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Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falkor at Exploratorium, July 30-31, 2013

For Immediate Release:
July 25, 2013

Media Available
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falkor at Exploratorium, July 30-31, 2013

Research Vessel Falkor offers public tours at Pier 15 July 30, 1-4 pm

UPDATE: More tour slots just added

The Exploratorium is proud to host the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, Falkor, at Pier 15 from July 30-31 with public tours on July 30 only from 1-4 pm.

“The Exploratorium and the Schmidt Ocean Institute are both interested in engaging the public about this marvelous relationship between the oceans and the rest of life on the planet,” said Dennis M. Bartels, Exploratorium’s Executive Director.


“Investigating climate systems and organisms at the tiniest and grandest scales and the availability of amazing instruments, sensors, and data systems are rewriting the understanding of our planet and universe as we speak. The ocean still represents the great unknown right in our own backyard.”

The Falkor’s docking is part of a series of research vessel visits to the Exploratorium that have included NOAA’s fisheries research vessel Bell M. Shimada in April and June and the upcoming visit from NOAA’s survey research vessel Fairweather on Aug. 14-16, 2013.

On July 30 from 1-4 pm, about 260 visitors will be able to tour the 272-foot, state-of-the-art oceanic research vessel. The 30-min. tour will include a visit to the ship bridge and laboratories.

  • The free tickets will be released at 12 noon. Entries (about 260 people total) and on a first-come first-serve basis from 1-4pm only.
  • All visitors must show a government issued ID.
  • Visitor requirements: flat, closed-toed shoes only. While there is no age limit, visitors must be mobile (able to climb ladders and gangways without assistance) and children must be accompanied by adults.
  • No strollers or wheelchairs allowed.

Built in 1981 in Germany as a fishery protection vessel, the Falkor underwent a $60-million extensive refit and completed its conversion to an oceanographic research vessel in 2012.

This is the Falkor’s first visit to San Francisco before it embarks on its first works in the Pacific Ocean.  Its projects previously completed in 2013 included mapping the area hit by a massive asteroid or comet that scientists believe may have caused the dinosaurs’ extinction 65 million years ago; and a study of the geology, chemistry, and biology of hydrothermal vents near the Cayman Islands.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute was created by Eric and Wendy Schmidt to support oceanic research and to expand the understanding of the world’s ocean using advanced technology, intelligent observation, and the open sharing of information.

Other ongoing oceanic related programs at the Exploratorium include:

  • The recently installed NOAA oceanic buoy that monitors carbon dioxide between Piers 15 and 17.
  • Livestreaming video and data from 4 different ships this summer in our Wired Pier project in the Bay Observatory Gallery: the Sea Research Foundation’s Nautilus (www.nautiuslive.org); NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer (oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/); University of Washington’s R/V Thompson (www.interactiveoceans.washington.edu); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s R/V Atlantis (explorationnow.org/atlantis/rv-atlantis)

“Our move to the San Francisco piers have given us wonderful opportunities to explore the Bay, oceans and atmosphere,” said Mary Miller, Exploratorium’s Ocean Science Partnership Director. “And the work with ocean scientists can really help us tell the story of how data is gathered and ocean and atmosphere research is conducted."

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367