Arts & Entertainment

From time to time, ocean science runs squarely into art, literature, film, and more. From film previews to book signings, these evening activities are a relaxed and informative way to experience ocean and nature-inspired art and media.

Past activities include spectacular photographic shows, film previews, book signings and talks from authors, mixed media work as well as presentations. Join us for formal presentations or informal meet-and-greets with artists and authors throughout the year.

A Perfect Day for an Albatross

Sunday, April 29, 2018
1:30-4 PM

1:30 Presentation – La Feliz Room
2:30 Book and Art Signing – Exhibit Hall
3:00 Book Reading – La Feliz Room
3:30 Art Making Demonstration – Exhibit Hall

Albatrosses spend nearly all of their lives over open ocean, traveling thousands of miles to find food. Instead of flapping their immense wings, they dynamically soar above the sea. This, coupled with their formidable wingspan, grants albatrosses the ability to fly hundreds of miles every day at sustained speeds of 50-60 miles per hour. Their commitment to their mates and care of their young make them an extraordinary species.

Author and artist Caren Loebel-Fried fell in love with albatrosses while spending five weeks on Midway Atoll, where approximately three quarters of the world’s Laysan albatrosses make their nests. She was captivated by this mysterious bird, inspiring her to write the new beautifully illustrated children’s book, A Perfect Day for an Albatross.

Loebel-Fried is here in Santa Cruz from her home in Hawaii for a special afternoon—behind the scenes with this exciting project. The afternoon includes a presentation, book and art signing, book reading, and art making demonstration. She has also re-created the colorful, tradition-style art from the book as a new exhibit, which will open for the first time that Sunday in the Seymour Center.


A New Presentation by
Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom

African elephant at dawn, Chobe National Park, Botswana

© Frans Lanting /

Saturday, January 27, 2018
Two Shows: 3 PM or 7 PM
Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA

Join us for a new presentation by renowned photographer Frans Lanting and his partner, Chris Eckstrom, about the wonders of wild Africa. During many journeys over the past 30 years, they have documented the wildlife and natural heritage of some of the most celebrated landscapes on earth.

INTO AFRICA is based on Frans Lanting’s landmark exhibition of the same name, which was produced as a partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the National Geographic Society, with support from the World Wildlife Fund.

Proceeds from this show will benefit the marine science education and conservation programs of the Seymour Center.

Tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets and in person at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center.

Ticket Prices: Seymour Center member $20 / General Admission $25 / Gold Circle – SOLD OUT

Please be aware there are two shows 3 PM and 7 PM.  Buy tickets to the show you wish to attend. Tickets are not interchangeable between shows. Thank you.

Ocean Sponsors

Jo Lynne and Fred Jones

Coastal Sponsors

David Morrell

Bay Photo

Day One Solar

Quinn Chiropractic

Karon Properties

Plaza Lane Optometry

Santa Cruz County Bank

Film Screening:

Of the Sea: Fishermen, Seafood, and Sustainability

Sunday, December 17, 2017, 2-4 PM

Of The Sea Film

On December 17, the Seymour Center held a special film screening followed by an engaging discussion. The film, Of the Sea, tells the story of five California fishermen and demonstrates how seafood choices can influence ocean sustainability. Today, small scale fishing is a rare and challenging profession, and fewer fishing families remain in the industry. Struggling to revive a fading way of life, American fishermen and entrepreneurs are creating new models for responsibly produced seafood. In the film, we learned from fishermen about the salmon, black cod, sea urchin, crab, and squid fisheries along the California coast. Melissa Stevens, co-producer of the film, hosted a question and answer session following the film.

cover of the book, The Edge: The Pressured Past and Precarious Future of California's Coast

The Edge: The Pressured Past and Precarious Future of California’s Coast

By Kim Steinhardt and Gary Griggs

Presentation • Book signing • Reception

Friday, November 3, 2017, 6:30 – 8 PM

Seymour Marine Discovery Center

Join Kim Steinhardt and Gary Griggs for an entertaining evening immersed in the magic of the coast—as they discuss their new book, The Edge: The Pressured Past and Precarious Future of California’s Coast. Everything is fair game for these two popular speakers, from personal adventure to science, nature, conservation policy, history, and more. Book signing immediately following the lecture.

Kim Steinhardt is a former administrativeGary GriggsKim Steinhardt
law judge turned coastal writer and marine wildlife photographer whose upcoming National Geographic book features his unique sea otter photos and storytelling.

Gary Griggs, distinguished professor of Earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz, has written or co-authored 10 books about the coast and coastal issues and is a frequent resource for news media on questions of climate change, sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and related issues.

  • Open to the public
  • Doors open at 6:00 PM
  • Seating is limited, first come, first served

UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef Opening Reception

Thursday, May 4, 2017
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Seymour Marine Discovery Center

The UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef is the latest whimsical and fantastical result of hundreds of people crocheting for months with huge quantities of colorful yarn and unfettered imaginations. UC Santa Cruz students, faculty, and staff stitched alongside community members from across Santa Cruz County to raise awareness about ocean health.

Join the crocheters responsible for this wonder, the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center on Thursday, May 4. Celebrate their collective efforts and gaze upon the stunning results of hours of loving labor combined with skeins and skeins of yarn.

The exhibition is collaboratively produced by the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.




This event is free and open to the public.


Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom present


Chinstrap penguins on iceberg, Pygoscelis antarctica, Antarctica

Chinstrap penguins on iceberg, Pygoscelis Antarctica   @Frans Lanting

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Two shows: 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA

Online ticket sales ended, Friday, February 10, 2017 at 5 PM, PST.


This was a special presentation by renowned photographer Frans Lanting and his partner, Chris Eckstrom, in celebration of the Ends of the Earth. Frans and Chris returned recently from another journey to the Antarctic with fresh impressions about a remote part of the earth few people have seen with their own eyes. They regaled us with their images and stories about the natural and human history of the contested Falkland Islands, the spectacular wildlife gatherings of South Georgia, and the frozen grandeur of the Antarctic continent. They paid tribute to early explorers like Sir Ernest Shackleton and his heroic Endurance expedition–an epic story of leadership and survival that unfolded in the frozen seas of the Antarctic one hundred years ago.

All proceeds benefit the marine science education and conservation programs at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab.

Admission Prices:
Seymour Center Member – $19.00
General – $23.00
Gold Circle – $40.00

Tickets on sale at:
Brown Paper Tickets
Seymour Marine Discovery Center’s Ocean Discovery Shop



Jo Lynne and Fred Jones



Shirley and Allen Ginzburg
David Morrell, Santa Cruz County Realtor, Century 21 M&M and Associates

UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef Crochet Workshopsscreen-shot-2016-10-03-at-12-43-58-pm



Come learn the techniques of hyperbolic crochet and be part of UC Santa Cruz’s Satellite Reef. Crocheters at all levels of experience are welcome, from novices to experts. No prior crochet skill is needed, but if you are experienced you’ll pick up the possibilities quickly. Materials will be provided, although experienced crocheters are encouraged to bring their own.

The Institute For Figuring’s Crochet Coral Reef is a spectacularly beautiful, artistically complex, and socially powerful way to bring people together around a devastating ecological challenge—the survival of the coral reefs and marine ecologies throughout the world. Since its first public showing in 2006, the Crochet Coral Reef has been exhibited in twenty countries and seen by over half a million viewers. screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-12-51-15-pmThe UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef is the newest addition to the IFF’s world-wide reefing network.

The UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef will be exhibited at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center beginning in May 2017.

UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef Crochet Circles at the Seymour Center

Friday, March 3, 2017 — 2 to 4 PM
Friday, April 7, 2017 — 2 to 4 PM

For more crochet circle opportunities at UC Santa Cruz, please visit the Institute of Arts and Sciences website.

Sponsored by Institute of the Arts and Sciences

Below are examples of past events.

Artwork, photography, or exhibit openings

  • Sunflower StarRunning the Numbers, Chris Jordan (mixed media, traveling exhibit)
  • Tiny Drifters, Laura Beach (educational and graphic presentation of diatoms)
  • Sea Otters from Bryant Austin (photography)
  • Radiographs from the California Academy of Science
  • Peregrine Falcons from Glen Nevill (photography)
  • Underwater in Black and White, Art Hazeltine (photography)
  • Whimsical Visions of Undersea Life, Ket Tom-Conway (watercolor paintings)

Film openings or sneak previews

  • Coastal Clash
  • A Seal’s Life
  • Keiko, Beyond the Headlines

Book signings

  • Terrie Williams, “The Hunter’s Breath”
  • Gary Griggs, several titles
  • Todd Newberry, “The Ardent Birder: On the Craft of Birdwatching”
  • Marc Shargell, “Wonders of the Sea”
  • Lucy Spellman, “The Rhino with the Glue-on Shoes, and Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets”

Other special events

Presentations by photographer and conservationist Frans Lanting
Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake

Please check our calendar for current offerings.

Days & Hours

Open every day, 10 AM to 5 PM July and August


For a full week, the Seymour Center will celebrate Shark Science Week by revealing fascinating facts about these cartilaginous fishes. Shark touching pool open every day!

Shark Science WeekSUMMER HOURS
The Seymour Center is open every day in July and August! Come explore your ocean and visit us 10 AM – 5 PM.

Every membership includes free admission for 12 months and other benefits. Join or renew online today!

Seymour Center has multiple positions open for UCSC students who want to work in a dynamic and exciting environment. To join our team, apply today!

Join our volunteer teamJOIN THE VOLUNTEER TEAM!
Interested in learning and sharing marine science and conservation with the next generation? Join the Seymour Center's School Programs volunteer team!


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