Alec Marschke has been volunteering with the Maryland Zoo since 2009 when he started as part of their “Junior Zoo Crew”. He has continued on and is now one of their most versatile adult volunteers with a lifetime total as of this month of almost 1,200 hours of service! He works with tortoises and turtles, insects (including the Madagascar hissing cockroach!), Panamanian golden frogs, screech owls, and snakes.

This year, Alec was selected as “Adult Volunteer of the Year” by Maryland Zoo staff from a large pool of adult volunteers. In order to be in the running for this honor, volunteers need to have completed 300 service hours in the year. “Alec was very special in his situation and was up against very tough competition by more senior volunteers… He assists with our interpretation program covering areas like our Polar Bears and Maryland Wilderness. He also travels all around the state with our Zoo Mobile program making presentations and handling our Embassy collection of animals to school children, libraries, and other facilities. He assists with our Penguin Wild Encounter and is currently on our volunteer cabinet in a leadership position… With all these tasks, time served, great attitude, and consistency he was able to earn the award for 2013.” – Allison Schwartz, Volunteer Manager, Maryland Zoo.

What does this stellar volunteer have planned for his future? Alec is majoring in Biology here at SU because he hopes to pursue a career in research. He is also interested in “conservation through captivity”, in other words, using zoos and aquariums to assist in conservation efforts for imperiled species.