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La Jolla toasts Prince Albert II of Monaco

La Jolla honored His Serene Royal Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco on Oct. 23 at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). A pre-dinner reception was held at the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society, and the Environment on the SIO campus. Teal linens and brightly colored centerpieces evoked a tropical-waters-coral-reef theme. Adding to the ambience, an open bank of exterior doors provided an unobstructed sunset view, as well as the sound of ocean waves.

A short walk brought guests to dinner in a billowing, outdoor pavilion designed to give an icy feel that paid homage to Prince Albert’s recent exploration of the Antarctic. Consistent with the theme, the Baked Alaska dessert arrived at tables on trays of drifting mist created by dry ice.

Event emcee Richard C. J. Somerville, SIO distinguished professor emeritus, conducted the evening’s program in both English and French. Following remarks by SIO Director Tony Haymet and UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, the prestigious Roger Revelle Prize was presented to the prince by William and Carolyn Revelle, the children of Roger Revelle.

Prince Albert II of Monaco received an original display of shells of the bubble snail Bulla gouldiana. It consisted of four shells from the SIO collections in a wood-and-glass case and shows how an increasingly acidic ocean is harming marine life.

Before the gala, Prince Albert gave a lecture at the UCSD Price Center. He was introduced by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who earlier in the day presented him with the keys to the city.