On Tuesday, January 6th, the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in beautiful La Jolla, CA hosted a screening of Island of the Great White Shark. At the conclusion of the film I had the opportunity to discuss the film with the standing room only audience. The pressing issue of conservation and the value of eco-tourism were discussed along with the importance of understanding the shark's role in maintaining a balanced marine ecology.
My sincere thanks to the Birch Aquarium and its staff for promoting and managing what turned out to be a very successful evening (a special thanks to Lydia Cobb, Marketing Manager and Jessica Crawford, Communications Specialist). After a series of media interviews arranged by the Aquarium, the day of the event arrived and I was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium and had a chance to sit down and discuss shark research with several of Scripps' top shark research grad students. It was very encouraging to hear about their efforts to learn more about these amazing animals so that we can take the proper steps to ensure their survival.
The Birch Aquarium plays a unique and vital role as a conduit through which the Scripps Institution of Oceanography can enlighten the public to many of the important marine issues being studied by this world renowned research organization - from climate change to marine wildlife conservation. The institution was established in 1903 and became a part of the University of California, San Diego a few years later. With a fleet of research vessels and state-of-the-art research facilities, the institution is one of the leaders in its field and has produced generations of accomplished research scientists and educators across a wide range of oceanographic disciplines.
Again, my thanks to the Birch Aquarium. If you are traveling in the San Diego area, carve out a few hours and stop by for a visit. It will be time well spent.