Seymour Center honors alumnus John Laird with Global Oceans Award

John Laird
John Laird

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center will honor John Laird (Stevenson '72, politics) with the 2019 Global Oceans Award on Saturday, March 23, at the Global Oceans Gala. Congressman Jimmy Panetta will introduce the honoree at this evening event and benefit for the Seymour Center.

The Global Oceans Award is bestowed annually to an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to, and extraordinary impact on, the understanding and conservation of our oceans. Past awardees include Gary Griggs, Leon Panetta, Kathryn Sullivan, Julie Packard, Richard Harris, and others.

Laird has spent nearly 40 years in service to California, most recently as the Secretary for Natural Resources. In this role he served as chief steward of California’s parks, waterways, wildlife, fisheries, and coastal environment. Laird graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz in 1972. In 1981, he was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council, serving nine years, including two terms as mayor. He then served eight years on the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees. Laird went on to serve three terms as a state assemblymember before becoming California Secretary for Natural Resources (2011–2019). As secretary, his top priorities included climate change, water conservation, access to state parks, and ocean sustainability.

This benefit event supports the education programs of the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. For information and reservations, please call 831-459-3800. Reservations are $185 per person or $1,480 for a table of eight. The deadline to RSVP is March 5, 2019.

Overlooking the Monterey Bay, the Seymour Center is a "living classroom" featuring exhibits, aquariums, touch pools, whale skeletons, full-scale elephant seal models, the Ocean Discovery Shop, and unsurpassed ocean vistas. The aquariums and exhibits feature the everyday tools of ocean exploration and focus on research conducted by scientists locally and around the world. Interactive stations provide hands-on learning experiences, while docents lead tours and bring marine science to life. The Seymour Center is a community-supported marine science education center of the University of California, Santa Cruz.