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Education and Outreach

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is dedicated to promoting science literacy as a strategy to enhance the nation's understanding of scientific research and its contribution to economic development and community quality of life.  As knowledge becomes a driving force in the new global economy, research institutes, universities, government and corporations must work together to make sure that knowledge is generated, transmitted, and used for social and economic good.

HSWRI is committed to sharing our research and accomplishments with scientists and the public. Furthermore, the Institute is dedicated to promoting scientific interest and understanding among teachers and students to ensure that the next generation of research pioneers will be competitive in the world of science and industry. HSWRI acts as a mentor for new scientists and educators by providing research opportunities, training and "hands-on" experience through collaboration with academic institutions.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute’s Seabass in the Classroom (SITC) Program

Seabass in the Classroom allows young people to participate in a marine replenishment program that has been operating since the mid-80s.  The program helps them not only gain a better understanding of where their food comes from but it also addresses all related aspects associated with sustainability including 1) the health of the oceans; 2) California agriculture; 3) food production technology; 4) the health benefits of eating seafood; and 5) food security.   The students are learning about the sustainability of a natural resource through the practices of environmental science, and the importance of water quality as a factor in animal, plant, and human health. 

Dave James, science teacher at La Jolla High School said, “The ability to use this system for laboratory activities, field research, data collection and analysis necessary for actually raising white seabass for release into the wild is unique and extremely valuable.  The students are learning information that is not found in their textbooks and they get to interact with and ask questions of scientists who come into their classroom.” 

Some of the activities conducted by the student scientists participating in the SITC program include the following: 

  • the exploration and understanding of the life cycle, growth patterns, reproductive rates and viabilities, genetic diversity, and anatomy and physiology of white seabass (WSB)

  • a dissection of whole fish to observe anatomy and physiology of a fish

  • witness fish necropsy performed by a fish pathologist

  • measure a sampling of the classroom’s WSB to determine average growth rate; take a field trip to HSWRI to see the largest marine fish hatchery on the West Coast and to observe first-hand the various life stages and technology employed in culturing WSB

  • and the collection, analysis, recording, and comparison of water quality statistics from the classroom’s saltwater aquarium system and from local saltwater sites (wetland community waters and ocean waters) to study dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, nitrates, ammonia, and alkalinity.   

The SITC program is overseen by HSWRI Research Scientist Mike Shane, and funding to date has been graciously provided by The Boeing Company and San Diego Gas and Electric.  The program is part of the Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OHERP), was initially launched in Southern California in cooperation with Get Inspired! at Huntington Beach High School, and established at La Jolla High School in 2011. HSWRI is planning to expand the program to additional schools in 2013. Establishment of these high school programs cost upwards of $25,000.  You can help other students experience the joy and benefit of this educational program with your gift today that will bring us one step closer to expanding the program to underserved students that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to explore such a unforgettable science experience.