Thursday, June 2, 2016

Announcing Winner of Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship!

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to announce the winner of the Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship scholarship.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center awards this $500 scholarship annually to a graduating East Jefferson county high school senior who embodies the values that Anne Murphy lives: curiosity, wonder, and love of the marine environment.

Anne Murphy served as Executive Director of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, pouring her heart into growing an organization that would nurture exploration and discovery of our local shores and waters. She retired after 24 years, leaving behind a vibrant community treasure that has profoundly affected thousands of people.

Anne Murphy
The winner of this year's award, Chloe Dawson, is no stranger to the Marine Science Center. Chloe has given hundreds of hours in volunteer service to the Marine Science Center.

As part of the Plastics Project, Chloe spent years peering through a microscope dissecting seagull boluses and sifting through sand looking for tiny plastic pieces. As part of the Orca Project, she cleaned, measured, and restored the bones of Hope and then articulated the skeleton of a seal, which we now have in the Natural History Exhibit. Finally, she did a settling plate study and assisted in seal necropsies.

Chloe dissects seagull boluses, 2009
The selection committee was impressed and inspired by Chloe's future plans. She said in her application, "I am intrigued by the place where environmental science meets with computer science." She did a coding workship that changed her life. Now, she said, "when I feel the small wriggling bodies of the salmon smolt in my hand at a restoration site, I can see the code I would write to create models that predict salmon populations and aid in restoration." Chloe plans to pursue a double major in Environmental Science and Computer Science.

Chloe on a recent NOAA cruise
Finally, the selection committee was moved by Chloe's statement, "I have loved the Port Townsend Marine Science Center since I was a small child. Growing up, it was inspiring to be part of a community of volunteers who cared about our ecosystem. As I move on to college, I greatly appreciate the financial support of this scholarship so I can pursue my dreams of being a scientist who can contribute to the health of our planet.

We wish Chloe calm seas in this next chapter of her education!

Don't forget to join us this Saturday, June 4, at 9 am for a guided low tide walk! We're expecting to have great weather, so if you haven't ever participated in one of PTMSC's low tide walks, this would be a great weekend to grab your brand-new PTMSC hat and come out to explore!

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