Rita Bell, Vice President of Education
Rita Bell provides vision and leadership for innovative aquarium education programs including:
- Teacher Programs. Annually serves 1,500 teachers and informal educators of varying scope and intensity.
- School Programs. Annually serves 80,000 students who participate in exhibit- and lab-based activities at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- Teen Programs. Enables 300 middle and high school students a year to explore marine-related careers, participate in ocean conservation and conduct community-based conservation projects.
Rita served on the design team for the aquarium’s Ocean Education and Leadership Center, a $30 million project that will allow the aquarium to double the impact of its outreach programs to students and teachers. Construction on the center is scheduled to begin in fall 2016.
Rita is a member of ChangeScale, an environmental education collaboration for the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. She serves on the board of the California Environmental Education Foundation and the California Environmental Literacy Task Force.
Previously, Rita served on the board and as president of National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), and chaired the planning committee for the association’s “One World Conserving One Ocean” national conference, which was held in Monterey in 2009.
She has given presentations at the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, National Science Teachers Association, NMEA and California Science Teachers Association.
Before joining the Aquarium in 1997, Rita taught middle school math and science and served as vice principal and computer resource specialist.