The Start of Something Great


For Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, there’s much to celebrate even after the holidays. The campus’ highly anticipated Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society, and the Environment, also known as the Scripps Seaside Forum, is set for completion at the beginning of March.

The new forum is a cutting-edge teaching and conference center located just south of the Scripps Pier overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It will make Scripps the epicenter for bringing together the brightest minds to tackle some of the greatest scientific challenges faced today.

“It truly is an ocean retreat,” said Cammie Ingram, director of Scripps Capital Programs and Space. “People can come to learn, interact, and relax while still being part of the everyday life of the Scripps campus.”

The Scripps Seaside Forum was built on the former site of the Scripps Machine Shop and Surfside student center to accommodate the growing number of scientific conferences and events Scripps hosts each year and to provide the very latest in audio-visual technology. Currently the only auditorium on campus is Sumner Auditorium, built in 1960, which has limited space and lacks the equipment to meet the needs of modern scientific meetings.

The building includes modern touches such as a high definition and 3-D projection system as well as user-friendly touch screens that will control all aspects of the A-V system, including projection equipment, sound systems, wireless microphones, lighting, and curtains. Four adjoining meeting rooms also feature touch-panel controls and are each equipped with HD flat-panel screens and wireless digital networks.

Aside from technological advancements, the Scripps Seaside Forum is also an example of UC San Diego’s commitment to sustainability. The entire facility is designed with energy efficiency in mind, landscaping consists of drought-tolerant vegetation, carpet is made from recycled material, and all of the teak used on the interior and exterior is plantation-grown. The university is obtaining a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the building.

“This facility is the showroom for not only Scripps, but for UC San Diego and La Jolla,” said Ingram.

Graduate students also have reason to rejoice: they will be able to enjoy their new and improved oceanfront retreat, the Revelle Family Student Center. A significant upgrade in structure and convenience from the old Surfside, this new hangout located at the southern end of the complex will be run entirely by graduate students and should be ready for its inaugural TGIF party in late February. The traditional weekly Scripps get-together had taken place at Surfside since the 1960s.

The new state-of-the-art facility will host a soft opening with a donor preview event on Jan. 31. This will be an opportunity for members of the Scripps family along with other donors whose private gifts were responsible for almost all the funding to complete the building to enjoy the facility and have an intimate tour. The Roger Revelle 100th birthday celebration events, which will honor the former Scripps director March 5 through March 7, will mark the facility’s official opening.

-- Caitlin Denham

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.