The Nature Foundation has three permanent staff members and additional staff for projects. Our board members jointly oversee the activities of our organization. The local team is strengthened by (often remote) skilled researchers, enthusiastic interns, and a large community of volunteers.
Our staff members all live on St. Maarten, and share a passion for nature conservation and educational outreach. Combined, the Nature Foundation staff represents a wide range of qualifications, ranging from boat handling and maintenance to commercial dive experience, as well as backgrounds in ecology, park law, and policing.
- Manager: Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern (M.Sc. in Marine Biology and Ecology; commercial diving)
- Educational Outreach Officer: Leslie Hickerson (B.Sc. in Sustainable Tourism; commercial diving, education)
- Marine Park Ranger: Delhon Hewitt (Field work technician, commercial diving, maritime sector)
- Project Coordinator: Alice Manley (B.Sc. in Animal Behaviour)
- Project Assistant: Zakiya Peterson (B.Sc. in Environmental Studies)
The Nature Foundation often has one or two interns, undergraduate or recently graduated university students looking to expand their experience in the marine and terrestrial fields of ecology, education, and management. They spearhead their own research or education project while assisting Foundation staff with a variety of day-to-day tasks.
- Intern: Tijn Boom (Working towards a B.Sc. in International Land & Water Management)
The Nature Foundation has a permanent board of five directors who oversee the organization’s activities and direct overall policy and strategy. Elected Board members have additional responsibilities in accordance with respective positions. Board meetings are called monthly or bimonthly and minutes are circulated to the Board. Meetings between the manager and Board representatives take place as necessary.
- Board Chairman: Jan Beaujon (Financial sector and council of advice)
- Board Secretary: Rikke Bachmann-Speetjens (Marine biologist)
- Board Treasurer: Paul Ellinger (Marine industry)
- Regular Member: Jesse Peterson (Yachting industry)
- Regular Member: Frank Boekhout (Education and biologist)