Marine Exploration: Pinewood’s Ocean Ambassadors Club


Abi Wessel

Makena Matula & Haley Hemm

Vishesh Ranganathan, News Writer

Out of the many clubs currently active at Pinewood, only a handful truly strive to make a change in the world. One such club is the Ocean Ambassadors Club which was started during the 2021-22 school year by Assistant Principal and club advisor Haley Hemm, and alumna Saavri Biswal ‘22. It was created in an effort to enhance students’ knowledge of the ocean.

Hemm is very passionate about the club and its positive impact on the ocean.

“The club’s purpose is to learn about the ocean and how we can protect it through exposure and experience,” Hemm said. “We want to ultimately make Pinewood a place that protects the ocean.”    

Since the club’s inception, their goals have stayed the same. Club members strive for people to develop a lasting love for the ocean, something club leader and junior Makena Matula hopes to spread.

“[Our main goal] is to foster a love for the ocean . . . and introduce people to the beauty of the ocean,” Makena said.

Unlike most clubs at Pinewood, the Ocean Ambassadors Club holds monthly meetings outside of school, where members partake in various ocean related events. From beach cleanups to bird watching, both Matula and Hemm always make sure that their members grow their love for the ocean.

Matula strives to plan events that are fun and interesting, but that also provide an educational experience. For example, Matula is currently coordinating with a co-curator at the California Academy of Sciences to attend a tidepooling excursion with the club.

“We are going kayaking, having surfing lessons, shark watching and much more planned for the future, which I am really excited for,” Matula said.

With Hemm and Matula leading the way, the Ocean Ambassadors Club shows no signs of slowing down, and seem to be fulfilling their purpose while doing it in the most engaging ways possible.