Valerie began at the Roundhouse in 2003 as a volunteer. She moved her way up to paid part time staff, then became the Co-director in 2007. She handles administration and is the chief grant writer for the Aquarium, enabling the staff to teach classes to school children. Before joining the Roundhouse team Valerie honed her teaching skills as an Outreach Educator for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, a Teaching Assistant at Long Beach State, a tutor through the University of San Diego, and a swim instructor in Albuquerque where she grew up. Valerie studied phytoplankton at California State University, Long Beach where she earned her MS degree in 2008. Phytoplankton and seaweed remain her favorite topics to teach at the Roundhouse. She loves sharing her passion for the ocean with students and visitors at the Aquarium. In 2014 Valerie switched to a part time schedule to allow her to focus some of her time at home educating the Roundhouse’s youngest volunteer, her baby Lucas.