Meet The Mound House Staff

Alison Giesen
Alison GiesenDirector of Cultural Resources
A native of Chattanooga, TN, Giesen earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. After working as an archeologist with a Cultural Resource Management firm based in New Orleans, she went onto receive a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  
With over 18 years’ experience in the museum field, Giesen has worked for the National Park Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Pinellas County, Florida.  Before joining the Town of Fort Myers Beach in October of 2014, Giesen spent over 4 ½ years at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida. 
Dexter Norris
Dexter NorrisEnvironmental Educator
Dexter Norris was born and raised in Ohio before moving to Florida in 2013.  His previous work experiences include rehabilitating injured raptors, leading children on educational day hikes, handling venomous snakes, and guiding coastal kayak trips.  
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Dexter’s professional interests include bird behavior and amphibian ecology.  In his free time, Dexter enjoys petting dogs and trail running.
Areas of Study and Certification:

• Bachelor of Science, Biology – Ohio Northern University
• Certified Interpretive Guide – National Association for Interpretation
• Certified Guest Service Professional – American Hotel and Lodging Association

Penny Jarrett
Penny JarrettEducation Coordinator
Penny Jarrett has worked in environmental education and wildlife conservation for over twenty years and is currently the Education Coordinator at the Mound House.
Previously, Penny worked at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for 15 years in the Education Department.  Her work included travels to Belize, Peru, Ecuador, Kenya, Botswana and Namibia where she learned not only about the local wildlife, but about the people and cultures of the region. Her interest in primates and other wildlife took her to the Republic of Congo where she lived in the rain forest at a Wildlife Conservation Society research camp and studied Western lowland gorillas, forest elephants, and other large mammals inhabiting the Nouabale Ndoki National Park.  Upon returning to the United States, she worked as a Marine Mammal Observer in the Gulf of Mexico.  In 2012, she moved to Fort Myers Beach to work for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission protecting, monitoring, and educating the public about Florida’s beach nesting birds and continues to stay involved in shorebird conservation.
Upon visiting the Mound House, Penny looks forward to sharing her knowledge and the rich history of the Mound House with you.
Katy Beth Culp
Katy Beth CulpEducator
Katy Beth is a native of South Carolina (hence the double name) and a proud Clemson University alumna (go Tigers!). After graduating with a degree in Biological Sciences, she became an Environmental Educator and (self-proclaimed) Professional Island Hopper. Katy Beth has worked at Camp Leopold – South Carolina Waterfowl Association, the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island, GA, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, NC, and Driftwood Education Center on Saint Simons Island, GA. Passionately believing in the importance of education, Katy Beth continues her pursuit of sharing and spreading an enthusiasm for nature, history, culture, and all life’s interesting curiosities as an educator at the Mound House.

• Certified Interpretive Guide – National Association for Interpretation
• Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Module
• Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED
• Red Cross Lifeguard/CPR/AED