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Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch to Retire in June 2013


Written by: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Date: March 14, 2013

Dr. Steven Snyder to become Fleet's Executive Director


Category: Press Releases

Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch to Retire Following an Outstanding 30 Years of Service as Executive Director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in June 2013

Following an Extensive Nationwide Search, We Are Pleased to Announce The Fleet's New Executive Director: Steven Snyder, Ph.D.

San Diego, CA -- March 14, 2013 -- Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch will retire from his highly successful tenure as Executive Director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on June 30, 2013. Kirsch, former chair of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA), is recognized as a pioneer and major contributor to the production and exhibition of IMAX® films in science museums, and he has changed the face of science education in San Diego.

Dr. Kirsch joined the Fleet as Executive Director in January 1983. Under his leadership, the institution has quintupled its membership, doubled its physical size and become a major contributor to science education and science literacy for the region. Home to the world's first IMAX Dome Theater, the Fleet gained international prominence under Dr. Kirsch's guidance with the recent installation of a new giant dome screen and digital GSX™ system in the theater––also making it the first in the US to share a digital planetarium with an IMAX Dome Theater. Dr. Kirsch will continue to be a contributing force in the Giant Screen Cinema and IMAX universes and is looking forward to his next project, serving as consulting producer on a film about the Panama Canal, now in the planning stages but aimed to debut as part of the Balboa Park 2015 Centennial.

Following an extensive nationwide search, we are pleased to announce the Fleet's new executive director: Dr. Steven Snyder. Dr. Snyder is currently Vice President, Exhibit and Program Development at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Most recently, Dr. Snyder has been responsible for strategic planning at The Franklin Institute, driving the development of a new strategic plan leveraging the organization's unique assets and position to redefine its relationship with its visitors, supporters and community. He also redefined expectations at this mature institution in order to create a more innovative and forward-looking staff, resulting in stabilization of earned revenue program performance and internal institutional capacity. As part of a recent major renovation, he redefined more than 80,000 square feet of existing exhibitry, theaters and public programs, and improved educational impact, average yearly visitation and financial stability. In the late 90's at The Kansas City Museum/Science City, he opened a 65,000-square-foot science center amidst the restoration of the second-largest train station in the United States while maintaining programming and operations of that regional history museum.

Celebrate the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center's 40th Anniversary Year With Us!
Forty years ago, a spark ignited our imaginations! March 9, 2013, kicked off a year-long celebration of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and its 40 years of success in bringing hands-on science to our San Diego community. In 1973, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center opened its doors and brought interactive exhibits and the world's first IMAX® Dome Theater to San Diego. Today, the Fleet inspires minds and connects individuals to science and technology through more than 100 "do touch" exhibits for all ages and amazing IMAX films and planetarium shows in the recently renovated Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. Enjoy our year-long celebration, featuring a blockbuster exhibition, incredible events and dynamic educational experiences.

About the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center ("the Fleet") is home to Southern California's only Giant Dome Theater and 100+ hands-on science exhibits for all ages. Watch immersive giant-screen films in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, which reopened in 2012 after extensive renovations. Our theater is extraordinary in many ways. It is the world's first IMAX® Dome Theater, the world's first NanoSeamTM Dome screen in an IMAX theater, and it offers two unique experiences in one space: IMAX films and planetarium shows. The Heikoff Giant Dome Theater boasts a 76-foot tilted Dome screen and a 16,000-watt digital surround sound system, providing a stunning visual and audio experience. Experience eight galleries of fun, interactive exhibits, including major traveling exhibitions. A hurricane simulator thrills visitors with gusts of wind up to 80 miles per hour. Enjoy sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in Galileo's Café. Find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store. Located at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet Science Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology. For information regarding current admission prices, please call (619) 238-1233 or visit our website at

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