Photo: R. R. Jones
Long Marine Laboratory
Born in a coastal Oregon town 69 years ago, Delorah Hall jokes that the ocean must have left anindelible imprint on her. Indeed, she feels a deep connection to the sea and has spent most of her life within earshot of the breaking waves of the Pacific.
Since 1980, Hall has shared her love of the ocean and marine life with visitors to UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory. Now a retired school teacher, Hall delights in her role as a docent.
"I really believe in education, and the lab is such a special place because there's so much cutting-edge research taking place," she says. "Graduate students speak to us about their unpublished research, and we pass it on to people of all ages. It's very exciting."
Volunteer docents are essential to the lab, which receives about 30,000 visitors each year. In addition to being a docent, Hall represents the lab at outreach events, conducts school tours, served on the Docent Council for two years, and helped launch Ocean Explorers, a summer day camp for youngsters begun three years ago.
Having volunteered at Long Marine Laboratory almost since day one, Hall has watched the facility and its programs blossom, just like the interest of visitors.
"Sometimes people show up expecting to see a show like at Marine World, but it's amazing how interested they can become in invertebrates," she says. "The public needs to be educated about the animals and plants that live here. If we're ever going to save the planet, education is the way."