Friday, June 12, 2020

Anika Pearl Hart Avelino awarded 2020 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewards Scholarship

$1,500 scholarship presented at Port Townsend High School ceremony

Port Townsend High School student Anika Pearl Hart Avelino was awarded the Anne Murphy Ocean Stewards Scholarship at a ceremony on June 8. The $1,500 scholarship is sponsored by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

Avelino has been caring for salmon since grade school, when she helped maintain her school’s aquarium for salmon releases into the Quilcene River. In middle school, she was monitoring the return of adult salmon with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. Currently she is an intern with the Clallam Marine Resource Committee, surveying smolt salmon and other fish species in Tumwater Creek in Port Angeles.

Avelino plans to attend Western Washington University-Huxley College of the Environment in the fall.

“I would love it if more of my life was dedicated to marine and freshwater species conservation,” Avelino said. “Through my internship with salmon—a crucial keystone species—I have again realized how much I enjoy being outdoors, especially when I get to learn about what role different flora and fauna play in the natural world. I hope that I get to work with more species so I can learn more about what is needed to preserve a healthy ecosystem.”

Avelino also trained to be a docent at the PTMSC Aquarium, volunteered for several of the PTMSC’s Earth Day beach cleanups and organized two community beach cleanups on her own. She was a crew leader for a Northwest Watershed Institute tree plantathon and volunteered with the Jefferson Land Trust to remove invasive weeds.

“I try to live an environmental lifestyle in my everyday life, whether this be working to reduce waste from the household, minimize my carbon footprint or reusing and recycling as much as possible,” she said. “I also love to appreciate the environment by exploring and observing the natural world.”

About the Anne Murphy Ocean Stewardship Scholarship
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.

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