Gateway Science Museum

Gateway Staff


Bree outside Kendall hall

Special Projects

Hello!! My name is Breanna Fernandez and I started working Gateway Science Museum in March of 2021. You can find me in the museum as the occasional curiosity guide or heading down to the creek running through Chico State’s campus for water quality testing! I recently graduated from Chico State in May of 2021 with a degree in Environmental Science.

Fun fact: My favorite things to do in my free time are hiking, exploring new places, and cooking!


Garden Curator

Hello! My name is Laura, and I’ve been the Garden Curator at Gateway since 2019. I love working outside in our gardens and maintaining them as an educational space and as a habitat for our local flora and fauna! I received my BS in Evolutionary, Ecological, and Organismal Biology and a minor in Studio Art from Chico State in 2018, and also studied field botany with the University of Idaho. I am currently studying historical changes in plant-pollinator interactions for my MS in Biological Sciences here in Chico. I love exploring our natural world and showing my friends, family, and community how exciting it can be!
Fun fact:  I’ve been gardening all my life, and helped lead a gardening project in my local 4-H club. Some of my other hobbies are hiking, camping, printmaking, sewing, and baking for my friends!


tay bio

Curiosity Guide

Hello! I’m Tay, Curiosity Guide and greeter at the Gateway Science Museum. You may also know me as Gateway’s “Shark Guy!” I love helping guests identify shark teeth and answer as many questions as I can about these amazing creatures! You will most likely find me working behind the Microeye taking an up close look at any kind of fossil! 
 I’ve been a part of the Gateway team for four years and started out as a volunteer. I’m currently attending Butte College majoring in recording arts.
Fun fact, my favorite hobby is playing my guitar and making music!


michelle bio

Artist in Residence

As Artist in Residence at Gateway I get to incorporate my skills as a visual artist into the programming, exhibitions, and events at the museum. I work as an illustrator and artist and am inspired by and curious about the natural world and our universe. I grew up in Minnesota and have now lived in California for 13 years.  After earning an MFA at UC Berkeley I moved to Chico in 2017 and have been enthusiastically on staff at Gateway since 2018.
Fun Fact: I spent four summer seasons working at McMurdo Station, Antarctica where I learned how to make round cookies for a community of over 1000 people.


cole bio

Curiosity Guide

Hi there! My name is Cole Schmitt and I am a Curiosity Guide/ Greeter at the Gateway Science Museum. I started here as a volunteer fall 2019 and now have the best job ever! I am in my junior year at Chico State and I'm double majoring in Ecological Biology and Science Education. I see our museum as a vitally important resource for our community. Science museums aren't just for people who study science, they're a place to be curious. My life goals are to first work for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and years later, the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Some of my hobbies include hiking, woodworking, playing videogames, and my biology honors society Omicron Theta Epsilon. I hope to see all of you at the museum sometime in the future!!!!!

Fun Fact: I've jumped out of a helicopter to ski down a mountain in Alaska



Field Trip Tour Guide

Hello, my name is Leilani! I am a Field Trip Tour Guide at Gateway Science Museum. I am a Chico State student and I am majoring in Agricultural Science & Education with a specialization in Plant & Soil Science. My plan is to become an elementary teacher.

Fun facts: In my free time I love finding new music and attending local live music shows with my friends. Normally, you could find me at the University Farm either seeding in the Greenhouse, tending at the Organic Vegetable Project, or attending class in the animal units or the mechanic shop. I love exploring nature and my favorite places have been Potem Falls or Multnomah Falls. I have so many plants that I lost count after 40.



Curiosity Guide

Hi my name is Dafne. I am a curiosity guide here at Gateway! I started working one year ago. I go to Chico State, my major is Animal Science and I hope to one day become a veterinarian🐶🐱

Fun Fact: I love hiking, and my boyfriend and I just adopted a dog, his name is Sherman he is a German Shepard🐶🥾


Curiosity Guide & Gateway Greeter


Bryan playing guitar

Graphic Designer

Hey! My name is Bryan. I am the graphic designer at Gateway! I am a senior in the Graphic Design department at Chico State with a minor in Photography. As a Chico native I love sharing the amazing content that our team creates with our community!

Fun Fact: I taught myself how to play guitar when I was thirteen and have been playing in bands since I was sixteen years old. Since then I have gotten to tour and play shows around the country and even in Canada!


Kurt with an owl on his arm 

Gallery Supervisor

Hello! My name is Kurt and I am a Gallery Supervisor at the Gateway. I participate in many of the field trips at the museum and often lead tours. I love talking about fossils, wildlife, and providing scientific information to people. I am also a father to two wonderful kids and I run a small business with my son Carter. My background is in wildlife education, research and photography.

Fun Fact: I did wildlife rescue and rehabilitation work for several years. I helped train an injured owl to be an education animal and had an injured owl living in my house for a year. My kids grew up sharing their home with hummingbirds, hawks, baby squirrels, baby raccoons, a ringtail, and even a baby coyote.


Morgan with two dogs

Activity Coordinator

Hello! My name is Morgan and I am the Activity Coordinator at Gateway Science Museum. Most of the time you can find me in the Investigation Station or hosting a Gateway activity! Last May, I graduated from Chico State with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science (specialization in history) and a minor in Comparative Religion.

Fun fact: I have two Shih Tzu’s named Clementine (right) and FiFi (left) and they are the cutest things in the whole world. During this time of isolation, you can find me cooped up in my apartment watching The Office, working, on the phone with my mom or playing Animal Crossing. Stay healthy and be safe!