Come visit the Molly O. Ahlgren aquarium at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Get up close and personal in our touch tanks; the best way to learn about the amazing undersea life of the Sitka Sound is to touch, see, and even smell them! Our licensed facility also includes six in-wall mounted aquariums showcasing mini versions of many of the ecosystems important to marine life in Southeast Alaska. The lobby features an 800 gallon saltwater tank containing some of the fishes and invertebrates found around 60 feet down, including rockfish, sculpins, and our resident wolfeel, Wanda. The aquarium is also home to an adolescent killer whale skeleton. Stop in to meet all our amazing critters, listen to whale songs, climb up under a tank and get a fish eye view, check out some amazing whale bones, and learn about all the fascinating projects happening at the science center!
Our aquarium is dedicated to the late Molly O. Ahlgren, a Sheldon Jackson College professor whose enthusiasm and love of learning reached far out of the classroom. Molly was not only the creator of the aquarium but also a driving force for science education throughout Southeast Alaska. She believed that the best type of learning was hands-on learning and had her grad students build the touchtanks you’ll find in our aquarium today. She believed that there was magic in nature and wanted to bring that magic up out of the sea for people to touch and learn about. She said,
“There is a magic indwelt in nature, the mystery of life and passion, the drive to embrace each moment and not let a second pass un-experienced.”
There was a magic indwelt in Molly too, a magic she has left for you to find in the aquarium.