Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias

Practical information, specimen collection, and scientific discussion were major goals of the founders of the San Diego Society of Natural History in 1874. Today, the Museum’s Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias (BRCC) serves as a leader for the preservation and interpretation of scientific specimens that document the biodiversity of southern California and Baja California. The extensive collections of the BRCC support Museum scientists’ research and publications . BRCC scientists also work with Museum Education and Exhibits staff to link scientific research with permanent exhibitions and educational programming. By promoting a collaborative, cross-border dialogue, BRCC scientists hope to preserve the biodiversity and natural resources in our region.

BRCC Mission

A strategic plan developed by the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias (BRCC) and adopted by the Museum’s Board of Directors defines the BRCC's mission and region

Research Departments

Research departments and collections at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) include: Birds and Mammals, Botany, Entomology, Herpetology, Marine Invertebrates, Mineralogy, Paleontology, and the Research Library.

Atlas Projects

Plant and animal atlases provide information on the distribution, abundance, and long-term change of species in a particular geographic area. The San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) has developed a collection of atlas projects to promote a deeper understanding of the biodiversity of southern California and Baja California. More.

Binational Expeditions

The Museum conducts expeditions and other field research along the Baja California peninsula, which is a major portion of our area of emphasis. Museum scientists often work with specialists in different disciplines from various institutions in the United States and Mexico. More.


Behind-the-Scenes 
Scientific collections are a continual investment by society that allow us to better understand the natural world. In the face of disappearing habitats, species extinctions, and the destruction of geological and paleontological sites, the specimens in our collections have become nonrenewable resources.

We would like to thank the County of San Diego and Supervisor Ron Roberts, and Las Patronas for generous gifts to enhance the Museum's Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Hazard Science Demonstration Lab with new digital imaging equipment that brings our collections closer to the public and other researchers.