This thesis examines program and exhibition evaluation as pertaining to zoos and aquariums in the United States from the 1960’s to the present. Research conducted for this thesis focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of zoological programs and exhibitions. Also examined are studies of zoo and aquarium visitors related to audience research, informal learning, and psychographics. Case studies as well as published procedural and evaluative methods from zoos and aquariums across the United States are used to identify best practices. In addition, two evaluation tool kits are presented to assist the Seneca Park Zoo with evaluative measures for exhibits and programs at the zoo. In practice, the findings are intended to provide a framework for this institution to evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs and exhibitions, their impact on visitors, and to expand the scope of visitor studies and audience research at the Seneca Park Zoo.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Museum Studies (BS)


Juilee Decker

Advisor/Committee Member

Bart A. Roselli


RIT – Main Campus