Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Anne Murphy Ocean Stewards Scholarship awarded to Ella Ashford

Former PTMSC volunteer plans to attend Willamette University

Port Townsend's Ella Ashford has been awarded the 2021 Anne Murphy Ocean Stewards Scholarship. Ashford intends to apply the $1,500 scholarship, which is sponsored by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, toward an environmental science degree at Willamette University in Oregon.

Ella Ashford, age 11, with
former volunteer the late Roger Wilson in 2013

Ashford is well acquainted with the marine environment. In 2013, at age 11, she volunteered with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network to help protect a northern elephant seal pup that had come ashore in downtown Port Townsend. Ashford wrote about the experience on the PTMSC blog and the unusual story was written up in the Peninsula Daily News.

Another PTMSC project in which Ashford participated was the TEENS (Teens Envisioning and Engineering New Solutions) Camp, where a tour of the Port Townsend wastewater treatment facility served as the springboard for an air quality research project that Ashford conducted at the treatment facility.

Ella Ashford today
“I have continued to pursue my service and environmental passions through programs like the MATE underwater robotics competition,” Ashford said in her application. “I have worked closely with NOAA to facilitate the Olympic Coast MATE ROV Competition, which provides equitable STEM education for students in rural and Native American communities.

“I strive to create opportunities not only for myself, or for my peers, but also for the next generation of scientists and engineers that follow in my footsteps,” she said.

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.

For the latest information about the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, visit Also, look for @PortTownsendMarineScienceCenter on Facebook, @PTMarineScience on Twitter and @ptmarinescictr on Instagram.

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