Back to the Future

Posted: November 13, 2017

We all love birds and bats, and maybe even scat, more than strategic planning, which doesn’t always sound so exciting. But a good plan helps us work together toward a shared goal and encourages us to look beyond the day-to-day needs. Over this past year we developed a new strategy roadmap that will guide the Museum’s activities, and it’s already helping us focus our efforts and experiment with new approaches.  Read more.

Within the walls of the Museum are stored close to 8 million specimens in our combined collections, which represent an unparalleled treasure trove of local plants, animals, and fossils amassed over a span of more than 140 years. They tell a unique and rich story about the historical ebb and flow of our regional natural environment.  Read more.

A lot of people run the other way when they see a spider. Lee Passmore not only spent many hours seeking out eight-legged creatures to photograph them—he made new scientific discoveries in the process. Read more.

Our meetups with the young adults with autism have been very busy over the last few months. We have been building out our first social stories from the framework for museum visits. Read more.

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.