Thursday, August 7, 2008

Aquariums: a bridge between science and the public

I am preparing to leave for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, as I have done for nearly every Thursday for the past 8 years. As a volunteer Dive Team Leader, I have had the pleasure of helping the Aquarium with exhibit feeding, cleaning and, most importantly, conducting underwater presentations to the kids and adults alike.

If you have an aquarium nearby, check out what opportunities they may have available. As non-profits, they rely heavily on volunteers - so if you have some free time, it can be a very worthwhile and gratifying experience.

People are drawn to aquariums for a variety of reasons. They may be coming to make fish faces at the seals, recoil in fear and fascination at the sharks, or simply looking for a way to let the kids blow off some pent up energy. Whatever their motivation, it's a great opportunity to get across some important marine conservation info in a more relaxed atmosphere. Aquariums can serve as effective liaisons between the scientific community and the general public. So, if you have one nearby, give it your support.

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