Our People

Meet our team of scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, designers, and dreamers.

StaffBoard
Executive Director
X NCSE Executive Director Amanda Townley. Amanda L. Townley Executive Director

Amanda L. Townley, Ph.D., became Executive Director of NCSE in 2023. She is an award-winning researcher and advocate specializing in science teacher education, evolution education research, and science literacy-focused public outreach. Townley is a deeply engaged advocate of science for all and "hands-on, minds-on" science teaching and learning, supporting the accurate and comprehensive teaching of science across levels of study. Prior to joining NCSE, she was an Associate Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Science Education at Georgia Southern University in Savannah, Georgia. Her research centered on the intersections between science and society, specifically the acceptance and rejection of evolution and climate change, misconceptions and misuse of the nature of science in anti-science movements, and the impact of the perceived conflicts between scientific understandings and culture on science literacy.

townley@ncse.ngo

Director of Teacher Support
X NCSE Director of Teacher Support Lin Andrews Lin Andrews Director of Teacher Support

Lin Andrews joined NCSE in 2019 after teaching biology for 18 years. While she misses teaching, joining the NCSE team has been an opportunity for her to help drive a solid science foundation for students all over the nation and gives her the chance to help teachers navigate the often turbulent waters of overcoming misconceptions in biology and climate science.

andrews@ncse.ngo

Deputy Director
X NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch Glenn Branch Deputy Director

Glenn Branch has been at NCSE since 1999, serving as deputy director since 2002. He received the Evolution Education Award for 2020 from the National Association of Biology Teachers.

branch@ncse.ngo

Director of Operations
X Astrid Broertjes Astrid Broertjes Director of Operations

Astrid Broertjes joined NCSE in May 2022. She previously worked as a manager and bookkeeper at Recycle for Change, a nonprofit in Richmond, California, and before that at the East Bay Express. She immigrated to the U.S. from Amsterdam by way of Canada. Astrid lives in Vallejo, California, with her cat, Trudy.

broertjes@ncse.ngo

IT Specialist
X NCSE IT Specialist Stuart Fogg Stuart Fogg IT Specialist

Stuart Fogg has been with NCSE since 2007. He works part time on IT at NCSE and part time teaching Physics and Computer Science at Diablo Valley College. He holds a B.A. in Physical Sciences from U.C. Berkeley.

fogg@ncse.ngo

Communications and Teacher Support Specialist
X NCSE Program Coordinator Heather Grimes Heather Grimes Communications and Teacher Support Specialist

Heather Grimes joined NCSE in 2021 after working in various roles in higher education administration. She received her bachelor's degree in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has done field research in Central America studying the dialects of capuchin monkeys. She lives in western Massachusetts with her spouse, cats, and flock.

grimes@ncse.ngo

Curriculum Developer
X NCSE Curriculum Specialist Cari Herndon Cari Herndon Curriculum Developer

Cari Herndon joined NCSE in 2021 after teaching middle school science for nine years. She earned her master's degree in secondary education from DePaul University and is passionate about creating inclusive science curricula. As part of the Supporting Teachers team, Herndon designs curricula aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards that provide teachers with the tools to help students overcome misconceptions about climate change and evolution.

herndon@ncse.ngo

Donor Support and Office Manager
X Nina Hollenberg. Nina Hollenberg Donor Support and Office Manager

Nina Hollenberg has been with NCSE since 2001. She assists staff, engages with NCSE donors, and manages the office. Nina has worked as a graphic designer, production artist, and web programming consultant for technology and software companies, including Adobe, Oracle and Sun Microsystems. She worked for several years in the pre-press and printing industry.

hollenberg@ncse.ngo

Director of Development
X Deb Janes Deb Janes Director of Development

Deb Janes joined NCSE in 2017 to lead its fund development efforts. Prior to NCSE, she held fund development and communications leadership positions in environmental, policy, investigative journalism, and community-focused nonprofits. She began her career as a newspaper reporter. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oregon.

janes@ncse.ngo

Science Education Specialist
X Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson Science Education Specialist

Wendy Johnson joined NCSE in 2023 after teaching science for 16 years. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology education at Hope College, and a master's degree in biological sciences and a doctoral degree in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education and ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior at Michigan State University. She is passionate about supporting science teachers and ensuring that every student has access to high-quality science education.

johnson@ncse.ngo

Director of Communications
X Paul Oh Paul Oh Director of Communications

Paul Oh joined NCSE in 2018 after stints at a variety of non-profits specifically concerned with education, including the Teaching Channel, where he was a senior director overseeing editorial content and leading social media, and the National Writing Project, where he managed projects involving interest-based learning. Even earlier, he was a classroom teacher and a prize-winning reporter at a local newspaper.

oh@ncse.ngo

Science Education Specialist
X Blake Touchet Blake Touchet Science Education Specialist

Blake Touchet has taught middle school, high school, and undergraduate biology and environmental sciences in Louisiana, most recently serving as Science Master Teacher for Lafayette Parish School District. He earned a B.S. in secondary biology education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a M.S. in biology from Mississippi State University, and completed his Ed.D. in educational leadership, concentrating in curriculum, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He has worked on state and district committees for developing curricula, assessments, and mentoring science teachers. His research interests include understanding teacher and administrator knowledge and acceptance of socially but not scientifically controversial topics such as evolution and climate change.

touchet@ncse.ngo