, alloparenting, and cognition, and participated in national scientific conferences. Her passion for marine mammal science eventually led to a position as the Director of the Marine Mammal Conservancy (MMC), a non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates stranded marine mammals. She has participated in unprecedented research involving a wild, deaf, offshore Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and has been the MMC representative for various media productions. She is currently working at the University of Miami as a professor in the Marine and Atmospheric Science Department, where she teaches undergraduates about local marine ecosystems and motivates them to become ambassadors of the marine world. To date, she has published many scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, which has contributed to a greater understanding of biological processes, management applications, and conservation perspectives. F.I.N.SEA Foundation is the culmination of her experience, creativity, and vision for a future infused with young people who are inspired by, and deeply passionate about, the natural world around them.

Amy Diamond-Bridges, M.A.Ed., Co-Founder/Director

Amy’s passion for tropical marine ecology and immersion in other cultures began while studying abroad on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, over ten years ago. After achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, her interest in tropical marine research and small island ecology led her to the Institute for Tropical Marine Ecology in Dominica, West Indies, where she participated in pioneer coral reef research. This work resulted in several notable publications and contributed to the sustainable management of Dominica’s coral reef ecosystems. Amy’s true inspiration and enthusiasm comes forth in educating others about marine science and nature in creative and experiential ways. Following her time in the Caribbean, Amy acted as a lead environmental educator for Build-A-Field-Trip, a Fort Lauderdale-based organization that provides school groups with environmental adventures. Amy then settled in Los Angeles, where she wrote and illustrated “Reef Check Adventures,” a book for children about coral reefs and marine conservation (published by Reef Check) and developed original curriculum for the Roundhouse Aquarium’s coral reef education program. These projects inspired Amy to obtain a Master of Arts in Education degree and Multiple-Subject California State Teaching Credentialing program from Argosy University in 2006. Amy then traveled to the Bahamas to instruct marine science and environmental education programs to middle school through college-aged students. There she actively engaged and immersed her students in the learning and cultural experiences of local Bahamian school children. In addition, Amy also commenced work with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program (AOTE) to educate youth about coral reef ecology and sustainable living. This curriculum is currently being implemented in schools throughout Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, as well as abroad. Presently, Amy teaches elementary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and operates a private tutoring service to assist students with special needs. She also devotes her time outdoors, teaching swimming and leading marine science education programs and adventure-based camping retreats. F.I.N.SEA Foundation is the fusion of Amy’s experience, education, and vision to develop an enlightening and educational youth program that is not only creative, hands-on, and fun, but also empowers children to create and facilitate positive change for the sustainable future of our oceans and the environment.

Erin Borger, F.A., Director/Secretary

Erin Borger currently works as Associate Director for UBS Financial in New York. He also acts as a management training advisor, teaching new financial advisors how to grow and manage successful businesses. Prior to obtaining this position, Erin was a financial advisor for over four years with Morgan Stanley in South Florida. During this time he was actively involved with numerous charitable organizations, of which some of the most prominent included acting on the University of Miami Children’s Hospital Advisory Board, the Board Secretary for Eastern Seals, Board Member Financial Chair for the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, and as National Council Member for the Avon Farm School. He has also served as a board member for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, The Crockett Foundation, The Randy McMichael Foundation, and The Queen for a Day Foundation. Erin’s vast experience in financial management, as well his dynamic enthusiasm for working with a wide diversity of non-profit organizations, has resulted in an exciting and thriving partnership with the F.I.N.SEA Foundation.