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Archive: Panel Discussion: STEM Careers at the Aquarium

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As part of the City of Los Angeles’ month-long City of STEM science festival, the Aquarium will host a panel discussion on careers it offers that require science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Speakers will include staff members from several departments at the Aquarium, including animal husbandry, finance, marketing, operations, and education. This City of STEM event is free with reservation and will be streamed live online.


Nate Jaros headshot

Nate Jaros, curator of fishes and invertebrates, panel moderator
Jaros leads of team of twenty-one aquarists who care for all of the fish and invertebrates at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Jaros and his team wear many hats including animal care professionals, scientific divers, exhibit designers, plumbers, and aquaculturists. Jaros has been with the aquarium since 2005. Previously he worked at the Omaha Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. Jaros received his bachelors of science degree in environmental science and biology from Creighton University in Omaha.

Erica Perez, accounts payable manager, representing mathematics
Perez has always had an interest in numbers. She has worked for the Aquarium of the Pacific in the finance department for twenty years. From inventory of items at the Aquarium’s gift store to managing company-wide invoices, she uses mathematics in her daily work to keep the Aquarium’s finances running smoothly. In addition, she is part of the Aquarium’s Emergency Operations Center, specializing in preparing for financial documentation in the event of a major natural disaster or emergency and post-incident financial recovery. Prior to joining the Aquarium, she worked in the accounting department at the Cerritos College Bookstore and as a teller at a credit union.

Headshot of Erica Perez
Jason Philpy headshot

Jason Philpy, app and web developer, representing technology
Philpy created and maintains the Aquarium of the Pacific’s visitor guide app on iOS and Android. He also created the Marine Aquaculture Interactive app now on display as a kiosk in the Northern Pacific Preview exhibit and works on various website programming. Philpy has been with the Aquarium since 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2009 and returned to UCLA to get a certification in mobile application development in 2016.

Chris Carr, life support manager, representing engineering
Carr leads a team of eight life support staff to care for the Aquarium 24 hours a day. The life support department’s duties are numerous and include monitoring and maintaining the Aquarium’s multiple life support systems, diving in the exhibits to make repairs and inspections, maintaining proper water quality in exhibits, designing and plumbing new exhibit life support systems, and much more. Carr has been with the Aquarium since 2000. Previously he worked with the California Department of Fish and Game and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Carr graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from California State University, Long Beach.

Chris Carr headshot
Alicia Archer headshot

Alicia Archer, education technology and media manager, representing science
Archer has been with the Aquarium’s education department since 2005. In her current role, she manages and leads professional development programs for teachers and programs involving technology. These include programs for remote teaching, including live video classes offered via videoconferencing. She has a bachelor of science degree in zoology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a master’s degree in zoology from Miami University.