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Regular hours: 9:30 am – 6 pm
Last entry at 5 pm

Fostering Empathy for Wildlife

A white wave shape.

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.

Website maintenance

Please note: Our ticketing and membership systems will be offline for approximately two hours starting at 9pm Pacific on Tuesday, February 20. During the maintenance window, online ticketing and membership will not be available.

Thank you for understanding.

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Two sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium floating on the water in their habitat, holding onto each other demonstrating a rafting behavior.

With your help, the Seattle Aquarium builds connections with our community to inspire conservation and curiosity for marine life. When you make an end-of-year gift by December 31, you'll be joining us in protecting our shared marine environment—now and for generations to come. Thank you!

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!