Program areas at Shedd Aquarium
Conservation education: since Shedd Aquarium opened our doors in 1930, Shedd has provided more than 119 million guests the opportunity to look nature in the eye through memorable experiences, while providing opportunities to learn about the animals in our care, and become inspired to make personal choices that drive action for animals. Shedd knows that when people experience aquatic animals up close, it motivates an emotional, empathetic response that shifts attitudes and fosters a personal responsibility for stewardship of local waters, global oceans, and wildlife. Shedd is committed to being one of chicago's most accessible cultural institutions, offering Illinois resident free days throughout the year, free admission every day as the nation's first Aquarium to join the museums (continued on schedule o) for all program, an everyday discount for chicago residents, students and senior citizens, and free admission for teachers, police and fire personnel, and active-duty military. Inside the Aquarium walls, a suite of impactful guest engagements, including living exhibits and extraordinary experiences behind the scenes, create memorable connections to animals, while millions of additional learners worldwide make virtual connections through Shedd's educational online platforms. The Aquarium also shares Shedd's mission by telling accessible, meaningful stories with the public through public relations and marketing efforts developed through the integration of conservation, learning programs, animal care and guest experience. As a proactive leader and resource for immersive informal science education opportunities, Shedd offers progressive, relevant and engaging programs including afterschool programs, labs and workshops, and weeklong citizen science programs for teens in the great lakes and aboard its research vessel, the coral reef ii in Florida and the bahamas.
Conservation science and research: Shedd is located in chicago, but its research is worldwide. Its husbandry, veterinary, and conservation programs are grounded in research that supports healthy animals at Shedd and vibrant wild populations around the world. Shedd's conservation research programs work to maximize biodiversity while preserving local livelihoods, and field researchers often work side-by-side with citizen scientists to conserve wildlife and habitats for future generations. The Aquarium's work includes more than two decades of research on bahamian rock iguanas, one of the world's most critically endangered lizards, as well as studies of queen conch, lobster, sharks, and corals. Closer to home, Shedd's great lakes research focuses on high priority wildlife (continued on schedule o) and habitat conservation issues; the Aquarium's applied studies support local and regional agencies in developing sound management plans that can protect this treasured national resource. Onsite, Shedd's state-of-the-art facilities and animal care experts serve as resources for research partners in chicago and around the united states. Onsite research provides valuable biological and behavioral information that informs understanding of species which are nearly impossible to study in the wild. In addition to sharing what it learns with the scientific community, Shedd's onsite work also contributes to its own field research, such as health assessments of wild beluga whales.
Animal care: Shedd Aquarium is home to one of the world's largest and most diverse aquatic collections over 23,000 representing about 1,200 species. A global leader in animal care, Shedd's training and husbandry programs support onsite research efforts that contribute to the growing scientific body of knowledge about those species in the wild. Additionally, Shedd's veterinarians are aquatic medicine pioneers who are advancing the fields of preventative medicine, aging care, and conservation medicine while providing world-class medical care that further expands understanding of how to support healthy animal populations in aquariums and in the wild. Shedd's animal care expertise also lends itself to crisis response around the world. Our animal response team frequently acts as a partner (continued on schedule o) and advisor to international, federal, state, and local government agencies, rescue and rehabilitation organizations, and fellow accredited zoos and aquariums for confiscated, orphaned, or injured wildlife.