Explore the Molly O. Ahlgren aquarium at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Touch the critters of the tidal pools, listen to whale songs, climb up under a tank to get a fish eye view, check out some amazing whale bones, and learn all about the animals that live in the ocean surrounding Sitka.


Touch Tanks—the undersea life is literally at your fingertips. Run a finger over a pointy urchin, stroke the smooth sides of an anemone, and admire the foot-long starfish that live within the touch tanks.

60 Feet Deep—an 800-gallon saltwater tank contains some of the fish and invertebrates found 60 feet below the surface of the ocean. Get eye to eye with deep-dwelling rockfish, sculpins, our resident wolf eel, Wanda, and many others—no scuba gear needed!

Mounted Aquariums—six mounted aquatic habitats showcase mini-versions of many of the ecosystems important to marine life in Southeast Alaska.

Killer Whale Skeleton—the skeleton of an adolescent killer whale is suspended in our aquarium. The body of the whale was discovered in 2011 on Kruzof Island near Sitka. Click here to watch a video of the rearticulation of the skeleton before coming and seeing for yourself!

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.


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