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With more than 1.3 million visitors a year, the New England Aquarium is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston and a major public education resource for the region. William Spitzer, Vice President for Programs, Exhibits and Planning, shares how the Aquarium has transitioned from focusing on individual consumer behaviors to collective and civic behaviors. This civic engagement ethos informs everything from how they interpret environmental issues to how they empower the Aquarium’s robust army of volunteers.
William Spitzer, Ph.D., is Vice President for Programs, Exhibits and Planning at the New England Aquarium. He is responsible for oversight of exhibit design, visitor experience, volunteer, and education programs as well as institutional strategic planning. He has served as Principal Investigator for numerous informal science education projects funded by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
He is currently PI for the 5-year NSF-funded National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, as well as the 3-year NOAA-funded project Visualizing Change: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators. Spitzer has more than 20 years experience developing and implementing science education programs and materials. In 2014, he was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders.
Related resources provided by the New England Aquarium:
- Climate Change Education Resources
- Make a Difference as Citizens Rather than Consumers
- Information on the Live Blue Service Corps, for adults
- Information on the Live Blue Ambassadors program, for teens