Posts Tagged 'aquarium'

Week of Thanks: Heather Doggett on Our Visitors!

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, our experts (and animal residents) will be sharing what they’re thankful for this year!

Our second “Week of Thanks” post comes from the Aquarium’s Director of Visitor Programs, Heather Doggett

I am most thankful for the hundreds of thousands of children and families that visit the National Aquarium each year. This gratefulness stems from seeing families appreciate and connect with marine animals in our exhibits and then hearing how communities are banding together to bring about changes to our environment that would have been impossible to impact alone.

national aquarium education

For me, it may be as simple as seeing a family carefully recycling and composting in our Harbor Market Kitchen or simple talking with a fellow mom about the little choices we each make to better our planet for our kids and our ocean!

I am always surprised and delighted to see how families show their love of nature in many surprising ways. I’m not alone though, here’s what the other members of our team are thankful for:

“I am thankful that I am able to witness guest’s reactions to seeing new animals and hearing new facts. I feel like just by being there to witness someone watching a blacktip reef shark glide by for the first time, I am able to share in their excitement.”

 - Megan Moore, Visitor Programs Manager

“I am thankful for our guests for so many reasons! Watching the families bond together over the beauty of the aquatic world is definitely one of my favorite things! The smile on a child’s face because they are in awe of the animals we have here at our facility puts a smile on my face! We hopefully are making memories for children and their families that last a lifetime and inspire them to participate in conservation actions to help the animals they love so much. Hopefully we are fostering an appreciation for the aquatic world that the whole family can be a part of!”

- Maria Madero, Education Specialist

What are YOU thankful for this year? Tell us in the comments section!

Week of Thanks: Holly Bourbon on Blacktip Reef

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, our experts (and animal residents) will be sharing what they’re thankful for this year!

Our first “Week of Thanks” post comes from the Aquarium’s Curator of Fishes, Holly Bourbon

This year, I’m extremely thankful for the successful opening of our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef.

blacktip reef sharks

As I’m sure you can imagine, the process of opening an exhibit (especially one with hundreds of animals) involves a tremendous amount of planning and work. Over the course of the last year, my team and I have:

  • Transported animals out of the old exhibit space
  • Received and cared for a variety of species, including 20 juvenile blacktip reef sharks
  • Monitored the creation and execution of the new exhibit space, ensuring it was a perfect replica of a reef habitat
  • Successfully introduced 700+ animals into their new home!

While the grand opening of Blacktip Reef back in August was a huge milestone, we’re still hard at work every day making sure that all of our animals are happy and healthy as they continue adjusting to this brand-new environment.

national aquarium fish introduction

My introduction of a slingjaw wrasse into Blacktip Reef in July!

New exhibits require a lot of time and work. I’m thankful that we’ve all had the opportunity to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our guests and learn a lot about our new neighbors in the process!

Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the process, start-to-finish, of creating Blacktip Reef:

What are YOU thankful for this year? Tell us in the comments section!

Animal Updates – July 20

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

New Parrotfish

Eight princess, striped, and redband parrotfish have been added to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit.

 

Redband parrotfish in the Atlantic Coral Reef

 

Parrotfish have fused teeth that resemble a bird’s beak—hence their name. The teeth are specialized for scraping algae and invertebrates from coral and rocks. Another set of teeth (pharyngeal teeth) are on the floor and roof of the parrotfishes’ throats. These crush the ingested material.

 

Check out those chompers!

 

New Fish in the Amazon River Forest 

We’ve added tetras, hatchetfish, and plecos to our Amazon River Forest exhibit.

Tetras in the Amazon River Forest

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Animal Updates – March 23

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our WATERlog blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Mouth Almighty Babies
The mouth almighty in the Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit had babies… which is especially interesting because the male broods the babies in his mouth! During this time, the male doesn’t eat. How’s that for some paternal sacrifice? You can read more about this fish on our new website.

Mouth Almighty

Napoleon Wrasse
A Napoleon wrasse has arrived at the Aquarium’s offsite Animal Care Center, where we hold future residents of the Aquarium until they are ready to be introduced to their new habitat. Napoleon wrasses grow to be the largest of the wrasse family. They can grow up to 6 feet in length! The one we received is about 4 feet now and is lovely shades of blues, greens, and blacks.

Cane Toad
A cane toad is now on exhibit in the Amphibians Gallery.

Native to Texas through Central Amazon and Peru, the cane toad has been introduced to a number of different places, making it a highly invasive species. Introduced to Australia and Puerto Rico to control agricultural pests, these toads instead significantly impacted other native fauna without controlling the intended target species of sugarcane beetles.

They reproduce quickly and live a long time, and secrete toxic fluid through glands on their backs, which can make potential predators extremely sick.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

National Aquarium has been selected to be a MSDE Gifted & Talented Summer Center!

We are proud to announce a new opportunity for gifted and talented middle school students this summer. The National Aquarium has been selected to be a Maryland State Department of Education Maryland Summer Center for gifted and talented middle school students, offering the Maryland Summer Center for Chesapeake Bay Watershed Investigations.

At the National Aquarium’s Summer Center, students will work alongside scientists at the National Aquarium and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland. Over a span of two weeks, the students will conduct scientific studies on water quality and biodiversity in different areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to determine the impact of water quality on biodiversity of the watershed as well as human impacts and possible solutions.

During the first week, a day program, students will use our exhibits to learn how water quality pertains to a closed aquarium system by identifying necessary water parameters for fish to survive and how to resolve water quality issues in a closed system. Using our fish collection as a study tool, students will identify local plants and animals and create a biodiversity study. The students will also have field visits to a freshwater and brackish water site where they will collect field data on water quality and biodiversity by kayak!

The mission of the National Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. By working with our scientists and staff, these students will be able to explore human impacts on watersheds, what possible solutions are being pursued and what we can all do to increase conservation.

In week two, a residential program, students will work at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point Laboratory. Working with the resident scientists, students will learn about and assist with current research efforts on key Chesapeake Bay species.

Dates of Operation:
Week 1: Daily program
July 23 – July 27 – 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (daily)
Week 2: Residential program
July 30 8:30 a.m. – August 3 5:00 p.m.

Tuition:
$400 total
Financial assistance is available

Applications:
In order to apply, students must demonstrate outstanding ability through the Maryland Summer Centers application process and/or be identified as gifted and talented by their school. Students must be able to attend both weeks of the program. Parents/guardians are responsible for transportation to the National Aquarium. Transportation to the field sites and residential site will be provided. Applications are due by April 15, 2012.

Click Here for more information or to apply!


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