The National Aquarium and its Animal Care and Rescue Center are temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. Help support us while we are closed by Donating Today.

Holly Bourbon

Holly BourbonAs director of dive programs, my day-to-day responsibilities include supporting the Aquarium’s internal dive operations—including staff, volunteer and guest programs—and helping create external dive programs that support the needs of our conservation, research and husbandry teams. In my position, I enjoy exposing others to my favorite sport and improving workplace dive safety. I hope to inspire divers—especially women—to be strong and safety-minded.


What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Big Farm Animal Veterinarian.

What did you study in school?

How did you get started in your field of work?
Initially started with an internship at New England Aquarium my sophomore year at Mount Holyoke College – worked with African penguins, river otters, head start Kemp’s ridley turtles and the Giant Ocean exhibit.

At the Aquarium

How long have you been at the Aquarium?
Since the Summer of 2012.

I love what I do because...
I enjoy working with animals, managing staff in an efficient manner, and building new programs.

Most memorable moment at the Aquarium
My team’s last dive in Wings in the Water. At that point, I had just been at the Aquarium for a few months; however, the moment was still special to me. There was a lot of history in that exhibit!

Fun Facts

Hometown: Holland, Massachusetts

Favorite Animal:
Sharks! They are misunderstood, beautiful, and yet mysterious creatures.

Three things you never leave home without?

  • Cell phone
  • Keys to house or car (if driving)
  • Water bottle

If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead), who would it be?

James Herriot, author/English veterinarian – I wanted to be him as a child.

One lesson you wish you'd learned earlier in life?
To take a step back and evaluate the situation before reacting.

Back to the Top

Underwater Diver Chat

Underwater Diver Chat