The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and Mission-Aransas Reserve hosted a volunteer appreciation event this week. The gathering featured Science and Art Instructor, Marilyn Cook, as she led a nature inspired painting lesson. Light Hors d'oeuvres will helped fuel the creativity. Volunteers are essential to maintaining and supporting the education and stewardship programs at UTMSI. There are currently around 100 active volunteers that help out in a wide variety of programs ranging from caring injured wildlife at the Animal Rehabilitation Keep to leading tours at the Wetlands Education Center.