Volunteer of the Year for 2007 Winner Hunter Kilpatrick with (from left):
Jean-Michel Cousteau, Robert Ballard, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Hunter
In July 2006, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary opened its first interpretive facility, the Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Bay. Hunter graduated from the first docent training in June 2006, before the facility was finished. During installation of the exhibits, Hunter (who is a licensed contractor) volunteered hundreds of hours assisting the installation crew with drywall, painting, problem solving and repairs. He stayed up late hours to assist with the completion of the facility before the grand opening. He also assisted with the installation and care of the live fish aquarium. Hunter has been the Center's photographer and recorder, taking hundreds of photos of the docent training, grand opening, and other events. Hunter initiated and provided leadership with the creation of two docent committees, the Website Committee (developing the website for the Coastal Discovery Center) and the Finance Advisory committee (pursuing fundraising opportunities). He has donated over 500 official docent hours since June as well as countless unofficial hours, all with good spirits and a positive attitude.
Hunter's knowledge as a contractor and his hard work benefited the sanctuary's first interpretive center, which supports and promotes the sanctuary message to thousands of people. His interest in getting the news to even more people prompted him to initiate a website for the center, which is currently undergoing review. His creative problem-solving ideas and initiative have saved the program time and money, allowing the program to do more with less. Overall, Hunter promotes our sanctuary center while making program look good and function productively.
Hunter has been with the program for only 9 months, since the first docent training for the Coastal Discovery Center, which opened in July, 2006. In this time he has logged over 500 hours, far more than any other volunteer.
Through his efforts at the Coastal Discovery Center, Hunter has given hundreds of hours of his time to support the goals of the NMSP and the MBNMS. His knowledge and skills as a contractor and builder, freely offered, saved thousands of dollars, which could then be directed to provide educational opportunities to the public. With Hunter's help the Coastal Discovery Center looks better and performs better than it would have without his input. His efforts have greatly enhanced the credibility of the Center in his community and the NMSP program overall.