Meet Our Staff
Leslie Weinstein, President of Turtles Fly Too
Founder/Manager, True-Lock LLC
Development Board Chair, University of Florida Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research
Born and raised in the St Augustine area, I spent most of my youth along the beaches near my home. Even as a child, the sea turtles that laid their eggs on our property fascinated me. I found myself ever protective of them as I often rescued many eggs from other beaches where turtle nests were being robbed for profit or vandalized by beach-goers for sport. Little did I realize that nearly 30 years later, those very same sea turtles would return to these same beach dunes where I hid their eggs as a kid. Our passion for the preservation of sea turtles and for research and education to further sea turtle conservation is what encouraged my wife Linda and I to donate our beach-front property to the UF ACCSTR to support the continued existence of sea turtle conservation.
Bonnie E. Barnes, Executive Director
Bonnie Barnes has over 18 years of experience in conservation non-profits. She has been involved with Turtles Fly Too since 2017, having worked with Leslie Weinstein in North Florida.
Bonnie previously served as Reef Environmental Education Foundation's Development Manager; an International Marine Conservation organization headquartered in the Florida Keys. Bonnie’s heart is in conservation, whether scuba diving, traipsing through a forest, or swooshing down a mountain, she loves and cares about our environment. Having started her first business at 17 in her hometown of Las Vegas, she eventually found her way to Florida where she owned a marketing company for another 14 years. After earning her MBA in 2006, she jumped head-first into the nonprofit world, as Executive Director of North Florida Land Trust, a land conservation organization in Jacksonville, Florida. Through this relationship, she was instrumental in the donation of Leslie’s critical oceanfront property donation to the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at UF, to protect this land long-term as a prime turtle nesting site.
As an avid diver, she trained to monitor the offshore environment as part of the Jacksonville Reef Research Team. For her work in the offshore marine environment, one of Bonnie's most treasured awards was Florida Sea Grant's Volunteer of the Year Award in 1991.
Erin Stutzman, Education Director
Erin was born and raised in British Columbia where she earned her undergraduate degree in physical geography from Simon Fraser University (SFU). After graduating from SFU she attended Boise State University (BSU) where she continued to study Geology before settling on education as her career future path. It was at BSU where Erin earned her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Currently, Erin is working on her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.
Erin has taught in the Boise School district since 2006 where she has taught everything from 7th grade Life Science to Advanced Placement Environmental Science. In 2016 Erin was awarded the Idaho Environmental Education Association’s Secondary Environmental Educator of the Year award for her work with students on the Boise River. When Erin is not working, she enjoys spending time exploring with her family exploring nature!
Sophie Costa, Social Media and Communications Manager
Key Largo, FL
Sophie grew up in beautiful Texas Hill Country. Originally from Austin, she spent her summer days enjoying the beauty of the lakes and river systems in central Texas. Her passion for aquatic sciences grew when she began diving at the young age of 11. After graduating from Rhodes College with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Spanish, she moved to Belize in order to pursue a career in marine conservation biology. Sophie currently works full time at Reef Environmental Education Foundation, where she assists with communications, marketing, and scientific research. When she is not working, she enjoys spending her free time diving or kayaking in the beautiful South Florida seas.