The legacy bulletin – Allison Kellum

December 2023

Charting the Course: Allison Kellum’s Journey from PTMSC to Scripps Oceanography

Allison Kellum’s career path was shaped by her two years at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC), which helped focus her passion for marine conservation in ways that continue in her work today at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. 

Her PTMSC tenure was a pivotal training ground, where she curated exhibits, led volunteer-powered programs, and organized free science classes for students from across the Olympic Peninsula. These experiences, steeped in practical engagement and community involvement, set the stage for her subsequent academic pursuits.

Partially inspired by meeting and working with volunteers from across PTMSC’s many programs, Allison conducted research on the impact of volunteerism on attitudes toward marine conservation for her master’s thesis. Upon completing her terminal degree, Allison distilled her findings into a clear conclusion: Individuals desire participation in the scientific process, emphasizing the democratization of science. Allison learned through her research that volunteering directly impacts people’s attitudes towards science and conservation. This insight is applied every day in her current role as the Operations Coordinator for the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Oceanography.

Her skill set honed at PTMSC, particularly in small organization management, event logistics and educational program coordination, have translated to her responsibilities at Scripps Oceanography. Her continued commitment to bridging academia with community engagement mirrors the ethos of PTMSC.

Allison’s career trajectory underscores the lasting impact of her PTMSC roots, where practical experience, community connection, and a democratized approach to science have become guiding principles. Allison appreciates the fact that PTMSC makes science accessible for the community, and the ripples of her work at PTMSC continue to influence her work today, shaping a career dedicated to making science accessible and engaging for all. 

Legacy Planning Tip #2: Choosing Trusted Professionals

When it comes to financial matters at the end of life, it’s important to work with professionals who can help you make informed decisions and ensure that your wishes are carried out. An estate planning attorney, tax advisor, and financial planner are all essential professionals to consider when planning for the end of life. Here are some tips on how to choose the right professionals and how they can help with charitable giving:

Estate Planning Attorney: An estate planning attorney can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. They can help you create a will, trust, and other documents to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are protected financially. When it comes to charitable giving, an estate planning attorney can help you include charitable bequests in your will, create charitable trusts, and advise you on charitable gift annuities. They can also help you plan for the distribution of your assets in a way that minimizes taxes and maximizes the impact of your giving.

Tax Advisor: A tax advisor can help you understand the tax implications of your estate plan and charitable giving. They can help you identify strategies to minimize taxes, such as charitable deductions and gift planning, and ensure that your estate plan is structured in a way that maximizes the tax benefits for you and your beneficiaries. When it comes to charitable giving, a tax advisor can help you understand the tax implications of different giving vehicles, such as charitable trusts and donor-advised funds, and advise you on the best strategies to maximize your charitable deductions and minimize your taxes. Look for a tax professional that is either licensed by your state as a CPA, or by the IRS as an Enrolled Agent.

Financial Planner: A financial planner can help you create a comprehensive financial plan that addresses your specific needs and goals, and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Look for someone who is a member of professional organizations such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) or the Financial Planning Association (FPA), operates under a fiduciary standard, and possesses a relevant industry certification, such as CFP or ChFC.

In terms of charitable giving, a financial planner can help you understand the different giving vehicles, such as charitable trusts and donor-advised funds, and advise you on the best strategies to align your charitable giving with your estate plan. They can also help you determine how much you can afford to give, and help you create a plan to reach your charitable giving goals.

For all such professionals, it’s important to find someone who is willing to take the time to understand your goals and values, and who can provide clear and concise advice. They should be able to provide good references, and you should feel comfortable communicating with them. Take the time to interview these professionals for the job of serving your best interests, and don’t hesitate to verify their credentials with the issuing entity.

Learn more about leaving a legacy of marine conservation.

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