The NH Center for Nonprofits celebrated its 2022 Nonprofit Impact Award recipients at the Bank of NH Stage in Concord on April 20th. Allan Waterfield, past board chair at Seacoast Science Center in Rye, was presented with a Board Impact Award for his 9-year contribution to the Center.
Allan served on the Board of Directors at Seacoast Science Center since 2014, including 3 years as vice chair and 4 years as chair. Allan retired in 2013, returned to NH, and was at the Seacoast Science Center to volunteer within 60 minutes of the closing on his home. Allan calls SSC his “happy place” bringing his wealth of knowledge in education, marine sciences, and leadership to the growing institution.
Allan served as an officer in the US Navy, taught at UNH for 17 years where he developed the scientific diving program. He served as interim Associate Director of the UNH Marine Program before becoming an academic dean at the University of Delaware. An authority on saturation diving, he led multiple projects for NOAA’s Manned Undersea Science and Technology office and developed courses in underwater research methods for the University of New Hampshire and the Shoals Marine Lab.
During his tenure at Seacoast Science Center, Allan worked tirelessly with staff, Board, and community to advance the institution toward the success it enjoys today. Under Allan’s leadership the Board implemented initiatives to improve its professionalism and diversity. Allan also guided the Board through development of an updated vision for Seacoast Science Center’s future, one that includes expanded educational programs for children and families, expanded services to the community, and a reinvestment in the visitor experience.
In 2022, Allan led the effort to extend and revise Seacoast Science Center’s agreement with its longest standing partner, NH Division of Parks and Recreation. Thanks to Allan, NH Parks, and the NH Executive Council, there is a pathway in place for SSC to be providing educational programming on behalf of NH Parks, in Odiorne through 2062. Allan is also an active Center docent, a teacher of marine science programs and the leader of countless Odiorne Point State Park history walks. His hands-on engagement with SSC has been exemplary and his leadership has been transformative; an inspiration for all of us.
Today, Seacoast Science Center hosts over 90,000 visitors annually (pre-Covid) for an extensive array of formal and informal environmental programs, camps, concerts, and other activities. During Covid when center operations had to be curtailed, Allan supported the pivot to enhanced virtual programming so that people in NH and beyond could continue to benefit from SSC programming. In the past two years more than 100,000 viewers have benefited from SSC’s enhanced digital resources. At the same time, Allan led the board through a series of exercises that helped to ensure that the Center would remain financially stable and, more importantly, that it would be positioned to quickly return to its normal multi-faceted range of operations.
Allan continues to volunteer at Seacoast Science Center to help advance its science-based, interactive education and recreational experiences in Odiorne Point State Park in partnership with New Hampshire State Parks. Allan and his wife Ruthe live in Greenland, NH.