Art & Science Soirées

The Art & Science Soirées are fantastic events for adults to hear from world-renowned scientists, view — and create — ocean-themed artwork, learn about the amazing wildlife in Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, and mingle with fellow ocean enthusiasts! The Art & Science Soirées are hosted by Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries and Greater Farallones Association.


Purple and brown colored tuxedo urchin on the seafloor. Photo Credit: Rich Mooi/California Academy of Sciences.

Sea Urchin Soirée

From burrowing heart urchins to otherworldly deep-sea urchins, these animals have fascinating stories to tell about evolution, deep time, and habitat connectivity that will inspire us to protect the health of our local coastal waters.

Saturday, March 18, 2023, 7-9:30 pmJoin Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries and Greater Farallones Association for an adult evening of sea urchin science and art, beginning with a reception that includes print making, science stations, multimedia projections and a no host bar. At 8pm, Rich Mooi, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology at California Academy of Sciences will share his findings on sea urchins, whose diversity in time and space tell us about biodiversity, adaptation, global change, and the origins of evolutionary novelties that continue to surprise and delight.

Tickets: $20

Location: San Francisco Zoo, 2945 Sloat Blvd., San Francisco

Recommended for ages 16+.

Public transit or ridesharing encouraged. Free parking available.

Questions? Contact

Registration required.

Sea Urchin Soiree March 2023 Poster

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Past Soirées

Deep sea corals and fish

Virtual Deep Sea Soirée

November 2021Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, Greater Farallones Association, and partners, took attendees on a virtual dive into the secret lives of sponges and understanding ancient animals at their own pace. Deep sea researcher Dr. Amanda Kahn of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and San Jose State University shared her latest findings on the secret lives of sponges. Guests learned about the vast reefs and gardens of sponges that form the foundation of unique communities in the deep ocean, and how sponges move without muscles and create bridges between animal food webs and the microbial realm!

3 humpback whales swimming. Photo: Ed Lyman/NOAA Fisheries. Permit 14682-38079

Virtual Humpback Whale Soirée

November 2020The study of animal communication challenges our ideas of intelligence and informs the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Among the most fascinating and sophisticated of vocalizations are the songs and sounds of humpback whales. Laurance Doyle, Ph.D, Research Scientist with SETI Institute, will share his studies of humpbacks to understand the communications that exist throughout Planet Earth and beyond, at the 7:30 pm lecture.

Seaweed soiree décor and guests

Seaweed Soirée

November 2019Learn about the secret lives of seaweeds and kelp forests from Dr. Karina Nielsen, Director of Estuary Ocean Science Center and Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University. Enjoy the fine art photography and research of artist and author Josie Iselin, whose work on marine algae explores the space where art and science converge. Farallones Kelp Recovery Coordinator Rietta Hohman will close the evening with a Q&A to discuss the efforts to address the decline of bull kelp forests along our coast.

Albatross Soiree guests with a model albatross

Albatross Soirée

April 2019Albatrosses – our planet’s largest seabirds – soar across vast ocean basins, returning to land only to nest on remote islands. Breck Tyler, researcher with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, has spent three decades living among these aerodynamic marvels. Learn from his intimate knowledge of their lifestyles, lovestyles, biology and conservation during his 8 pm lecture.

Salmon artwork by Ray Troll

Salmon Soirée

November 2018Salmon is “king” among California fish. Explore our “Salmon-scape” in a journey from high mountain streams to the deep blue sea. Enjoy science, crafts and seafood “bites.” Mix, mingle, and learn, while taking in stunning night views of the city at the newly renovated Randall Museum. NOAA Fisheries scientists, Dr. Sarah Mesnick, Ecologist and Dr. Thomas Williams, Research Biologist will share the latest research. Enlivening our Q&A will be 25 Lusk’s Executive Chef Matthew Dolan, Fisherman Mike Hudson, Artist Ray Troll (artwork pictured here), Dr. Kevin Rider and Executive Director of Institute for Fisheries Resources Noah Oppenheim. Signings by Ray Troll, Matthew Dolan and Squidtoons author Garfield Kwan.

Extreme Sea Life soiree model giant squid

Extreme Sea Life Soirée

November 2017Which are the ocean’s fastest, deepest, hottest, coldest, or oldest creatures? The deep-sea stoplight fish uses red searchlights to find prey that only it can see. Icefish create special anti-freeze to keep their blood flowing; you’ll find it in your ice cream! Dr. Stephen Palumbi, Stanford Professor of Biology, takes biodiversity to the absolute limit as he reveals some of the ocean’s most startling secrets.

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