Geisel Library hosts “Ebb and Flow,” spotlighting giant kelp forests on local shores

Geisel Library hosts “Ebb and Flow,” spotlighting giant kelp forests on local shores
Photo by Hana Tobias/ UCSD Guardian

Beginning on Jan. 12, in partnership with UC San Diego alumna Oriana Poindexter, Geisel Library is hosting the “Ebb and Flow: Giant Kelp Forests through Art, Science, and the Archives” exhibition. Located on the second floor of Geisel, the exhibition spotlights the fascinating history of giant kelp forests found along the shores of San Diego through the work of artists Julia C. R. Gray, Dwight Hwang, Marie McKenzie, and Oriana Poindexter. The exhibition consists of various mediums of art including ceramic, oil painting, and gyotaku. “Ebb and Flow” aims to highlight the tenacity of giant kelp forests in the face of the effects of climate change on the local shores of Southern California.

Photo by Hana Tobias

Poindexter, a photographer and artist, received an M.A.S. degree in Marine Biodiversity & Conservation in 2015 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Poindexter’s use of traditional and alternative photo processes to address the evolution of the ocean’s biodiversity has been featured in renowned publications, including the Smithsonian Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, as well as shared through organizations like the Aquarium of the Pacific. 

Photo by Hana Tobias

Seaweed pressings from the library’s Special Collections & Archives will display seaweed observations in La Jolla from the 1890s. There are also loaned items from the San Diego Natural History Museum and SIO professor Jennifer Smith’s lab that showcase pressings through 2023. The collection includes seaweed pressings created by the founding benefactor of SIO Ellen Browning Scripps and her sister Virginia Scripps in 1905. These pressings show seaweed species with similar traits as those found by Smith in recent pressings. 

Poindexter told ABC 10 News that kelp forests can grow up to 150 feet tall, sheltering all different types of marine life and reducing the effects of climate change. Her purpose for the exhibit is to shine a light on a phenomenon that many are unaware of and encourage others to observe and engage with nature and environmental health. 

Photo by Hana Tobias

University Librarian Erik Mitchell described the exhibition to Library News & Events as a celebration of the “intersection of art and science in a way that brings much-needed attention to key issues that affect society and our planet.”

An opening reception for the public will happen on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m., and the exhibition will remain on display until April 21. Birch Aquarium will also be hosting “Hold Fast,” an immersive art exhibition highlighting local kelp forests and their evolution resulting from the effects of our ever-changing climate. It will open on Feb. 8. 

Photo by Hana Tobias
Photo by Hana Tobias
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About the Contributors
Giselle Hinojosa, Contributing Writer
I'm a first year Communications major, looking to work professionally as a journalist. When I'm not writing I'm either watching sports, out trying new food with friends, or working out.
Hana Tobias, Photographer
Hana is a fourth year Cognitive Science major.
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