University of Oregon

Alyssa Bjorkquist

Alyssa Bjorkquist

Education Associate, Aquarium of the Pacific
MS Candidate, Cal State University, Long Beach

I have worked full-time in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Education department for a little over 1.5 years now. I am an Education Associate, and have a lot of different hats that I wear at my job! I give shows and tours, staff interpretation stations, and serve as a naturalist on whale watch trips. In addition, I teach half- and full-day educational camps, overnights, and weekend public programs for children aged 2-17 years old and their families. I help maintain the water quality and animal care for a half-semi truck for the department’s outreach program: the Aquarium on Wheels. My coworkers and I drive intertidal invertebrates all over LA and Orange Counties to lead science assemblies and classes and professionally represent the aquarium at public festivals and events. Working at a public, non-profit aquarium has its ups and downs but I am so grateful for the professional development this job has provided and the opportunity to apply what I learned at OIMB to my job every day.

I recently started attending California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) part-time to complete my M.S. in Science Education! My graduate degree is helping me deep dive into the current research, pedagogy, and processes for learning science in formal and informal science education settings. After completing my studies and my thesis, I hope to stay within the aquarium/zoo/museum world and be a leader in my facility for evaluating and creating programs and exhibits for guests. Completing my undergraduate thesis at OIMB actually drew me to this graduate program because the research and writing process I engaged in was so fundamental for me focusing my professional path on marine and science education.