My name is Theresa Smith — I go by “T” — and I’m the postmaster for Solomons, MD, a very rural, water-driven community with a small-town vibe. Everyone knows everybody else.
I come by my love of the water naturally. My father was in the Navy for 35 years, and his father was a commercial fisherman. I’ve worked on the water since high school.
When I’m not in the office, I try to be outside. I volunteer as a Chesapeake Bay storyteller. I take people out by boat, teach them about the ecology and living history of the bay, point out Indigenous landmarks and answer their questions.
I also teach about water quality and bio indicators, such as benthic macroinvertebrates. You can tell the health of a stream by what animals live in it.
My family are big shark nerds. I’ve got sharks decorating my office, and of course, Eugenie Clark stamps. I love that I can educate customers all about her when they buy them.
The best thing, for me, is teaching paleontology and geology at the Calvert Marine Museum. When kids can touch and see something that lived 23 million years ago, it really ignites a passion.
If I can ignite that spark to go outside and explore, that’s what’s most important. They will carry that passion forward.
“Off the Clock,” a column on Postal Service employees and their after-hours pursuits, appears regularly in Link.