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Location: Equador & Galapagos

Welcome to the Lifeworks Galapagos & Ecuador blogs! Below is a little bit about the staff that will be leading this summer. Enjoy!

James Purcell – After graduating with degrees in International Business and Spanish, James spent the next few years volunteering and exploring his way through South and Central America, the U.S., and Spain. These experiences sparked passions in international education, experiential learning, food security, and sustainable agriculture. He now combines these passions with his interest in video production, working with non-profit organizations to share their stories. He’s a flexible vegetarian, aspiring polyglot, environmentalist and avid adventurer who loves music, travel, hammocks and raw honey.

Ivy Marr – Ivy grew up in Vermont and spent her childhood dreaming of being a world explorer. She studied chemistry at Cornell University and then went on to get master’s degrees in marine biology and education. After college, Ivy discovered her love of international travel. She’s volunteered on sea turtle projects in Greece, and Costa Rica studied coral reefs in French Polynesia, visited ancient cities in Europe, and taught chemistry in England. In 2013, she worked for Seamester, teaching oceanography and sailing Ocean Star through the Caribbean. Ivy’s hobbies include hiking long distances and studying epidemiology.

Shaun Swartz – Shaun’s passions for adventure and exploration were sparked at a young age through frequent camping trips in Virginia’s the Blue Ridge Mountains and surfing trips in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Through a variety of jobs in the realms of education, marine science, and adventure guiding, Shaun has sought to broaden not only his horizons but also the horizons of his students through immersive and experiential education. Currently, Shaun aims to inspire environmental awareness, conservation and stewardship in the marine ecosystem by combining his interests in photography, journalism, and media with on-going research, education and public outreach at his current job as a Biologist with the Marine Resources Development Foundation in Key Largo, FL. Often Shaun can be found exploring the world through the lens of his camera, seeking enlightenment via his surfboard, or lost deep in the pages of books about nautical lore and ocean exploration.

Emma Farrington – Emma was born and raised in central Vermont. Her childhood in the Green Mountains fostered in her a passion for the natural world. She loves the outdoors and is always trying to immerse herself in nature as much as possible, whether it be through hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, teaching at local “Earth Camps,” or just climbing a particularly friendly-looking tree. That said, her love of exploration and adventure could never be fully satiated by the forests of her home, as she loves to travel and immerse herself in new cultures and surroundings. She finds great beauty in both the grand and the mundane, and is awe-struck by anything so small as the delicate intricacy of a spiders’ web, to something as vast as Barcelona. Her thirst for adventure found her, as a student, on Sea|mester’s Spring 2015 voyage with Ocean Star. This experience left her infatuated with boat life, and she later stayed on to work on the boat during the interim.