Chesapeake Experience is a local, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to providing environmental education on the Chesapeake Bay for students, teachers, special groups and the general public. Programs are experiential in nature and focus primarily on getting people on the Bay in kayaks. Chesapeake Experience is based in York County, VA, but serves the entire Hampton Roads region.
Jill Bieri, President of Chesapeake Experience, has over 25 years of experience on the Bay, holds a master's degree in marine science and has worked as both a scientific researcher and an environmental educator. She has developed numerous hands-on programs for children and adults locally, regionally and nationally. Jill believes that providing opportunities for people to personally connect with the bay is one of the most important ways to make a reversal in the bay's decline.
Adrienne Richardson, Managing Director, Adrienne has spent most of her life living and playing in the Chesapeake Bay's watershed. After graduating from Old Dominion in 1999 with a BA in Science, she began teaching. Summer is by far her favorite season and after spending 10 years dreaming about kayak camp during the school year, she decided to join the Chesapeake Experience fun full time in 2012! Now her "classroom" is the Bay and her "students" are the Chesapeake Experience campers!
Cherise La Guardia, Educator, received a bachelor of science in biology fall 2007 and her masters in secondary science education in 2009, both from Virginia Tech. GO HOKIES! During the school year, she is a 6th grade science teacher at Peasley Middle School in Gloucester. Cherise has been with Chesapeake Experience since 2007. She believes the best way to teach children is to include as many hands on activities as possible, and the dirtier you get, the better!
Krista Sweet, Educator, hails from Mathews County, Virginia, a small town right on the Chesapeake Bay. A two time graduate from Christopher Newport University, Krista has a BS in biology and a MS in environmental science. She brought her extensive knowledge of animals and plants that call the Chesapeake Bay home to CE in 2011. Though Krista loves to learn about flora and fauna, she has a true talent for enthusiastically imparting her knowledge in a fun and interesting way.
Dean Bieri, Educator, is a Hampton Roads native who grew up fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. For over 30 years Dean has been a York County businessman and in 2006 when Chesapeake Experience began, he started volunteering as a chase boat driver and fisherman. Dean has a love for the Bay like no other and it shows in his willingness to help students find their own fishing experience.
Marisa Franks, Educator, joined Chesapeake Experience in the fall of 2013 after earning her Bachelor of Biological Sciences degree from Virginia Tech. Marisa has a genuine interest in anything outdoors. Her hobbies include hiking, fishing, oysters aquaculture and of course, KAYAKING! Before coming to CE she worked with VIMS and CBF, learning all about the Bay’s keystone species, the oyster. She brought her extensive knowledge of our beloved bivalve with her and now enjoys teaching others about the bay in an effort to help protect and preserve it for future generations.
Elise Moberg, Educator, Elise grew up fishing and boating in and around Yorktown, VA. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree from ODU she joined the Chesapeake Experience crew in the spring of 2014. Elise’s hobbies include Fishing, Boating, Traveling and Volleyball. When she isn’t out in her big brother’s boat looking for the next big catch she’s enthusiastically sharing her love for the Bay with her students. Elise loves working with kids and being on the water of the Chesapeake Bay which makes her a perfect match for Chesapeake Experience!
Abbey Lamb, Educator, Abbey has grown up working and playing on the Bay with Chesapeake Experience. She began with CE the summer after her freshman year of college and has come back most every summer since. Now with a BA from Florida’s Stetson University and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Abbey is still enjoying teaching students about the Bay in the hopes that they will become as passionate about preserving it for future generations as she is.
Grace Cunningham, Educator, Grace spent her high school years exploring, learning, living and playing around the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed a Master’s program in education at the American University in Washington, DC. After graduating she returned to live, work and play in the tidewater area. Over the years she has worked as a public school teacher, educational therapist, counselor and outdoor education instructor. The world is her classroom and she believes children are hands on, experiential learners. When children experience the Chesapeake Bay, they fall in love with all its wonders and become the stewards of tomorrow.