March 23, 2015
Many young students who have volunteered at the Aquarium have gone on to pursue careers in science or other STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Their experiences at the Aquarium learning about the Pacific Ocean often inspire an interest in science and science interpretation, helping the public to better understand science topics and current environmental issues.
Alisa Kim volunteered at the Aquarium for about four years, starting as a high school freshman helping at Aquarium events. She participated in the Aquarium’s VolunTEEN program, and eventually served as a VolunTEEN mentor and education department volunteer. Kim went on to attend the University of California, Davis, where she majored in environment and resources science. “I would say the Aquarium definitely played a hand in solidifying my interests in the natural sciences,” Kim says. Her experience as a volunteer at the Aquarium prompted her to seek out a career in which she would be able to help educate the public on environmental issues. She now holds a position as an education specialist at the LA Zoo.
Sara Weisberg was a dive safety intern at the Aquarium during the summer of 2009. During her internship, she earned an American Academy of Underwater Sciences Scientific Diving certification. She also participated in dive shows in the Honda Blue Cavern and Tropical Reef exhibits. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Colorado University, Boulder, and became a scientific diver with the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, a position she says she was able to achieve in part due to her past experience at the Aquarium. Weisberg recently earned a master’s degree in zoology and is now the extended learning programs coordinator for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California.