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After Dark: Beneath the Bay


San Francisco Bay is a dynamic, active system that supports all sorts of ocean organisms. Dive below the surface at tonight’s After Dark and see what’s living underneath. Meet the algae and creatures that live underneath our data collection buoy during this once-a-year dry-docking. Find out what historical records of ocean data tell us about the health of the planet, learn about the possibilities of restoring underwater ecosystems, and even take home your own pressed sample of kelp!

On loan to us from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), our carbon dioxide (CO2)  buoy has been anchored between Piers 15 and 17 since April 2013, collecting data on water temperature, salinity, and CO2  levels in the atmosphere and in San Francisco Bay.

Ocean Record Keepers
With Dr. Emily Miller

7:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3, Phyllis Wattis Studio

How can dried seaweed help ocean conservation efforts? To understand the future of the ocean requires an understanding of the past. To date, historical data has been largely limited to instrument records and observations that begin around 1950. Research technician Emily Miller shares how kelp and other marine algae from herbaria repositories, and the female scientists who collected them, are helping extend historical records all the way back to 1878.  With this data, Emily offers a new perspective on upwelling cycles and documents these patterns to help understand the shifts in the foundation of the food web of Monterey Bay.

Kelp Need Help!
With Francesca Koe

8:30 p.m.
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

Scientists and divers have noticed North Coast kelp ecosystem collapse over the last few years. Learn how community science projects banded together to help the forests recover through urchin removal and how they support the kelp forests through monitoring and taking an active role in their restoration.

Algae Pressing
With Sue Lisin

6:30�"8:00 p.m.
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6

Start your own algae herbarium with this make-and-take activity. Using algae samples taken from the underside of our buoy and some professional plant preservation supplies�"we’ll provide them!�"you can press and preserve your own piece of seaweed.

Plankton Drag Demo
With the Explainers

Look into the sea by gathering the ocean drifts with a net. See the charismatic and beautiful life under the microscope.  

6:00�"10:00 p.m.

Gallery 5

Check out the underside of our NOAA buoy during its once-a-year cleaning and maintenance window on the deck of our outdoor gallery.

Thursday, 08/19/21


Website: Click to Visit


$19.95, Free for members

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Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: (415) 528-4444
Website: Click to Visit