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Birch Aquarium at Scripps Imagineers



Prospective Students

All majors are welcome, but we are specifically looking for Visual Arts, ICAM, MAE, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science/Data Science, English and Communications majors.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to connect Birch Aquarium visitors to world-renowned research conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In particular, we seek to design and create aquarium exhibits that interpret oceanographic research projects into interactive and/or immersive experiences that can captivate and educate visitors of all ages.


Previous Exhibit Ideas

Ocean Curtain Data Wall

A captivating round room with walls of water that break apart opening a path for visitors to enter and exit. The beautiful data from the SeaCycler will be projected onto the walls of water.

Deep Ocean Playground

Children can climb and explore a vertical playground that showcases different elevations of the ocean. Parents can relax below and observe their children, aquarium windows, or a functional SeaCycler model.

Cartesian Diver SeaCyclist

A large tank with a mechanism to increase and decrease pressure within, to move a SeaCycler replica and a model diver up and down.

Doorway to Data

Walk on a path through a room of hanging string lights that shimmer colorfully according to SeaCycler data or deep-sea mixing.

Birch Buddies Scavenger Hunt

An interactive scavenger hunt for children, aka the “Birch Buddies”, giving them their own mission to collect environmental data from various points in the aquarium.

Ocean Current Sandbox

Sandbox with realtime rendering of topography, ocean levels, and currents.

Current Project Status

Ideation and prototyping on a Mist Wall exhibit to be placed in Sargon Courtyard

Previous Projects

  • Wifi-enabled digital exhibit signs
  • Motion-controlled holographic globe
  • RFID tag ticket tracking system
  • Augmented reality viewing window


  • Create a storyline and avatar to tell the story of the Seacycler
  • Develop paper prototypes of a Mist or Fog wall exhibit
  • Ideate interactive experiences to combine the storyline and exhibit 

Community Partners

  • Birch Aquarium - Their mission is to provide ocean science education, interpret Scripps Oceanography research, and promote ocean conservation.
  • The Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Their mission is to seek, teach, and communicate scientific understanding of the oceans, atmosphere, Earth, and other planets for the benefit of society and the environment.

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Hortense Gerardo

Graduate Advisor

Jacob Hohn

Team Members

  • Alex Malvaez: Team Lead, Storytelling
  • Nicholas Chua: Liasion, Prototyping
  • Mon Morera: Prototyping
  • Ally Wang: Storytelling

Previous Team Members

  • Audrey Goo
  • Breno Madi De Biasi
  • Jonathan Song
  • Lovpreet Hansra
  • Shauna Sapper
  • Peggy Tran
  • Whitney Tsai
  • Youngju Yun
  • Peyman Jahon
  • Darren Jian
  • Huy Tran
  • Matis Lee
  • Odin