Sunday Seaside Crafts

Seaside Crafts—from the comfort of your own home! Create ocean-inspired crafts and activities using materials found around the house.

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Sponsored by:
Omega Nu of Santa Cruz




Mollusk Mates: A Coloring Page Series by Katherine Dale

Explore the diversity of mollusks found around the world in a new coloring page series, Mollusk Mates. Created by Katherine Dale, a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, Mollusk Mates offers insight into mollusk research, reveals fun facts about individual species, and allows aspiring artists to color a beautiful masterpiece! Mollusks are invertebrates, animals without backbones, and belong to the phylum Mollusca. Mollusk Mates is a free at-home activity available for download.

Meet Katherine Dale, the Artist
Katherine Dale, Ph.D. Candidate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz

I am a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz. Using eels as a model system, I’m looking to understand how larval fish disperse in the ocean. Although most of my time is spent with fish, I love everything about the ocean, including mollusks! Early in my Ph.D. program, I started an art-science campaign, Fish Matter, featuring black-and-white line art of typically overlooked or unpopular marine organisms. In this collaboration with the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, I have created a series of mollusk coloring pages showcasing the phylum Mollusca’s amazing diversity. Enjoy!

Find more from Katherine at:

NEW! Opalescent Sea Slug (Hermissenda opalescens)

Eric Armstrong, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar, Université de Perpignan

Opalescent Sea Slug Coloring Page – PDF


Opalescent Sea Slug                                                               Eric Armstrong, Ph.D.

Meet the Scientist, Eric Armstrong, Ph.D.

As ocean temperatures continue to rise, many marine organisms are faced with two choices—remain in the same habitat and adapt to rising temperatures, or move to a new location with a more suitable habitat.

I study nudibranchs, brightly colored sea slugs commonly found in tidepools. Nudibranchs do not have a shell, and our research suggests they are potentially more susceptible to drying out when exposed to air at low tide. We also discovered a few species of nudibranchs cannot resist rising temperatures and were forced to move to new locations to avoid heat stress.

Our findings show that nudibranchs are moving northward on shorelines across the United States, sometimes to beaches where they’ve never been observed before! Nudibranchs seem to be responding to warming waters faster than other species, deeming them a “sentinel species.” A sentinel species allows scientists to understand why and when other species may move too. Nudibranchs may be the canaries in the coal mines or, more accurately, tide pools for climate change!

Find more from Eric at:

NEW! Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius)

Greg Barord, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Save the Nautilus Foundation

Chambered Nautilus Coloring Page – PDF


Chambered Nautilus and Greg Barord, Ph.D.   

Meet the Scientist, Greg Barord, Ph.D.

I was born in Texas and grew up in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, but somehow still grew to love the ocean at an early age. At the age of five, a squid documentary sparked my interest in the ocean and science, and as my dad tells me, it was then that I told him I wanted a Ph.D. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University. I took a short break from school and worked at an aquarium and on fishing boats in the Bering Sea. I went back to graduate school to finish my studies and attended the City University of New York, receiving my Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy, both in Biology.

My primary research focus is to count nautiluses left in the wild. For decades, unregulated fishing has caused nautilus populations to decline. The Save the Nautilus team has surveyed nautilus populations throughout the Pacific Ocean using deep-sea traps, underwater video cameras, and even little transmitters that track nautilus migration. Since 2011, we have counted nautiluses in American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Our team has collected lots of information to protect nautiluses from overfishing and possible extinction. Save the Nautilus!

Find more from Greg at:

Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus)

Kaitlyn Clark
Marine Advisory Program, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Atlantic Sea Scallop Coloring Page – PDF


Atlantic Sea Scallop                                                                 Kaityln Clark

Meet the Scientist, Kaitlyn Clark

I’m a graduate student in the Marine Advisory Program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, working with Drs. David Rudders and Roger Mann. I study how scallops grow and reproduce in high-density aggregations to inform the East Coast scallop fishery’s best management practices.

As a child, I thought of marine organisms as mysterious and magical, and my love and appreciation for these animals have only grown as I’ve learned more about them. For instance, did you know that scallops have eyes around the edge of their shell?

Find more from Kaitlyn at:

 California Sea Hare (Aplysia californica)

Richelle Tanner, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Delta Stewardship Council

California Sea Hare Coloring Page – PDF


California Sea Hare                                                                 Richelle Tanner, Ph.D.

Meet the Scientist, Richelle Tanner, Ph.D.

I’m a climate change ecophysiologist, which means I understand how increasing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and oceans impact animals and ecosystems. My research focuses on invertebrates living in nearshore marine communities like the rocky intertidal zone and seagrasses.

I found my first nudibranch while exploring the Puget Sound’s tide pools as a child, and I never looked back! During my Ph.D. work, I sought to understand how ocean warming impacted mollusks’ ability to deal with increases in both average temperature and extreme events. My dissertation focused on the eelgrass sea hare, Phyllaplysia taylori, but I led or participated in projects on various eastern Pacific nudibranchs.

I love discovering new things about our oceans, especially when I can use my findings to show our society how to make better climate choices to protect our natural world. Even though I have always loved science, I also have an advanced degree in music—never let go of your passions! Scientists have lots of talents, and what makes you different will make you a better researcher and person.

Find more from Richelle at:

Abalone (Haliotis spp.)

Taylor White, Ph.D. Candidate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz


Ric DeSantiago, Ph.D. Candidate
San Diego State University

Abalone Coloring Page – PDF


Pinto Abalone (Photo credit: Taylor White)   Taylor White, Ph.D.                                     Ric DeSantiago, Ph.D. Candidate              

Meet the Scientists

Taylor White, Ph.D. Candidate
I spent my formative years exploring the Tongass National Forest and harvesting fish and invertebrates from the cold, clear waters of Southeast Alaska. Pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) shells were my favorite to collect, but I noticed that the shells, and mollusks themselves, were becoming harder and harder to find. My current research goal as a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz is to determine how factors like sea otters, sea stars, and human harvest contribute to differences in abalone population sizes, abalone behaviors, and abalone habitat use. I SCUBA dive regularly to survey abalone and talk with local harvesters about their observations and experiences collecting abalone in Alaska. I hope to determine what local factors are required to sustain large abalone populations.

Find more from Taylor at:

Ric DeSantiago, Ph.D. Candidate
When I was little, I pretended to brave the seas and conquer jungles while swimming in the lake and climbing trees. I loved drawing wildlife and learning at museums, but exploring was my absolute favorite, especially when I found slugs and snails eating leaves.

I am now a marine ecologist, pursuing a Ph.D. at San Diego State University. I explore the ocean and abalone, a type of giant snail. Instead of leaves, abalone eats seaweed. However, not all seaweeds are the same. Some seaweeds have the nutritional value of a healthy salad, while others resemble junk food. It’s important to study abalone and what they eat because wild abalone populations are drastically declining, and there are many new and invasive seaweeds moving into abalone habitats. Through my research I am learning if the new seaweeds are more like junk food or more like healthy food to the animals who eat them. I hope that my research can teach us more about nature and help save the abalone!

Find more from Ric at:

California Two-Spot Octopus (Octopus bimaculatus)

Kelley Voss, Ph.D. Candidate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz

California Two-Spot Octopus Coloring Page – PDF


California Two-Spot Octopus                                                   Kelley Voss, Ph.D. Candidate

Meet the Scientist, Kelley Voss, Ph.D. Candidate
Hi, I’m Kelley! I study the relationship between octopus body shape and behavior.

I started my scientific career at California State University, Long Beach, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology. There, I helped researchers track leopard sharks and California halibut in wetland habitats. During tracking expeditions, I fell in love with the elusive red octopuses that would hide in the tracking gear. My love of octopuses motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree in Alaska, where I evaluated if giant pacific octopuses have personalities. (Spoiler alert: they do!)

I am now earning a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. I’m interested in questions such as:

  • Do octopuses lose specific arm(s) when pursued by predators?
  • How do octopuses use their arms for defense?
  • How do octopuses change their behavior to compensate for a missing arm?

I love sharing my passions through teaching and mentorship, classroom squid dissections, and co-hosting a local radio show on KSQD 90.7 FM, Santa Cruz Naturalist!

Find more from Kelley at:

Frilly Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosina)

Dan Killam, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona

Frilly Giant Clam Coloring Page – PDF


Frilly Giant Clam (Photo credit: Bernard Dupont)                     Dan Killam, Ph.D.

Meet the Scientist, Dan Killam, Ph.D.
I have investigated giant clams found in the Red Sea since 2015, which includes my time and Ph.D. research conducted at UC Santa Cruz. Like the growth rings found in trees, growth lines are formed on the shells of giant clams. The growth lines allow scientists to learn more about the clam’s age, growth rate, or other critical information about its surrounding environment. I studied the growth lines to compare the growth rate of modern giant clams to fossil records. Continuing this work during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Haifa, I discovered modern clams in the Red Sea are growing faster than observed in the fossil record. However, modern giant clams’ overall health remains unknown because the influence of environmental stressors, such as pollution, ocean acidification, or rising ocean temperatures, have yet to be studied on giant clams — until now!

You can now find me at Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, where I grow giant clams within a controlled coral reef ecosystem to understand how giant clams act as recorders of their environment. The giant clam’s shell can record temperature changes and nutrient fluctuations in the surrounding water. I’ll use this information to create a complete life history of the clam and protect the ocean from environmental stressors.

Find more from Dan at:

Camouflage Challenge

Discover the many ways an animal can blend into its habitat, and then create your own camouflage strategy!

Bat Star

Create your own realistic bat star, and learn about the features that help these animals see, eat, and move around!

Curious to see what a REAL bat star looks like? Watch this Creature Feature to find out!

Purple Sea Urchin’s Aristotle’s Lantern

Learn about and create a purple sea urchin with an Aristotle’s lantern!

Ocean Acidification Experiment

Follow along with this DIY at-home experiment to explore the effects of ocean acidification on shelled sea creatures. Watch to learn about the research at UC Santa Cruz that investigates this problem and the things we can change in our daily lives to minimize our carbon footprints—then try the experiment out for yourself!

Octopus Garland

Learn more about these color-changing cephalopods and craft a festive octopus garland. Display the garland proudly and fully immerse yourself into the sea!


August 15, 2021, 1:30 PM
Join us–online! “Fascinating Fish Bones: Archaeology for the Future of Fishers and Fisheries.” Preregister.

Continue exploring the diversity of mollusks around the world with Mollusk Mates. Find the newest coloring pages, here.

Say hello to the new Seymour Center director — Jonathan Andres Hicken! Starting in mid-August, Jonathan will continue the important work of the Seymour Center. Learn more, here.

Join our teamJOIN OUR TEAM!
The Seymour Center is seeking to hire for multiple positions. Learn about these opportunities, here.

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