Spring is the season best known for flowers and April showers, but it’s also the time of year when high school seniors and community college transfer students must decide which college to attend. While some admitted students already have a top college in mind, others are faced with making a tough decision.
For this reason, UC San Diego invites all newly admitted students and their families to attend Triton Day and Transfer Triton Day, two annual events that showcase the university’s vibrant community and beautiful campus.
On April 4, hundreds of UC San Diego staff and volunteers welcomed more than 15,000 admitted students and their families to Triton Day 2015. The day-long event provided students and visitors with the opportunity to explore UC San Diego’s campus, undergraduate colleges, academic departments, student services, student organizations, and other resources.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego had a noticeable presence during Triton Day, with four information booths located in Town Square representing Scripps Education, Scripps Science, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and Scripps Communications, which offered education info, games, and fun photo opportunities.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps educators and volunteers engaged the general public with hands-on science highlighting the kelp forest habitat. Guests were able to touch seaweed and examine the shells of kelp forest natives. They also learned why seaweed is important to both animals and humans.
Scripps graduate student Yassir Eddebbar demonstrated Scripps climate science in action at the Scripps Science booth, where he connected with the public, shared his passion for science with the outside world, and practiced science communication with a diverse and enthusiastic audience.
“It’s a very rewarding experience to interact with young students and encourage them down a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) path, especially those from minority groups who may be interested in earth and ocean sciences but may identify with other fields or career paths because of socioeconomic circumstances,” said Eddebbar, a fourth-year PhD student in the Climate-Ocean-Atmosphere Program at Scripps.
Eddebbar grew up in Rabat, Morocco, and was drawn to Scripps for the opportunity to work in the world-renowned Atmospheric Oxygen Research Group (Scripps CO2 Program), where he now works with Scripps geochemist Ralph Keeling.
Keeling is continuing the work of his father, the late Scripps geochemist Charles David Keeling, who in 1958 began a daily record of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at Mauna Loa, a measurement now famously known as the Keeling Curve.
“The combination of cutting-edge research, world experts as faculty and mentors, rich history in oceanography and climate science, a pristine ocean setting, and the collegial atmosphere here at Scripps and UC San Diego is unparalleled anywhere else,” said Eddebbar.
Throughout Triton Day, Eddebbar entertained and educated passers-by with live demonstrations of Keeling Curve data collection and other research conducted by the Scripps CO2 Group. The first demonstration measured CO2 concentrations from human breath as an analog for the observed seasonal cycle in the Keeling Curve. Eddebbar also demonstrated how atmospheric air is sampled throughout the Scripps Atmospheric Observations Network by opening vacuumed glass flasks to analyze at a later time in the lab.
“Doing the science demos, seeing the expressions on students’ faces, and hearing the ‘aaaahhhs’ when they connected the dots was priceless,” said Eddebbar. He is already looking forward to participating in future outreach events.
In addition to the information fair, prospective Tritons had other opportunities to learn more about Scripps and its program offerings.
Jane Teranes, vice-chair of the undergraduate program at Scripps, presented an academic session for prospective students titled, “Marine Biology, Earth Science, and Undergraduate Opportunities at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.”
Following the academic talk, Scripps undergraduate advisor Joshua Reeves led a group of students on a tour of the oceanfront Scripps campus, the Scripps Pier, and the Experimental Aquarium at Hubbs Hall, a research facility used by many Scripps students.
Triton Day festivities concluded with Triton Fest, a two-hour event held on the UCSD Sun God Lawn featuring live entertainment, food, music, and fun.
UC San Diego and Scripps staff and volunteers are now gearing up for Transfer Triton Day on Saturday, May 9. This event will mirror Triton Day, but it’s specifically targeted toward transfer students and their families. We hope to meet you there!