Education and Outreach

A crinoid and deep-sea corals observed on a research expedition off Costa Rica.
A crinoid and deep-sea corals observed on a research expedition off Costa Rica. Image credit: ROV SuBastian/Schmidt Ocean Institute.


SIO-BIC materials are widely used in teaching at UCSD, including the following undergraduate, graduate, and community courses:

  • SIO 87: Perspectives in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
  • SIO 104/SIOG255: Paleobiology and History of Life
  • SIO 126: Marine Microbiology
  • SIO 131: Parasitology
  • SIO 184: Marine Invertebrates
  • SIO 290: Marine Biology
  • SIO 295S: Introduction to Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Seminar
  • UCSD Academic Connections (high school)
  • UCSD Extension School (community)

Classes from other universities, colleges, K-12 institutions, and educational programs also regularly visit the collection, borrow specimens, and host SIO-BIC staff members for off-campus lectures and classroom visits.


Birch Aquarium

The Scripps Oceanographic Collections partnered with Birch Aquarium to launch the comic-inspired exhibit Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections. Featuring preserved specimens, infographics about the collections, cosplay, and interpretive stations led by Birch educators, Oddities highlights the superpower-like adaptations of real marine life and the importance of the Scripps collections.

Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections.


SIO-BIC specimens are also featured in the Expedition! gallery and at Birch Aquarium special events such as Cephalopod Celebration and the Haunted Aquarium.

Birch Aquarium summer campers and educators frequently visit the collection for tours.

SIO-BIC staff are proud to participate in public educational events at Birch Aquarium, such as Exploring Ocean STEM Careers Night and the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture Series.


Public Outreach

SIO-BIC inspires ocean stewardship and public interest in marine science through activities including:

  • Collection tours (by appointment)
  • Presentations and special events
  • Answering requests for information and marine life identification
  • Providing photos and information for educational projects such as iNaturalist and Starry Deep Sea
  • Collaborations with artists, illustrators, and photographers
  • Outreach at sea: livestreamed video, cruise blogs, social media, and Q&A sessions

Outreach from past expeditions:




"Life in Jars" featuring Collection Manager Charlotte Seid


A Scientist's Life in 99 Seconds: Marine Biologist Greg Rouse


 Introduction to the Benthic Invertebrate Collection featuring Curator Greg Rouse