Meet Our Cast
Drew is a high school sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland and has been a cast member of Aqua Kids since he was only 7 years old. He enjoys traveling and has visited many places in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean and loves learning about their diverse cultures. Drew is also the drummer and singer of All Rights Reserved, a rock band that plays at numerous venues. In addition, Drew is a member of his school’s Jazz ensemble as well as the exclusive jazz combo. What’s more, he plays Water Polo for his school and even set a record for the 100m relay on the swim team. Drew loves spending time with his dog Casey, writing music on his Bass, and helping to improve our world’s ecosystems one step at a time.
An Interview with DrewAs the most senior cast member, what is your favorite episode and why?
Since I have been a part of so many episodes, this is a very difficult question. I would have to say that my favorite was when we filmed in Key Largo, Florida in 2006. On this trip, I was able to swim with dolphins that are used in therapy with paralyzed children. It was very fulfilling. I will say, that I can't wait to see some of the Alaska episodes as it was my favorite trip and after I see them, my choice of a favorite might change.
Katie’s dedication to preserving wildlife and their habitats was sparked by her late grandfather’s work with the Richard Mellon Foundation and the US Fish and Wildlife Services to protect endangered loggerhead turtles. Katie maintains that passion for protecting our aquatic habitats, and has recently won the coveted Rockfall Foundation’s 2012 Virginia R. Rollefson Youth Environmental Leadership Award. Katie is a member of the National Honor Society, and spends her off-camera time focusing on mock trial, the debate team, and is the President of her high school’s Interact Club. After college, she hopes to combine her love of the environment, law, and politics, to help write legislation that will protect our planet for future generations.
An Interview with KatieWhat is your most favorable moment as part of the Aqua Kids Family?
My most favorable moment as part of the Aqua Kids family was when we all got to go surfing in Hawaii. The gorgeous view, crystal clear water and white sand certainly added to the day. In addition, it was so funny to watch all the other cast members crash in to the water time and time again. Since we are all very competitive in nature as well, it was fun to see who would emerge as the best surfer. Although Rachael and Danielle were really good, I still think I was the best. ☺ Just kidding…
Clark is a college student from Virginia who is currently working towards a degree in Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech. He is the current President of the Virginia Tech Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society, where he encourages other students to become involved in learning about wildlife and the environment. Clark has always wanted to work with animals and is a “hands-on” naturalist; having held baby bear cubs, played tug of war with a mountain lion, and hugged a wolf. He loves hiking and wants to travel all over the world.
One of Clark’s passions is wildlife filmmaking and photography. Always having his camera in hand, he’s made several short nature films, stressing the importance of conservation. He hopes to make wildlife documentaries where he can use his writing and filmmaking skills to inspire others and help protect wild animals and their environments. Clark also writes a travelogue for our website which you can check out here.
An Interview with ClarkWhat is your college major and how does it fit in with the Aqua Kids mission?
I am a Wildlife Science major in college. I always had a passion for learning about wildlife, whether through reading, watching TV or exploring my backyard. What I’m learning in college is how to interact with people and wildlife to conserve species around the world. Aqua Kids lets me talk with scientists, researchers, and dedicated people who all have the same goal of protecting and preserving species and their habitats. My goal is to educate and inspire others to care about the natural world.
Danielle is s graduate of Arundel High School and plans to attend James Madison University where she will major in international affairs with a minor in Spanish. After college, her goals are to pursue her master’s degree, study abroad or possibly join the Peace Corps. Eventually, she hopes to secure a government job dealing with international affairs. Danielle is currently a children’s swim instructor at Kids First swim in Bowie, Maryland, but her varied interests and activities, such as reading, traveling, boating, sampling foreign dishes, and learning new languages, keep her busy as well. She also enjoys keeping fit by jogging with her dog Luka, a Border Collie / miniature Australian Shepard mix.
An Interview with DanielleHaving been exposed to so many different issues facing our environment on Aqua Kids, what daily habits have you changed to be more environmentally friendly?
I've definitely learned to change my habits a lot since starting Aqua Kids. I'm not proud to say it, but before starting Aqua Kids I wasn't too environmentally aware. I didn't even notice how much electricity and water I wasted until I noticed all of the unnecessary things I had plugged in and the 20 minute showers I took where I just stood there enjoying the hot water. Thanks to Aqua Kids I've learned to become more environmentally friendly just in my daily norms by unplugging unnecessary things, decreasing my shower time, and recycling items that are recyclable.
Selena is an active and energetic high school student from Maryland whose favorite activities include volleyball, track and cross country running. She’s a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and her favorite subjects are Chorus, Spanish and Phys. Ed. Selena is currently taking voice lessons, and though she dreams of one day becoming a professional singer, she is now pursuing her cosmetology license and plans on working as a make-up artist. She hopes to eventually move to Los Angeles where she will not only attend college, but also continue working on her acting, modeling and singing career. Selena’s talents are already winning awards. So far, she’s won gold in the district level of the Skills U.S.A. competition for Customer Service and Prepared Speech, and 3rd place for Prepared Speech for the State of Virginia. In addition, Selena has helped to create a filming ministry for her church called Jesus Mission Films.
An Interview with SelenaWhat is your most important take-away, (learning experience) from being on Aqua Kids?
The most important thing that I have come to realize being on Aqua Kids is that there are so many people who don’t believe in the fact that the earth is changing DRASTICALLY! Species of plants and animals that used to be thriving are now on the brink of extinction. Aqua Kids has provided me with a way to show people that we need to act and fast. This has all been caused due to the way humans treated the environment. So why not act now and create a better future for generations to come?
Raised in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, Andrew has lived by the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay his entire life. His grandfather was a famous local fisherman who taught Andrew how to fish when he was just a toddler, nurturing a love for marine life stems and an appreciation for the ocean.
Currently a senior at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES), he follows a curriculum based around the biology and ecology of the numerous aquatic organisms in his local watersheds and marine environments. At MATES Andrew is the president of the student council, vice president of the National Honor Society, and a member of both the math league team and the fishing club team. He also finds the time to play on the varsity basketball and golf teams at his home school, Point Pleasant Beach High School. When not at the gym working on his basketball skills, Andrew volunteers with the Barnegat Bay Partnership where he helps conduct a long-term research project that analyzes the juvenile fish species of the bay from year to year.
At home, he spends most of his time creating art pieces whose subjects are forms of marine life. Andrew plans on becoming a veterinarian so he can help keep the animals of this beautiful planet as healthy as possible.
Mira is a junior in high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where she is majoring in Visual Arts. From a young age, she loved animals and nature; but her true passion will always be marine biology. An amazing family snorkeling trip in the South China Sea fueled an even greater interest in aquatic life and Mira has been immersed in this fascinating world ever since.
A strong supporter of animal rights, she advocates for the use of beauty and household products that are not tested on animals. In her free time, she reads, sketches, and sharpens her photography skills. She hopes to fuse her love for art and nature into a career as a marine biologist/wildlife photographer in the future.
– Chief Seattle
Meet Our Crew
George A. Stover III
Creator, Executive Producer, Chief Videographer, Editor
George is a true hands-on producer, whose talent for creating award-winning television is second only to his inexhaustible enthusiasm for documenting the extraordinary beauty of the undersea world. Not satisfied with the traditional role of producer, George has honed his skills as an underwater cameraman and certified SCUBA instructor in order to share his love for marine life with others, and to educate them as to their endangered existence and the importance of preserving their fragile environments. In addition to the multiple Emmy and Telly award-winning Aqua Kids, George has produced numerous nationally and locally distributed television programs. His work has also appeared on NBC, ABC, CNN, The Discovery Channel, the History Channel, Animal Planet, the Nashville Network and various national affiliate television stations.
Graphics Editor & Audio Technician
Adam Shinn is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in film. He has a wide range of production skills including camera operation, audio, lighting, grip, teleprompter operation and production assisting. His post-production talents include editing in Final Cut Pro, creating still and motion graphics in Adobe Photoshop and Aftereffects as well as creating captioning for video. Adam is also a capable voiceover artist with the ability to do many celebrity impressions. In addition, he has produced several short narrative films and has a strong background in art and photography. Adam currently edits and creates the graphics for Aqua Kids’ special educational segments, such as Aqua News and Aqua Heroes.
Mark S. Sanders
Mark S. Sanders is an award-winning writer, poet and graphic designer. He wrote and/or directed many of the special educational segments for Aqua Kids including Aqua Heroes and Aqua Kids Pop Quizzes. Mark also helped conceive and direct the Aqua Kids opening sequence. He wrote the lyrics and melodies for two Aqua Kids songs, “Christmas Under the Sea” and “Green & Blue,” and spearheaded the drive to create a complete line of Aqua Kids products.
Christine Lipsky began her fisheries career in Alaska in 1995. Since then she has focused her research on endangered species, primarily working on restoring salmon and sturgeon populations. She has worked for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Maine since 2003 and in 2004, she became a Certified Fisheries Professional. Christine is an active member of the American Fisheries Society, and has presented her research at both national and international venues. She enjoys teaching children about the environment, and has been involved in various outreach activities which allowed her to share her passion for working with and conserving aquatic species. Her other interests include organic farming and backpacking, both of which enable her to enjoy exploring nature and the environment.
Headshots of Clark, Drew, Katie and Selena by Clapp Studios, www.clappstudios.com
Headshots of Danielle, George, Mark & Adam by Calvin Hayes, www.calvinhayes.com
Other Aqua Kids cast photos by Aqua Kids staff