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What We're Thankful For

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we asked staff what they are giving thanks for this year:

Published November 23, 2016


Megan Anderson, Manager of Guest Engagement
I am thankful to work with a team of passionate interpreters. The guest engagement team consists of 30+ educators that come from different science and education backgrounds but all come together because we all feel the importance of sharing conservation messages and actions. Every day we get to hear guests laugh, shout and even scream as they touch a stingray for the first time. Each conversation is a change to inspire conservation stewards. I’m so thankful of all of their hard work and energy.

Ken Howell, Curator of Upland Tropical Rain Forest

I am thankful for the incredible team of animal care professionals that I work with each day. Coupled with a diverse and amazing collection of living plants and animals, I learn something new every day.

Dr. Leigh Clayton, Director of Animal Health and Welfare
I am deeply grateful for a career that has provided contact with so many types of animals, in so many settings. It has given me a greater sense of the incredible connection between all living things on this planet.

Emily Smith, Animal Rescue Aide
I am so thankful for the opportunity to work in the Animal Rescue field and to be immersed in a team of staff and volunteers like the National Aquarium, where all of its members are passionate, well-rounded, diverse, intelligent, forward thinking and welcoming! I’m overwhelmed with gratitude at the opportunity to fulfill my dream of working with marine animals, and to have a place where I can use my passion to successful rehabilitate and release protected and endangered species. I’m thankful for the people that I get to interact with on a daily basis – whether it’s a guest at the aquarium, a family who got to see one of our releases, or a fellow colleague in the field.

Jen Rudolph, Community Programs
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for those who have welcomed me as a part of the Aquarium family. I have never worked with individuals who are so dedicated to all forms of conservation. They teach me how to be a better environmentalist every day! In addition, after working out-of-state for so long, I’m thankful that I’ve accomplished a lifelong goal: to work in downtown Baltimore and give back to the place where I grew up. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to work in the best city in the world.

Matt Wade, Jellies Aquarist
I am thankful for the amazing people I work with here at the National Aquarium. Everyone works as a team to promote conservation and provide industry leading husbandry to the animals in our care. With such a wide range of experience there is always something new to learn from our aquarium family.

Maura Duffy, Conservation Technician
I'm thankful to be part of the National Aquarium team. Every day, we have a hands-on part in conserving the world's aquatic treasures by working with our staff, volunteers, and students to complete projects improving wildlife habitats and protecting the species that depend on them. I’m thankful for all the accomplishments we’ve made together.

Jackie Cooper, Blacktip Reef Aquarist and Assistant Dive Safety Officer
I am thankful to work for an organization that is committed to making a difference in the world. I am also thankful to get to work with such cool animals. Working with animals like Calypso, Zoe and Zeke is a real privilege.

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