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Fostering Empathy for Wildlife

Research shows that encouraging and developing empathy for animals in children is an important motivator toward action on the animals’ behalf. Employing empathy framing allows visitors to see animals as unique individuals worthy of care and conservation. Therefore, we’re working to enhance exhibits, develop curriculum and other teacher resources, offer empathy fellowships, hold biennial empathy conferences and design an innovative outreach vehicle to expand our empathy reach beyond the Aquarium. Staff at the Seattle Aquarium also offer empathy workshops around the country to help other aquariums and zoos incorporate empathic learning into their institutions.

Dive Deeper into our Empathy Work

Developing Empathy for Conservation Outcomes (DECO) Conference

Every two years, the Seattle Aquarium hosts the Developing Empathy for Conservation Outcomes (DECO) conference, bringing together professionals from zoos, museums, aquariums and universities to discuss what we know about empathy as a conservation tool, and what our field still wants to explore.

For proceedings and other resources from the 2020 and 2022 conferences, check out the links below.

Seattle Aquarium guests viewing fur seals through a window as the fur seals swim underwater in their habitat at the Seattle Aquarium.
An adult sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium looking upwards with its front paws resting on its front.

Giving Tuesday

Make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit Seattle Aquarium

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 thanks to a very generous anonymous donor!

Sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium laying on its back, raising its head and front paws.

Cyber weekend

Get 15% OFF all memberships!