ALL ISSUES    |    SPRING 2017
Kyle Van Houtan

What's New

Meet our New Director of Science

Kyle Van Houtan

Kyle Van Houtan, a conservation ecologist with expertise in marine biodiversity and global change, is our new director of science.

Kyle is responsible for conservation research focused on sea otters, great white sharks, Pacific bluefin tuna and other iconic California Current species and ecosystems.

His fresh approach to data collected by our conservation research staff has already produced newsworthy results. Looking at years of data collected by Sea Otter Program researchers, Kyle saw that our surrogacy program has had significant positive impacts on the health of the local Elkhorn Slough ecosystem as a whole. He recently published a paper of his own that helps pinpoint places globally where marine protected areas would be most valuable.

Before joining us early last year, Kyle spent six years in the director's office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Hawaii, where he led several initiatives in global change and protected species.
His research and teaching focus on multi-faceted approaches to marine biodiversity conservation, and his work spans a range of topics from animal behavior, foraging ecology and physiology, to fisheries stock assessments, climate change and ecosystem-based management. He's worked with sea turtles and sea birds, among other species.
He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama for his pioneering research into how climate influences sea turtle populations.
"Kyle brings new perspectives to our work on behalf of iconic ocean wildlife when marine ecosystems face unprecedented challenges," says Margaret Spring, vice president of conservation and science and chief conservation officer.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Center for Ocean Education and Leadership

We're Building a Future for the Ocean

Construction is now underway on our biggest undertaking since opening the Aquarium—our new Center for Ocean Education and Leadership! With support from our members, donors and the community, we completed the design process and cleared the final permit processes last fall. We are now beginning construction on the 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the art building on the south end of Cannery Row.

Some highlights of the new Center include:

  • Four learning labs with live animal exhibits
  • Cutting-edge technology for learning and teaching
  • Collaborative spaces for teachers and teens
  • Rooftop garden and meeting space
  • Free public exhibit gallery on Cannery Row
While these details are exciting, the most important feature of the new Center is that it will allow us to expand our innovative programs that advance science and environmental education in our state.
Each year we have to turn away students and teachers because our current facilities are simply too small. Yet at a time when the ocean faces perilous threats, our work to foster science literacy and inspire new generations of ocean leaders is critically urgent.
"There's a serious need in California, to bolster science and environmental education in our schools," says Executive Director Julie Packard. "We're responding to that need."

Won't you join us?

Construction is now underway and we need your help once again to complete the new Education Center. To make your gift, please call our Development office at (800) 840-4880 or
Donate now
Thank you for your generous support!