Aquaria: Science and Society

Winter 2017 quarter

Taught by

Amy Cook
ecology, vertebrate biology
marine science, zoology, ecophysiology
  • UG


One year of chemistry with lab and one year of biology with lab, both at the college level, are required. These prerequisites will be verified the first day of class.

An aquarium is a tank with at least one transparent side allowing observation of its water-dwelling inhabitants. For almost two millennia humans have been keeping organisms in aquaria for observation and investigation. This program will examine husbandry of organisms in aquaria. We will study the theory and practice of keeping a modern aquarium. The diversity of organisms suitable for aquarium life, metabolic demands of these organisms, aquarium water chemistry, and other areas related to successful maintenance of aquatic organisms will be covered. Topics in applied chemistry and applied biology directly related to aquarium science require that students have previous laboratory skills in biology and chemistry. In seminar, we will explore the history of private and public aquaria, and we will consider ethical questions surrounding captive animals in aquaria. Students will work in small groups to manage their own aquaria. Some students will have the opportunity to spend one week visiting public aquariums on the Pacific Coast, and we will to learn about large scale aquarium management.

Program Details

Fields of Study

marine science zoology

Preparatory For

zoology, marine science and aquaculture.


Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Tuesday, January 10th at 9am (Lab I 043)

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


$460 for those students participating in the overnight field trip to Oregon and California to visit public aquaria.


2016-12-21Amy Cook joins the program.
2016-05-02New winter opportunity added.