Aquarium and Zoo Science

at Saint Francis University

  • For more information

    Aquarium and Zoo Science

    Study Abroad

    Learn about our
    SCUBA Diving in St. Lucia
    study abroad program.

    Student Club

    Scuba club
    Learn more about our
    SCUBA Club

    Why study Aquarium and Zoo Science?

    This BA 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.

    Degree Options

    • Aquarium and Zoo Science, B.A.  

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Sciences to view degree requirements.

    Aquarium and Zoo Science at SFU

    Students will have "hands-on" training in the program. We coordinate learning both with animals on campus and with a local wildlife facility. Animal behavior studies are also completed during coursework. Training is specific to meet the needs of employers in aquariums and zoos.

    Career Opportunities

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

  • Underwater Technology

    Saint Francis University has recently employed the use of submersible video cameras in its aquariums because of the many educational benefits video could provide for the university and its visitors. The first of these benefits is an underwater view of the 1500 gallon salt water aquarium containing several marine vertebrates. We chose to use security cameras that are specialized for underwater use and provide the opportunity to monitor fish behavior, feeding habits, and health. We can check on animal behavior at any point in the day or night, aiding massively in training of Marine Biology and Aquarium and Zoo Science students. The ability to take note of slight behavioral changes is very important to marine biologists and aquarists, as they indicate changes in health or dismay.

    SCUBA certified students go inside of our tank to clean it and also to give presentations using a full-face mask equipped with a microphone routed outside the tank; using cameras to allow students to get a closer look at the fish is a great way to teach younger students visiting Saint Francis. Another use for underwater security cameras would be to put a live feed on a screen displaying information about the different tank fish and the world’s oceans. This would be a way for Saint Francis students and faculty to show short videos of each fish swimming and possibly eating on the screen when that fish’s information is displayed. 

    Yet another use for underwater, submersible cameras is to use them in conjunction with our SCUBA gear. Our cameras can be used at up to 100 feet of depth which allow us to monitor some shallow dives. More specifically, some shallow water research has been done on blue gill behavior at Saint Francis University which would be helped tremendously through the use of an underwater camera - providing longer videos rather than just photos. To learn more about underwater photography, give Underwater Photography - a resource guide a read.

    Overall, the video cameras are a great addition to our program equipment and enrich the learning of our Marine and Aquarium students here at Saint Francis University.

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