Aquarium Selects Director Of Animal Husbandry

June 19, 2006

The selection of Jim Burke is announced by Aquarium President Dale Schmidt

The Oregon Coast Aquarium announced its selection of Jim Burke as the new Director of Animal Husbandry. Burke has been with the Aquarium since March of 1997 serving in different capacities including aquarist, Manager of Gallery Exhibits, and most recently as Assistant Curator of Fishes and Invertebrates.

Burke will lead the Husbandry Management Team at the Aquarium, which consists of Curator of Fishes & Invertebrates, Curator of Mammals and Curator of Birds. The main function of the team is to care for and provide a healthy environment for the animals.

Aquarium President Dale Schmidt said he is pleased with the decision. “Jim's background, experience, and involvement with the local fishing community make him an excellent choice to lead our animal programs.”

Burke said he is ecstatic about the selection. “I’ll be taking more of a planning role for future exhibits. I’ll also be working more with marine mammals, shorebirds and sea birds and conservation efforts at the Aquarium. I plan to continue to uphold the excellent standard of animal care at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and help design and build future Aquarium exhibits that illustrate the diversity of ecosystems of the northwest and the world.”

The Aquarium plans to take more of a conservation approach to its exhibits, according to Burke. “We want to put forth a better understanding and relevance of our animals’ roles in the ecosystem,” said Burke. “We will also continue to be innovative educators that provide a fun place for people of all ages to come and visit and learn.”

The Aquarium’s husbandry staff has conducted research on a variety of topics over the years, and Burke said he would like to see it published. “We want to help foster a better understanding of animal care and science. One of the ways we can do that is to make our research available to other institutions and the scientific community.”