aquarium lecture series takes education to new depths

The third Saturday of every month might go swimmingly for folks fascinated with underwater life.

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium's "Discovery Lecture Series" features aquatic experts and aquarium partners who will share their knowledge with guests. Programs are directed at visitors of all ages interested in the denizens of the briny (or freshwater) depths, says Kayla Ott, aquarium marketing and sponsorship manager.

The programming has no theme beyond the aquatic, but the lecture series will offer something different every week, notes Ott. "People love these kinds of special events," she says. "They will walk away learning something new."

The first opportunity for learning takes place April 20. Ellen Whitehouse, executive director of the Noah's Lost Ark Exotic Animal Sanctuary, will share her group's mission of caring for exotic animals. The aquarium had previously partnered with the organization to house 10 African spurred tortoises last winter.

Future happenings include a presentation on "live rock" in the Florida Keys. In aquatic terms, live rock is rock from the ocean that has been introduced to a saltwater habitat and integrates itself into the closed marine system. The event will be built around the Cleveland aquarium opening its coastal and live rock exhibit later this spring.

The rest of 2013 will be dedicated to similar educational programming, which aligns nicely with the aquarium's mission.
"We often work with children and students, but the lecture series allows everyday people to expand their knowledge of the aquatic industry," Ott says.

SOURCE: Kayla Ott
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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