Muralist Susie Alexander of Susie Alexander Art (@susiealexanderart) recently completed an artistic rendering of Lake Tahoe’s underwater habitat in the lounge area of the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center. The exhibit shows shallow habitat, deep water habitat, and living aquatic organisms that you might find in those underwater environments.  

“This has been such an inspiring three-plus weeks of painting at the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center. I am so inspired to continue painting water. It has become an important topic in the West,” says Alexander.  

Look for all the aquatic species that are native to Lake Tahoe, including Lahontan cutthroat trout, Mountain whitefish, Tui chub, Paiute sculpin, Tahoe sucker, Lahontan speckled dace, Lahontan redside shiner, and various zooplankton found in the lake. There are many other species hidden in the gorgeous mural, and many of these organisms have a unique story to be told. The artist’s rendering makes you feel as if you have put on your scuba gear and are floating beneath the water. 

The Underwater Lake Tahoe Lounge includes a Scavenger Hunt that identifies all of the species in the mural.

The mural project is part of a larger Institute of Museum and Library Services grant-funded project to teach about climate change and aquatic ecosystems. Additional elements including videos, activities, and augmented reality features will be added in the coming months. However, the artwork alone is worth seeing.

Additionally, UC Davis installed seven new video exhibits in the permanent exhibits of the Tahoe Science Center. You can learn what makes Lake Tahoe unique, embark on the UC Davis Research Vessel, and see the changes in our watershed at the Virtual Research Vessel. In the Virtual Lab you can find out who lives in Lake Tahoe, discover the impacts of invasive species, get the big story behind the tiniest particles, and help decide the future of Tahoe forests. 

The Tahoe Science Center had 7 new videos installed in their research vessel and laboratory exhibits.

Advanced reservations are required for docent-led tours of the Tahoe Science Center and can be found by visiting