We are proud to celebrate Alannah Vellacott F’08 as this year’s Founders Alumni Award recipient for the Cape Eleuthera Island School. Alannah is a Fall 2008 Semester Alumna, and a former Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholar. Alannah grew up in Grand Bahama, and arrived at The Island School fully ready to take care of her ocean; she helped inspire our community and her peers as a student, and she continues to work with our research team as she pursues a career as a marine biologist. This past summer, Alannah spent time onboard the OceanXplorer as a faculty member of their Young Explorer Program, working with college students to explore largely uncharted waters from the Azores to Norway.
Alannah has 11 years of experience working in marine research, conservation and education in The Bahamas and the Caribbean. She is currently the Coral Restoration Specialist at Coral Vita, and a member of Diving with a Purpose. Alannah credits her experience as a BESS (Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholar) through The Island School and BREEF (Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation) as a springboard for her career. As a BESS student, Alannah received a full scholarship for a Semester at The Island School and a paid semester internship with an environmentally focused organization, in this case, the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Since then, she has made the rounds working and volunteering for non-profit environmental conservation organizations including the Cape Eleuthera Institute, BREEF, the Bahamas National Trust, Community Conch, The Nature Conservancy and most recently, Perry Institute for Marine Science.
Alannah’s work as a researcher and community advocate promise impact and a more sustainable future for her country and for the island states beyond. She exemplifies The Island School mission of leadership effecting change in her daily work, and more importantly in her outreach and education efforts that share knowledge and compel others to also take action.
A PADI OWSI with 17 years of experience in diving, Alannah’s work beneath the sea includes conducting AGRRA coral and fish surveys, establishing coral nurseries, outplanting nursery-frown corals abc onto coral reefs, shark, conch and reef health research and even shipwreck mapping and blue hole ethnography. After graduating high school and completing the BESS program, Alannah received a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Ecology from South Dakota State University and she has plans to pursue a graduate degree in Marine Ecology in the near future. Please join us in congratulating Alannah as this year’s Founders Alumni Award recipient! You can read more about her work on her website.