In love with marine biology as early as grade school, Rachel Tuck has never wavered in her commitment to protect the planet and its marine life.
“I was the girl in high school signing my name Rachel Tuck SAVE THE WHALES,” she said.
“Marine conservation, and conservation in general, is a huge passion of mine. I get the greatest satisfaction teaching others about protecting endangered species.”
Even though Tuck quickly realized that science was not her forté at Wittenberg, preferring instead to major in sociology, she has found immense rewards through her voluntary marine conservation efforts.
For the last five years, Tuck has spent countless hours volunteering with the non-profit organization Pro-Peninsula in San Diego, Calif., which is dedicated to empowering communities and organizations on the Baja, Calif., peninsula to protect and preserve the environment.
“I first learned about Pro-P when I saw the San Diego Port Authority helping to rescue a turtle in a news story,” she said. “I decided I wanted to get involved. I love working with the people in Baja and the students in San Diego, teaching them about being environmentally friendly and saving sea turtles.”
Tuck credits Wittenberg’s commitment to community service for inspiring her to serve in this capacity while working full-time as a shipping consultant.
“It helped to open my eyes and see that whether it’s in a school or saving a sea turtle in Baja, people can make a difference,” said Tuck, who is also learning Spanish to communicate better with the Baja community.
At the same time, Tuck also volunteers as an assistant naturalist with the Steven Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, Calif., a research wing of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
“‘Witt World,’ as my friends and I call it, provided me with the ability to make an impact in this world,” Tuck said. “You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in marine biology to make a difference. Anyone can do it, and Wittenberg gave me the light to help make my conservation efforts a reality.”