MBNMS Volunteer of the Year 2009 Thom Akeman
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With a set of binoculars on a tripod and a few hand-held binoculars Thom Akeman educates and inspires visitors to the Monterey region that stop along the local recreation trail at the Hopkins Marine Station to see our local harbor seal population. Thom is one of our local experts on the harbor seals and is out at his station every Sunday from 10 am until noon or 1 pm. The harbor seals are an easy draw, a destination for wildlife watchers that stop to see the harbor seals and sometimes a few northern elephant seals too.
Thom adds to the experience by allowing visitors to see the harbor seals up close (through binoculars) and adding information about their natural history and community. Thom has furthered the message of the sanctuary by personally talking with 10,575 people about topics such as the local harbor seals, the sanctuary, and what makes this wonderful place we live next to qualify as a sanctuary. With so many visitors to the Monterey area having little to no knowledge of the marine sanctuary, Thom provides an incredible breadth of knowledge concerning the sanctuary, local wildlife, as well as an incredible local knowledge.