S.E.A. Aquarium welcomes first batch of docents

A docent is someone who volunteers as a guide at institutions such as a museum, historical site, zoo or aquarium. While there, they learn and teach the public about subject matters related to the institution. For example in the aquarium, they will teach guests about marine life and conservation.

In December 2017, S.E.A. Aquarium welcomed our first batch of 25 docents who underwent two sessions of training in preparation for their role. During the first session, they went through a corporate induction just like any team member of the aquarium. This is meant to give them an overview of the company and a sense of belonging.

The second training session was where they were schooled in the workings of the aquarium, marine life and their role in marine conservation in Singapore. It commenced with a guided tour around the aquarium to give them a better understanding of key habitats, iconic animals, and some of the questions and situations they may encounter during their stint.

Operations Team Manager Aidah dished out fun facts about key habitats and some of the iconic animals found in them. She also shared useful tips on how to answer guest queries and respond to difficult requests.
Aidah explaining the anatomy of sea stars, one of the most popular residents of the Discovery Touchpool.
Here at the Guardians of the S.E.A.A. booth, the docents will play a pivotal role in educating guests on marine conservation or, even better, inspiring them to play an active role in protecting the ocean or join them as S.E.A. Aquarium docents.
S.E.A. Aquarium docent
After an hour’s tour, the docents were briefed on the dos and don’ts.
S.E.A. Aquarium docent
The session took a light-hearted turn when the docents were told to pair up and introduce their partner to everyone. This activity was meant to test their public speaking skills, as well as how they could turn boring facts into interesting discoveries – a critical guest engagement skill.

Julian Sng, 22, a first year Political Science student at the National University of Singapore, is one of our first S.E.A. Aquarium docents. While his field of study is unrelated to marine biology or environmental science, he believes in pushing for environmentalism in Singapore politics.

I believe that economic gains do not necessarily have to be at the expense of the environment. I hope to be able to find that balance and do something for marine conservation because the health of the ocean affects the health of the entire ecosystem.

Julian (right) started his docent journey on 1 Jan 2018. Here he is at the Discovery Touchpool with his mentor guide who will be shadowing him during his stint. As a docent, he also hopes to learn more about the aquarium’s conservation efforts and explore future collaborations with the aquarium.

Amanda, a recent graduate from James Cook University, said that through the docent programme, she hopes to improve her presentation skills, make new friends and explore ways to contribute to conservation.

If you wish to join us as a S.E.A. Aquarium docent, check out the details here.

To learn more about marine conservation and take part in exclusive marine life related events, join us as members of Guardians of the S.E.A.A. More details here.

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