Ichthyology Tours & School Outreach

Photo: Dennis Wise/University of Washington
Photo: Dennis Wise/University of Washington

The Ichthyology Collection offers a variety of tours to the public, university community and schools.

Please note that the Ichthyology Collection is not physically located at the Burke Museum but is a short distance south of the museum.

Public & UW Collection Tours

We can tailor the length and content of a collection tour to accommodate most interests and age groups. Arrangements should be made at least two weeks in advance. 

Please contact us for more information and to arrange a tour.

a woman gives a tour of the fish collection to a group of middle school students

School Outreach Program

As part of our School Outreach Program, the Ichthyology Collection hosts tours of the facility year-round to classes of students in grades 3-12. 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.

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 11 million individual specimens, and roughly 4,100 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 as humans belong), with roughly 32,800 living species formally recognized by science. Over the course of 500 million years of history, fishes have evolved a remarkable array of body shapes and behaviors, 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.

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 1–2 months in advance.

Please contact us for more information and to arrange a tour.

two women peer out of a porthole on a submersible underwater

Support Ichthyology

Your gift makes it possible! We couldn't do what we do without generous donor support for collections care, research and public outreach. 

Photo: Luke Tornabene/Burke Museum
Photo: Luke Tornabene/Burke Museum