As a graduate of one of our most recent Aquarium Docent classes, Douglas L. has become one of the Greensboro Science Center’s most frequent volunteers. “I have been a Docent at the Greensboro Science Center since May 2018. I volunteer exclusively in the Wiseman Aquarium, especially as a monitor for the Touch Tank. Generally, I try to work 10 shifts monthly and plan to pursue Tier 2 training in early 2019,” Douglas says. Individuals who are interested in our advanced programs, like the Tier 2 program, must be active Docents who have volunteered with either our Aquarium or Zoo Docent programs for at least six months, must exceed their shift minimums, and must apply and interview for a specific program before being chosen.
Although he’s stepped away from his career in the medical field, Douglas’s passion for learning and helping others remains. He says, “As a relatively recently retired physician, I was in search of a meaningful use for my otherwise newly empty hours. The ability to interact with the public in an instructional capacity while broadening my own education in aquatic biology attracted me to the GSC.” From very early on, Volunteer Staff noticed just how insightful and knowledgeable Douglas is and learned that his background has always involved science in one way or another. Douglas adds, “Prior to medical school I had majored in biology during college. Additionally I had just completed a master’s degree in bioethics in 2017, and saw the opportunity to use that newly acquired education via implementation of ethical principles of animal handling and environmental responsibility.”
When asked to name a meaningful memory he has from the GSC, Douglas mentioned, “As a parent of a now young man, observing children’s exuberant reactions to the animals brings back many happy memories of my son’s love for the Science Center. (He once served as a team member, and later coach for First Lego League here.)” This is a wonderfully common trend our Volunteer Staff is noticing with our adult volunteers: those who have children that grew up coming to the GSC want to give back to younger generations. And in many cases their children were, or are currently, volunteers themselves!
Douglas may be one of our newer Aquarium Docents, but he hit the ground running with his ambition and passion. He says “I look forward to the opportunity to further broaden my experience here as a Tier 2 Docent by working behind the scenes more directly with the aquarists and their marine charges. I am very proud of the GSC and grateful to have a small role in the delivery of public education and inspiration through volunteerism.”