Monterey Bay Aquarium volunteer guide scheduling analysis
Baxa, Philip S.
Mansager, Bard K.
Borges, Carlos F.
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The Monterey Bay Aquarium was founded in 1984 and hosts nearly two million visitors each year. In addition to the paid staff, there are over 1,000 volunteers who are critical to Aquarium operations. One set of volunteers comprises the guides who rotate to different stations throughout the Aquarium during their shift to interpret the various exhibits. No formal analysis has been previously completed to optimize guide scheduling based on existing constraints. Currently, the guide schedule is manually generated; however, last minute no-shows or drop-ins often prevent an optimal schedule from being generated. This thesis established target staffing levels for each shift based on requirements developed by the guide program managers. Additionally, this thesis seeks to optimize the guides’ scheduled rotation during their shift. While the guide program managers have done an excellent job using heuristic methods to develop nearly optimal schedules, they have not been able to incorporate methods that minimize the time that is lost by guides transiting from station to station. This thesis analyzed and developed guide schedules that minimize the time spent transiting between stations. The guide schedule was modeled as a multicommodity flow network and solved with linear programing.
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