Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
Mission: To provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps research,and to promote ocean conservation.
Location: 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, Calif.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
$14 Adults 18+
$10 Seniors 60+
$10 College students with I.D.
$9.50 Youth (3-17)
$9 UC San Diego staff, students with I.D.
Free Children 2 & under and members
Group rates (by reservation: 858-534-6691)
*Note: Prices subject to change
Information: 858-534-4109, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://aquarium.ucsd.edu
New Exhibits: Boundless Energy – Get charged up about the future of energy at Boundless Energy, Birch Aquarium’s new interactive exhibit celebrating the innovative ways we can use natural forces to power our lives. Discover how we can harness the renewable energy of the wind, sun and waves to assure a bright future for us all—one with clear skies, clean water, and healthy oceans.
Current Exhibits: There’s Something About Seahorses: Saddle up for a close encounter with the sea’s most captivating creature. See more than a dozen seahorse species and their relatives, visit babies in the special seahorse nursery, investigate what makes the seahorse a fish, and discover Birch Aquarium’s award-winning efforts to conserve this threatened animal.
Feeling the Heat: the Climate Challenge – Explores the scientific facts behind climate change and global warming, highlighting Scripps’ half century of climate research.
Major Exhibits: Hall of Fishes – Features more than 60 tanks of Pacific fishes and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. The largest habitat is a two-story 70,000-gallon kelp forest. Watch it live at http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/Education/Learning_Resources/Kelp_Cam/
Shark Reef – 13,000-gallon tank devoted to shark species that inhabit tropical reef habitats, including whitetip and blacktip reef sharks and epaulette sharks. Interpretive panels on shark biology and conservation accompany the reef.
Tide-Pool Plaza—Features three living tide pools where visitors can touch and learn about inhabitants with docents. Windows in the habitats provide up-close views of starfish, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters and other animals local to San Diego’s tide pools. Pools overlook La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean.
“The Legacy”: Gray Whale Sculpture Fountain – Located in front of Birch Aquarium at Scripps, this life-size exhibit features a gray whale family. The 40-foot-tall bronze whale, sculpted by Randy Puckett, offers visitors an immediate sense of scale for these ocean giants. Interpretive panels provide more information about gray whales and their annual migration past our shores. When installed in 1996, the exhibit featured the largest bronze whale in the world.
Live Exhibits: More than 3,000 specimens representing more than 350 species of fishes and invertebrates.
Kelp Forest Dive Show:
12:30 Tuesday, Thursday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 10:30 Sunday
Shark Tank: 10:30 Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
NW Coast Gallery: 10:30 Wednesday
Southern California Gallery: 10:30 Wednesday
Tide Pool: 2:00 Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tropical Reefs: 11:00 Wednesday
Refreshments: Splash! Café offers an array of sustainable, gourmet delights next to the life-sized gray whale fountain. Serves hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, snacks and more. Open 9-4:30 a.m. weekdays, 9-5 weekends. Credit cards accepted.
Souvenirs: The aquarium’s Gift Shop carries a wide selection of informative field guides, books, marine-themed toys, clothing, jewelry, fine art, and more. Open 9:30-5 daily.
Public Programs: Birch Aquarium offers year-round and seasonal programs for all ages.
• Outdoor Adventures: snorkeling, tidepooling, grunion runs, whale watching, pier walks
• Adult Programs: Green Flash concerts, Perspective on Ocean Science lectures, ocean author programs
• Special Events: Spring EGGstravaganza, Haunted Aquarium, SEA Days, Shark Week, birthday parties, Summer Learning Adventure Camps
Social Media: Twitter: @Birch_Aquarium
Google Plus: Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Size: Total Aquarium: 64,157 sq. feet
Interior: 32,657 sq. feet
Tide Pool: 4,500 sq. feet
Outside Patios: 27,000 sq. feet
Operating Basis: Non-profit, self-supporting
Accreditation: Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Grand Opening: Sept. 16, 1992
Cost: $14 million (land donated by UC San Diego)
Attendance: 405,000 + annually
Student Attendance: 40,000+ annually
Staff: 55 employees, 500 volunteers
Access: All exhibits and facilities are accessible to visitors with disabilities.
Recognitions: • Fall 2011: San Diegans voted Birch Aquarium at Scripps as “Best Museum” in the annual 10News.com A-List poll.
• Spring 2011: Birch Aquarium at Scripps’ Education Department is a recipient of the Diversity Award at UC San Diego.
• Fall 2010, 2009 & 2008: San Diegans voted Birch Aquarium at Scripps as a Top 3 Local Museum in the annual 10News.com A-List poll.
• Winter 2010: For the second year in a row, San Diegans who participated in Museum Month visited Birch Aquarium at Scripps more than any other local museum.
• Fall 2009: San Diego City Beat recognized Birch Aquarium at Scripps as San Diego’s “Best Place to Admire Sea Life Without Getting Wet.” Also, San Diegans voted Birch Aquarium at Scripps as the second-best Local Museum in the annual 10News.com A-List poll.
• Winter 2008: Executive Director Nigella Hillgarth is recognized as a 2009 Metro Mover to Watch by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine.
• Spring 2008: Birch Aquarium at Scripps is named San Diego’s Best Children’s Activity Center or Museum in Ranch & Coast magazine’s third-annual “Readers’ Choice: Best of 2008″ survey
• Fall 2007: Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge exhibition is named the Silver winner in museum design for the 2007 Event Design Awards.
- Research Highlight: Concentrations of Garbage Patch Plastic Estimated665 views
- Around the Pier: Scripps Postdocs Train as Cruise Chief Scientists529 views
- Research Highlight: Rising Ocean Acidification Leads to Anxiety in Fish481 views
- Research Highlight: A Peek into Nature’s Glowing Slime337 views
- Around the Pier: Ocean Drilling Support Office Honors Scripps Legacy335 views