Meet The Virtual Explorers

Our Beginnings

Virtual Explorers begin in the summer of 1998 when we decided to travel with the Oceanic Society to Peru to assist with research on fresh water river dolphins. Being educators, it was readily apparent that information about the expedition along with the actual research would be of interest and tremendous educational value to teachers and students worldwide.

Working with Tamara McGuire, a wildlife biologist, we successfully planned and executed two expeditions (1999 and 2001) to the Amazon region of Peru to study the river dolphins. During this time a web site was built and donations of equipment and supplies were sought to enable the team to transmit research data and information to the web site daily. In 2002, we partnered with researcher Lindsay Magnuson to study Roloway monkeys in Ghana, Africa. Data and other information were transmitted to the web site during the expedition. In August of 2002, we will be joining Caryn Self Sullivan and Katie LaCommare in Belize to study manatees. We continue to solicit opportunities to work with both wildlife and educational researchers worldwide.

About Us

Shelly Luke, M.A.

I am currently the Director, Educational Technology and Media Services for San Mateo County of Education in California. Prior to this, I divided my time between Santa Clara University where I taught Technology and Learning, a core technology class, served as the Education Manager for National Semiconductor's Thin Client @ School Initiative, and acted as lead trainer for National Semiconductor's Global Connections Program. I am a frequent speaker at technology and education conferences and do teacher training on the integration of the Internet into curriculum.

I formerly taught at the elementary level for six years where I specialized in thematic curriculum development, student centered instruction, and special education. I hold a Master of Arts in Special Education and two teaching credentials with emphasis on multiple subjects and educating the learning handicapped. Additionally, I am a member of the CUE, Council for Exceptional Children, the Association of Curriculum and Development, and the Parents Education Resource Center. I also sit on the board of

Susan Reid, M.A.

Presently, I am the Director of Professional Development for inResonance, an educational technology consulting firm located in Northampton, MA. Formerly I was the Director of Educational Technology for the Diocese of Oakland, Oakland, California, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, Africa, and I was a technology coordinator and math and science teacher in San Francisco, CA. I received a Master of Arts in Educational Technology in 1996.

I have had extensive experience training educators in how to integrate technology into learning environments. Additionally I have presented at a variety of national educational conferences, including Computer-Using Educators (CUE) Conference, National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Technology & Learning (T&L), Florida Educators Technology Conference (FETC), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) TelEd Multimedia Conference. Until very recently, I was a member of the teaching staff at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California.


Historically, Virtual Explorers has been funded by members of the team and selective corporate sponsorship. In 2001, Virtual Explorers became a nonprofit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of California, USA.

Expeditions of this magnitude require the generosity of many people. We are grateful to those who believe in our dream of bringing faraway places and the beauty and diversity of the natural world into the classroom.