Ocean Discovery Institute’s work is focused in one community in central San Diego – City Heights. City Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the nation and is host to rich cultural resources. It is also a highly urbanized, high poverty, and nature-deficient community, which is reflective of the national dearth of science and environmental education and opportunities within urban and diverse communities.
Today in City Heights, schools do not have the resources to provide robust science education; there is little access to natural areas because of urbanization, safety concerns, and limited transportation; young people lack role models, mentors, and support; and there are no facilities that offer authentic science and conservation experiences.
The many challenges facing this community are juxtaposed with high regional opportunities in the science and environmental fields. Science- and technology-based careers represent the fastest growing and highest wage job sectors in the region. With hundreds of biomedical companies and billions invested in research, San Diego is a place of great opportunity in the sciences.
Ocean Discovery Institute leverages the breadth of regional and local resources and expertise to engage students, who represent the greatest untapped talent pool, in rigorous science and conservation programming that will prepare them to become our future decision makers and workforce.