The 2016 Eleanor Stopps Award nominees were Bob Campbell, Tim McNulty, Dr. Eloise Kailin, and Ron Sikes.
Previous winners include: 2005: Katherine Baril; 2006: Anne Murphy; 2007: Tom Jay and Sara Mall Johani; 2008: Al Latham; 2009: Peter Bahls; 2010: Sarah Spaeth; 2011: Dick and Marie Goin; 2012: Judith Alexander; 2013: Rebecca Benjamin; 2014: Ray Lowrie; 2015: Jude Rubin.
Throughout his career, Dr. Pete Schroeder has taken his many opportunities to study marine mammals and directly apply his learning to improve the lives of these animals, whether through direct veterinary care, advocacy, or education. He has worked as a veterinarian for the US Navy, as the lead veterinarian for the rehabilitation of Springer the orca calf, and worked as a consultant and contributor to NOAA Fisheries' Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Plan. He was nominated for the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award by Anne Murphy and Chrissy McLean.
The following is excerpted from Dr. Schroeder’s nomination:
People of the North Olympic Peninsula involved in conservation work light up when they hear the name “Pete Schroeder”. That’s because somewhere along the line he has helped them advance their cause. Although Pete’s career revolved around marine mammal health and husbandry as a researcher and clinician, his community service has reflected a Salish Sea-wide vision of ecosystem health.
Pete is a warm-hearted, generous, humble, and tireless supporter of others carrying the torch for healthy ecosystems and healthy wildlife. No one knows this better than the Marine Science Center staff and volunteers who received his help on three key projects: the Orca Project, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Gray Whale Project.
|Dr. Pete Schroeder (left) sharpens flensing knives as he advises|
Marine Mammal Stranding Educator Katie Conroy
during the dissection of a gray whale, May 2016
|Springer was observed alone in Puget Sound with a skin condition, 2002|
This is the only capture, translocation and reintroduction case of this type ever completed successfully and involved cooperation between the US and Canadian governments. The work done by the US and Canadian teams of scientists and marine mammal specialists to accomplish this feat was truly remarkable. Springer’s successful rehabilitation and return to her pod represented a new milestone in Killer Whale stewardship. Her story touched people around the world, especially those living in the Salish Sea region. Dr. Schroeder was recognized for his excellent veterinarian care during her rehab period, getting her to eat and exercise again while not creating a dependency on humans.
“Pete brought a lifetime of knowledge and medical expertise to Springer’s recovery and reintroduction. He was also sensitive to the cultural significance of Springer’s return to the First Nations community. In an honoring ceremony he presented the Namgis band a stick that had been Springer’s toy before capture, with her in rehab, and transited with her 400 miles north back home.”
—Lynne Barre, NOAA Protected Resources and part of the US team
The Orca Project
Marine Mammal Stranding Network
|Stranding network volunteers protect an elephant seal in Port Townsend, 2013|
“My favorite thing about Pete is that he believes in people. He helped me get the training I needed and then pushed me forward to do work that I didn’t always feel qualified to do, like leading seal necropsies.”
—Chrissy McLean, former PTMSC Marine Program Coordinator
Gray Whale Project
Pete again stepped forward in May, 2016, to help the Marine Science Center recover the skeleton of a young gray whale. He supported the Marine Science Center team with logistical planning, fact checking, networking with other professionals, proper dissection of the whale, and bone identification and inventory. According to Betsy Carlson, Pete made himself available for moral and professional support during the entire retrieval process.
Pete's participation in these projects has had a ripple effect, touching all the visitors to the Marine Science Center's exhibits and website who are interested in Hope's story and in the health of the Salish Sea. Pete Schroeder embodies the spirit of the Eleanor Stopps Award. He is passionate about conserving the Salish Sea and gives his time, effort, knowledge, support, and enthusiasm to this cause giving so many of us the confidence, connections, and understanding we need to work as a community and conserve the Salish Sea ecosystem.
We extend our thanks to the 2016 Eleanor Stopps Award nominees: Bob Campbell, Tim McNulty, Dr. Eloise Kailin, and Ron Sikes.
Photo 1 by Port Townsend Marine Science Center | Photo 2 by Joe Gaydos | Photo 3 by Lynne Barre for NOAA | Photo 4 by Port Townsend Marine Science Center | Photo 5 by Wendy Feltham