About Us

Welcome to Ocean Family Games, Inc.

Founders: Katharine and Peter Baumgartner

Our Story

Ocean Family Games, Inc. was founded by Katharine and Peter Baumgartner with a mission to create ocean-themed family games that educate people on the importance of the oceans, share how to protect them, and promote healthy family interactions so that, together, we can preserve the oceans for generations to come. 

Katharine’s interest in the world underwater started early. As a kid, she spent her summers boating and fishing at her family cottage in New Hampshire. While earning her degree in fisheries and wildlife management from Michigan State University, Katharine spent two semesters studying tropical fish ecology in the Bahamas and environmental management in Australia.  

Peter grew up on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin where he fished and learned to drive a boat at age eight. His experiences range from camp counseling and sea kayak guiding to river rafting and rock climbing. Peter earned his degree in outdoor experiential education from Prescott College.

The two met at the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute at Seacamp on Big Pine Key, Florida in 2004. There, for nearly seven years, they lived on boats and worked their way through the ranks teaching and training both students and staff in all areas of marine science. 

After Seacamp, both went on to teach science in the Florida public school system. Peter currently teaches marine science at a local high school and is working toward his master’s degree in education at the University of Florida. Katharine taught 6th-grade science for several years before becoming a stay-at-home mother. 

These days, Peter, Katharine, and their two children live minutes away from Venice Beach, “the shark tooth capital of the world", where they frequently go to collect shark teeth. It is here where they hatched the idea for Ocean Family Games and Shark Quest, an upcoming game that teaches players the important role sharks play in maintaining a thriving marine ecosystem.

Affiliates

Shark Expert: Dr. David Shiffman

David Shiffman, Ph.D attended Duke University receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Marine Science, the College of Charleston receiving a Masters of Marine Biology, and the University of Miami receiving his Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science and Policy. Currently, David is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Conservation Biology at Simon Fraser University. David’s favorite marine animal is a sandbar shark - follow #BestShark on twitter to learn why! David has dedicated social media pages, loaded with educational information and all you need to know about sharks. Follow Dr. Shiffman on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @WhySharksMatter. He’s always happy to answer questions anyone has about sharks! 

Illustrator: Dr. Patricia O'Leary

Dr. Patricia O'Leary
Patricia O’Leary, Ph.D attended Randolph-Macon College receiving a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Georgia Southern University receiving a Masters of Biology, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science receiving her Ph.D in Marine Science. Currently, Patricia is teaching as an adjunct professor at Adelphi University. Her favorite marine animal is the manta ray. Patricia’s artwork, like her studies, focuses on the ocean. She has painted aquatic murals for both Seacamp and a high school science department.

 

Editor: Audrey Gurin

Audrey Gurin attended Bowdoin College and received her Bachelor of Arts in English and French Literature. Currently, Audrey is a full-time mom of two small children and a freelance writer and editor. Audrey’s favorite marine animals are manatees and sea turtles. Audrey has lived on three continents, visited five, and can’t wait to see the other two.