Visitor Experience & Studies

The preliminary date for the 2012 IAC New Aquariums session is Thursday, 13 September.

Click here for the preliminary programme.

Abstracts of presentations

A hidden show in National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

By: Hai Chiang, Yung-Hui Chen & Ming-Chin Liu
Institution: National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Taiwan, Republic of China

NMMBA imported six beluga whales in 2002, becoming the only museum in Taiwan presenting marine animal performances. NMMBA has profoundly influenced visitors through interactive educational exhibits. From 2002-2009 a show called ‘Beluga's Eco-classroom’ enabled visitors to participate in an interactive session with aquarium trainers. The programme was very popular but seating on stage was limited resulting in visitor complaints. Animal rights activists also called for an end to marine mammal shows. NMMBA needed to balance visitors’ needs and animals’ rights.

A hidden show in National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (334.74 KB) Download the full abstract

Shaping the visitor experience to inspire healthy oceans

By: Don Hughes, Vice President of Exhibitions
Institution: Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, USA

How can visiting an aquarium inspire conservation and better ocean stewardship? Monterey has conducted over 20 years of visitor research into how we communicate ocean conservation issues. We applied this research feedback to the design of Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea. This live-animal exhibition with related programmes helps visitors explore how climate change is affecting ocean life.

Shaping the visitor experience to inspire healthy oceans (341.29 KB) Download the full abstract

Studies on display of modern aquarium – taking the application of multimedia technology as an example

By: Hongwei Ding (1, 3), Xianfeng Zhang (2), Linan Wang (1, 3), Deyong Geng (1, 3), Xinfu Cao (1, 3)
Institutions: 1) Beijing Yihua Marine Scape Technology Development Pty Ltd, China; 2) Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China; 3) Luoyang Longmen Ocean Aquarium, Henan, China

Displays in modern aquariums are a combination of science, technology, economy, culture and art. The concept of aquarium display has changed from simply ‘display-oriented’, which was represented by showing classification of aquatic organisms, to ‘human-oriented’, which appreciates biodiversity and the needs of visitors. With the development of multimedia techniques, virtual aquariums and non-materialistic displays supported by multimedia technology will be an important aspect of exhibits in future aquariums. Virtual display is the comprehensive expression by means of multimedia technology, virtual actual ways and forms, etc.

Studies on display of modern aquarium – taking the application of multimedia technology as an example (1.41 MB) Download the full abstract

The Aquarium Helgoland – a connecting link between science and the public: The first evaluation of its visitor and exhibition structure to improve the sustainable public outreach

By: E. Hensel (1), K. Kolanowski (2), J.S. Komborozos (2), K. Schmidt (2), D. Barnekow (2), A. Kohly (2) & A. Christian (2)
Institutions: 1) Aquarium Consultant, Berlin, Germany; 2) University of Flensburg, Flensburg, Germany

The Aquarium Helgoland, located on a rocky island in the North Sea, operates as a research, teaching and display aquarium. It belongs to the island's biological research station and has a long tradition linking science and the public. In 2010, in cooperation with the University of Flensburg, the first evaluation of the aquarium and its visitor profile was undertaken in order to enhance the attractiveness of the aquarium, improve its exhibitions, and increase sustainable public outreach.

The Aquarium Helgoland – a connecting link between science and the public: The first evaluation of its visitor and exhibition st (342.21 KB) Download the full abstract 

Using aquariums for promoting health and well-being

By: Deborah L Cracknell (1&3), Mathew P White (2), Michael Depledge (2) & Sabine Pahl (3)
Institutions: 1) National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, UK; 2) Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, UK; 3) University of Plymouth, UK

Despite anecdotal evidence that people find watching fish in aquariums relaxing, there has been little systematic research. This study monitored people’s psychological and physiological reactions to growing biodiversity in a large exhibit undergoing refurbishment. Data are presented for three conditions: no fish, low biodiversity, and medium biodiversity. Participants’ heart rate, blood pressure and mood were monitored before they viewed the tank for 10 minutes under one of three biodiversity conditions.

Using aquariums for promoting health and well-being (335.82 KB) Download the full abstract 

Downloads

A hidden show in National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium
Shaping the visitor experience to inspire healthy oceans
Using aquariums for promoting health and well-being
Studies on display of modern aquarium – taking the application of multimedia technology as an example
The Aquarium Helgoland – a connecting link between science and the public: The first evaluation of its visitor and exhibition st

9 to 14 September 2012
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Cape Town, South Africa

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Did You Know

There are only 12 countries in the world that supply tap water that is fit to drink, and South Africa is one of the top three in terms of quality.