Course Number: AQS 110

Course Title: Aquarium Science Practicum 1

Credit Hours: 2
Lecture Hours: 0
Lecture/Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours:60

Course Description

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.