Steven Schindler, Executive Director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Steven Schindler

Executive Director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps


Steven Schindler is executive director of Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the public exploration center of world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Schindler, a San Diego native and graduate of San Diego State University, brings extensive for profit and nonprofit marketing and business administration experience to Birch Aquarium. He joined the aquarium in June 2014.

Schindler served until recently as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the National Aquarium, where he combined a deep passion for conservation with his expertise in brand building and marketing. During his tenure, National experienced year-over-year increases in reputation and revenues, largely due to Schindler’s focus on improved customer experience and expanded community engagement efforts. Schindler’s team launched Dolphin Discovery, which replaced shows with presentations celebrating the intelligence and social structures of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, and opened Blacktip Reef, a $12.5 million 250,000-gallon exhibit representing the diversity of an Indo-Pacific reef.

Schindler was previously president and creative director of an advertising and brand development firm specializing in the hospitality industry. He subsequently co-founded an Internet start-up in content aggregation before joining a publicly traded online media firm as its vice president, marketing.

Schindler was a mayoral appointee to Visit Baltimore’s board of directors, previously served on the San Diego Tourism Authority’s community relations committee, participates at the national level with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and brings considerable knowledge of organizational development, communications, membership, community relations, and fundraising to Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Birch Aquarium at Scripps features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. The aquarium features an interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, Earth, and ocean science. Accredited by AZA, Birch Aquarium has an annual attendance of more than 400,000, including 40,000 school children.



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