Exploring a Chamber of Secrets
As a child growing up in the Bay Area and visiting Monterey, Aquarist Ellen Umeda charted her hopes and dreams in a journal, including this entry: "When I grow up, I want to work at an aquarium."
Today, Ellen is doing just that, and breaking new ground raising one of the most challenging species housed at any aquarium: the chambered nautilus.
The Sunnyvale native and UC San Diego graduate is taking the lead in caring for our first-ever chambered nautilus hatchlings, and trying new approaches that could someday lead to a breakthrough in raising and breeding these beautiful, shelled cephalopods.
"I'm lucky to be working with an animal that's still quite a mystery," Ellen says. "There are so many unknowns."
More What's New
Thanks a Million (4 Million, Actually)!
Our Volunteer Engagement program recently celebrated a major milestone. Collectively, more than 9,200 people have contributed more than 4 million hours as Aquarium volunteers since we opened our doors in 1984. That's the equivalent of more than 450 years!
Our wonderful volunteers can boast some other impressive statistics. In 2017, over 1,300 volunteers who ranged in age from 14 to 94 contributed over 160,000 hours of service—that's equal to the work by at least 80 full-time employees.
Volunteers served throughout the institution, in over 80 different activities. By far the largest group includes our volunteer guides—those helpful, smiling folks who engage with visitors of all ages from around the world.
Mapping Whale Shark Highways
Marine biologists at the Aquarium and elsewhere have learned a lot about animal migrations by attaching tracking tags to sharks, sea turtles, tunas and even seabirds. But these tracking devices don't tell you why the animals go where they do.
In a recent study, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Biological Oceanographer John Ryan helped marine biologists and conservationists figure out why whale sharks follow certain routes across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Whale sharks are the largest fish on Earth, growing up to 60 feet (18 meters) long. Despite their enormous size, they feed mostly on tiny drifting animals like copepods and, occasionally, small fishes like anchovies. To satisfy their immense appetites, whale sharks travel long distances to find dense swarms of prey.
Table of Contents
- Director's Note
- We Provide Exceptional Care for Exceptional Animals
- A Victory for Pacific Bluefin Tuna
- Online Exclusive: The Chronicles of Nautilus
- What's New: Exploring a Chamber of Secrets, and more
- Thanks: Creating a Legacy for the Ocean, Memorial and Tribute Gifts