The preliminary date for the 2012 IAC Communication sessions is Monday, 10 September.
Abstracts of presentations
Education programmes outside of aquariums – Regional interpreter training programme through collaborations among three organisations
By: Yung-Hui Chen
Institution: National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium,Taiwan, Republic of China
Aquariums ought to educate the public about ocean conservation through outreach programmes that extend beyond the limits of the aquarium. Since 2002 the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA) has collaborated with PinTung Community College (PTCC) and KenTing National Park (KTNP) to offer a year-long programme to train tourist guides, hotel workers and local people in the Hengchun Peninsula as interpreters. These partners, having diverse expertise but sharing a common vision for conservation, co-present a multi-disciplinary course integrating theoretical knowledge and practical skills. NMMBA and KTNP provide professional teachers and courses in particular disciplines. PTCC handles student administration and serves as a contact center where graduates are introduced to tourists interested in exploring special sites.
Harnessing teen power: Effective youth programmes to develop the next generation of ocean conservation leaders
By: Cynthia Vernon, Vice President of Education, Guest and Research Programmes
Institution: Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, USA
Recent opinion polls indicate that the typical American knows little about contemporary ocean issues and doesn’t think that the ocean is ‘at risk’. Fortunately young Americans are much more concerned, informed, and willing to take action than adults. Aquariums can harness that knowledge, concern and passion for nature by helping youth develop life and leadership skills while encouraging their commitment to ocean conservation.
Keynote – Aquarium Education – Quo vadis?
By: Judy Mann, CEO
Institution: South African Association for Marine Biological Research (uShaka Sea World), Durban, South Africa
While aquariums have been around since the mid-1800s, it was only in the mid-20th century that education became an essential component of the visitor experience. Early aquarium education focussed on formal education and the acquisition of facts. Over time, visitor interpretation and education programmes started to focus increasingly on animals and their ecosystems. In the last 20 years the focus of aquarium education shifted to include the broader environment and to highlight human impact on the oceans.
Lights, camera, ocean! International partners engaging youth in ocean messaging
By: M Schaadt (1), E Mastro (1), S Hennard (2) & A Rossiter (3)
Institution: 1) Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro, California, USA; 2) Nausicaa Aquarium, Boulogne, France; 3) Waikiki Aquarium, Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
Among aquarium audiences, different subgroups learn in different ways and require different educational approaches. Today’s youth are more socially conscious than previous generations and, according to research done by The Ocean Project, they consider the conservation of the ocean to be a high priority. Young people can help their parents and other adults make good environmental decisions that benefit the ocean. Using social media to connect with youth, the Cabrillo Marine, Nausicaa and Waikiki Aquariums collaborated in sponsoring the Youth on Board video contest.
What is the most important function of an Aquarium?
By: Russell Stevens
Institution: Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa
At the Two Oceans Aquarium we believe that education is an Aquarium’s most important function. Our education unit has developed a strategy to guide our activities. Because we work mainly with schools, we employ formally qualified and experienced teachers with a good understanding of the curriculum. Our excellent relationships with district, provincial and national education structures benefit our programmes tremendously.