VIMS educator receives MAMEA Award

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      Dr. Carol Hopper Brill prepares a fish for fish printing during VIMS' annual Marine Science Day.  
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      Carol Hopper Brill talks to elementary school students about marine life. Photo Credit: Christopher Petrone VIMS/VASG  
  • Fish & Scallop Printing
    Fish & Scallop Printing   A selection of the fish and scallop prints created by visitors to Marine Science Day.  
  • GK-12 Partnership
    GK-12 Partnership   Dr. Carol Hopper Brill (rear) with local teachers involved in the VIMS GK-12 PERFECT partnership.  
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Dr. Carol Hopper Brill of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has been honored by the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA) with its Informal Educator Award for 2011. 

The Award acknowledges outstanding contributions by an educator in an informal setting, such as a museum, aquarium, zoo, science center, or government agency. Brill received the Award on October 8th during MAMEA's annual conference, which took place at the College of William and Mary.

Carol Hopper Brill and MAMEA President Ruth Gourley during the award presentation.  Photo courtesy of Tami Lunsford.

Hopper Brill, a marine education specialist in the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Services program at VIMS, serves as an advisor and instructor for teacher workshops, educational seminars, and the VIMS GK-12 program.  One of her favorite VIMS activities each year is the Institute’s Marine Science Day, when she coordinates activities for the Kids’ Marine Science Pavilion. She also co-coordinates and manages the Blue Crab Bowl, an annual regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

MAMEA President-Elect Lisa Lawrence says “(An) informal setting, whether it is an aquarium or out on a beach hike, is where Carol shines. You cannot help but learn when you are around her; she exudes education in a fun and interesting manner. She truly loves what she does and it is readily apparent that she enjoys the education process.”

Hopper Brill holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in zoology from University of California at Davis and a PhD in zoology from University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa. She served as Science Education Advisor, and then Director of Education at the University’s Waikiki Aquarium from 1982-2003. Her professional interests include interpreting the marine environment for a broad audience and promoting science literacy and conservation education.

Hopper Brill has been a member of the MAMEA board since 2007. From her first position as Virginia state representative, she went on to serve in the organization’s 3-year rotation as president-elect, president, and past-president from 2008 to 2010. During her tenure, she worked with other Board members to help the organization update and clarify its procedures, standing rules, and by-laws. She received MAMEA's President’s Choice Award in 2010.

MAMEA—a regional chapter of the the National Marine Educators Association—represents marine science in the classroom, and at research institutions, aquariums, museums, and governmental agencies, from North Carolina to Delaware.  Membership is available for anyone interested in marine and aquatic education.  Additional information is available at