Curtis Bennett

Curtis was born and raised in Maryland, and for as long as he can remember, nature has always been his safe space, the space where he has always felt most himself. The wonder and awe that nature brings to Curtis and his life has helped to shape both his personal and professional interests. As such, he has worked to develop and ultimately strengthen his own personal connection to the environment and to engage in conservation efforts that are meaningful to him. 

Curtis is the National Aquarium’s director of equity and community engagement. He and his team develop long-lasting relationships with local residents and stakeholders, and collaborate with them to develop environmental programs and projects that meet the needs of the community. Curtis also ensures that the Aquarium intentionally integrates and applies principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice within its conservation mission.

Curtis began his career in environmental education and community engagement in 2003 as a naturalist at the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. He worked at the Delaware Nature Society before joining the Aquarium in August 2014. 

He is a member of several diversity, equity, inclusion and justice-focused committees and workgroups, including with the Association of Zoo and Aquariums, the Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program and the Choose Clean Water Coalition. He also serves on the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education Advisory Council, and was recognized with their Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award in 2018.

He has a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and policy with a concentration in wildlife ecology and management from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Science in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware.


Curtis Bennett 

Director of Equity & Community Engagement
National Aquarium

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