National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
Volunteer of the Year 2011

randy ruddRandy Rudd
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Randy Rudd is a dedicated member of the Grays' Reef Team Ocean Volunteer Scientific Diving Program, serving primarily as a scientific diver and assisting with data collection for several GRNMS projects. Randy's involvement has supplemented the work of the sanctuary's small diving staff, increased the sanctuary's efficiency offshore and helped GRNMS to meet its mandates. Within two weeks of qualifying as NOAA Volunteer Scientific Diver, he participated in the NOAA's 8-day Nancy Foster cruise, during which he provided essential support for a graduate student's thesis. A GRNMS volunteer for one year, Randy logged over 122 dives between June and December 2010, which was double that of any diver on staff. Randy also took the initiative to get a U.S. Coast Guard license and became qualified to operate the sanctuary's small boats. He also serves as an emissary for the sanctuary program by advocating the sanctuary's missions and goals to the broader diving community.

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
Volunteer of the Year Nominees 2011

Joel JustinJoel Justin
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

While also working a full-time job, Joel has provided the support of a part-time staff person through his contributions to monitoring, education and outreach programs. Joel assisted the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps (CINC) photo-id effort on whale watch vessels out of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and also spent over 64 full days on the islands, conducting formal and informal interpretation. Joel was the primary on-island trainer for volunteers and maintained, updated and revised the islands training manual and also built benches and a podium for the mainland visitor center. He also updated and installed island passport stations and visitor logs at Scorpion, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara islands.

Lance MorganLance Morgan
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

For the past 10 years, Lance Morgan has demonstrated his strong conservation ethic and a spirit of cooperation as a sanctuary volunteer. Lance currently serves at the chair of the Sanctuary's Advisory Council and the chair of the joint working group addressing ocean noise and ship strikes on whales in Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones sanctuaries. He was also a member of the joint working group that recently completed the Climate Change Impacts report for Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones. Currently Vice President of Science at the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, Lance's research has resulted in resource protection for corals in three regions of the sanctuary system.

Paramount Chief Tufele Fa'ato'ia Li'amuatuaParamount Chief
Tufele Fa'ato'ia Li'amuatua

Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Remote island groups are particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation, but Paramount Chief Tufele believes that strategic conservation programs coupled with education and outreach can help protect natural resources and enhance the livelihoods of the Samoan people. Since 2008, he has provided invaluable council and support. He advocates for the integration of traditional ecological knowledge and modern science to inform marine conservation and as the Secretary of the Office of Samoan Affairs, he is considering new opportunities in marine spatial planning to further his vision for American Samoa. Paramount Chief Tufele has helped the sanctuary forge meaningful relationships with key stakeholders and village leaders.

Friday LimbertFriday Limbert
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Friday Limbert is an eager, friendly and knowledgeable ambassador for the sanctuary and the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. She serves as an information source at the Center's help desk, greets visitors, introduces the film about the sanctuary, and assists the Center staff with special events and groups. Friday is 89 years old and has been a volunteer since February 2009. She is very knowledgeable about the history of the Keys and brings a personal perspective about the changes in sanctuary resources by describing the decrease in fish sizes she has seen caught over the decades, thus introducing the concept of "shifting baselines" to visitors.

Kevin BuchKevin Buch
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Kevin Buch's diving skills, research experience, and commitment to underwater safety make him a valuable resource to Flower Garden Banks. Kevin works with the sanctuary's science team to provide trained divers for long-term monitoring of coral reefs, conducts annual training updates for the sanctuary dive team and facilitates pool time for dive training exercises. In addition, Kevin provides a fish identification class for the "Down Under, Out Yonder" teacher workshop and serves as dive master for the field experience. He helps with community events and trade shows and during the management plan review process in 2010, Kevin spread awareness about Advisory Council meetings and public scoping sessions to students and faculty at Texas A&M University Galveston.

John LargierJohn Largier
Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Dr. John Largier, Professor of Coastal Oceanography at the U.C. Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, contributes his scientific knowledge to several sanctuary projects. John provided buoy maintenance and data support for the GFNMS thermistor arrays. He is the Research Primary for the Sanctuary Advisory Council and serves on the Science Advisory Team for the California Marine Life Protection Act, and is the sanctuary lead for the Governing Council of the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System and has also served as the group chair and lead editor for the report, "Climate Change Impacts: Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries".

Jean OgawaJean Ogawa
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Jean Ogawa is a special event volunteer who supports numerous outreach and education efforts on the island of Kauai. She has fostered strong relationships with school students and the Girl Scout program, and has led several activities to encourage ocean stewardship, including beach-based student workshops for the King Kaumualii Elementary School. Also, Jean recruits other sanctuary volunteers through the Girl Scout cadets and parents. She participates and engages in public comment meetings and helped coordinate public information meetings, public scoping meetings and other hearings pertaining to the management plan review process. Jean provided expertise as a formal educator for the proposed Kauai NOAA/Sanctuary discovery center.

William SWilliam S
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Will brings a youth voice to the sanctuary's Advisory Council by serving as its Youth Seat. Will is determined to solve local real-world problems and has inspired community youth involvement and action. He and several other students organized a club called, "Save Our Seas" that has cleaned up beaches and is addressing sustainability issues in their school. He helped launch a campaign to replace Styrofoam with reusable plates at the school and is working to reduce the number of plastic bags and containers in his local community of Virginia Beach. Will's advocacy among youth and the surfing community exemplifies his dedication to conservation.

Margaret PJ WebbMargaret "PJ" Webb
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

PJ Webb is a voice for Monterey Bay's southern region, supporting all of the region's events. A member of Ecosystem Based Initiative, she has also participated Snapshot Day events and is a BeachCOMBERS volunteer, monitoring beaches every month in the sanctuary's southern region. PJ is highly involved in local issues and volunteers with numerous sanctuary partners. She is on the Citizen Advisory Committee for the Santa Rosa Creek Watershed Management Plan and has supported sanctuary expansion. PJ is also a member of the Marine Interest group and a board member of the Otter Project. She is currently initiating a new harbor seal watch program in Cambria.

Jacqueline (Jaci) B. PumphreyJacqueline (Jaci) B. Pumphrey
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Jaci Pumphrey has provided long-term clerical support for Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a citizen science program. Citizen science is a critical element of the National Marine Sanctuary System and without her work, COASST's research and monitoring data would be lost. Jaci's work was essential following the fall 2009 plankton bloom, which resulted in the deaths of over 6,000 seabirds. Jaci is also an active COASST volunteer, monitoring beaches on a monthly basis since 2005. She also assists with outreach activities as a docent at the Olympic Coast Discover Center and by staffing the sanctuary's booth at the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival.

Louis AgardLouis "Buzzy" Agard
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Buzzy Agard was instrumental in the establishment of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve and was present when President Clinton signed the proclamation. Since then, Buzzy has provided guidance and support as one of three Native Hawaiian representatives on the Advisory Council and a founding member of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Native Hawaiian Cultural Working Group. In 2010, his leadership contributed to World Heritage Site designation. A fisherman by trade, he has provided important historical and cultural insights. At 86 years old, Uncle Buzzy is an elder and a leader in the local community, providing community-wide advocacy and mentorship.

Heather KnowlesHeather Knowles
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

A strong advocate for diving Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary, Heather Knowles efforts to elevate the profile of Stellwagen Bank began in 2005 with her creation of a website ( In 2010, she led a team that installed mooring at a sanctuary shipwreck. As president of Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions and captain of the R/V Gauntlet, she promotes responsible diving etiquette in the sanctuary. Her quarterly diving newsletter, The Lookout, frequently includes information about sanctuary shipwrecks and Stellwagen Bank. She has been member of the sanctuary's Advisory Council since 2008 and currently serves as its Vice-Chair.

Carol ShaftoCarol Shafto
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Carol Shafto has created a greater community awareness of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, its shipwrecks, the Great Lakes, and the ocean. She served on the Sanctuary Advisory Council prior to sanctuary designation and was the Chair from 2001-2007. As the Mayor of Alpena, she currently serves as the City of Alpena representative. Her work on the management plan led to a recommendation to expand the sanctuary, and subsequent bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to expand sanctuary boundaries. In 2009, Carol testified before Congress on the Thunder Bay Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve Boundary Modification Act and continues to be an ardent supporter of expansion.

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