Marlies coordinates the Blue Star Diving Program, Goal: Clean Seas Florida Keys, and the Florida Ocean Guardian School Program. Prior to joining Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Marlies spent time working for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries headquarters where she developed formal and informal educational programs that teach ocean and climate literacy and promote stewardship, including the Ocean Guardian Dive Club.
Marlies earned bachelor’s degrees in child development and psychology from San Francisco State University and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. She spent five years teaching early elementary school in Mexico and Thailand, and also worked as a scuba instructor in Bali, Indonesia, and at a Blue Star dive shop in Key West, Florida. Marlies is a certified NOAA diver who loves exploring the ocean and sharing her excitement for the marine world with those around her.