Course Content and Outcome Guide

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

  1. Prepare food for the animal collection and clean animal collection areas to industry standards.
  2. Assist with opening and closing procedures at the aquatic facility.
  3. Culture, harvest, and distribute live food organisms to the animal collection.
  4. Interpret exhibits and aquatic animal work areas to facility patrons in a positive and informative manner.
  5. Identify fishes and invertebrate behaviors.
  6. 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 and 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.