55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Pamela Montbach

Pamela is a Biologist for the Steinhart Aquarium.


Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise. My primary responsibility is caring for and culturing jellyfish. I also work with the penguins, elasmobranchs, and local California coast animals.

What got you interested in becoming a biologist? Went to the beach a lot as a kid, just loved being in the water. I always knew from a young age that I wanted to do something related to the ocean when I got older. During college I volunteered at the New England Aquarium and became interested in animal husbandry.

What do you like most and least about your job? The thing I like best about my job is the wide variety of animals I get to learn about and work with on a daily basis. The thing I like least about my job is working on holidays.

What college did you go to and what degree did you receive? Macalester College, Bachelor of science majored in Environmental Studies

What influenced your job choice and when? After college I worked as an outdoor marine biology educator on Catalina Island. The camp I worked at on Catalina kept local fish, invertebrates, and sharks in tanks to facilitate learning for the students. They got to see the animals up close and even touch them. I became very involved in the care of the teaching animals and when it was time to leave the island I decided I wanted to continue my career in fish husbandry.

Do you have pets at home? What and how many? No Pets- my apartment is too small.

Advice for someone wanting to go into your field. Volunteer or intern whenever possible.

More about Pamela


Pamela’s Suggested Reading:

“How to Keep Jellyfish in Aquariums” by Chad L. Widmer, 2008 Wheatmark

“Plankton Culture Manual” by Frank H. Hoff and Terry W. Snell, 2007 Florida Aqua Farms Inc.

“A Functional Biology of Scyphozoa” by Mary N. Arai, 1997 Chapman & Hall

“Pacific Coast Pelagic Invertebrates” by David Wrobel and Claudia Mills, 1998 Sea Challengers and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

“The Marine Aquarium Reference: Systems and Invertebrates” by Martin A. Moe, 1989 Green Turtle Publications