Celebrate the leopard shark and other local marine life during SHARK SUMMER this July and August.


Meet the Locals: Shark Summer 2013

July 1 - August 24

View Photos Go gills-over-tail crazy for La Jolla's legendary leopard sharks and other local marine life during SHARK SUMMER. Celebrate these remarkable animals with a new exhibit, shark-savvy activities, field excursions, and exclusive interactions with Andy Nosal, a leopard shark researcher and Birch Aquarium's new DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology & Conservation.

For a day-by-day list of shark activities, please see our calendar.

EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Onsite Programs

Included with admission

Have you ever had a shark encounter? Here's your opportunity to meet and touch some of our local sharks. Shark-themed activities led by aquarium naturalists and high school summer interns will reveal that sharks are vulnerable and critical members of ocean habitats. See what it takes for a baby leopard shark to grow up, discover how sharks use their teeth the way we use utensils, and learn about the latest shark research from Scripps scientists.

Onsite Programs

Shark Floor Activities
Weekdays: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Shark Encounter Talks
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

Snorkel with the Leopard Sharks

July 14, 21* and 27; August 3*, 17* and 24: 8-10 a.m.
Members: $25, Public: $30

Join 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 live among the kelp, sandy bottom, and rocks. Intermediate swimming ability is required and previous snorkeling experience is recommended. Participants must supply their own gear. Ages 10 + (minors must also be accompanied by a paid adult). Pre-purchase required.

*These programs will be led by Andy Nosal, Birch Aquarium's DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology & Conservation

BUY TICKETS NOW

Shark and Wildlife Kayak Adventure

July 13, 20* and 28; August 4*, 10* & 18: 8-10:30 a.m.
Members: $45, Public: $60

Learn the basics of ocean kayaking while exploring the coastline and calm waters of La Jolla. Birch Aquarium naturalists will team up with guides at Everyday California to highlight the variety of sharks, rays, and other wildlife present. Experience the unique features of La Jolla’s Matlahuayl Marine Reserve and discover why it’s a hot spot for our leopard sharks! Ages 10+ (minors must also be accompanied by a paid adult). Pre-purchase required. Buy tickets through EveryDay California at 858-454-6195.

*These programs will be led by Andy Nosal, Birch Aquarium's DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology & Conservation


Perspectives on Ocean Science Lecture

Shark Conservation: Safeguarding the Future of Our Ocean
Monday, July 8: 6:30-8 p.m.
Members: FREE, Public: $8

Protecting sharks from population decline has never been more important. Join us for a discussion about shark conservation with shark researcher Andy Nosal, Birch Aquarium's DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology & Conservation. Learn about threats such as overfishing, finning, and negative public perception facing these essential marine predators.

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Manta Rays: Majestic & Threatened Icons

Monday, August, 5: 6:30-8 p.m.
Members: FREE, Public: $8

Manta rays are one of the most iconic and mysterious creatures in the sea, and they share several similarities with sharks—their elasmobranch cousins—including threats to their survival. Join Josh Stewart, a Scripps Ph.D. student and associate director of The Manta Trust, who will describe the life of manta rays, threats to their populations around the world, and recent conservation successes that provide a ray of hope for this majestic species.

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SEA Days

Sharks Celebration
July 20: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Included with admission

Discover Science, Exploration & Adventure! Did you know that nearly 400 species of sharks swim the world's oceans? Enhance your knowledge of these spectacular fish and their adaptations through hands-on activities. Meet local sharks and the Scripps scientists studying them to learn what you can do to help protect these important predators.


Summer Camp: Shark Encounters

For grades 4-6
July 1-3*, July 15-19, July 22-26 and Aug. 19-23
Members: $230 Public: $255 per week (*July 1-3 is prorated)

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 encountering and investigating 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.

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NEW EXHIBIT: ELASMOBEACH

Included with admission

Meet La Jolla's legendary leopard sharks and other species of elasmobranchs that make their home in our local waters. We've transformed our 13,000-gallon Shark Reef into a showcase of sharks, rays, and other marine life that live close to shore. Discover why these sharks are critical to the ocean's health and why the area off La Jolla Shores is so important to them. Visit the aquarium at feeding times—Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.—to see these remarkable animals in action.

 

ADOPT-A-FISH: LEOPARD SHARK & PLUSH

July 1-Aug. 31: $35 per adoption

Help keep Birch Aquarium at Scripps's leopard sharks thriving and support our conservation efforts by adopting one this summer. Your $35 adoption package includes a plush leopard shark, personalized adoption certificate, and Fun Fish Facts. Adopt onsite only.
Note: Plush shark cannot be shipped; pick-up required.

 

AERIAL SURVEYS OF LA JOLLA SHORES

La Jolla Shores Research Balloon
Dates will vary.

Look to the skies above La Jolla Shores this summer and you may see a 7-foot-wide research balloon hovering in the air. Andy Nosal, Birch Aquarium's DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology and Conservation, and his science team will be conducting aerial surveys of the local leopard shark population, which congregates in La Jolla every summer and plays a key role in the local ecology. Knowledge generated through Andy's research has important implications for local conservation efforts.

ABOUT DR. ANDY NOSAL

Andy Nosal, Ph.D., is Birch Aquarium's DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology & Conservation. A marine biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Andy will spend the next three years working with Birch Aquarium and sharing his scientific discoveries with aquarium visitors. He specializes in shark ecology, with a particular focus on La Jolla's population of leopard sharks. Knowledge generated through Andy's research has important implications for local conservation efforts. His fellowship at Birch Aquarium is named in honor of the late David DeLaCour, a shark enthusiast who left a transformational gift to the aquarium upon his death in 2010.

Degrees:
Ph.D. in Marine Biology (2013)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California - San Diego

B.S. in Biology with Specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation (2007)
University of Virginia

Ongoing Studies:
Social and non-social forces governing aggregation behavior in the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata).
Collaborators: P. Hastings (SIO, UCSD), I. Couzin (Princeton)

Mechanisms enabling navigation and homing in the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). Collaborators: P. Hastings (SIO, UCSD)

Circadian rhythms and biological clocks in the swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) and horn shark (Heterodontus francisci). Collaborators: P. Hastings (SIO,UCSD)

Population structure of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). Collaborators: R. Burton and A. Barker (SIO,UCSD), E. Lewallen (U. Toronto — Scarborough)

Psychology of fear and willingness to conserve sharks. Collaborators: E. Keenan and A. Gneezy (Rady School of Management, UCSD)

Recent Publications:
Nosal AP, Cartamil DC, Long JW, Luhrmann M, Wegner NC, Graham JB (in press). Demography and movement patterns of leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) aggregating near the head of a submarine canyon along the open coast of southern California, USA. Environmental Biology of Fishes. DOI: 10.1007/s10641-012-0083-5

Nosal AP, Lewallen EA, Burton RS (in review). Multiple paternity in leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) litters from a predominantly female aggregation in La Jolla, CA, USA. Revised manuscript resubmitted to the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Nosal AP, Royer MA, Caillat A, Kisfaludy E, Wegner NC, Hastings PA (in review). Long-term daily and seasonal variation in leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) abundance at two aggregation sites along the open coast of southern California, USA. Manuscript submitted to Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Recent Presentations:
Nosal AP, et al. (2012). Low incidence of multiple paternity in leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) sampled from a predominantly female aggregation. Oral paper presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, World Congress of Herpetology, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Nosal AP (2012). Local legends: the leopard sharks of La Jolla Shores. Invited oral presentation at the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Sciences Lecture Series, Birch Aquarium, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Nosal AP, et al. (2011). Aggregation behavior of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) at the head of La Jolla Submarine Canyon, La Jolla, California, USA. Oral paper presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society, Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Minneapolis, MN, USA. *Samuel H. Gruber Award for Best Student Oral Paper

Nosal AP, et al. (2011). Aggregation behavior of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) associated with the head of La Jolla Submarine Canyon, La Jolla, California, USA. Oral paper presented at the First International Conference on Fish Telemetry, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. *Award for Best Student Oral Paper

Nosal AP, et al. (2010). Movement patterns of the leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) along the open coast of San Diego County, California. Oral paper presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Elasmobranch Society, Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Providence, RI, USA.