SPOTTED: Leopard Sharks at Birch Aquarium at Scripps


Join Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, as we dedicate the month of July to one of our favorite locals - the leopard shark! Thousands of these amazing sharks congregate every year near La Jolla Shores. Celebrate the leopard shark all month long with special activities, lectures, underwater excursions and exclusive interactions with Scripps Oceanography Ph.D. graduate student Andy Nosal, who studies these animals.

Visit our website for a full schedule of activities.

Leopard-Shark Focused Dive Shows
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 12:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m., Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Learn about leopard sharks as you watch them glide through our 70,000-gallon kelp forest tank during these 20-minute interactive dive shows. Listen as dynamic presenters, one of whom is diving in the tank, discuss the unique world of kelp forests, where leopard sharks reside. Included with admission.

Google+ Hangout with Leopard Shark Pups
July 2: 11 a.m.

Join our Google+ Hangout - a live video chat on Google's new social networking platform - with Scripps leopard shark researcher Andy Nosal. We'll be chatting live from Nosal's leopard shark lab at Scripps Oceanography, where he studies leopard pups and their moms. Anyone can watch live, but a few fans will have the opportunity to ask Nosal questions directly. Leave a comment on our Google+ Page if you'd like the chance to interact with a shark scientist.

Talk with a Shark Scientist
Mondays: July 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
Fridays: July 6, 20 & 27
11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Visit with scientists from Andy Nosal's lab, see some of their newest pups and learn what it's like growing up as a leopard shark. At 11 a.m. on July 16 and July 20, we'll Skype live with Nosal from his shark lab at Scripps Oceanography. Included with admission.

Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture
Local Legends: The Leopard Sharks of La Jolla Shores

July 9: 6:30-8 p.m.

Summertime in San Diego means the return of leopard sharks to La Jolla Shores. Contrary to popular belief, these sharks - 97% of which are pregnant females - are not giving birth or mating during their stay. Join Scripps shark researcher Andy Nosal to find out what scientists really think is going on. Discover what gadgets Nosal uses to track the sharks and learn what makes La Jolla the animals' preferred hang out. Find out why this shark population is particularly vulnerable and how the local no-take marine reserve protects it.
Cost: $8 per person
RSVP requested: 858-534-5771 or online.

Snorkel with the Leopard Sharks
July 14 & 22: 8-10 a.m.

Dive in with aquarium naturalists and visit leopard sharks in their underwater home off the La Jolla coast. Pick up snorkel tips as you discover the abundant variety of animals that make their homes among the kelp, sandy bottom and rocks. Intermediate swimming ability is required and previous snorkeling experience is recommended. Participants must supply their own gear.
Cost: $30 per person
Ages: 10+ (minors must also be accompanied by a paid adult)
RSVP required: 858-534-7336 or online.

SEA Days: Sharks around the Globe
July 21: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Discover Science, Exploration & Adventure! Did you know that more than 370 species of sharks swim the world's oceans? Enhance your knowledge of these spectacular fish and their amazing adaptations through hands-on activities. Meet Scripps scientists studying sharks and learn what you can do to help protect these important predators. Included with admission.

Summer Camp: Shark Encounters
For grades 4-6
July 9-13, July 23-27 & Aug. 20-24
1-4 p.m.

Explore the ocean from top to bottom during our accredited Summer Learning Adventure Camps. Campers in grades 4-6 can become shark experts as they spend the week investigating and encountering a variety of sharks. They'll learn about shark biology, behavior and conservation through observation and hands-on activities. Campers can snorkel with local sharks and meet Scripps Oceanography shark researchers.
Cost: $255
RSVP required: 858-534-7336 or online.

About Andy Nosal
Andy Nosal is Ph.D. graduate student in marine biology at Scripps Oceanography. His research focuses on various aspects of leopard shark behavior and reproduction, with a special emphasis on understanding the causes and biological implications of the leopard shark aggregation that forms along La Jolla Shores throughout the year.

In 2007, Nosal graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in biology with a specialization in environmental and biological conservation. During that time, he also completed coursework at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, including fieldwork on the Great Barrier Reef. In 2008, Nosal interned with Oceana South America under the auspices of a fellowship awarded by the National Science Foundation and Scripps' Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation to investigate shark finning in the artisanal shark fishery of Chile. Nosal partners with Birch Aquarium at Scripps to conduct outreach activities that promote shark conservation and improve public education in marine science.

About Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, Earth and ocean science. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Birch Aquarium has an annual attendance of more than 405,000, including 42,000 school children.

Sign Up For
Explorations Now

explorations now is the free award-winning digital science magazine from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Join subscribers from around the world and keep up on our cutting-edge research.