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Wayne Trivelpiece, Class of 1966, Inducted in 2005

For most of us, heading to work means pulling the car out of the driveway and into an office parking lot sometime later, briefcase in hand.  Wayne Trivelpiece’s commute, at least during autumn, means flying to Punta Ares, Chile and then taking a four-day boat trip to Antarctica. 

Wayne is the director of Antarctic Seabird Research at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California.  He’s a fisheries biologist with a specific interest in seabirds in the marine ecosystem. 

He and his wife Sue, also a scientist, have gone to Antarctica twenty-nine years in a row.  They enjoy the ultimate “job-share” experience, taking turns traveling to Antarctica for research or staying in California with their two daughters.

Wayne attributes his life-long love of nature to his father who took him camping, hiking, fishing and hunting.  He also has praise for his tenth grade F-M biology teacher, Warren Petty. 

“His teachings brought order to a seemingly chaotic array of natural phenomena that were in fact bound together in fascinating ways.  I had always loved the outdoors, but it was Mr. Petty who taught me to truly appreciate what I was looking at,” said Wayne.

Wayne received his B.S. in biology from Eastern College, and then a Ph. D. in zoology from SUNY-ESF in Syracuse.  He did post-doctoral research in Maine, investigating the effects of oil on seabird communities, followed by eight years of research in the Caribbean, sponsored in part by the National Geographic Society. 

He has also held positions at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, and as an associate professor at Montana State University.  However, his primary research interest involves the Antarctic marine ecosystem.  Working from a field camp in the South Shetland Islands, Wayne supervises the research activities at two field camps. 

He also serves as the United States seabird expert to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.  His research is one the longest running studies of Antarctic communities in existence, and was the first study to directly link declines in Antarctic penguin populations to global warming.

In 1996, Wayne was selected as a Pew Scholar and awarded the Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and the Environment award.  This award is given to ten people throughout the world annually in recognition of their lifetime contribution to marine conservation.  His work has been widely published in scientific journals, and Wayne makes appearances internationally at conferences and meetings to discuss his work in the Antarctic.

Wayne travels to the region every January through March, after his wife returns from her October through November trip to the area.  When they’re all at home, Wayne, Sue and their two daughters can’t seem to get enough of the outdoors!  They enjoy camping, backpacking and skiing, when they have access to snow.  Wayne’s mom still lives in Manlius, in the house where Wayne grew up.

“All in all, we’d rather be in Montana, and will move back there when I retire but if you have to live in Southern California, San Diego is a great spot to call home,” he said.                 

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