Seacoast Science Center, Inc.

Inspiring Conservation of our Blue Planet

aka SSC   |   Rye, NH   |  www.seacoastsciencecenter.org

Mission

Our Mission: To spark curiosity, enhance understanding, and inspire conservation of our Blue Planet. Located within Odiorne Point State Park, Seacoast Science Center provides educational experiences on behalf of New Hampshire State Parks and have been connecting people to the wonders of our coast since 1992. Our live animal exhibits feature the amazing creatures that live in the rapidly changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Our engaging programs make learning about the ocean fun for everyone, from pre-K to senior rediscovery. Our hands-on science exhibits motivate families to become caretakers of our Blue Planet. We also operate the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue program, responding to marine mammals along the coast of NH and northern MA.

Ruling year info

2002

President

Jim Chase

Main address

570 Ocean Blvd.

Rye, NH 03870 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

02-0526488

NTEE code info

Natural History, Natural Science Museums (A56)

Single Organization Support (D11)

Marine Science and Oceanography (U21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Seacoast Science Center works to inspire conservation of our Blue Planet. Sadly, our natural resources and the world ocean, which sustain the wondrous and varied life on our only planet, are threatened by pollution, over-exploitation, a changing climate, and often, a lack of awareness and general disregard. We believe that the Seacoast Science Center’s style of environmental education can increase understanding of the natural world and with increased awareness afforded by personal experiences, people will be motivated to take actions in their daily lives that enhance conservation and environmental sustainability.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Marine Science Center

The Seacoast Science Center is the perfect place to explore, discover, and connect with nature, especially the salty kind. The entire family will be enthralled by the world of marine science, from snails to whales. Once you visit, you will know why so many people come back again and again; rain-or-shine, year-round.

There's always something to see and do. Get your hands wet and hold a sea star, chain cat shark and other sea creatures. Get up close and personal with a blue lobster, red anemones, graceful seahorses and camouflaging flounders. You'll be captivated by the Center's collection of marine mammal skeletons; it ranges from the giant skeleton of Tofu, a humpback whale, to a harbor porpoise: the smallest whale.

Visitor programs are offered throughout the day, with topics ranging from current marine science and creature features, to history and nature walks.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

The Seacoast Science Center was granted authorization by the National Marine Fisheries Service to lead New Hampshire's marine mammal rescue effort, effective January 1, 2014. The Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team responds to stranded, injured and diseased seals, whales, porpoises, and dolphins in NH's coastal region. In 2018, this territory was expanded to include northern Massachusetts from Essex to Salisbury.

All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, enacted by the federal government on October 21, 1972. Fulfilling this requirement, the Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team staffs a 24/7 hotline (603-997-9448) and deploys first responders. Collaborating with New England Aquarium and rehabilitation facilities in the region, the Center leads the rescues; the Aquarium conducts the necropsy and pathology, and rehabilitation facilities care for and release animals.

Population(s) Served
Adults

With seven different habitats in Odiorne Point State Park to explore, and live animal and hands-on exhibits in the Center to reinforce learning, campers gain a great understanding and appreciation of the natural world around them. Camp, for ages 4 to grade 5, runs during spring and winter regional school vacations and all summer long. Summer programs are also offered for grades 6-8 and grades 9-12.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Marine Science and Coastal Programs for Schools and Groups

The Seacoast Science Center is the ideal setting for environmental education field trips. Located in Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, New Hampshire, there are seven different natural habitats and 135 acres to explore. Live animal and interpretive exhibits inside the Center reinforce learning.

Program options include:
- On-site Outdoor Programs
- On-site Indoor Programs
- Outreach Programs
- Virtual Field Trip Programs

Each year we reach over 32,000 students from across New England, and "virtually" from around the nation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Our exhibits provide self-guided and docent-led educational opportunities for all visitors. Visitors can get up close and personal with the fascinating creatures that live just outside our doors. Learn about whales and other marine mammals of the Gulf of Maine and about the work we do to protect them. Find out how scientists explore the deep and learn why ocean health matters. Young children can jump aboard a mini lobster boat in the Discovery Dock and bring their catch home to market. Restoring Reefs teaches about the importance of healthy reef ecosystems and NH Beaches helps people understand the need to protect our coastal habitats for wildlife and humans alike.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of visitors who paid admission to Seacoast Science Center during each calendar year. The decline is visitation in 2020 was due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

School and Group Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total number of students (preschool and K-12) who were served via on-site and off-site educational programs. The decline in students in 2020 was due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Number of marine mammals responded to

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Marine Mammal Rescue

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020's decline in cases is due, in part, to limited beach access due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and fewer reporting beachgoers. 2018's elevated case numbers is due to an unusual mortality event.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of unpaid volunteers donating their time to Seacoast Science Center programs and events. The decline in volunteers in 2020 is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Seacoast Science Center’s mission is to spark curiosity, enhance understanding and inspire conservation of our Blue Planet with an audience that includes families, individuals, schools, community groups, civic leaders and philanthropic organizations. In our recently completed strategic plan, we have identified four main goals for making an impact in our region:
- Broaden our Impact: engage more community members, including those of diverse backgrounds, with Seacoast Science Center (SSC).
- Amplify our Message: help the community to see SSC as a safe space, integral to the cultural fabric of the Seacoast, which advocates for science, critical thinking, and conservation of our natural resources, with focus on the world ocean.
- Foster a Culture of Philanthropy: take actions that show SSC to be a place that shares and reflects their values and is worthy of investment.
- Elevate the Visitor Experience: work to ensure that visitors’ experiences are rich, meaningful, and inspiring.

SSC has identified 6 key strategies for accomplishing its goals:

1. Educate through Fostering Personal Connections
2. Elevate Visitor Experience through Public Programs & Exhibits
3. Honor Our Partnership with NH Division of Parks & Recreation
4. Make a Commitment to Institutional Growth
5. Create a Culture of Philanthropy & Financial Stability
6. Enhance Community Engagement & Brand Development

Each of these six strategies has an associated set of concrete action steps (too numerous to include here!) that are being addressed by staff and board members in order to make meaningful change over the next 1-3 years. Regular meetings are held to monitor progress and add additional action steps as needed.

SSC is working toward its goals with a wide range of assets. The Center has a dedicated staff of well-educated employees, many of whom have been with the Center for more than 10 years and have expertise in education, science, marketing, financial management, fundraising and more. SSC staff members were all involved in the creation of the strategic plan and are committed to taking identified action steps. The Center also has a dedicated Board of Directors who offer a broad array of business skills and civic engagement. The Center’s robust partnership with NH Division of Parks ensures ongoing implementation of joint programming and support of mission. Dozens of businesses invest in the Center as event and program sponsors each year, and the Center works with more than 40 partner organizations. Our volunteer program engages over 740 year-round and special project volunteers from the community. The Center is also actively exploring a longer-term capital improvements.

Seacoast Science Center has taken many actions to bring its identified goals to fruition:
- Completed a comprehensive strategic plan.
- Developed and implemented higher-level science programs for middle and high school students.
- Installed two new major exhibitions, Restoring Reefs and NH Beaches, to help people better understand their relationship to marine and coastal environments, and our need to protect them.
- Strengthened our partnership with the NH Division of Parks.
- Taken a more active public stance on conservation-related issues.
- Expanded hours to be open daily all year round.

In the coming year, we will implement new virtual and hybrid programming models, strengthen our partnership with the University of New Hampshire, and explore a capital campaign.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Seacoast Science Center, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Seacoast Science Center, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Allan Waterfield, PhD

Trevor Arp

Comcast

Renee Chiou

Rye Family Dental

David Divins

University of New Hampshire School of Maine Science & Ocean Engineering

Susan Labrie

Atlantic Grill and Riverhouse Restaurants

Gregory Lynch

Derry Medical Center

Jeanne Hayes

Ricci Lumber

Matt Siler

Harry Field Realty

Bruce Freeman

Linda Sanborn

Baker, Newman and Noyes

Katharine Brown

Richard Dumore

Sprague Energy

Brian Fitzgerald

Eric Maher

Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, PLLC

Nancy Targett

Kathryn Drew

Merrill Lynch

Laurie Leichthammer

WGBH TV

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/25/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.