The nonprofit Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium is a leader in conservation-oriented research, environmental education, and community service both locally and globally. It strives to be a responsible member of the community, assisting in its economic and social redevelopment by providing opportunities for education, enrichment and employment. The Center is the education partner of the for-profit Adventure Aquarium, providing education program, exhibit content and volunteer management support
Research and conservation work has ranged from programs in Indonesia, where the Center has studied and sought to protect the threatened Banggai cardinalfish and its coral reef habitat, to studies on species closer to home, including several breeding programs. Education programs include professional teacher training workshops (the Center is a registered Professional Development Provider with the New Jersey Department of Education), programs for school groups in our on-site classroom, and behind-the-scenes tours. Additionally, the Center takes its show on the road, offering aquatic science classes and shows for schools and organizations.
The Center also has a commitment to underserved inner-city communities in both Camden and Philadelphia. Since 1992, the Academy has been a member of PISEC (Philadelphia-Camden Informal Science Education Collaborative). Funded by the National Science Foundation, PISEC strives to improve access to informal science learning for underserved families. The latest projects have included the development and delivery of environmental science workshops to families at local community-based organizations in Camden and Philadelphia.
The Center’s flagship program is CAUSE (Community And Urban Science Enrichment). CAUSE is a many-faceted science enrichment program for children and youth. The program has been extremely successful, boasting a 100% high school graduation rate and 93% college enrollment, and has gained local and regional attention as a model for comprehensive, inner-city youth development programs, focusing on intense academics and mentoring for a manageable number of youth.
Each one of these programs relates back to our mission to promote the understanding, appreciation, and protection of aquatic life and habitats for all audiences, and also underlines our commitment to the people of the city of Camden.