About the Water Guardians


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.        

-Margaret Mead

Teresa E.  Thornton, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Teresa Thornton is a hydro-geochemist and social scientist who has been teaching science since 1994.  She began her career by creating curriculum for science museums and moved on to teach in both public and private secondary schools.  After receiving her graduate degrees she taught pre-service teachers and forest resource undergraduates how to teach science in both classic and alternative settings.  Her focus has been on kinesthetic, experiential, brain-based learning that fosters the natural desire to understand the interconnectedness of the classical sciences and the social sciences.  Before joining the Oxbridge family, Dr. Thornton was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the GET WET! program at the University of Maine.  This program engages secondary students with local professionals and universities to assist communities in managing the health of their drinking water sources. This program, whose curriculum and implementation was designed by Dr. Thornton is now practiced annually in more than seven states.  She has published in geology, water science, and education journals and has had the privilege of speaking at national and international conferences on both drinking water source protection and STEM education.

Karen Hinkley, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Hinkley received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2011. Her dissertation” Self-healing in mollusks, lessons from biology “ can be found on ProQuest. She earned her masters in Chemistry from Washington state university in 1995 and bachelors in science in Zoology/Biology from the University of Washington in 1986. She has been teaching chemistry, marine biology and materials science and engineering for 25 years. Travelling with students all over the world to explore the oceans has kept her original passion for the marine environment alive. An avid SCUBA diver since 1976 Dr. Hinkley has been diving in almost all kinds of water including ice diving and cavern diving.  Dr. Hinkley can be found most weekends  volunteering at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center.


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