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Giving Thanks

Each year, we ask our staff members to share what they’re thankful for—and every year they don’t disappoint! 

Published November 22, 2017

From our aquarists to those who work in our community, our staff members shared what they’re thankful for this year. 

“I am grateful to work alongside such adept and dedicated aquarists and experienced curatorial team. With all our collective focus on providing the best care for our animals, we don’t often enough stop to recognize all that we accomplish day to day: from ingenious and oftentimes elegant problem-solving ideas to innovations in animal transport techniques to leading-edge in vitro reproduction of jellies. I am immensely proud to work with this team of professionals.” – Jennie Janssen, assistant curator of Blue Wonders  


“I am thankful for every time I walk through the Aquarium and hear someone exclaim excitedly about a shark, dolphin, jelly, puffin or any other awesome animal living here.” – Maggie Ostdahl, conservation operations manager 

“I am thankful that I get to work with some amazing animals from around the world at an institution that is trying to make the ocean and the world a better place. I get to work with animals from all over, whether it be the kelp forest sharks from the Eastern Pacific, the electric eel from the Amazon River or the red grouper and green moray eel from the Caribbean. Being able to work with such a diverse range of animals is an amazing experience.” – Allan Kottyan, senior aquarist 


“I am thankful for to be working among people who care so deeply about the environment, so many bright minds working hard each day to share conservation.” – Megan Anderson, director of guest engagement  

“I am thankful for good jelly karma! I am thankful that several other institutions have donated different species of jelly polyps to us. We have since been able to produce medusa with several of them and now can surplus adult species out to other aquariums and keep the good jelly karma going.” – Annie Miller, aquarist 


“Growing up outside of Baltimore in the ‘90s, the Aquarium is still a favorite childhood memory for many children of my generation. Now, more than 25 years later as the Aquarium’s director of membership, I get to see that same joy and excitement that children of a new generation experience as they make their own connections to our aquatic world each day. To get to be a part of that is pretty special, and a reason to be thankful.” – Matt Rains, director of membership 


“I love coming to work every day knowing that I have the opportunity to change someone’s life. The work that we do here is so meaningful and rewarding and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do what we do and help share the wonders of the marine world and conservation with each other and the public.” – Gillian Reily, guest engagement specialist 

From our family—scaled, finned, furry and feathered—to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

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