1 extra Gr 8-12.jpg

Huntsman Education

“I think the greatest contribution the Huntsman will make to Canada will come from its education programs, in particular the ones for school children,” written in 1999 by Dr. John Anderson, a principle architect of the Huntsman. We continue to view this sentiment as a primary calling for the Huntsman after delivering inspiring hands-on educational experiences that go beyond the classroom to more than 75,000 students of all ages since our inception in 1969!

Huntsman was initially created to be a “co-operative venture in learning” where government and university researchers could come together as equals to collaborate on marine science. Our facilities were used extensively in the 1970’s and 1980’s by professors and graduate students to complete research. In addition, undergraduates were attending member university field courses. It also wasn’t lost on early Huntsman staff that our social impact could be magnified by including aspects of marine biology to inspire our local residents and tourists. Nobody in New Brunswick is ever more than 200 km from the ocean. Its health affects every visitor and resident in the province and our future may very well be determined by how well we connect to the ocean’s resources! For this reason, Huntsman education programs strive to foster “active stewardship” of our oceans and educate students about their critical role in this global movement. What started as a field station for member universities grew to also include a public aquarium/museum and a robust public education program.

20200828 Huntsman Marine_shannonmayphoto

All Huntsman education programs give students the essential “hands-on” experience they need to understand the delicate balance of the marine environment, preparing them to leave with a new appreciation of the oceans and their future. Time-tested and proven approaches, augmented with research facilities and expert guidance from experienced Huntsman staff, provide participants with a high quality memorable education experience.

Today, Huntsman education is provided through a consolidated Education & Outreach department and offers an extensive series of programming with a primary focus on marine biology and ocean stewardship – summer day camps, homeschool programs and formal classroom curricula, tourism focused edutainment, professional workshops, overnight high school field courses, and University academic credits that provide field course exposure from a couple of days to three month semesters.

Our education facilities are extensive and include dedicated instructional labs/wetlabs, several classroom options (including the 218-seat Dunn Science Theatre), Fundy Discovery Aquarium, and our vessel – R/V Fundy Spray – to provide ample opportunity for inspirational and immersive marine education. These facilities are supported by our hospitality capacity to provide wholesome meals and comfortable accommodations while away from home.

We welcome you to explore our website to learn who we are, what we stand for, and see our mission in action to ensure a sustainable future for our coastal communities and ocean resources. And, of course, book now to participate in our programs or reach out to discuss your aquatic education interests. We are certain that we are able to develop a program that will inspire your students!

If you, too, are inspired to support student education at Huntsman then please donate or choose other ways to support the Huntsman mission today!

Education Timeline


  • Connors Bros. agrees to provide all feed required to maintain our aquarium seals at no cost. This important contribution and relationship continues through today.

  • New seawater supply system commissioned to provide our research and Fundy Discovery Aquarium operations with up to 3,000 US Gallons Per Minute of natural seawater.


  • A consortium of 20 universities and several government departments came together to form the Huntsman Marine Laboratory (name changed to The Huntsman Marine Science Centre in 1987) as a completely separate, federally incorporated, non-profit, registered charitable organization to become a “co-operative venture in learning.” Decades later we now refer to this as a social enterprise.




  • Huntsman acquired the R/V W.B. Scott to support university research and remained in service until replaced in 2008.


  • Significant renovations and upgrades completed at Anderson House.

  • Inaugural offering of the University of New Brunswick Saint John Campus (UNBSJ) Fall Semester Program.

Huntsman Marine Science Centre Bird Band
  • Record visitation to our new Fundy Discovery Aquarium set at 36,058.

  • Rope recycling pilot initiated with collection bins placed at four harbours in southwest NB as part of the #DebrisFreeFundy initiative. This program has steadily increased in effort since then.




  • Purchased the historical Sir Thomas Tait Estate – 50 acres of land with Anderson House that today comprises our Upper Campus – with the assistance of the Government of New Brunswick to provide accommodation for visiting students. This facility was officially opened during our first Annual General Meeting with Dr. Huntsman cutting the ribbon!

  • University of Guelph purchased our first research vessel – the Lana Roxanne – which stayed in service until replaced in 1972.

  • First graduate student to complete research at the Huntsman is Dr. Peter G. Wells while enrolled at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. John Sprague focused on hydrocarbon toxicology with lobster (Homarus americanus) larvae and post larvae



  • Huntsman offers first Aquaculture Technician Program, jointly with the New Brunswick Community College, that extends for more than a decade to meet the needs of the new Atlantic salmon fish farming sector.



  • Huntsman receives the first ever Gulf of Maine Visionary Award by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment in recognition of our past accomplishments and unique ability to bring the marine environment and related issues to the forefront of public attention.

  • Exported the Huntsman education experience to the Republic of the Maldives as our first international education focused initiative to develop a series of practicals and filed based programs to supplement their high school fisheries science textbook.

  • Established a Huntsman Montreal office, with funding from Science Culture Canada, and in association with the Redpath Museum at McGill University to provide information and resource materials for Montreal area teachers and implement an in-class program similar to our success in New Brunswick. This effort was short lived with the office closing in 1991 but demonstrated the potential to export the Huntsman model elsewhere.


  • First high school field courses offered at the Huntsman involving three courses and 52 students.

  • Huntsman awarded the important task to serve as the sole input centre for all of Canada to abstract, catalog and index fisheries and aquatic-oriented scientific literature, on behalf of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, into the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information Service (ASFIS). 



  • Major renovations completed within the Aquarium/Museum to provide a winterized facility with greatly enhanced space to provide more interpretative displays. This facility operated for 27 years until replaced by our present modern Fundy Discovery Aquarium.



  • Record visitation to the Aquarium/Museum of the Huntsman set at 32,262.

  • Record number of students staying in residence during the same week while attending university courses was set at 101.

A consortium of 20 universities and several government departments came together to form the Huntsman Marine Laboratory (name changed to The Huntsman Marine Science Centre in 1987) as a completely separate, federally incorporated, non-profit, registered charitable organization to become a “co-operative venture in learning.” Decades later we now refer to this as a social enterprise.


  • Huntsman established a site on the World Wide Web with the help of the University of New Brunswick.

  • Train service by Via Rail discontinued to southern New Brunswick requiring student groups to abruptly adjust to find alternative travel methods to the Huntsman. 


  • Oceans Tomorrow capital campaign launched and culminated with the opening of the Fundy Discovery Aquarium.

student at microscope.jpg


  • Ocean Discovery begins in collaboration with the New Brunswick Department of Education to meet the curriculum outcomes for Grade 6.

  • Relaunched SeaWords newsletter designed to communicate with teachers (this was an original publication from the 1980's that experienced a short hiatus before published again).

  • Teaching labs located on the Lower Campus received an upgrade made possible by a generous contribution by the University of New Brunswick.

  • R/V Fundy Spray commissioned for use by the Huntsman thereby replacing the R/V W.B. Scott and remains in service to this day.


  • New and modern Fundy Discovery Aquarium opened its doors to the public on September 1, 2011.


  • Record for the total number of University field courses offered in a given year set at 28.

  • Offered first ever one-week summer field course for high school students. Of the 150 applications received, 30 students were chosen representing six provinces and State of Maine to attend.

Aquarium #1.jpg


  • Completed construction of the 43-bed Needler Hall student dormitory on the Upper Campus funded in part by The Windsor Foundation.

  • Birth of Loki at the Huntsman Aquarium/Museum on May 26 from resident female harbour seal Chelsea and moved to Storey Brook Gardens in London, ON as his first home.