Esri honors Aquarium of the Pacific with award for GIS map telling story of endangered steelhead fish


The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific was recently honored with an award at the 2016 Esri International User Conference in San Diego, California, for its steelhead story map. The award Esri presented to the Aquarium was in the category of best use in science, technology, and education in a story map and was part of the 2016 Esri Storytelling with Maps contest. “The Aquarium’s winning story map was created to connect its guests and the general public with its Southern California Steelhead exhibit and tell the story of steelhead, including their transition from rainbow trout to steelhead salmon. We also wanted to help make people aware of the challenges faced by this now vanishing species,” said Dr. Jennifer Lentz, Aquarium of the Pacific education coordinator.


The Aquarium of the Pacific uses Esri ArcGIS technology, such as story maps and other interactive geospatial technologies (including Esri’s Urban Observatory app and NOAA’s Science on a Sphere®), to connect its diverse audience of 1.6 million annual on-site visitors to current marine and environmental science issues. These programs help guests construct an understanding of human relationships to environments and a changing global system. Ultimately, the Aquarium uses GIS as a tool to help fulfill the institution’s mission to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants and ecosystems.


“The awards identify the organizations and people who are using the power of geography to make our world a better place,” says Esri President Jack Dangermond. “At Esri, we are always deeply inspired by the passion and innovation of our users. They deserve recognition for their invaluable contributions to their communities and the continued evolution of geographic science.” In addition, the second edition of Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions was released at the conference. The book includes a chapter submitted by the Aquarium of the Pacific (Chapter 12 “More Than Maps: Connecting Aquarium Guests to Global Stories” by Jennifer Lentz, Emily Yam, Alie LeBeau, and David Bader).


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Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the new Vanishing Animals and Horses and Dragons exhibitions. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. For more information, visit or call 562-590-3100.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Aquarium of the Pacific.

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