Triad College Becomes Second School in U.S. to Offer Aquarium Science Degree
Davidson County Community College in Thomasville is one of only a handful of community colleges in the U.S. that offers a degree in zoo sciences. Now the school will be one of only two in the nation that offers an associate’s degree in aquarium science.
Davidson County Community College officials have been collaborating with Oregon Coast Community College to learn more about their program. The aquarium track at Davidson will begin this fall.
Graduates can work in fields like aquaculture, aquatic research labs and as entry level aquarists in nature science centers and in zoological parks.
“On the technical side, the will be learning about things like life support systems, water quality, animal care and husbandry, diet preparation and disease prevention of common aquatic species,” says Mark Stevens, director of the new program at DCCC.
Students will also be required to complete internships. Davidson County Community College is partnering with five aquariums in N.C., including the SciQuarium in Greensboro for learning opportunities.
Meanwhile, the school is converting a former automotive lab on campus into a giant aquarium for student research. Renovations are expected to begin this summer. Stevens says the teaching lab will also be used for community outreach.
“We are looking at educational models that fit in with the North Carolina Science curriculum and then partnering with area school systems to have their students come on our campus and have our college students lead them in educational experiences and tours of the facility,” says Stevens.
Stevens says entry level salaries for this specialized field begin around the mid 20’s.
Davidson County Community College will hold information sessions on campus for the new aquatic science program on May 14 and May 16.