About BCS

Do you have a great question Beach Chair Scientist needs to answer? Are you interested in having the Beach Chair Scientist visit your classroom, camp, or community event? Or, do you just want to tell us how we’re doing? Please leave a comment below or email info@beachchairscientist.com. You can also find Beach Chair Scientist on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Ann McElhatton

Teacher. Storyteller. Environmental Educator. Science Communicator. Ann has defined what it means to be a 21st century armchair scientist. She finds creating opportunities that make marine science accessible to the general public (those without science degrees or in the science field day-to-day) to be a very rewarding experience. In fact, Ann enjoys it so much that in 2008 she founded Beach Chair Scientist!

The site has been featured in Diver Magazine, the NOAA’s Information Exchange for Marine Educators, National Science Teacher’s Association blogNewsWorks, and linked on numerous websites and blogs (including Ian Somerhalder Foundation, USGS, WildCoast, Wild New Jersey, and Conservation Law Foundation). Ann has also presented at various conferences, such as the American Fisheries Society and Science Online Oceans, sharing knowledge of online writing techniques.

Ann has been a field biologist and a naturalist instructing various audiences for over a decade. As a south Jersey native, she loves any teachable moment where she can demonstrate the gentle and extraordinary attributes of the Atlantic horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus.

Ann has a B.S. in Marine Resources Management from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and an M.Ed. in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University. She currently teaches high school biology in northern Virginia and is a member of the North American Association of Environmental Educators, National Marine Educators Association and the Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association. Ann also follows many land-to-sea initiatives and is co-chair of the Illinois Ocean Coalition.

Lastly, Ann loves spending time with her husband, daughter, son, and precocious dog in and around Oak Park, IL. Her favorite piece of literature is The American Scholar by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “The day is always his who works in it with serenity and great aims.”

Other Contributors

Dr. J. G. McCully

Jim is a retired medical doctor, who wrote Beyond the Moon: A Conversational, Common Sense Guide to Understanding the Tides. See publisher’s link: http://www.worldscibooks.com/environsci/6015.

Jim Wharton

Jim Wharton is the Director of Conservation and Education at the Seattle Aquarium. After 8+ years in Florida working for the Smithsonian Marine Station and Mote Marine Laboratory, he feels at home again in the Pacific Northwest where he started his career in marine science education as a volunteer, then educator at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Jim is also deeply involved with the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) where he is a member of the Board of Directors. You can learn more about Jim at about.me/jimwharton. Follow him on Twitter for more marine science miscellanea @jimwharton.


  1. Ann- I want to work with people and the ocean too! I just graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science Technology and Policy with an emphasis in Marine and Coastal Ecology. I look forward to going back to school to get my Masters Degree soon- hopefully I can find some good jobs in California that involves people and the ocean 🙂

  2. Thanks for following my “Ozarkian” blog. I’ve set up a link to “Beach Chair Scientist” on my OTHER, more natural-history-oriented blog, “The Bugs of Booger County” (www.bugsofboogercounty.wordpress.com).

    You do good work.

    George Sims
    Mansfield, Missouri

  3. Thanks so much for recently visiting my blog and liking one of my posts! You have a very unique and interesting blog here and I will be back!

  4. I have a question for you. Do you know where I might find a guide to seaweed of the northeast Atlantic (U.S. side)? In particular I’d love to know what is edible, how to prepare it and what historical uses were of specific seaweeds. Whether you can help or not, thanks for reading.

  5. My lab writes blog posts every week or so about research we currently do, so if you are interested check the blog “The Drop Into Moss Landing Marine Labs” at http://mlmlblog.wordpress.com/.

  6. Rolling Harbour says:

    Hi Ann, for some reason your posts are not getting through. How do I know what’s up in Limulus Land? Have you moved out of WordPress? All the best RH

    • Beach Chair Scientist says:

      Eek … an unknown consequence when I switched servers. I’ll have to figure out a way to integrate monthly updates or subscribers to the updated site. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Joyce Bailey says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue: diff. between Shore, Sea and Wading birds. Your visuals are great and descriptions so helpful.

    jbaileystudio@icloud.com (I’m using my husband’s PC)

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