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Sam Jaffe

Founder and Director

Samuel Jaffe is a New England based naturalist, photographer, and educator who has been working with native insects since a very early age.  Sam grew up in Eastern Massachusetts chasing birds, mucking through ponds, and turning over leaves.  For the last seven years he has been photographing caterpillars and organizing programs to promote these special creatures to the public.  In 2013 he founded "The Caterpillar Lab" in Keene NH and he now travels across the country working with museums, nature centers, schools, and individual teachers helping native insects find their place in our everyday lives.  When he is not behind the camera or tending his zoo of caterpillars, you can invariably find Sam up to his waist in vegetation.


    Jesse Varga

    Education, Facility Manager

    Jesse has a background in biology and outdoor education, including summer camps, outdoor classrooms, natural history museums, and raptor programs.  He has been with The Caterpillar Lab since its founding in 2013. Jesse is a fantastic story teller and a favorite at all of our shows. Bottom line: he loves to teach about nature! 

    As the lab manager, his focus is on the people of the lab as much as the caterpillars: the lab staff is a great group of very hard-working people, and Jesse tries to make sure everyone is doing all right.  He accomplishes this mainly through lots and lots of fruit snacks.  He also runs many aspects of the store, donation management,  and the day-to-day administrative needs of the lab.

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      Sara Burrell

      Education Outreach, Program Development

      Sara Burrell grew up in the Wyoming Rockies and developed an early love for all things natural science. With a background in geology, biology, and outdoor education, she was drawn to an environmental education program at Antioch University New England. Through her summer internship with The Caterpillar Lab she was able to explore new passions and interests that have launched her into a new educational pathway. She believes that caterpillars are a valuable tool to explore deeper connections with both the ecological and social communities of New England. Now a veteran of The Caterpillar Lab, Sara is a core team member, managing aspects of outreach, program development, resource development, and of course, taking care of way too many caterpillars!

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