E-Newsletter Articles

December 2013

Donor spotlight: Alicia and Jeff Carnevali

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Alicia and Jeff Carnevali are longtime supporters of the Seattle Aquarium. Jeff is a regular participant in our annual Otter Open Golf Classic, and Alicia recently brought her daughter and a group of classmates to take part in an Aquarium Bio Morning. Recently, Alicia shared her thoughts with us about the importance of marine conservation and the Aquarium’s role in preserving the marine environment.

Q: What’s been your experience with Puget Sound and the Seattle Aquarium?
A: The Sound is part of our daily experience and it’s always been an important part of our family. Through the wonder of our daughter, now it’s even more so. When she was just a toddler, she was drawn to the Aquarium—she always wanted to go. Through the interactive exhibits, including touching the animals in the tide pools, she developed such a love and care for marine animals. She now wants to be a veterinarian! I believe it was her experience at the Aquarium that developed her interest.

Q: How were your daughter and her friends impacted by their experience at Bio Morning?
A: The Bio Morning event offered the kids a unique opportunity to learn more about the caring and feeding of marine animals. They walked away with a better understanding of what the Aquarium does to care for its animals, as well as a deeper interest in marine science. One exciting moment came when the kids made vegetable kabobs and watched the fish gobble them up. That was a completely new idea for them, knowing that the fish actually eat kale and other vegetables that they see on their dinner plates at home.

Q: What do you tell your friends about the Aquarium?
A: I encourage people to visit, and visit often. The Aquarium is so much more than just a tourist attraction—it’s a great place to learn out of the classroom, to enjoy time together, for play dates and more. And this is one way we can support the marine environment, by supporting the Seattle Aquarium! It’s very important that we visit, attend and support, and introduce others to this organization that is so vital for our region, now and in the future as well.

Chairman's dinner set for January 16, 2014

Chairman's Dinner

The Seattle Aquarium's annual Chairman's Dinner will be Thursday, January 16, 2014. New Board Chair Randy Tinseth and President & CEO Bob Davidson will cover 2013's highlights and share goals for the new year. Awards will be presented to two exceptional advocates for our marine environment, and one Seattle Aquarium board member.

Each year the Seattle Aquarium Medal is bestowed upon an individual whose leadership and lifetime accomplishments reflect our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. The 2014 Medal will go to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a Wayne and Gladys Valley professor of marine biology and distinguished professor of zoology at Oregon State University. She served as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator from 2009 to 2013, and has received many prestigious national awards and honors.

The Seattle Aquarium also awards an annual $10,000 research grant to the Seattle Aquarium Research Center for Conservation and Husbandry (SEARCCH) in honor of an influential leader in this arena. The 2014 Seattle Aquarium Research Award recipient will be Dr. Joseph Gaydos, a senior wildlife veterinarian at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Wildlife Health Center, where he serves as regional director and chief scientist of the SeaDoc Society, an Orcas Island-based nonprofit.

This year's recipient of the Scott S. Patrick Inspirational Award will be announced at the event. It is given to one board member who has been nominated by his or her peers on the board.

Invitations to the 2014 Chairman's Dinner will be mailed soon. Questions may be directed to Rebekah Crowley at r.crowley@seattleaquarium.org or (206) 386-4374.

Seattle Aquarium vet helps save wounded sea otter in Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

Seattle Aquarium Veterinarian Dr. Lesanna Lahner recently traveled to Vancouver, B.C. to assist with surgery and perform ultrasounds on an injured wild sea otter. On October 18, beach-walkers in Tofino, B.C., spotted an adult sea otter in shallow water that made no attempt to flee when approached. Figuring the otter was injured, they notified authorities, who alerted the Vancouver Aquarium.

The mature male otter was gently captured and taken to the aquarium, about four hours away. Chief Veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena and his team found the otter had dozens of birdshot pellets in his head and body, fired from a shotgun. He had been blinded, and had a badly injured hind flipper. He was lethargic and unaware of his surroundings.

The otter, since named Wally, was treated with fluids, pain medications and antibiotics. A few days later, he underwent surgery to amputate a portion of his injured flipper and remove as many pellets as possible. Commenting on her participation in the otter’s treatment, Dr. Lahner says, "Since the community of aquarium veterinarians is rather small, it's common for us to assist each other with big or intensive cases. Anything we can do to collaborate and support neighboring aquariums is invaluable."

Even with skilled round-the-clock care, Wally's prognosis is uncertain. If he continues to improve enough to have a good quality of life, he may stay permanently at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Dr. Lahner adds, "This case is a good example of human-induced illness in a free-ranging marine mammal. It helps make the public aware of issues facing sea otters in the wild."

Q & A with the Seattle Aquarium Volunteer Services Manager Katrina Bettis

Katrina Bettis

Katrina Bettis began volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium as a teenager, and has worked in volunteer engagement for nearly 14 years.

Q: How important are volunteers to the Seattle Aquarium?
A: Volunteers are critical to our mission and we would not exist without them! At any given time we have 500 to 600 active volunteers, from young teenagers to people in their 80s. Each year volunteers give an average of more than 93,000 hours of service to the Aquarium. They help with nearly all areas of our operations: with education, special events, diving and the care of our marine wildlife. Many help outside the Aquarium itself—as beach naturalists, for example.

Q: What draws volunteers to the Aquarium?
A: Overall, it's their strong interest in ocean conservation, and their personal connection to our mission. Some want to gain some specific knowledge, and others need experience for their desired career path. The Aquarium provides a way for community members to learn more, and share their passion for conserving the marine environment.

Q: What makes Seattle Aquarium volunteers special?
A: Our volunteers are passionate, active and dedicated environmental stewards. They are friendly, social people who want to inspire others to learn more.

Q: What's your message to someone who might like to volunteer?
A: Give us a try! I often say: "If all you know is that water is wet and the ocean is out there somewhere, you can volunteer! We will teach you everything else you need to know!"

To learn more about our volunteer program, visit SeattleAquarium.org/volunteer or call (206) 386-4342.

A message from our President & CEO

Bob Davidson

The giving time of year is here! Not only holiday gifts—although they are quite wonderful—but also year-end gifts to the Aquarium. Our annual fund campaign launched in November and I’m happy to report that the results have been very positive so far. If you’ve already given, I and everyone here at the Aquarium thank you. If you haven’t given yet, I encourage you to consider the Aquarium as you plan your end-of-year giving.

Your support is crucial for the continuance of outstanding programs such as Citizen Science, which trains local high school students to collect and analyze real data on Puget Sound beaches; Critter Discoveries, which brings the marine world to life for preschool-age children and their caregivers; and so many more.

For information and to make a donation, click here. Happy holidays from all of us at the Seattle Aquarium!