16 – New Aquarium Creatures
15 – Field Trips
Thousands of students visited the Aquarium this year – and thousands more were served by our outreach programs!
14 – Protecting Southeastern Aquatic Wildlife
Aquarium experts were busy this year sampling in area habitats, mapping the Southeast’s biodiversity hotspots, propagating endangered species, hosting fellow freshwater scientists and conducting important research about freshwater life in our own backyard.
13 – Engaging Youth Volunteers
12 – Visits From Special Guests
What do Teddy Roosevelt, astronaut Butch Willmore, National Parks Adventure star Max Lowe and Nat Geo Monster Fish host Dr. Zeb Hogan all have in common? They all made special appearances at the Aquarium this year!
11 – Studying Arapaima in South America
OK, so technically, Aquarists Nikki Eisenmenger and Tasha Esaki traveled to Guyana to study Arapaima in late 2015, but they came back to share their stories with Aquarium members and guests about these River Giants in their natural habitat back in April.
More than 216,000 guests have traveled with the Explorer’s crew on eco-tours to learn about the history, wildlife and protected habitat of the Tennessee River Gorge.
9 – A New Exhibit Grows Into the Tropical Cove
Horticulturist Charlene Nash took us on a tour of the newly installed display of exotic orchids and insect-chomping Tropical Pitcher Plants in the Tropical Cove.
8 – Amazing Events
We had a JAW-some time at Shark Fest and spook-tacular fun at AquaScarium. Relive some of our biggest 2016 events in our photo albums.
7 – Monster Fish Makes a BIG Splash In Downtown Chattanooga
Stunning life-sized sculptures, hands-on interactive exhibits, and videos from the field put visitors face-to-face with more than 20 species featured in Nat Geo WILD’s Monster Fish. (You can still see this temporary exhibit for yourself through April 2017!)
6 – New Aquarium President
We were proud to welcome Keith Sanford as the Aquarium’s new President & CEO.
5 –Penguin Chicks, Baby Chameleons and MORE!
Several animal babies brought the cuteness in 2016. Over the summer, two Gentoo chicks were born at Penguins' Rock – and became the first set of siblings to be raised by their parents right on exhibit. And for the first time at the Aquarium, four tiny baby Panther chameleons hatched!
4 – Animal Rescues
Drought conditions this fall led to emergency rescues for tiny endangered populations of both the Barrens Topminnow and Laurel Dace. Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute joined with partners to search out and collect these fish for safe keeping until their habitats can recover.
3 – Laser Comes to IMAX
Back in January, our IMAX Theater began the transition from film to IMAX with Laser. An installation of two 4K projectors, a new 12-channel audio system with speakers added to the ceiling and a brand new six-story screen come together for an experience only found in a few cities around the world.
2 – Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Facility Opens
Located near a natural wetland along the banks of the Tennessee River just downstream from downtown Chattanooga, the 14,000-square-foot facility will serve as the headquarters for a newly expanded staff of conservation scientists as well as visiting experts. Featuring an environmentally conscious design that informed every aspect of its construction, the building provides access to cutting-edge equipment, including morphology and genetics laboratories, and offers much-needed space for staff to centralize and streamline ongoing projects, initiate critical new research, and host educational programs.
1 – Magic moments made by YOU!
As each year passes, we love being a part of your special memories with family and friends. Keep sharing your stories and photos with us using #TennesseeAquarium on your favorite social platforms.
(Thanks to Instagram user @ellenchandlee for sharing this photo!)