Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eliza Dawson awarded $1,000 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship

Port Townsend native is a longtime Marine Science Center supporter

2018 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship
Scholarship recipient Eliza Dawson
The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to announce the winner of a $1,000 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship: Eliza Dawson. 

Dawson, 22, grew up in and around Port Townsend and spent many days volunteering at the PTMSC. A 2018 University of Washington graduate with a B.S. in atmospheric sciences, Dawson is undertaking an enormous challenge with three other women in June, rowing 2,400 miles from Monterey, Calif., to Honolulu in the Great Pacific Race (

A member of the UW crew in 2016 and 2017, Dawson and her teammates on Ripple Effect Rowing hope to break the world record for a women’s rowing team while simultaneously calling attention to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an enormous gyre of ocean garbage approximately 1.6 million square kilometers in size—more than double the size of Texas.

“We continue to be inspired by Eliza!” said PTMSC Executive Director Janine Boire. “When she was 10, she and her younger sister were vital members of our Orca Project, preparing the bones of Hope the orca for display in our Natural History Exhibit.

“Now as a brilliant young adult, she is pushing the boundaries for herself, inspiring all of us to work even harder for healthy oceans,” Boire said. “We cheer her efforts to raise the consciousness of people everywhere about the threats to our marine environment We are honored to support her and through this challenge gift encourage others to support the Ripple Effect Rowing project.”

Dawson is raising funds and will document her journey with photos and videos on her blog,

“I will row in a 24-foot long boat with three other crewmates, completely human powered by our determination,” Dawson wrote. “My goal is to set a new world record for the fastest crossing by an all-female crew [less than 50 days] and in doing so bring attention to climate change and other environmental issues.”

The PTMSC awards the Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship annually to an East Jefferson County student or graduate who embodies the values that Murphy demonstrated in her 24 years as the organization’s executive director: curiosity, wonder and love of the marine environment.

PTMSC will present Dawson’s scholarship award at a Row4Climate fundraising event at FinnRiver Cidery on April 27, 5:30 to 7 p.m. PTMSC invites others to match this award dollar-for-dollar and help Dawson reach her funding goal.

For the latest information about the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, visit and Also, look for #PTMSC and #SalishSea or @PTMarineScience on Twitter and Instagram.

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