Kelly Baraki

Photo of Kelly Baraki

Growing up in and exploring the Pacific Northwest gave Kelly Baraki a passion for science. From the forests to the coastline, love of nature led her to study biology and ultimately to teaching science.

Kelly has a Bachelor’s degree in marine science from Western Oregon University. As an undergraduate, she participated in research on Antarctic krill, collected specimens from the Smithsonian, Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania, and presented findings at the Zooplankton Symposium in Japan. She coordinated and trained volunteers for Oregon Trout’s Salmon Watch program and instructed students in the field. Post college, at the Catalina Island Marine Institute, Kelly spent years as a marine science instructor. She transitioned to the classroom and taught middle school science for a decade. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from California State University at Monterey Bay.

Throughout her career, Kelly encouraged students to understand their connection to and impact on our natural world. She organized week long outdoor school trips for her classroom students, a vital learning opportunity to experience science in nature. On her campus, she created and ran the Ocean Pollution Solution club, supported student research in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit, guided her school to become an Ocean Guardian School through NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Ocean Guardian program. Additionally, she organized an annual TrashionShow event, featuring student teams creating and modeling outfits using recycled materials. During summers on the Central Coast, Kelly served as a naturalist for whale watching expeditions.

Kelly has led teachers and administrators in professional development and coaching cycles as a professional learning specialist, focused on delivery and implementation of phenomena based science instruction. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, being in the ocean, and snuggling up to read with her cats.