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Linda Chilton
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Director (2016-2020)

Linda Chilton is the University of Southern California’s Sea Grant Education Programs Manager. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating a wide range of educational programs focusing on students, teachers, and community members.  She participated initially with COSEE-West, and continues with partners in co-designing and facilitating workshops for teachers, bringing scientists and educators together to integrate current marine science topics into formal and informal education settings.  Ms. Chilton serves as a founding partner on the Key to the Sea Program, a school-aquarium watershed education collaboration. She is a partner in the development and implementation of Food for Thought aquaponics program in local schools and YESS (Youth Exploring Sea Level Rise Science) in the San Francisco Bay area.  She facilitates single and multi-day Island Explorer trips to bring urban middle and high school students to Catalina Island for field experiences including a week-long high school marine lab program. She works with partners in implementing the Parent Child programs offered through USC Sea Grant.

Ms. Chilton develops and supports community based science efforts.  She helped to develop and continues to coordinate the Harmful Algal Bloom watch program with 12 informal science centers in the Southern California area. She also engages members of the public in the Urban Tides initiative and MPA watch and Bioblitz. She co-leads the CA Naturalist training for LA Coastal region and her current efforts include addressing education pathways for Aquatic Invasive Species, integrating ocean and environmental literacy into schools, and climate change education. She also serves on other science education consortiums, is a member of the Southwest Marine Educators, the National Marine Educators Associations, and the California and National Science Teachers Associations. Ms. Chilton co-chairs the NMEA Traditional Knowledge group and the NSTA liaison team.  She was honored to receive the NMEA Educator award in 2014.

Prior to joining USC Sea Grant Ms. Chilton served 17 years developing and managing education programs as the Education Specialist at the City of Los Angeles’ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.  Some of the grant-funded programs she designed and coordinated include the volunteer Sea Ranger Naturalist Program, the Los Angeles Ocean Learning Experiences Program, and Portals to the Sea Watershed Education.  She served on the team to design the Exploration Center.  She has a wide variety of both formal and informal teaching experiences.  She taught in the public schools for a decade prior to joining Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Ms. Chilton has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University Long Beach, a M.A. in Special Education from California State University Los Angeles with Multiple Subject and Special Education teaching credentials.

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