“THE MAP® of the Grand Canyons of La Jolla honoring Walter Munk’s legacy”
Friday, October 23 at 1:00pm
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Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans has designed, funded, and overseen construction of over $2M worth of improvements in La Jollas’s Kellogg Park, including a 2,200 square foot lithomosaic plaza depicting “THE MAP® of the La Jolla Underwater Park & Ecological Reserves;” a life-sized bronze sculpture by D. Lynn Reeves of “J.J. the Orphaned Baby Gray Whale;” and a Junior Lifeguard themed playground, all focused on educating the park’s millions of visitors to become better stewards of their environment.
Mary Coakley Munk is a founding Board Member of the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans. She has been active in the local community and served on numerous boards and committees since she moved to La Jolla Shores in 2000. She is the founder and President of Friends of La Jolla Shores, a non-profit whose mission is to enhance and preserve our public parks, beaches, unique coastal community, and marine environment while promoting related educational experiences and recreational activities.
Mary has shared the better part of the last decade with Walter and wishes to honor his lifetime of daring exploration and discovery by supporting scientific research, education, and ocean conservation through the Foundation.
Cynthia Matzke is the Director of Education and Outreach for WMFO, with a background in journalism, marine biology, and video production. She graduated from SIO with a Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and continues to work with Scripps Marine Physical Lab on special projects. Her passion for scuba diving along with filming remote ocean ecosystems has brought her eye to eye with rare species in some unusual places and, as a trained injured wildlife responder, she has assisted with many rescues. She is an Adjunct Professor at NewSchool of Architecture + Design, creating STEAM curricula for learners of all ages. Ms.Matzke is an Explorers Club Fellow who has sailed over 10,000 miles to study plastic pollution, dives in Arctic sea-ice for fun, and loves to bring marine ecology lessons from the field into the classroom.
Beth Besom is a worldly and adventurous soul who has enjoyed a variety of exciting careers in her lifetime. By the age of 20, she had already lived in eight countries. Out of college, she designed and fabricated costumes for the theater in NYC. She became a mounted sergeant in the NYC Parks, combining her love for animals and the outdoors, while educating the public. After a moving encounter with a baby gray whale in Baja California, Beth returned to NYC and joined the NY Aquarium Dive Team. Soon after, she moved to the British Virgin Islands to work as a licensed PADI scuba instructor, where she created and led dynamic environmental programs for children ages 7-14 years old. She relocated to California in 2018 to work for Walter Munk. Beth is currently using her talents as a scientific communicator, as a producer for the Splash! educational video series. She became an Advisor for the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans in 2019 and teaches programs for underserved youth in San Diego. Beth recently returned from Upolu, Samoa, where she taught diving and introduced a STEM underwater robotics program in the local villages.