Burke Museum Home


School Outreach Program

As part of our School Outreach Program, the Fish Collection hosts tours of the facility year-round to students in grades 3-12. The tour normally takes about one hour and consists of two parts. The first part involves a tour of our facilities where we prepare, catalog, archive, and conduct research on our museum holdings that total over 7.6 million individual specimens, and roughly 4,000 species. You will see how a natural history collection of this magnitude is arranged and managed, in addition to learning about its importance and its uses.

The second part of the tour involves a detailed look at some of the more interesting examples of fish diversity. Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates (the large group of animals to which we belong), with roughly 29,000 living and fossil species formally described by science. During the course of history, fishes have evolved a remarkable array of body shapes and behavior, and have radiated into nearly all aquatic habitats. Using our collection of preserved specimens, we will show you many interesting and unusual fishes from around the world and discuss the evolutionary adaptive significance of their morphology.

Scalyhead Sculpin
Artedius harringtoni, Scalyhead Sculpin
R. Lauth

The maximum group size that we can accommodate is 25 students. This size limit does not include teachers and parents. Reservations are required and should be made one to two months in advance by contacting Katherine Maslenikov, Collection Manager, via email or at (206) 543-3816.

For directions on how to get here please visit the "Contact Us" page. Parking arrangements for large groups can be made by calling the UW Department of Transportation Services, (206) 685-7167. Alternatively, small groups can find metered parking all along Boat Street, right out in front of the Fisheries Teaching and Research (FTR) Building where the Fish Collection is housed, downstairs, in room 005.


The Fish Collection offers a variety of tours to the public and University community. We can tailor the length and content of a tour to accommodate most interests and age groups. Arrangements should be made at least two weeks in advance. To schedule a tour contact Katherine Maslenikov, Collection Manager, via email or call 206-543-3816.

We also offer class tours for students in grades 3-12 through our School Outreach Program. These tours are also flexible in design, but usually include a close-up view of many interesting types of fishes from all over the world. Contact the Collections Manager if you would like to arrange a tour for you school.