Call of the Sea is committed to iterative improvement. The Education Advisory Board responds to the needs of our times, collaborates with the community, and co-creates on-the-water field experiences and curricula.

Double Rainbow

Natalie Rodriguez-Dickens

Natalie Rodriguez (she/her) is a 17 year old student currently attending Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MarinSEL), at Terra Linda High School. Throughout her high school years she has worked on environmental projects alongside peers, to improve her local community. During these projects, she has deepened her love for the environment and hopes to major in Environmental Studies in college. Some of these projects include working with the parks service to remove invasive species, reducing her school’s energy consumption, and implementing a recycling system at her school. Ever since Natalie was a kid, she has always enjoyed spending time in nature from camping with her family, hiking, swimming, and exploring. She has always had a passion for learning about the environment and ways to protect and conserve it. She is excited to take her passion into the professional field and work alongside peers to improve and implement new systems regarding environmental protection, equity, sustainability, and preservation.

Christanne (Chris) J. Gallagher

Chris is the Manager at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito, CA. The Bay Model Visitor Center (BMVC) is a regional visitor for the Corps and serves over 150,000 visitors a year. The BMVC is a fully accessible educational center, which makes possible the viewing of a scientific tool: a working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and San Joaquin Delta system. Chris holds a degree in Forestry from Unity College in Maine and a B.A. degree in Environmental Education from Dominican University in San Rafael. Chris is active in the Sausalito community having started the Volunteers in Public Safety (VIPS) in 2003 assisting both Fire & Police Depts. She also serves on the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce Board and was President in 2010.

Prior to joining the Corps Chris worked for the National Park Service at Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in the Marin Headlands performing a resource management and interpretation duties.She also spent a short time on Alcatraz working as a ranger. She then worked for the US Forest Service in their Regional Information and Personnel Offices.

Capt. Kurt Holland

Kurt’s teaching experience includes M/S, H/S, and college classrooms. Most notably,
community based science at SMASH (Santa Monica Alternative School House),
professional learning experiences for teachers, and leadership training for the United
States Coast Guard and Navy. However, his deepest interests and greatest skill set is
weaving outdoor environmental and ocean learning into formal 3D NGSS instructional
sequences. Whether on the deck of a schooner reaching for the trades, hiking through
the coastal rain forests of Alaska, or in formal classrooms, Kurt finds his greatest joy in
helping learners make sense of the world by doing science, not talking about science.
He is a certified wilderness first aid responder, glacier guide, licensed maritime officer,
and US SAILING Instructor Trainer.

Before becoming a full time educator, Kurt worked as a geospatial scientist applying
GIS systems to vessel routing, modeling of near shore ocean circulation patterns, and
responding to oil spills through-out the western United States. The highlight of this time
was four consecutive years in Alaska on the Exxon Valdez spill, it was this experience
that turned him towards becoming a science and environmental communicator. He
began his sea-going career with the US Navy where he performed search and rescue,
meteorological observations, interpretation of high seas weather, and forecasting.
Currently, he spends most of his time connecting scientists to teachers, leading ocean
education events for teachers, or writing on environmental literacy topics.
The most important parts of Kurt’s life are his relationship with his wife, Erin, advancing
the careers of young colleagues, and collaborating with partners to protect/enhance
access to outdoor environmental learning in California.

Alice Cochran

Alice Collier Cochran is an experienced consultant to nonprofits on shared
governance, collaborative planning and board meeting effectiveness. She has
provided leadership training and facilitation to organizations since the mid 1980’s.
She was the founder and manager of Work Improvement Network (WIN), a team-
based approach to quality improvement at a national bank.
Between working in colleges and corporations, she was the Education Director
aboard the brig Unicorn, a youth sail training vessel. Alice was the former
president of the Golden Gate Tall Ships Society, based in Sausalito. She was
also a board member of the American Sail Training Association, now known as
Tall Ships America, and the San Francisco chapter of American Society for
Training and Development.

She recently retired as the Director of Leadership Development in the Institute for
Leadership Studies, School of Business and Leadership, at Dominican
University. She is currently an adjunct faculty member serving on the Faculty
Forum planning team and the union’s Labor Management Committee.
Alice is the author of Roberta’s Rules of Order by Wiley and a companion Quick
Start Guide for small groups to implement effective meeting and decision-making
methods. She enjoys using sailing analogies in her writing and workshops to
explain otherwise “dry concepts’.

Kris Von Wald, Ph.D.

Kris Von Wald joined Tall Ships America as Executive Director in January 2019.

She has a wealth of experience in youth development and education, organizational development (with a focus on strategic and business planning) and leadership development. Kris worked across the commercial, nonprofit, and public sectors in the United States and the United Kingdom, with specialist expertise in leading transformational change and experience in workforce development and program evaluation.

Growing up along the front range in Colorado fostered her keen interest in outdoor pursuits, and her work allows her to marry her education and experience with her interests. She has first-hand experience of the value of learning through outdoor and adventurous activity including a sailing adventure through Hurricane Island Outward Bound, as a leader on a Greenland expedition, and by sailing aboard Christian Radich.

We welcome all interested Education Advisory Board members to submit a statement of intent and resume to dax@callofthesea.org