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Veteran Science Educator Leads Birch Aquarium Into The Future

Executive Director Harry Helling of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography talks with KPBS Evening Edition Host Peggy Pico about his plans for the aquarium.

Veteran Science Educator Leads Birch Aquarium Into The Future


Harry Helling, executive director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography


A new leader has brought his extensive experience in education and science to the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, where thousands of students and tourists learn about the wonders of the Southern California ocean every year.

Harry Helling, the new executive director of the aquarium, started his work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Oct. 12.

His previous experience includes leading education and program development efforts at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The UC San Diego alumnus started his career more than 30 years ago as an associate curator at the T. Wayland Vaughn Aquarium on the Scripps Oceanography campus.

Helling is known as an educator, an ecologist and an outreach innovator. He told KPBS Midday Edition Wednesday he plans to engage audiences "well outside the perimeter of Birch itself," and through art and music to reach new groups.

"It's not just the Birch Aquarium, it is that connection to all of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCSD," Helling said. "It's a window into the world of investigation into the ocean, into the world of how we create new knowledge about the ocean."

Birch Aquarium Marine Biologist Talks Sharks

Evening Edition segment by KPBS Evening Edition anchor Dwane Brown featuring Birch Aquarium biologist Andy Nosal.


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