|Carol McCreary at the 2016 Tides of March Auction|
How long have you been a Marine Science Center volunteer?
Are you a member of the Marine Science Center?
In what capacity do you volunteer here?
I have a Saturday afternoon gig at the Natural History Exhibit. Sometimes when I have a conflict and can’t make it, Jack, my husband who’s also a trained volunteer, takes my place.
What aspect of the Marine Science Center’s work resonates with you?
The science. When I last studied science in an institution, so much of what we know today about the ocean was unknown, including climate change and the pressing hazards that it brings.
What is your favorite day or memory of volunteering so far?
I love watching visitors engage on their own — noisy kids in the storm sewer, an adult and child working through the riddles on the Toxics screen, folks figuring out how the seal fin bones fit together and realizing what it means to be a mammal. The best questions that visitors come up with are the ones I can’t answer. So I engage the AmeriCorps on duty and learning surpasses everyone’s expectations.
What is your personal relationship/connection with the Salish Sea?
Jack and I sail on its waters year round. Fascinated by its richly diverse boundaries and the topography of its shores, we take lots of photos. Our subjects range from the quiet, hideaway coves in South Sound to the great seal haulouts of the San Juans to the majestic Desolation Sound and the chalky blue glacial waters of Toba Inlet all the way to the north end where waters surge back and forth through Seymour Narrows.
What inspires you, personally?
Sanitation, especially alternatives to waterborne systems. As we face drought, climate change, and the prospect of a pipe-breaking Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, we need to prototype new technologies that treat pathogens and toxics and help restore our soils. The recent NOAA Fisheries study of the impact of pharmaceuticals on fish should be a wake-up call.
Can you tell me about a particular experience or moment of awe you’ve had with the Salish Sea that’s stuck with you?
Spring brings low tides and time with the barnacles, fascinating sea creatures you can depend on to be there for you.
Why do you feel the Marine Science Center’s work is important to the conservation of the Salish Sea?
Most of our visitors have gone green. They’re on board with fighting climate change and ready to Go Blue!
Thank you to Carol for sharing your thoughts on volunteering at PTMSC!
CAROLYN WOODS is the Natural History Exhibit and Volunteer Educator and an AmeriCorps Member serving at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.