Monday, June 30, 2014

Volunteers of the Month: June

We are excited to announce that we have chosen our 3rd annual Department of the Month!  In 2012, we honored Giant Ocean Tank volunteers for their work preparing for the renovations. In 2013, we honored Penguin Colony volunteers for their dedication to caring for the birds off-site and moving them back to Central Wharf.

In 2014, we are honoring a critical behind-the-scenes department integral to the success of the New Aquarium Experience, both on Central Wharf and at the Quincy Facility…the entire Water Quality Department!

Tony Wen, Water Quality Volunteer

Central Wharf: Matthew Whitnell, Tony Wen (above), Gimena Suarez, Elizabeth Spinelli, Mahmonir Pooladgar, Lindsay Chapin, Ben Caiella, Anthony Botto
Quincy: Jeff Summers, Alexandria Poole, Rhoda Pham, Christopher Lau,  Stephanie Gildea, Denis Gearin, Carmen Francoy

Here’s what Dr. Charlie Innis had to say about the work of this department:
The Environmental Quality Laboratory plays a critical role in maintaining the health of our animals. The lab monitors a wide variety of chemical, microbiological and physical parameters in the air and water of our exhibits, rehabilitation facilities and quarantine facilities. In addition to measuring these parameters, the lab team works closely with husbandry and facilities staff to react to environmental problems and to proactively develop systems to prevent such problems.

And Nina Fischer, Environmental Quality Manager, talks about the value of volunteers in this work:
Our volunteers play a very important part in our day-to-day work: they help us collect water samples from the big systems at Central Wharf, organize the bottles so we can process all the testing requests efficiently and then help us perform all the water testing required for that day. We routinely check more than a dozen different water quality parameters and handle at least 100 different samples per day (this includes both the Central Wharf and the Quincy location—attention to detail is definitely the number one skill that’s required. Our volunteers make the difference between a day just being busy and a day being crazy. We really appreciate their time and efforts, the positive attitude they bring to the lab, the questions they ask and enjoy seeing them master the more difficult tests, gaining confidence and enough background knowledge over time so they will be able point out results that are not what they should be.

Many thanks to the Water Quality volunteers both on Central Wharf and at the Quincy Facility for keeping our animals in a healthy environment!

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