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Staff Spotlight: Dan Arcara

Meet Dan

Dan is the Supervisor of Life Support Systems and one of the most tenured employees at the Aquarium!

A WNY native, Dan has been a lifelong lover of aquatic life and has worked in several different roles at the Aquarium throughout his career. These days, he oversees our Life Support Systems (LSS) — that’s what we call all of the filtration and equipment needed to keep our animals alive and thriving!

a man standing in front of a television

Get To Know Dan

What’s your position at the Aquarium:
Supervisor of Aquatic Systems

Where are you from?
Western New York. I grew up in Tonawanda and now live in Niagara Falls.

How long have you been at the Aquarium?
25 years!

Tell us a bit about your background/your life before coming to the Aquarium of Niagara.
I worked in retail prior to coming to the Aquarium of Niagara. I volunteered at the Aquarium from 1993-1994. I’m an avid aquarium hobbyist and have kept fish since I was 9 years old.

What inspired you to choose a career in this field?
I’ve always had a passion for aquatic life and loved watching the program “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.”

Have you held any other positions/jobs at the Aquarium?
I was an aquarist for 14 years.  I was also the Supervisor of Fish, Invertebrates, & Birds (I was hoping they would abbreviate it to FBI, but that was already taken…) for 10 years.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Getting that paycheck on Friday!!! Just kidding…I would have to say working hands-on with the life support and building Life Support Systems (LSS) for in-house projects!

What’s one thing you are most proud of accomplishing at the Aquarium?
Not getting fired after all these years!!! Just kidding again.. Building our Coral Reef exhibit. It was the first exhibit we had done using brand new components and not repurposing another exhibit. It’s a popular exhibit that’s usually a standard display at many facilities, and we’ve received many compliments from well respected and renowned colleagues.

Tell us about your life outside of the Aquarium.
I’m the youngest of 7 siblings; all reside in WNY. I enjoy the outdoors, gardening, biking. The Adirondacks & Thousand Islands are my favorite vacation destinations in NYS.

If you were an aquatic/marine animal, what would you be and why?
River otter. They can get into mischief and get away with it because folks think they’re cute!