Periodically the world welcomes into its midst a personality larger than life, an individual who seems to be able to achieve, in one lifetime, what would take three people to normally create. Such a person was Laurence M. Klauber, born in 1883, who was a San Diego engineer, polymath, CEO, mathematician, inventor, poetry buff, bibliophile, and consummate citizen scientist. Read more.
Right now, we don’t know much about the San Bernardino Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys oregonensis californicus). Yes, we know it is totally adorable, but it’s also elusive and strictly nocturnal with a habitat range currently thought to be restricted to the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. How many are there? What are its habits and behaviors? We don’t really know. Read more.
How do we go about meeting the diverse sensory needs of each young adult in the Social Stories Spectrum Project? The participants arrive by train, bus, cars, and Uber drivers from various parts of the county and city. They gather together for four hours, explore museums, and co-create social stories together. All of this activity can be very challenging, especially for those young adults in our group that have sensory processing challenges. Read more.
We interviewed local mural artist Celeste Byers, who was paired with the San Diego Natural History Museum for a new exhibition called Muse: San Diego Museum Murals. Read on to learn more about Celeste's experience peeking behind the curtain at theNAT and what inspired her most about this project. Read more.
Some of us can keep a secret. At the Museum, many of us recently had our secrecy skills put to the test. We needed stealth because our major—and controversial—scientific discovery that could rewrite human history in the Americas had to break first in a rigorously peer-reviewed scientific journal. Now that the cat is out of the bag, we can reveal what was happening behind the scenes. Read more.
When John James Audubon decided to do his paintings of North American birds, he went with the adage to “go big.” Our copy of Birds of America, published in 1858, is so large it takes several people to just turn the pages. But its size allowed him the means to represent every bird life-size, whether it be a tiny wren, or a huge raptor with its wings spread, like the Osprey. His paintings of birds remain accepted today as the very best artistic renderings of birds ever achieved. Read more.
Seeking out the diversity of life is challenging, especially for amphibians and reptiles. Scientists have focused their attention on Baja California for nearly 200 years and the discovery of new amphibian and reptile species has become rare. Unlike super-diverse groups, like arthropods and plants, herpetologists are now approaching a complete understanding of the region’s species composition. And with this knowledge, new doors are opening. Read more.
Researchers at the San Diego Natural History Museum, along with experts from Mexico and Brazil, have described a new species of large cave-dwelling spider, the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider (Califorctenus cacachilensis). Related to the notoriously venomous Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera), the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider was first discovered on a collaborative research expedition in 2013 into a small mountain range outside of La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Read more.
The enticement of desert wildflowers was definitely on my mind when I applied for my job at theNAT. To my delight we had the requisite rains this winter, and my first March in San Diego produced a “super bloom.” I invited myself along the Botany Department’s field trip to join the hordes of flower peepers heading to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Read more.
Our Rare Book Room holds many treasures, but not many of them challenge the very notion of what it means to be a “book.” The American Woods is a marvel of both book artistry and scientific dedication. Instead of bound pages, each of its 14 volumes holds hundreds of paper-thin, translucent samples of wood from American trees, painstakingly mounted into gilt-edged cutouts in individual cardboard plates. Read more.