Aquarium Honors Outstanding Volunteers for their Dedicated Service
Aquarium Volunteers Recognized for their Exceptional Contributions
May 18, 2015
Each year the Monterey Bay Aquarium has the challenging task of selecting exemplary volunteers from more than 1,200 individuals to receive the Lucile S. Packard Memorial Award for outstanding service. This year the aquarium also has the pleasure of honoring one student with the second annual Lucile S. Packard Youth Volunteer Award.
In 2015 the aquarium recognizes award recipients – Marv Tuttle, Robert Scoles, and youth volunteer Felicia Davidson – as individuals “whose dedication and selfless service exemplify Mrs. Packard’s lifelong commitment to volunteerism.” Award criteria include the impact of the individual’s activities on the aquarium, their commitment to the aquarium’s mission, objectives, and goals, and their length of service and number of hours contributed.
The aquarium presented the awards at its annual volunteer gala on May 16.
Marv Tuttle has been a member of the aquarium’s volunteer dive program since November 2002. During his 3,000 hours of service as a guide and diver with over 300 exhibit dives, Tuttle has never missed an opportunity to share his passion and love of the underwater world with visitors.
Tuttle has been instrumental to the success of the aquarium’s “Day of Discovery” SCUBA diving program for children with disabilities. As a paraplegic diver, Tuttle helps aquarium staff understand the needs of physically and mentally challenged children. His tireless support and outreach to kids with exceptional challenges has helped make the Day of Discovery one of the aquarium’s most cherished guest programs, enabling over 1,000 children with special needs to explore the ocean.
“Marv demonstrates that obstacles can be overcome, passions can be pursued, and that no matter the challenge, all can play a role in helping preserve and improve the health of our oceans for future generations” said Dive Safety Officer Scott Chapman.
Award recipient Robert Scoles volunteer career with the aquarium began in 2006. In addition to serving as a guide at the aquarium, he also volunteers with Team OCEAN and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, where he has studied sea otters and their behaviors for over a decade. Scoles regularly shares his field experiences with his fellow guides and visitors, enriching their knowledge of the role that sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem.
Scoles is currently collaborating with the aquarium to better manage visitor impact on the area surrounding the aquarium. He spends every Monday morning picking up trash, and serves as a mentor to three students from California State University, Monterey Bay who are conducting a trash audit as part of their senior project.
“Given Robert’s deep commitment to conservation, his perseverance and passion, you can bet he will provide us with some powerful ideas that will make a difference” said Public Affairs Director Barbara Meister.
Lucile S. Packard Youth Volunteer award recipient Felicia Davidson has participated in the aquarium’s teen programs since the summer of 2010. She began in the Young Women in Science camp and was so inspired that she became a Teen Conservation Leader, where she’s a role model for the next generation of volunteers.
Davidson’s experiences at the aquarium inspired her to volunteer for many other organizations, and she was selected for a summer internship with the Diversity Center in Santa Cruz. She hopes to pursue a degree in sociology to further her dreams of working with people to better themselves and their communities.
“Felicia's commitment to the aquarium's mission to inspire conservation of the oceans extends far beyond her volunteer responsibilities,” said Conservation Interpreter Sarah Mae Nelson. “She is truly a Teen Conservation Leader down to her core.”
Mrs. Packard, along with her husband David Packard, made the initial gift to build the aquarium. She was the driving force behind creation of the aquarium’s internationally acclaimed volunteer program. More than 1,200 individuals are currently active volunteers at the aquarium. Collectively, they donated nearly 160,000 hours in 2014.
The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans