Ocean Optimism

This multipart series of artworks on Ocean Optimism and Climate Change Awareness was created for the Port of San Diego at Seaport Village with scientific input from Birch Aquarium and Scripps and Institution of Oceanography with the support of SLP Urban Planning. The goal was to use as many creative methods as possible to connect with the public about climate and marine conservation issues. Interview with the artist in the San Diego Tribune.


The Big Blue Octopus

The story behind this inflatable Octopus cyanea reflects the 3 billion people’s livelihoods depend on marine and coastal biodiversity globally. Madagascar has incredible biodiversity, but due to climate change as well as over exploitation, it’s delicate marine ecosystem, and the Big Blue Octopus, is at high-risk. Local fisheries engage with the community to practice “no-take” conservation periods which allows the octopus time to become old enough to reproduce and increases the catch for those who depend on it. Fishery management provides economic benefits of conservation and community engagement with broader marine management.


Glamour MPA Pics

These retro glam photos celebrate ways we can coexist with the ocean with the help of Marine Protected Areas. Help spread the word and get your free Marine Protected Area Glamour pic with a sea creature sculpture from a Marine Protected Area.

View more Glamorous Marine Protected Area Pics


Inside the Plankton Tea House

The Plankton Tea House hosted sculpture, 3D movies and performances all tied together by the magic of plankton. Plankton is made up of all the floating and somewhat motile organisms in a body of water. We depend heavily on these creatures. Not only do Phytoplankton in the ocean creates around 70% of the oxygen we breathe, but plankton plays a huge role in sinking the carbons (mostly released by human activity) back into the depths of the ocean, reducing its effect on global warming.

Plankton Tea Leaf Readings with the artist Jessica Ling Findley

Performance art work where visitors could sign up to have a cup of tea with the artist in with the plankton inspired tea set in the Plankton Tea House created by Jessica Ling Findley. The visitors were asked what anxieties they had about climate change as they drank the tea Jessica served. The cups are divided into three sections of plankton, each representing different ways to approach the visitors stress, “thinking” (larvae), “acting” (dinoflagellates) or “connecting” (salps). Where ever the most tea leaves landed the visitor was invited to select a card that led them to the advice and a link where they could dig deeper for more information.


Plankton Sculptures

Coccolithophore Sculpture

Coccolithophores are single-celled plant-like organisms that live in large numbers throughout the upper layers of the ocean. They are important to climate change studies because as ocean acidity increases, their coccoliths may become even more important as a carbon sink.


Foraminifera Sculpture

The plankton Foraminifera or “forams” is a sort of time capsule for Paleoclimatologists who study past climate to help explain how current ecosystems came to be. Forams float in the water column or are bottom dwelling. Thier shells are made up of calcium carbonate.


Jule’s Jaffe’s 3-D Plankton Theater

3-D microscopic films were collected and generously loaned by Dr. Jules Jaffe, a research oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. Jules is currently developing underwater microscopes to observe the variety of micro and macro plankton. Artist, Jessica Ling Findley made 3d viewing masks with illustrations of plankton by 18th century marine biologist, Ernst Haecklel.


Braving the High Seas Podcast

Kids have great questions about the future of the climate. Scientists have some well researched answers. Braving the High Seas podcast gives a voice to the young and curious students and the educated scientists who care deeply about the future of our environment. Listen to all episodes here.

Artwork was created for each of the episodes


Climate Clash Wrestling Match

These matches, created by Jessica Ling Findley take climate crisis stories to a different stage, the wrestling ring.  Climate and conservations stories were created with input scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography this performance was produced with the support of SLP Urban Planning for the Port of San Diego. Watch all 3 Matches