Alonzo takes over an active department that presents marine education to 140,000 students a year, from preschoolers to college students. Programs are conducted during field trips in the Maritime Aquarium's classroom, in schools through the aquarium's Traveling Teacher offerings, at beaches for coastal explorations and out on Long Island Sound aboard the aquarium research vessel.
"Jamie brings passion for the marine world, commitment to working with underserved audiences, experience in a museum with a similar mission, a national network in the informal science education world, and a track record of successful fundraising for his program, especially in the federal grant sector," said Jennifer Herring, president of the Maritime Aquarium.
Since 2004, Alonzo has coordinated an after-school program for 125 teens at the Peabody Museum in New Haven that places a proactive emphasis on science literacy, college preparation and career skills. He also collaborated with the New York Hall of Science in creating a "career ladder" program in which teens start as volunteer docents but can advance to become paid exhibit interpreters. His other initiatives include an MIT-based working group focused on informal science education for older youth and a Youth Programming Network for the Association for Science & Technology Centers.
Prior to his role at the Peabody, Alonzo directed after-school and summer academics for teens offered through the University of California-Santa Cruz, and also worked as a salmon biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz. He has been a member of numerous educational and scientific committees in California, New York and Connecticut.
Jack Schneider, who has served the Maritime Aquarium both as director of education and curator of animals, stays on in the latter role. Herring said Alonzo's appointment allows Schneider to focus on the Maritime Aquarium's growing animal collection, which will further increase when the $4 million "FINtastic refurbFISHment" opens in February.
For information about the educational programs at the aquarium, call (203) 852-0700 or go to www.maritimeaquarium.org.