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Aquarium and Zoo Science

  • Why study Aquarium and Zoo Science?

    Contact Us!

    Dr. Justin Merry 
    p. 814.471.1105

    Schedule a Visit

    This B.A. degree is specifically built to prepared students for careers in aquariums and zoos upon completion. The students will complete a broad survey of biology the first year and then build upon this by completing courses in animal care, animal nutrition, vertebrate zoology, invertebrate zoology, microbiology, genetics, and marine biology. Skills will be developed by students while completing their animal care practicum and internships along with laboratory exercises. Students will have the opportunity to develop presentation skills both in front of and inside a large aquarium, presenting information to school children and visitors to the biology department.

    Aquarium and Zoo Science at Saint Francis University

    The Aquarium and Zoo Science major is a B.A. degree with heavy emphasis in biology, animal husbandry, and psychology.  Students will have "hands-on" training in the program. We coordinate learning both with animals on campus and with a local wildlife facility. Coursework includes an emphasis on animal behavior, animal nutrition, biodiversity, and the psychology of learning.  The program is designed to specifically meet the needs and expectations of employers in aquariums and zoos.

    Aquarium and Zoo Science majors have the opportunity to make use of technology in the aquarium.  Our 1,500-gallon aquarium is large enough for a single diver to enter, and students are involved in the operation of the large-scale filtration system needed to maintain it.  We also make use of a submersible security camera to monitor fishes in the aquarium.  These cameras are connected to a DVR system; recording and playback of fish behavior allows our students to diagnose abnormal behavior, which often is among the first manifestations of a health problem.  Finally, this camera, along with a special mask connected to a speaker system, allows our students to deliver presentations from directly inside the aquarium (read more on our use of cameras here).

    Career opportunities exist at nature centers and wildlife rehabilitation centers along with the many aquarium and zoos. Students can also seek employment with whale watch groups and others types of activities where animal knowledge and presentation abilities are utilized.

    To learn more about the program requirements, please visit the University Catalog.  Interested students are encouraged to contact us and visit the department using the information to the right!

    • Student In Tank

      Aquarium Students Get New View with Submersible Cameras

      Students at Saint Francis University are using submersible cameras to track fish health and pursue new research opportunities.

      Learn More About These Cameras