UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef, Part of the worldwide Crochet Coral Reef project by Margaret and Christine Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring

Crochet Coral Reef detail
Institute For Figuring's Crochet Coral Reef project, 2005-ongoing. Photo © the IFF.

Crochet with us to create the UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef, to be shown at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center opening May 4, 2017.

The UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef is part of the Institute For Figuring's Crochet Coral Reef worldwide reefing project. Co-created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim, the Crochet Coral Reef responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash. The project, both beautiful and blighted, highlights not only the damage humans do to the earth’s environment, but also our power for collective creative action.

There are many ways to get involved in the UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef

1. Come to a crochet circle:

At the UCSC main campus:

Wednesday, February 15, 5-8 pm, Porter College, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
Tuesday, February 21, 7:30 -9:30 pm, Rachel Carson College, Red Room
Wednesday, February 22, 5-8 pm, Porter College, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
Monday, February 27, 12:00pm -2:00pm, Fireside Lounge, Graduate Student Commons
Tuesday, February 28, 7:30 -9:30 pm, Stevenson College, Silverman Conference Room
Wednesday, March 1, 5-8 pm, Porter College, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
Wednesday, March 8, 5-8 pm, Porter College, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery

At the Seymour Marine Discovery Center:

Friday, March 3, 2-4 pm
Friday, April 7, 2-4 pm

2. Crochet on your own or with your own groups and drop off or mail in the results (SUBMISSION FORM HERE): 

Drop off 9-5 pm, Monday through Friday:

Institute of the Arts and Sciences
UC Santa Cruz
Digital Arts Research Center RM 204 (Drop off box available)

Mail to:

Institute of the Arts and Sciences
UC Santa Cruz MS: Porter Faculty Services
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

3. Contact us to organize more crochet circles and outreach:


About the Crochet Coral Reef

Begun in 2005 by sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring, the Crochet Coral Reef project resides at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft, and community art practice. Through a process of collective creativity, the project responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash by highlighting not only the damage humans do to the earth's ecology, but also our power for positive action. The Crochet Coral Reef collection has been exhibited in art and science museums worldwide, including the Museum of Art and Design (New York), the Hayward Gallery (London), the Science Gallery (Dublin), and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC). The project’s Satellite Reef program has engaged thousands of people from all walks of life in more than a dozen countries. The Crochet Coral Reef is one of the largest participatory science + art projects in the world.

About the Institute For Figuring

The Institute For Figuring is a non-profit, Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics. Co-founded by science writer Margaret Wertheim and her sister Christine Wertheim, a member of the Critical Studies faculty at California Institute of the Arts, the IFF specializes in creating participatory projects in which communities build large-scale artworks inspired by discoveries and techniques stemming from scientific and mathematical research.

The exhibition is being collaboratively produced by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery.

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences is part of UC Santa Cruz’s Arts Division. It is an interdisciplinary programming unit, which creates public exhibitions, public events, publications, and collaborations with faculty and students, aligning with UCSC’s teaching and research.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is a self supporting part of UC Santa Cruz, dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world’s oceans.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center
100 Shaffer Road
Santa Cruz, California
Hours: Tuesday- Sunday, 10-5 pm​

Press about the UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef and the Crochet Coral Reef exhibition at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery:

Ideas.Ted.Com "Gallery: What happens when you mix math, coral and crochet? It’s mind-blowing"

Scientific America "How to Crochet a Coral Reef--and Why"

One Green Planet "This Interactive Exhibit is Encouraging People to Crochet … to Save Coral Reefs"

UC Santa Cruz Newscenter "Institute of Arts and Sciences launches UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef project"

Santa Cruz Sentinel "The ‘Crochet Coral Reef’ at UCSC brings together mathematics, nature and an underappreciated artform" 

Santa Cruz Good Times "Crochet Coral Reef Exhibit Combines Crafts and Conservation"

UC Santa Cruz Newscenter "Crochet coral reef exhibition to open Feb. 10 at Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery"