A local stained glass artist and avid volunteer was recently named the Jan Holmes Island County 2018 Coastal Volunteer of the Year.
On Saturday Feb. 3, Sandy Dubpernell received the award, which is co-sponsored by the Island County Marine Resources Committee, Washington State University Extension and Sound Water Stewards, according to a press release.
“I’ve always been amazed at Sandy’s patience as she explains, again and again why Orcas are endangered and what it means when she calls them an indicator species,” Marty Crowley, a fellow sound water steward who nominated Dubpernell, said in the release.
Dubpernell completed the WSU Beach Watchers program in 1993, is coordinator of the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network and serves on the Orca Network board. She is also a regular docent at the Langley Whale Center, where she curates the center’s marine mammal specimens.
“She became involved in the Rosie the Gray Whale project and found her niche –- responding to dead, smelly creatures on the beach,” Susan Berta, co-founder of Orca Network and the Langley Whale Center, said in the release. “She has a scientific mind, the imagination and creativity of an artist and photographer, toughness and stamina, curiosity and drive to learn and investigate everything about the marine world, and the ability to have a great time while accomplishing unpleasant tasks with a sense of humor!”
Dubpernell is the eighth recipient of the award since it was established in 2011. The award is named for Jan Homes, who led the effort in shoreline inter-tidal monitoring that resulted in the county having more information about its shoreline than most counties in the area, according to the release.
“Like Dubpernell, Holmes loved teaching and loved helping others,” it said.