About Us

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Birch Aquarium features the groundbreaking work of Scripps Oceanography and UC San Diego scientists as well as conservation breeding programs and interactive exhibits. Birch Aquarium’s mission is to connect understanding to protecting our ocean planet, which it achieves through engaging hands-on learning opportunities for more than 500,000 guests and 40,000-plus pre-K-12 students each year. 

Our Mission and Values

At Birch Aquarium we connect understanding to protecting our ocean planet.

Engage, Inspire, Empower

We engage people in active exploration, inspiring awe, curiosity, wonder, love for nature and diversity of life, and hope for the future. We inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to ask questions and explore with Scripps Oceanography scientists at the forefront of discovery. We empower action for a healthy planet.

Community and Collaboration

We celebrate our unique place, our history, our present and future within world-class Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Diego, and our dynamic and diverse region. We work with colleagues, partners, and communities with integrity and a spirit of inclusiveness, striving for mission impact.


We build and maintain an organization that is both financially and environmentally sustainable. We channel all net revenue toward mission impact, with our mission focused on local and global sustainability.

Innovation and Play

We push beyond current practices to achieve greater impact. We commit to excellence, creative exploration, research and continuous learning. We explore and play with phenomena, nature, science, art and technology. We embrace play, social learning, the wow of reality and the power of imagination.

Our History

Generations of visitors have discovered the ocean world through the exhibits and educational programs at the aquarium-museum associated for more than a century with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Today, more than 500,000 guests visit Birch Aquarium at Scripps each year.

Families walk through a vintage aquarium in this black and white photo.

Our People

Leadership, educators, staff and volunteers are the backbone of the Aquarium. 

Climate Action

At Birch Aquarium we believe that the choices we make together can have a profound impact on the future of our ocean planet.  To protect ocean animals, we need to protect their habitats and the ocean ecosystem, which also protects us and our community from the effects of climate change which range from habitat loss for plants and animals to human health impacts, wildfires and extreme weather conditions.

Learn More about our Climate Action work

View Scripps Oceanography’s Climate Change Resources

Overview of Birch Aquarium overlooking La Jolla Cove as the sun sets.

Get Involved


We connect people with each other, with nature, with science, and with a shared sense of purpose to care for our amazing one-and-only planet Earth.

Search for Aquarium jobs


Our volunteers shape the experience of guests from around the world. They facilitate discovery about the habitats and creatures of our blue planet.

Apply to volunteer

Contact Us

Our Guest Services team is happy to answer any questions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

TELEPHONE: (858) 534-3474    

2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

9500 Gilman Drive, #0207, La Jolla CA 92093-0207