After Dark Online: OK With Decay—Under the Bay

Thursday, October 22, 2020 • 7:00 p.m. PDT

Adults Only (18+)

Free online event: Join via YouTube or Facebook

Anchored between Piers 15 and 17 at the Exploratorium, a buoy on loan from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collects data on water temperature and salinity and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere and in San Francisco Bay. Tonight, join us as we take the buoy out of the water for its yearly servicing. Get a close look at the critters and seaweed that colonize its body and learn more about how its sensors and mechanisms work. We’ll be joined by scientists to share what the data collected by the buoy reveals about the Bay and some of key concerns around ocean health and resilience.

This month’s After Dark Online is a get-together to fall apart. As autumn sets in, trees become bare, and the northern hemisphere begins to chill, we’re exploring processes of decay, entropy, and how things come apart, making way for revisions and new arrangements.


In conversation with the Exploratorium’s Mary Miller, ecologist Priya Shukla will discuss how ocean conditions impact ecosystems, oyster farmers, and fisheries. As a PhD student in the Graduate Group in Ecology, Grosholz Lab at UC Davis and lead mentor at the UC Davis Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, Shukla is currently studying how climate change impacts shellfish aquaculture operations in the coastal ocean. 

Madeleine Thompson, director of the library and archives at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Sonia Shechet Epstein, associate curator of science and film at the Museum of the Moving Image, will share the story—and rarely seen archival footage—of the celebrated naturalist William Beebe and the Bathysphere, a unique deep-sea diving device he developed with the engineer Otis Barton.

More to Explore

Dive deeper into the story of the Department of Tropical Research and William Beebe in this essay by Sonia Epstein.

Peruse over 2,000 illustrations created by the Department of Tropical Research in this digital collection from the Wildlife Conservation Society.