The Cal Poly Center for Coastal Marine Sciences hosted an open house at the Cal Poly pier on Oct. 28.
The pier is located in Avila Beach and is just over half a mile long.
The director for the Center of Coastal Marine Sciences, Ben Ruttenberg, said that putting together this event is a huge amount of work, but extremely beneficial.
“It gives us an opportunity to showcase all of the great work that our students and faculty are doing both in terms of research and education,” Ruttenberg said.
Interactive displays were set up by Cal Poly researchers and students on subjects such as the protection of Morro Bay’s ecosystem, sustaining local fisheries and mapping ocean currents.
“A lot of the work that we do is very important,” Ruttenberg said. “We’re trying to solve real world problems. And so it’s, you know, one of the key pieces of trying to solve real world problems is communicating that to the public so people understand and there are so many issues related to science that people have misconceptions about or don’t understand entirely.”
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors were able to tour the pier and enjoy the 360 degree view of San Luis Bay, as well as interact with touch tanks full of live marine creatures. Guests also had the opportunity to view tiny marine species through microscopes and hear about research behind whale migrations and the recent red tide and bioluminescence phenomena.
Cal Poly mechanical engineering graduate student, Nikki Arm, came to the open house to share her research about her deep sea lander project.
“We’re here sharing it because it’s something that we love doing,” Arm said. “And actually after the open house here, we’re going to be doing the deployment off the pier as another test helping with other research as well.”
Over 2,000 people attended to see all the work students and faculty are doing in terms of research and education with a goal of informing the public and showing them why their research matters.
“I love getting to talk to everyone in the community and just be able to see the excitement and share our excitement of our projects with everyone else and being able to just see what all the other awesome projects that are happening out here,” Arm said. “It’s fantastic.”
Members of the community were encouraged to come tour and take photos of all these sea creatures and coastal views.