Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter Handbook

November 19th, 2008 | RESEARCH

Federal support for museums through the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is based on the premise that museums are valuable community organizations providing rich opportunities for learning and civic engagement. Yet, until recently, there has been a paucity of systematic and evidence-based research on the public impact of museums. Therefore, since 2005, the IMLS Office of Museum Services has funded research projects under the auspices of the National Leadership Grant program. These grants support projects that ‘raise the bar’ in museum research and practice. Funded projects have national impact and generate findings that, through broad dissemination, move the field forward. This project was funded in the program’s inaugural round. Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter: Working with Community Perceptions to Achieve Your Goals draws on the illuminating research conducted as part of the IMLS-funded study. Its findings provide useful information about the perceptions of the public at large as well as specific insights into the views of particular audience segments. We are proud to have supported this project and confident that its results will contribute to improved practice, inform future policy discussions, and spawn additional studies. We also acknowledge and thank the project’s principal investigators, John Fraser and Jessica Sickler, for their commitment to the broad and timely dissemination of the project’s results.



Team Members

Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Contributor
John Fraser, Author, Institute for Learning Innovation
Jessica Sickler, Author, Lifelong Learning Group


Funding Source: IMLS
Award Number: LG-25-05-0102-0

Funding Source: IMLS
Award Number: 0205843

Related URLs

Assessing the Impact of a Visit to a Zoo or Aquarium: A Multi-institutional Research Project


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Aquarium and Zoo Programs | Public Programs