Global Oceans Gala honoring John Laird

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center presents the 2019 Global Oceans Gala honoring the lifetime achievement of John Laird. Congressman Jimmy Panetta will introduce the honoree at this evening gala.

Laird has spent nearly 40 years in service to California, most recently as the Secretary of Natural Resources. In this role he served as chief steward of California’s parks, waterways, wildlife, fisheries, and coastal environment. Laird graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz in 1972. In 1981, he was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council serving nine years, including two terms as mayor. He then served eight years on the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees. He went on to serve three terms as a state Assemblymember before becoming California Secretary for Natural Resources (2011–2019). As Secretary, his top priorities included climate change, water conservation, access to state parks, and ocean sustainability.

This semi-formal dinner includes exquisite dishes from sustainable sources, paired with fine wines from award-winning California vintners. Proceeds directly support the Seymour Marine Discovery Center’s education programs.

Cocktail Reception at 6 PM | Dinner at 7 PM

Limited seating is available.
Reservations are $185 per person; $1,480 for a table of eight.

RSVP by March 7, 2019 to (831) 459-3800,, or via the online reservation form.

About the Seymour Center: Overlooking the Monterey Bay, the Seymour Center is a "living classroom" featuring exhibits, aquariums, touch pools, whale skeletons, full-scale elephant seal models, the Ocean Discovery Shop, and unsurpassed ocean vistas. The aquariums and exhibits feature the everyday tools of ocean exploration and focus on research conducted by scientists locally and around the world. Interactive stations provide hands-on learning experiences, while docents lead tours and bring marine science to life. The Seymour Center is a community-supported marine science education center of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Past Global Oceans Award Recipients:
2004 – M.R.C. Greenwood
2005 – Frans LantingIMG_8573
2006 – Bruce McPherson
2007 – Leon Panetta
2008 – Marcia McNutt
2009 – Brent Constantz
2010 – Kathryn Sullivan
2011 – Julie Packard
2012 – Stephen Palumbi
2013 – Richard Harris
2014 – Andreas Merkl
2015 – Margaret Leinen
2016 – M. Sanjayan
2017 – Sam Farr
2018 – Gary Griggs

This award is bestowed annually to an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to, and extraordinary impact on, the understanding and conservation of our oceans.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Carroll & Strong Builders, Inc. | Bud and Rebecca Colligan | Dominican Santa Cruz Hospital

District 7 Wines | Expressive Photographics | Impact Creative

Alexis Party Rental | California Pajarosa | University Center


To become a sponsor, contact Lauren Donnelly-Crocker at or (831) 459-4568.

Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 6:00pm

University Center
University Center , Santa Cruz, California 95064

Event Type


Invited Audience

Alumni, Faculty & Staff, General Public




Seymour Center Event


Seymour Marine Discovery Center


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