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Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center
Matthew Remuzzi - USCG 100 Ton Captain of the American Star
Hometown:Hazlet, NJ
Education: Bachelor of Science in Marine Geology, Stockton University
Experience:Capt Matt started his career with the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center in 2011 as a Marine Naturalist aboard the Twilight. He obtained his Masters Captain’s license in 2011 and served as a relief Captain aboard the Twilight and American Star until 2013 when he took over as the full-time Captain of the American Star. Captain Matt founded the CMWW&RC internship program in 2013, and assists our naturalists and interns daily in collecting data for our Cape May Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog. He serves as a liaison to Whale and Dolphin Conservation and a member of our team that developed Clean Ocean Initiative (Marine Debris Awareness Program). Captain Matt is always motivated to ensure that our passengers get to witness and appreciate all of the marine wildlife that the Cape May area has to offer. Other experience includes field work studying carbonate formations in the Florida Keys for two field seasons; Vessel Operator and Naturalist Whale Sense Certified.
Kathleen McDuell - Senior Marine Naturalist
Hometown:Cape May, NJ
Education: Bachelor of Science in Special Education, Rider College; Graduate Work at Rutgers University
Experience:Kathy anchors the staff as our most veteran employee of 27 years with her vast experience and with her sheer number of hours spent on the water; Known for her signature whale sighting call “Thar she blows;” The McDuell family is one of the original Cape May families and Kathy brings that pioneering spirit and history to the Research Center; Raised in the boating and boatyard business she brings her own brand of “can do” personality to the American Star with a priority for safety; She is the crown jewel of our operation; Her keen ability for spotting spouts can’t be outdone; Over 29 years of teaching experience; Naturalist Whale Sense Certified.
Melissa Laurino - USCG 100 Ton Captain / Research Director / Marine Naturalist
Hometown:Linden, NJ
Education: Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, Minor in Jazz Performance, Stockton University; Master of Science in Data Science, Stockton University.
Experience:Melissa started her career with the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center as an intern in 2013 and quickly became a Marine Naturalist and Educator on the American Star. As the Director of our Internship and Research Program, Melissa oversees all research and data collection with our intern team and curates our Cape May, New Jersey Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog and our Lewes, Delaware Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Catalog which contribute to the Mid Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Database to improve our understanding of the Northern Migratory stock. She serves as a liaison to Whale and Dolphin Conservation and a member of our team that developed Clean Ocean Initiative (Marine Debris Awareness Program), our Sperm Whale Catalog and Citizen Dolphin Project Current research interests include machine learning data processing, tidal influences on marine mammals, social networks, male-male bonds, using photo-identification for health assessments, documentation of spinal deformities, skin lesions and much more. Her research has been presented at the South East and Mid Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) and other major conferences. Other experience includes Diamondback Terrapin rescue, rehabilitation, and release (Stockton University & Wetland’s Institute Joint Project); fish trawling and identification/sorting with Rutgers Marine Science Field Station; Stream monitoring for pollutant tolerant and intolerant invertebrates; Completed coursework in Ornithology; PADI Diver and Nitrox certified; Vessel Operator and Naturalist Whale Sense Certified.
Dr. Michael Denk - Marine Naturalist
Hometown: Brick, NJ
Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2019
Experience:Michael started his career with the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center as an intern in 2015 and became a Marine Naturalist and Educator on the American Star in 2018. He is a part of the team pioneering our Sperm Whale Catalog, Citizen Dolphin Project and development of vessel based health assessment for the Cape May dolphin population. Michael has led or assisted with numerous toothed whale dissections/necropsies, and given multiple lectures to veterinary students about cetacean anatomy and physiology. He is currently a guest investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI).  Current research interests include using photo-identification for health assessments and documentation of spinal deformities, marine mammal airway anatomical research, diving physiology, bone specimen identification/preparation, and much more. His research has been presented at the South East and Mid Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) and other major conferences. Other experience includes interning at the Smithsonian Institute; Guest Student at WHOI; participation in stream fish temperature niche analysis research; teacher's assistant for ornithology, zoology and special anatomy courses for marine mammals at vet school; recipient of James H. Burt Memorial Scholarship in Anatomy; Awarded Phi Zeta "Best Case Presentation" for oral presentation CT-Guided Osteological Preparation and Examination of a Bottlenose Dolphin Skull (Tursiops truncatus); Member of IAAAM (‚ÄčInternational Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine); Naturalist Whale Sense Certified.
Jennifer Long - Operations Manager / Marine Naturalist
Hometown:Downingtown, PA
Education: Bachelor of Science in Geo-Environmental Studies, Shippensburg University; Masters of Science in Geo-Environmental Studies with a focus on earth/space science and environmental education; currently pursuing Ed.D in Educational Leadership, Rowan University
Experience:Awarded William B. McIlwaine Science Teaching Award by PSTA; Graduate Research article on outdoor education published in PSTA; Awarded McLane Contribution Foundation Grant of $26,000 to utilized towards science education programs; Science Field Supervisor for STEAM student teachers and Astronomy instructor at Rowan University; Earth and Space/Geology Instructor at Stockton University; Previous Environmental Education Director at Upper Main Line YMCA developing and managing STEM environmental education outreach programs, school group programs, preschool and youth classes, and summer nature camps for ages 2-18; Instrumental in developing and expanding programs relating to marine flora and fauna with the CMWW&RC, programs that allow students and community members the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge on animal classification, plankton studies, and the whale and dolphin identification; Developed and supervised school programs that consist of multiple hands-on stations that take place on the boat that relate to marine mammals, invertebrates, water characteristics, navigations tools and techniques, whale and dolphin cataloguing, and plankton sampling; Whale Sense Certified.
Alayna Robertson - Marine Naturalist
Hometown:Philadelphia, PA
Education: Currently pursuing Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the College of Charleston, South Carolina
Experience:Alayna started her career with the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center as an intern in 2017 and became a Marine Naturalist and Educator on the American Star in 2018. She is a Certified Protected Species Observer (MPSC) and continues research efforts with CMWWRC working on photo-identification of semi-residential Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. At the South Carolina Aquarium, she assists with photo-identification field studies of estuarine bottlenose dolphins and studies their relation to anthropogenic disturbances, urban foraging techniques and various behavioral data. Current research interests include mom and calf relationships, skin lesions, and species specific behaviors by region and population. Other experience includes Reptile-trained Exhibit Guide Educator at the South Carolina Aquarium; Co-President of campus Environmental Club advocating for hands on environmental and social sustainability practices; International Sea Turtle Symposium Volunteer; Naturalist Whale SENSE Certified.
Dale Murphy - First Mate
Hometown:Bayonne, NJ
Education: Currently pursuing Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Penn State Berks, Pennsylvania State University
Experience:Dale started his career with the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center in 2019. Before becoming our first mate on the American Star, Dale started with the Starlight Fleet and Cape Star in 2018 fishing on deep sea and back bay trips. He is passionate about ichthyology and the ecological niche our blue fish and bunker play in our ecosystem. Dale is invaluable to our Clean Ocean Initiative (Marine Debris Awareness Program) - no floating marine debris can escape his net! Naturalist Whale Sense Certified.
Advance Purchase Strongly Recommended... Trips Often Sell Out!
*Our guarantee applies if no marine mammals are sighted. In the event that no marine mammals are sighted, we offer another trip. Subject to space availability.
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