Doug Cowie

Museum Manager

Doug began working at the Marine Museum in 2011 after spending 34 years in the marine industry working on everything from boats, building boats, and surveying boats to writing about boats and industry standards for boating safety. A lifelong sailor, he has logged many nautical miles of ocean sailing, but enjoys dinghy sailing most in Kingston harbour and an occasional spin on his DN iceboat.

Doug is also a Director on the Board of the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites and is a member of its Marketing Committee.

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Dr Michelle Clarabut

Programs and Communications Manager

Michelle joined the Museum in April 2019 with a background in research, education and advancement. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from Queen’s University in Art History and Italian, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Guelph in European Studies and recently completed her Doctorate in Cultural History from Royal Holloway, University of London. During her time at Royal Holloway, Michelle lectured in cultural history and worked in Advancement.

Michelle volunteers with the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites as Chair of the Marketing Committee and has been involved with numerous research and public engagement initiatives aimed at connecting people with the cultural heritage of Kingston. As a Kingstonian, Michelle also holds a personal connection to the Marine Museum, recalling fondly the visits she made with her grandfather all those years ago.

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Daniel Rose

Programs and Collections Assistant

Daniel Rose is thrilled to be re-joining the crew at the Marine Museum as an Interpreter delivering historic site tours and supporting program and collections work. Daniel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in History from Queen’s University (with a focus on Confederation-era Canadian history) in 2015 before completing a Master of Museum Studies degree at the University of Toronto in 2018. After spending several summers as a uniformed military interpreter at Fort Henry National Historic Site, Daniel was inspired to pursue a career in the museum industry in order to share his passion for local history. His previous experience includes two summers spent as a museum intern at Fort Henry and volunteering at the Museum of Health Care. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel served as assistant and team leader at Canada’s Penitentiary Museum for almost two years.

In his spare time, Daniel sits on the board of the Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada and is responsible for managing the Club’s collection. As the Club’s archivist, Daniel collaborated with staff and management at Fort Henry to produce the Spirit of the Fort Henry Guard exhibit, which opened in August 2018 thanks to funding from a City of Kingston Heritage Fund grant.



Caramel (aka "Cara")

Visitor Services and freshwater shark in training

Caramel joined the Museum in July 2021 as the Museum's unofficial mascot. On a typical day, Caramel welcomes visitors to the Museum and for Museum programs ensuring everyone gets an opportunity to give her an ear scratch and/or belly rub (she's not picky). Her other job is to guard the gallery and ensure no one commandeers any of our ships; she takes this role very seriously.

She is currently working towards her freshwater shark qualification which she expects to earn by summer 2022. Caramel is also one of our bilingual staff members.

Summer Students and Interns



Jillian Badgley

Museum Assistant - Tours, Summer 2022

Jillian is entering her third year studies at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) studying professional communication. As a proud Kingstonian, Jillian has always enjoyed being immersed in everything the city has to offer, including local history, sites, tours, and many museums. She has prior experience in tourism, previously working as a visitor experience ambassador for the City last summer, experience in customer service, and teaching roles with children. Jillian is very excited to continue working with visitors as a tour guide and museum assistant, and to learn more about the maritime history of the Great Lakes and Kingston!


Jillian's position is funded by Young Canada Works.



Erin Burchill

Museum Assistant - Tours, Summer 2022

Erin is going into her 3rd year at Queen’s University and is a student in the Concurrent-Education program while majoring in biology and minoring in history. She is aspiring to become a teacher when she graduates. Erin has always been passionate about history and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work as a Museum Assistant this summer. Growing up, Erin visited many marine museums around Canada which sparked her interest in marine life. She originally wanted to go into marine biology, but chose history because of her love for the field. Erin is excited to be spending the summer by the water at the Museum and is hoping to inspire others to find their own passions.


Erin's position is funded by Young Canada Works.



Geoffrey Hodges

Museum Assistant - Programs, Summer 2022

Geoffrey is a soon to be Masters student at Queen’s University. He is working towards a Masters in Religious Studies, with a focus on Indigenous ways of knowing and systems of belief. Geoffrey has always loved historical research and working with historical documents. During his undergraduate degree in History, he discovered a passion for Indigenous ways of knowing, particularly in their relationship with the water and the land. He is excited to help spread this knowledge, and his knowledge of local marine history as a Museum Assistant.


Geoffrey's position is funded by Canada Summer Jobs.



Zoe Mack

Research and Collections Assistant, Winter 2022 Internship

Zoe is in her fourth year at Queen's University. She is working towards a major in History and a minor in Political Studies. Zoe has always loved historical research and working with historical documents. Last fall, she discovered a passion for archival work while interning at the Queen's Archives and is excited to continue learning about historic collections and their management as our Research and Collections Assistant. Zoe is interested in pursuing a career in information studies as an archivist and is thrilled at the opportunity to engage with and help preserve local histories.




Elizabeth Mooy

Collections Assistant, Summer 2022 Internship

Beth is a Fleming College student and is working towards completing her program in Museum Management and Curatorship. Beth grew up in the Lennox and Addington area, and has spent much time visiting museums and historical sites all along the east coast. While her background lies in the arts, with an education in Visual and Creative Arts, Ceramics, and Jewelry Essentials, she quickly found she had an interest in the physical and cultural history of manmade objects. Beth is delighted to be using her internship to assist in reestablishing the Marine Museum’s collections and archives.




Alana Raven

Museum Assistant - Programs, Summer 2022

Alana has recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Museum and Cultural Management through Centennial College and is very excited to be joining the Marine Museum team this summer. She has a background in archaeology, biology, and historical research as well as customer service experience that will all be used in her Museum Assistant - Programs role. Through this role, Alana is thrilled that she will be able to use her passion for preserving and sharing history with a wide audience, especially our future generations. Alana looks forward to learning more about the history of the Great Lakes and getting involved in the exciting programs the museum is offering this summer season.


Alana's position was funded by Canada Summer Jobs.



Sam Russell

Museum Assistant - Programs, Summer 2022

Sam is a recent graduate from Queen’s University where he studied History and English Literature. He will be returning to Queen’s this fall to start a Master’s program in History, but in the meantime, Sam is so happy to be a part of the crew here at the Marine Museum!

During his childhood summers, Sam spent many hours on the water as he went to camp and learnt valuable skills in sailing, canoeing, and other forms of nautical-nonsense. In his teenage years, Sam became a sailing instructor which gave him experience in delivering educational programs to youth. These transferable teaching skills, along with his passion for marine heritage and environmental conservation, all contribute to Sam’s excitement to be working in the programs department of the Marine Museum.


Sam's position was funded by Canada Summer Jobs.



Avery Spoelstra

Research Assistant, Autumn 2022 Internship

Avery is a third-year student at Queen's University. She is currently working towards completing her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree with a History Major and a Certificate in Commerce. Following her undergraduate degree, Avery hopes to attend law school at the University of British Columbia or the University of Sydney.
Avery is excited to be joining our team as our Research Assitant this autumn. She has always loved history and, since moving to Kingston, has developed an interest in the town's vast history. She is looking forward to exploring the museum's archives and sharing her findings with the public to continue to reconnect the community to the Great Lakes' history.



Taylor Villa

Museum Assistant - Programs, Summer 2022

Taylor is a third-year BA and BEd student at Queen’s University. She is majoring in Sociology, minoring in Environmental Studies, and is also in the Concurrent Education program. Following her undergraduate career, Taylor is interested in pursuing a Masters’s Degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of British Columbia. Taylor is excited to be one of this summer’s Museum Assistants at the Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. She has always loved the environment, education, and history, and she feels this will be a fantastic opportunity to help her as a future educator and environmental conservationist. Taylor is looking forward to helping the Museum on its mission of connecting the local community with the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes and Kingston.


Taylor's position is funded by Canada Summer Jobs.