Director of Advancement and Education
Michele Hoffman Trotter is an award-winning educator who began her love affair with the ocean at age five with the gift of a shell. At sixteen, she took her first life-altering breath on scuba, and by twenty-three she was a fully hooked PADI instructor. Michele holds an undergraduate degree in fine art from Columbia College, advanced degrees in Marine Biology (University of New South Wales) and law (DePaul University) and has worked with diverse audiences at Sydney Aquarium in Australia and the John G. Shedd Aquarium of Chicago.
Michele’s articles and photography have appeared in international publications including an underwater photo shoot for Playboy, and she has been recognized in several international photo competitions. Some of Michele’s favorite dive locations include Thailand, Ireland, Hawaii, Australia, Honduras, Bahamas, Puget Sound, and the Floridian caves.
Michele was the lead author on a six volume collection of 21st Century skills based educational curriculum guides aimed at pre-k to 3rd grade for Dive Into Your Imagination and is currently a faculty member of Columbia College, School of the Art Institute, and Roosevelt University where she teaches a range of courses that span traditional ocean sciences to sustainability courses that encompass law, policy, and ethics. In her down time Michele is hard at work on a project called Microcosm that explores the ocean world through a microscope.
At the core of Michele’s teaching philosophy is the belief that there is an inner scientist in everyone. She resides in Chicago with husband Bob and young son Ryan (also avid ocean enthusiasts) who share in her research and travel adventures!