Each year we select one person to be recognized as our sanctuary Volunteer of the Year. This is our way of acknowledging the efforts of individuals who donate time and energy to help us meet our goals.
The selected individual is also in the running for National Marine Sanctuaries Volunteer of the Year in competition with volunteers from the other 13 sites in the National Marine Sanctuary System.
2017 Volunteer of the Year
Andrea Stromeyer has been a volunteer with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary since 2012, when she was a student at Texas A&M University at Galveston. After hearing a sanctuary presentation at a local school, she realized how few people knew about this thriving reef system off the coast of her home state and decided to help spread the word. Not only does she have the mind and knowledge of a scientist, but she also has the ability to share that information with audiences of all ages.
Andrea has volunteered for a variety of education and outreach assignments, from special projects to multi-day events and sanctuary expansion hearings. She has assisted with set-up and staffing at Get Into Your Sanctuary Day, Ocean Discovery Day and Seaside Chats, helped with activity booths at various community events and taken notes for specialized group events such as the NOAA Response and Preparedness Training and the Visualizing Change workshop on communicating climate change. Every summer, Andrea has also helped with set-up and activities for the Down Under, Out Yonder educator workshop.
One of her current projects is to educate operators of local scuba shops about the invasive lionfish and distribute educational posters detailing the impacts that lionfish have on coral reef ecology. She also assisted with hosting the sanctuary's first Facebook Live event showing lionfish dissections.
As an educator, Andrea knows that ecosystems are all interconnected on a global scale and is able to impart knowledge of global connectedness to her audiences. Her desire is to be as up-to-date as possible about the most current scientific research as well as the best practices in how to deliver that information to the public. Her work has helped educate hundreds of citizens about Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Andrea is currently working as a science educator at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, in addition to being a dive volunteer at Moody Gardens and a Texas Master Naturalist student, class of 2017.
Previous Volunteers of the Year
Click on the links below to learn about previous Volunteers of the Year and their contributions.
2016 Scott Hickman
2015 Jesse Cancelmo
2014 Matt Stout
2013 Tom Oglin
2012 Clint Moore
2011 Kevin Buch
2010 Jacqueline Stanley
2009 George Hanks
2008 Tim Gibson
2007 Pete Bryant
2006 Haidee Williams
2005 Joyce & Frank Burek