Scientist & Industry Collaborations

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and Southwest Fisheries Science Center

In creating the session, Hurricanes, Properties of Water, and Global Changes, students explored climate data and the science behind why tropical storm Hilary was, for a time, headed toward Southern California. We reached out to scientists at NOAA and Scripps to learn more about this warm water phenomenon and how satellite data has found similar anomalies in the Sea Surface Temperatures off the West Coast since 2014. Through collaborations with Dr. Andrew Leising (NOAA), students in our programs examined the recent Marine Heat Wave, and the implications of this warm water "blob" to not only habitats but also future weather systems.  Marine Heat Wave Tracker

WSP - Toxicology and Aquatic Sciences Group, San Diego

We are so appreciative of Chris Stransky and his team (Riley, Alexi, and Hannah) at a local division of WSP headed by Chris Stransky in San Diego. We have been partnering with this amazing group of scientists for years to help collect and provide life support, with a chilled saltwater system, to these beautiful living organisms. Providing students opportunities to handle and engage with living purple sea urchins, turban snails, brittle stars, hermit crabs, kelp crabs, and more is an important component of many of our marine science programs, including our Kelp Forest Habitat and Resource Management session and our Rocky Intertidal Habitat and MPA sessions. Thank you for your partnership! 

Dr. Mike Latz - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Dr. Latz's research involves the bioluminescence of dinoflagellates. These microscopic organisms are amazing in their ability to produce light through a chemical reaction. In various lessons ranging from topics in chemistry, botany, and behavior we have brought these bioluminescent dinoflagellates from Dr. Latz's lab to classrooms for students to investigate. When these algal blooms occur in our area it can be stunning to see in the waves at night. These tiny phytoplankton are an amazing example of how much we have to learn about how organisms survive in a habitat.  

Scripps Geological Coring Lab

Accurate climate data only dates back to the late 1880s, so proxy data is incredibly important to further our understanding of Earth's climate history. We are proud to have been partnered with the Scripps Geological Coring Lab, and the Collections Manager Alex Hangsterfer, to bring in authentic ocean sediment cores, microfossils, sieving tools, and more to students in our programs. The Scripps Coring Lab has one of the most extensive collections of ocean floor sediment cores in the world. These cores are used to look at the climate of the past by examining the composition of the sediment, involving chemistry, paleontology, geology, and biology. For example, if a sample of fossil foraminifera contains many living species, the present-day distribution of those species can be used to infer the environment there when the fossils were alive.  

San Diego Tuna Dockside Market and Catalina Offshore Market

San Diego is home to an amazing commercial fishing community that values and protects our local resources. The fishermen/women at the San Diego Tuna Dock and Catalina Offshore Products sell their local and sustainably harvested seafood to the public.

Partnering with the local fishing community, SDYS brought living invertebrates from the San Diego kelp forest habitat to over 70 classrooms of students during the 2022-2023 school year alone. Student research teams examined and measured purple sea urchins, wavy top turban snails, rock crabs, abalone, and more to learn about the amazing local resources found directly offshore. Learning about the complex nature of the kelp forest, as well as the intended and unintended impact of humans, students grow their understanding of the importance of resource management in a habitat.