Our Staff

One of the lasting legacies of Guided Discoveries is our faculty. Our instructors all have a 4-year degree in the Sciences (or a related field) and serve over 45,000 students every year at our 5 facilities. With safety being one of our primary goals they are also required to have First aid, CPR-PR, and Waterfront Lifeguard certifications as well as comprehensive on-site training.

Our Guided Discoveries Alumni is far reaching with hundreds teaching in schools throughout the country. Many of our former faculty can also be found in major aquariums, national sanctuaries, and at science centers and museums throughout the US. The growth and development of Guided Discoveries is a direct result of the energy, enthusiasm, and contributions of our many faculty over the years.

Employment Opportunities


Heather Petersen

Program Director, Fox Landing

“I love living and working with people who get excited about the ocean as much as I do.  Every day is uniquely different and yet full of fun, learning, and adventure.”

 Born and raised in southern California, Heather grew up going to the beach and playing in the water since before she could walk.  She spent her summers teaching swimming at the community pool before heading off to UCLA to get a degree in Marine Biology.

 Heather’s adventure with Guided Discoveries began in 2009 as a marine science instructor at Fox Landing. Originally planning to be here for just one year, she fell in love with the island and hasn’t left since. In her time here on the island, she has worked as an Aquarist, Assistant Program Director for both school year and summer YMCA programs, and Social Media Coordinator before becoming the Program Director.

 Heather currently holds a US Coast Guard Captain’s License, is a NAUI Divemaster, rescue diver, Wilderness First Responder, and American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor.

Contact Heather at heather@cimi.org or call 310-510-1890.

Allan-Director-of-Maintenance-Fox-Landing-199x300Allen Jones

Maintenance Director, CIMI at Fox Landing

“This is the best job I have ever had.  It allows me to “give back” with regards to sharing my knowledge with my team members. It is also a privilege to work for a company that directly impacts the lives of children in such a positive way.  Being a part of this mission is very rewarding.”

With decades of experience in the construction trades, Allen Jones began working for Guided Discoveries in 2009.  Drawn by the challenge of operating and maintaining a 90-acre facility, he jokes that it helps that the facility is on a beach on Santa Catalina Island.  Allen’s past experience includes directing projects for Habitat for Humanity.

Raised in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Allen grew up enjoying ocean sports. Although he does not work on or in the water, he said it is close enough to afford a “wonderful backdrop in which to work.”

Contact Allen at Allen@cimi.org or call 310-510-1622

Foodservice Director