Course Number: AQS 110
Course Title: Aquarium Science Practicum 1
Credit Hours: 2
Lecture Hours: 0
Lecture/Lab Hours: 0
Introduces aquatic animal husbandry work environment and the care of captive aquatic animals. Emphasizes daily animal care and exhibit readiness.
Intended Outcomes for Course
• Prepare food for the animal collection and clean animal collection areas to industry standards.
• Assist with opening and closing procedures at the aquatic facility.
• Culture, harvest, and distribute live food organisms to the animal collection.
• Interpret exhibits and aquatic animal work areas to facility patrons in a positive and informative manner.
• Identify fishes and invertebrate behaviors.
• Design and implement a fish transport strategy.
Course Activities and Design
The format for this course is a combination of off-campus experiential learning, lecture, and demonstration experience. Emphasis will be placed on the skills needed for performing normal job duties in a variety of fields related to the aquarium sciences, including scientific research, aquaculture, and educational display. Lectures will concentrate on higher-level skills related to aquarium sciences including, but not limited to; specimen collection, mathematics, specimen transportation and acclimation, and workplace philosophy.
Outcome Assessment Strategies
• Off-campus time spent with professional mentors developing husbandry skills as well as professional workplace personal interaction and task performance.
• Employee-style evaluations twice per term evaluate student performance at off-campus practicum site and growth throughout the term.
• In-class exams to evaluate learning of higher level skills presented in lectures.
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues & Skills)
• Day to day reality of aquarist work in a variety of different fields and settings
• Professional networking within the aquarium science field.
• Higher level mathematics including medical dosing and algebraic manipulation of equations.
• Safe operation and troubleshooting of aquarium systems
• Career opportunities available within the aquarium science industry
• Professional philosophies of successful employees within the aquarium science industry.
• Cleaning and care of exhibits or enclosures.
• Disinfection procedures and proper food handling.
• Diet preparation and animal feeding.
• Typical opening and closing procedures.
• Observation and documentation of different animal behaviors.
• Proper live animal and/or animal specimen handling.
• Verbal interpretation of exhibits or projects.
• Importance of dependability in the workplace.
• Balancing of budget and husbandry concerns.
• Managing, multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment.
• Goal setting and achievement in a professional environment.
• Fish and Invertebrate handling/transport.
• Diet planning, preparation, and delivery.
• Maintenance of assigned systems with limited direct supervision.
• Performance of husbandry tasks with limited supervision.
• Record and verbally recount work performed.
• Calculation of proper medical dosing through algebraic mathematics.