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Aquarium Honors Dr. David Titley, as the Blue Whale Gala Returns to an In-Person Event

More than 300 guests attended the Blue Whale Gala, which raised over $321,000 for the nonprofit Aquarium and its ocean conservation and education initiatives.

Dr. David Titley, recipient of the Aquarium’s 2022 Ocean Conservation Award, and Dr. Peter Kareiva, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO

Dr. David Titley, recipient of the Aquarium’s 2022 Ocean Conservation Award, and Dr. Peter Kareiva, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO Credit: Scott Smeltzer

June 14, 2022

June 14, 2022, Long Beach, CA—The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, honored Dr. David Titley as the recipient of its 2022 Ocean Conservation Award during the Blue Whale Gala on Saturday, June 11. The Ocean Conservation Award is given annually to those who contribute significantly to ocean conservation and environmental education.

“Dr. Titley led the U.S. Navy’s task force on climate change and was one of the first to call out global warming as a threat to national security. In doing so he changed the conversation surrounding climate change from one about plants and animals, to a conversation about our nation’s survival,” Aquarium of the Pacific President and CEO Dr. Peter Kareiva said.

Dr. Titley is currently an affiliate professor of meteorology and international affairs at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and was the founding director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He also volunteers for the National Academies of Science and has served on the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. From 2012 to 2013 he served as the deputy undersecretary of commerce for operations, the chief operating officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In his early career after graduating from Penn State, Dr. Titley served as a naval officer for thirty-two years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. Dr. Titley’s career included serving as navigator, meteorologist, and oceanographer on five ships and afloat staffs, and ultimately as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change.

In addition to the awards ceremony, attendees at the Aquarium’s black-tie Blue Whale Gala also attended a cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception on the front plaza, gourmet dinner in the Great Hall of the Pacific, and desserts and after-dinner drinks in the Pacific Visions Art Gallery. Guests also experienced a performance of Guardians by the Long Beach Ballet under the direction of David Wilcox. The Aquarium gives special thanks to the Blue Whale Gala’s premier sponsors: Esther S.M. Chui Chao, Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation, Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg, Made by Millworks, Ed and Maryann Feo, Johnny Carson Foundation, Dr. Peter Kareiva, Dr. Mario and Therese Molina, Port of Long Beach, and Sidley Austin LLP.

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include Babies!, Pacific Visions, Shark Lagoon, and the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, including First Wednesdays featuring a variety of guest speakers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months and other special benefits. To make a donation to help support the Aquarium, please visit To visit, advance reservations are required for everyone and can be made at or by calling (562) 590-3100.