Evening event volunteers like Jean Brosell create “aha moments” for guests

This concludes our series of blog posts devoted to some of the amazing people who volunteer for the Seattle Aquarium. Interested in becoming a volunteer yourself? Scroll to the bottom for details!

Seattle Aquarium volunteer Jean Brosell standing in front of the octopus habitat at the Seattle Aquarium for a photo.
Aquarium volunteer Jean Brosell enjoys introducing evening event guests to the giant Pacific octopus and other residents of the Life on the Edge habitat.

Jean Brosell’s interest in the ocean began in 1979 when she took a marine biology college course she needed to graduate.

“The experience was so amazing that every vacation after that for the next 20+ years was to somewhere I could go diving,” she recalls. 

As an evening event volunteer at the Aquarium, Jean shares her enthusiasm for marine life with guests at weddings, corporate events and even portions of the summer festival Seafair. Often, the people she meets are seeing the Aquarium for the first time—and Jean gets to share in their excitement and delight. 

Stationed in the Life on the Edge habitat, she might show guests the newest giant Pacific octopus, point out fish eggs in one of the tide pools, demonstrate how to gently stroke a sea cucumber or explain the Salish Sea’s unique and delicate ecosystem.

“I love the ‘aha’ moment when the guest who is shy or afraid to touch a sea urchin reaches in and finds that the urchin gives a little hug,” Jean says, “or when you get to talk to a guest about the ever-elusive giant Pacific octopus or the cute northern sea otters, which are my favorite creatures at the Aquarium.”

Jean Brosell smiling for a photo while wearing scuba diving gear, sitting on a boat out in the ocean on a sunny day.
A college course inspired Jean's love of the ocean, which she cultivated by diving regularly (pictured here on a 2014 visit to Mexico with her husband).

Jean has especially fond members of volunteering during Seafair. After giving a tour to one of the Blue Angels and his fiancé, a former Navy nurse, she received a Blue Angel pin from the couple.

And though Jean didn’t pursue a career in marine biology, she says that the Aquarium’s volunteer training program armed her with the knowledge she needs to feel comfortable on the floor.

“This is my fun volunteer job,” she says. “I thoroughly enjoy getting to interact with guests and helping them to have an enjoyable experience at the Aquarium. It is no stress, no hassle interaction with people from all walks of life—what could be better?”   

Ready to join Jean in sharing the Seattle Aquarium’s mission with visitors? Visit our volunteer page to explore volunteer opportunities, including evening opportunities like Jean’s role, and to register for our upcoming volunteer orientation!

More stories in this series

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Your support connects people to the ocean in a way not otherwise possible and inspires bold action to care for animals and protect our shared marine environment.