Seafood Watch Cafe Evaluation Study

December 1st, 2010 | EVALUATION

In 2009, the Monterey Bay Aquarium began looking at new ways to interpret its Seafood Watch program. This nationwide conservation program strives to educate the public about the importance of buying sustainable seafood. As part of the program, the Aquarium publishes a printed pocket guide that lists the types of seafood consumers should buy and the types they should avoid. (For more information, visit Over the years, several zoos, aquariums and museums that partner with the Aquarium have expressed interest in displaying an exhibit to encourage more of their visitors to use the pocket guide. In response, the Aquarium created the Seafood Watch Cafe--a portable interactive video kiosk that could be installed in a variety of settings. The kiosk, which resembles a small diner, is based on a larger permanent exhibit, called the Real-Cost Cafe, which opened at the Aquarium in 2006. Visitors to the kiosk can watch humorous videos of a chef who describes the pros and cons of eating various types of seafood. A touch screen designed as a menu allows visitors to select the seafood they're interested in learning about. The kiosk's main message is that some seafood choices have hidden environmental costs, but by using the pocket guide, consumers can make responsible and informed choices that have a positive impact on the oceans. Although most of the content is presented in English, the kiosk also features a Spanish version of the menu as well as Spanish subtitles that translate the chef's narration. English and Spanish versions of the pocket guide are also available for visitors to take home with them. To evaluate the effectiveness, use and appeal of the kiosk, as well as visitors' comprehension of the main message, researchers evaluated the exhibit with English- and Spanish-speaking visitors during two separate phases of the design process. The first phase involved conducting a formative evaluation study of a near-finished version of the kiosk while it was temporarily installed at the Aquarium. The second phase involved conducting a summative evaluation of the final kiosk after it was permanently installed at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The appendix of this report includes the observation and interview protocols for the formative and summative evaluations in both English and Spanish.



Team Members

Jon Deuel, Evaluator, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Ava Ferguson, Evaluator, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Susan Kevin, Evaluator, Monterey Bay Aquarium


Access and Inclusion: English Language Learners | Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities
Audience: Adults | Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Life science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Interview Protocol | Observation Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative
Environment Type: Aquarium and Zoo Exhibits | Exhibitions | Games | Simulations | Interactives | Media and Technology