About Us

Our Instructors

Broadreach instructors at staff training

We require extensive training every year before programs begin so that instructors are equipped to carry out safety procedures, facilitate positive and productive group dynamics, and that they embody empathetic leadership. Our rigorous interview and selection process, in addition to training, prepares instructors to make every Broadreach trip a positive growth experience for students.

Among Broadreach summer instructors, you’ll find doctoral graduates, professors, experiential education professionals, high school teachers, PADI professional scuba instructors, marine biologists, Coast Guard-licensed sailing masters, graduate students and more.

Highlighted Instructors

Kiwi Cyr

Kiwi Cyr

Marine Biologist

Kiwi has been fascinated by the ocean and marine life for as long as she can remember, and cannot think of a time when she didn’t want to be a marine biologist. She graduated from the University of Hawaii, Manoa with a BS in Marine Biology, later becoming an AAUS-certified scientific diver and NAUI divemaster. She has worked aboard the SSV Tole Mour for the Catalina Island Marine Institute’s (CIMI) Tall Ship Expeditions Program teaching students sailing, marine biology, island ecology and leadership skills. Currently, Kiwi works on Catalina Island, C.A. as a marine science instructor at CIMI, where she spends her days teaching students all about marine science and island ecology in an experiential education setting. When she isn’t teaching, Kiwi spends her time hiking, painting, surfing and going on outdoor adventures.

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Rob Ellis

Rob Ellis

Marine Biologist

Rob has been teaching marine, earth and environmental science for more than 16 years in both classrooms and outdoor environments. He is an assistant professor in the Marine Science Department at Orange Coast College in Southern California and the Director of the OCC Public Aquarium. He has co-authored two widely-used textbooks on oceanography and is currently working on a third. In addition to Broadreach, Rob has worked for a variety of field education programs including the Ocean Institute, Catalina Island Marine Institute, Longacre Expeditions and Astrocamp. He loves being an instructor because it allows him to do more in-depth field work on specific topics than the classroom normally allows. Rob loves helping students get a chance to explore the real-world applications of the classroom.

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Julia Bentley

Julia Bentley

Veterinarian

At the age of four, Julia knew she wanted to become a veterinarian. She studied animal science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, later attending vet school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. An avid animal lover, Julia has volunteered at a dog shelter and elephant sanctuary in Thailand and worked with equids in areas of the Dominican Republic. As a competitive horseback rider, she completed an internship at equine practice in Lexington, Kentucky, and currently owns a small equine practice and two horses of her own. When she’s not working as a vet at a small animal clinic, horseback riding, or spreading her passion for veterinary medicine to the next generation of animal enthusiasts, Julia enjoys running, kayaking, cooking and gardening.

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Lindsay Graff

Lindsay Graff

Shark Biologist

With a master’s degree in marine biology from Northeastern University, Lindsay Graff has focused her attention on helping students develop a love for sharks. She has been an instructor for Broadreach’s shark studies program in Fiji since 2012. Lindsay has worked with Project Great White Shark in South Africa assisting in the tagging and genetic sampling of great whites, setting a world record for 106 continuous hours of manual tracking of an individual white shark. Most recently, Lindsay has spent her falls working for the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy tracking migration routes and conducting population studies of great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass.

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Jen Naranjo

Jen Naranjo

PADI Scuba Instructor

After moving away from her hometown in South Florida, Jen headed to Little Corn Island, a remote island in Nicaragua where she’s lived for the past eight years. There, she teaches scuba diving to visitors and basic computer skills to local children. Some of her favorite students have been teens on gap year trips, which inspired her to become a Broadreach instructor in 2011. Jen studied international business and marketing at George Washington University and plans to focus her conservation efforts by adding to and maintaining the artificial reef system built at the dive shop where she works. Her favorite part of traveling is taking in the night sky and noticing how different each place is from where she grew up. She also enjoys making jewelry, a craft that she learned from artisans in Central America.

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Deanna Deibel

Deanna Deibel

Spanish Teacher

A native of Atlanta, Deanna headed to the coast to study Spanish and journalism at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. During a semester abroad in Valencia, Spain, she fell in love with the culture and later spent a year in the Spanish Basque Country teaching English to middle and high school students in the small village of Zumaia. Deanna also worked at a private English academy in San Sebastian, Spain, teaching adults and children the English language. After graduate school, Deanna returned to Wilmington, where she currently lives and teaches Spanish at her alma mater. She founded a pre-K through eighth grade Spanish program at Island Montessori school in Wilmington, and also enjoys tutoring in Spanish on the side. Deanna is also an avid yogi, a practice she adopted more than 13 years ago.

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Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Veterinarian

Jessica grew up in Greenville, N.C., and moved to Raleigh, N.C. to pursue an undergraduate degree in animal science from N.C. State University. In May 2017, Jessica earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree from N.C. State College of Veterinary Medicine. She was heavily involved in the university’s recreation program, assisting with equipment rentals, teaching rock climbing clinics, managing rock wall safety, and leading day and overnight sea kayaking, hiking and rock climbing trips. She also worked for Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) mentoring women during their freshman year at college. Currently, Jessica works for Banfield Pet Hospital as a full-time veterinarian. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, throwing frisbees, gardening and traveling by campervan.

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Kristen Ewen

Kristen Ewen

PADI Scuba Instructor

Kristen grew up in northern Michigan, where summers were filled with sailing the Great Lakes and swimming for hours. Always fascinated by fish, her first Broadreach trip in the Caribbean during high school sparked her interest in scuba diving and marine biology. She was back at Broadreach the very next summer as a Divemaster Intern and headed to the University of Tampa for a B.S. in Marine Biology. Kristen has led Broadreach trips as a PADI Dive Instructor in St. Martin, the Grenadines, Mexico and Bonaire. She is completing a MS in Marine and Environmental Science at the University of the Virgin Islands. When she’s not studying, Kristen gardening in coral nurseries, aboard research vessels collecting fisheries data and diving into the deep with eager students from the local dive shop.

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Lauren Miranda

Lauren Miranda

Spanish Teacher

Lauren’s love for the outdoors began as a child while exploring the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family. She attended Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, where she double majored in biology and Spanish with a minor in chemistry. During her time in school, she led a student organization that taught ESL to migrant farm workers and worked as an instructor for a wilderness program leading backpacking, rock climbing and ice climbing trips. Lauren spent a semester abroad in Ecuador, where she became fluent in Spanish while traveling all over the country. After college, she completed three semesters of graduate coursework in molecular genetics at Dartmouth College before venturing to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she taught field science to teens at the Teton Science Schools. Currently, Lauren is attending graduate school at the University of Oregon to earn her master’s degree in Spanish language and literature. Lauren enjoys hiking, playing the ukulele, mountain biking, helping others learn, rock climbing and everything about nature.

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Simon McVeagh

Simon McVeagh

Skipper

Simon is from the wonderful, windy lands of New Zealand. When not instructing for Broadreach, Simon works in Wellington teaching sailing lessons and delivering boats in New Zealand. He recently completed a two-week long, 900-mile race. Simon has extensive sailing experience in everything from delivering brand new yachts for clients, to skippering yachts in 10+ day ocean races with both a full crew and one other person on board. He loves to travel and work with kids, and one of his favorite memories was taking a group of disadvantaged 14-16-year-olds from Wellington out sailing for the day. He has also coached canoe polo for both a local high school and the Regional Canoe Polo association for the past five years.

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