Ocean Leaders

Ocean Leader Awardees

Dedicated to and passionate about empowering future generations
The next paul walker ocean leadership award recipients will be announced April 2017!

"Paul Walker had a lifelong passion for the ocean. We're so proud to work with the Paul Walker foundation to support his vision of shaping new generations of ocean leaders."
 Director of Education Programs, Rita Bell


Ocean Leaders of the Future

Katie Ridgway

A Little About Katie

Katie is in progress of creating a club for likeminded teens that dive and snorkel, to coordinate systematically removing garbage from the ocean in the local environment. In addition to being a successful student, a volunteer at the Aquarium, a steward for the ocean, Katie also does marine research at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station related to the impacts of climate change on the ocean.

• 650 hours of volunteer service at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
• 2015 Honorable Mention – Weston Scholarship Photography Competition
• 2015 and 2014 Monterey County Mock Trial Participant
• Santa Catalina School TEDx Club Leader and Public Relations Team Member
• LiMPETS Participant (Long-Term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students)
• Research at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station

    Katie has taken the initiative to develop her leadership skills through various opportunities at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She is also continuing her own education in marine science, by taking on research projects and being accepted for internships through Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. Katie has worked on an ocean acidification project at Hopkins Marine Station with two Stanford professors analyzing the photosynthetic rate of kelp compared to their absorption of carbon dioxide in reducing the pH in intertidal communities. She is currently working on an internship at Hopkins Marine Station about the effects of climate change and coral bleaching.


    Ailis Dooner

    "I feel deeply honored to receive this award, and I am so grateful for the support of the Paul Walker Foundation. The Foundation’s support will help me and other students to pursue our dreams in the ocean sciences and marine biology, and to become the ocean stewards of the next generation. This will help continue a spirit of dedication to ocean conservation in the years to come."

    A Little About Ailis

    a junior at Carmel High School in Carmel, California. From the time she was a sea turtle-loving toddler, awestruck by the wonders of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, she has interacted with the world around her through a lens of inquiry. Her insatiable curiosity took her to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair twice where she has honed her passion for the ocean by investigating a new class of novel, algae-derived amino acids for potential application in the prevention and treatment of the world’s most fatal cancer, lung carcinoma, with promising results. Ailis is passionate about marine conservation and environmental education; she transitioned from participant to leader and mentor of teen programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, writing short stories, teaching and playing clarinet. Ailis is a valued teen leader of Aquarium programs; she truly is an inspiring youth and has yet to be formally acknowledged by the Aquarium for the legacy she will be leaving behind as she moves to the East Coast for her senior year this fall.


    Ocean Leaders

    Marisa Miller

    "I am humbled to receive the first Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Paul’s love for the ocean and efforts to help protect it have always been a huge inspiration to me. I am honored to be a part of fulfilling his legacy, empowering, educating and inspiring future generations."

    Jack Johnson

    "The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a special place for our family. I appreciate the energy they put into educating the public on sustainable seafood, marine debris, and the overall health of our oceans. I’m honored to be working with them and to be receiving the Paul Walker Award."

    Anjali World

    "I can’t begin to express how humbled and honored I am to receive this award from the Walker family. Paul’s dedication to marine conservation inspired me tremendously. I will forever fight to carry on Paul’s legacy in protecting marine life."