WHO I AM
I am Michele Hoffman educator, speaker, author, photographer, and consultant with over fifteen years of experience and education in marine science and law, and I am available to bring the ocean to your doorstep.
My Teaching Career Began with an internship in the education department of the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. During my time there I helped build and develop activities for projects ranging from Shark Week to a summer camp in connection with the Chicago Housing Authority. It was through this work that I recognized my passion for working with diverse audiences of all ages and learning backgrounds.
Always An Avid SCUBA Diver, at the time I decided to attend graduate school and study marine science, it seemed logical to bring my hobby to the professional level. Since 1995 I have been a PADI Scuba Instructor and have acquired additional certifications including; NSS-CDS Cave Diver, TDI-IANTD Deep Air, PADI Nitrox, PADI Underwater Photographer, PADI Underwater Naturalist, PADI Drysuit Diver, PADI Medic First Aid Instructor, and PADI Equipment Specialist. In Chicago I have taught classes for Underwater Safaris (Chicago) and SCUBA Systems (Skokie).
Columbia College Of Chicago brought me on as adjunct faculty in 1997 to teach Oceanography and the Marine Environment. Over the years I have taught and helped develop a variety of courses including Oceanography, Marine Biology, Geology, Biology, Environmental Science, and Animal Behavior and Ecology. In 1997-98 I served as the faculty sponsor for the Environmentalists of Columbia Organization (ECO), and in 2000 was nominated for Teacher of the Year.
As a contractor for Playboy Enterprises in 1999 I served as the dive logistics and safety coordinator and assistant photographer on the “Wet Dreams” shoot in Roatan, Honduras.
My writing and photography has appeared in publications in the United States and Australia. Publications that have featured my work include; Chicago Sun Times, Playboy, Sportdiving, Sport Diver, E! The Environmental Magazine, Dive Log, SCUBA Times, Green Teacher, and Australia Post Quarterly.
I Have Been A Guest Lecturer at many schools and organizations on a variety of ocean related topics including; conservation, marine life diversity, animal behavior, ecology, fisheries and aquaculture, human impacts on the sea, careers in marine science, and much more. Groups I have addressed range from preschool age through adult. Some of my speaking venues have included; Devonshire School (Skokie, IL), Stone Academy (Chicago, IL), McGaw YMCA Pre School (Evanston, IL), Eisenhower Elementary (Prospect Heights, IL), Hawthorne Elementary (Vernon Hills, IL.), Buccaneer SCUBA Club (Wheeling, IL), and Skyline SCUBA Club (Skokie, IL).
School of the Art Institute of Chicago brought me on to design and teach a Marine Biology course in January of 2008. Since then I also developed and taught a course called Science, the Environment & Politics of Sustainability. Other courses I have taught there include Oceanography.
In Spring 2009 my consulting services were secured by Annie Crawley of Dive Into Your Imagination to design companion lesson guides for her highly acclaimed DVD series that takes children on a journey through the ocean. These lesson plans will help teachers use Annie’s DVD’s to help students age pre-k through third grade understand What is a Fish, Diversity in the Sea, and Who Lives in the Sea.