rise of the urchin

Rise of the Urchin


I was assigned to create an infographic poster that ties together a variety of perspectives and data to paint an over arching reality that is happening in our society.


I designed a poster that depicts the sudden deterioration of kelp forest density in the Monterey Bay after the massive marine heatwave of 2014. The infographic depicts the correlation between the heatwave, the disappearance of sunflower starfish, and the overpopulation of these sea urchins that all played a part in the decrease of kelp density over the span of 5 years.


The first step was to gather the information about the Monterey kelp forests. I had many questions that directed my research; What were the leading causes for the Monterey kelp forest density to wane? When did this begin happening? How does this effect the aquatic ecosystem in the Monterey Bay? Through these questions, I came to the discovery that there wasn't a singular cause that were affecting the kelp forests but rather a chain of events that led to the situation it's currently in.

one wire frame of the poster
second wire frame of the poster

Once I filtered the main data to be presented in the poster, I designed wire frames in order to experiment with the shift from numbers and data points into a visual story. I stuck with the second wire frame, as it more effectively showed the increases and decreases of the statistics about kelp density and urchin and sunflower sea star populations using size variations in the graphics.

urchin top predator illustrations close upkelp illustration close up