Michele Hoffman Trotter

Director of Educational Programming & Professional Development

 Michele Hoffman
Director of Education

Michele Hoffman Trotter is a multi-award-winning educator, curriculum developer and professional development specialist. In addition to serving as the Director of Education for the Celebration of the Sea Foundation, Michele also continues to serve as an active faculty member of Columbia College, School of the Art Institute, and Roosevelt University where she teaches a wide range of courses that span traditional ocean sciences to sustainability courses that encompass law, policy, and ethics. Michele holds advanced degrees in Marine Biology (University of New South Wales) and law (DePaul University) and has worked with audiences of diverse backgrounds at Sydney Aquarium and the John G. Shedd Aquarium of Chicago, and through speaking engagements at schools, libraries, and retirement communities. She has been actively teaching college level science and developing innovative curriculum and teacher training programs for over twenty-six years.

Over the years Michele has served as a science education professional in a variety of capacities including outreach specialist, subject matter expert, multimedia content developer and communicator, and development officer to a number of organizations including The Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research, Dive Into Your Imagination, and most recently University of Alaska College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences under a grant from the National Science Foundation. In 2023 Michele earned her spot as a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a testament to her body of written publications and the scientific research expeditions she has participated in that include both poles and multiple spaces between.

As one of her most ambitious undertakings, Michele authored a six-volume series of ocean themed curriculum guides rooted in the principles of Twenty-first Century Learning.  Using the ocean as a prevailing theme, the lessons support young learners in the accumulation of basic knowledge, work habits and soft skills, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving in addition to traditional school subjects.

Michele began her love of the oceans at age five with the gift of a shell and at sixteen, she took her first life-altering breath on SCUBA. By twenty-three she was a certified PADI instructor with technical dive ratings including full NSS (National Speleological Society) Cave Diving certification. At the core of Michele’s teaching philosophy is the belief that there is an inner scientist and Ocean Ambassador in everyone. She divides her time between Chicago and Alaska with husband Bob and son Ryan (also avid ocean enthusiasts) who share in her research and citizen science travel adventures.