Julie Packard: Safeguarding the sea

Crown ’74, B.A. biology; M.A. ’78


Julie Packard helped found the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has served as the aquarium's executive director since it opened in 1984.

Based on a lifelong passion for science and nature, she has led the aquarium to become a global force for ocean conservation. She chairs the board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, a global leader in deep ocean science and technology, and she is deeply engaged in ocean conservation strategies through her work as a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She served as a member of the Pew Oceans Commission, which published a blueprint for improving governance of America's ocean waters, and more recently served on the California Parks Forward Commission to develop a sustainable path for California's state parks.

Packard was the 1998 recipient of the Audubon Medal for Conservation. In 2009, she was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the nation's most prestigious honor society, and was named a California Coastal Hero. In 2010, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in recognition of her "tireless career commitment to marine conservation."

Says Packard, "I am hugely grateful for the opportunities UC Santa Cruz gave me as an undergraduate to spend time with top research scientists and be able to do science, not just hear about it."