The Nat Blog

It was an awesome and humbling experience hiking in Baja California with expert biologists. I felt as if I had walked into a high school reunion: everything looked vaguely familiar, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't summon up names for the plants and animals. However, for the scientists walking on the same trail, everything was an old and familiar friend.   Read more.

Adventures of a CEO: Baja 101

Posted: January 18, 2017

The Museum’s expertise and interest covers one of the world’s most stunning and biologically fascinating ecological areas. When it was suggested that I visit the Baja California Peninsula to more fully understand our bioregion, no arm-twisting was necessary.  Read more.

The Social Stories Spectrum Project has officially kicked off. Project partners and advisors met for the first time last week to work through the details of launching the project, learn about autism, and just try to get our heads wrapped around how to proceed in general. This project is not only new to and innovative for the museum community, it has literally never been done before. With that comes a certain level of intensity in terms of the amount of work that needs to be done to see it through, but that is welcomed with open arms.  Read more.

When December rolled around, we lighted the agave, topped Al with his hat, and the holiday season was upon us. All of Balboa Park spruced up for the season’s grand kickoff, December Nights. Read more.

Riding a four-ton bull elephant seal on a remote Mexican island? Check. Hanging out with Hollywood stars while performing stunts on horseback? Check. Having a species new to science named after you? Check. For a girl born in 1893, the idea of becoming a cowhand and bareback rider at 10, a Hollywood movie star at 20, and an intrepid explorer in the wilds of Baja California seemed outlandish. But Margaret Bancroft lived life large. Read more.

San Diego is one of the most fossil-rich areas in the United States. I played hooky from the office one recent morning and accompanied our Paleo crew to a job site on the I-15 to check out a treasure trove of 3-million-year-old marine fossils—including a whale skull.   Read more.

Party Like it’s 1899

Posted: November 17, 2016

What did people do before the digital age for entertainment? Well, they became citizen scientists, of course, and stared into microscopes. The microscope, which was the coolest "toy" of its time, was used to analyze an array of things, like butterfly wings, fish eyes, and even paper-thin slivers of human tissue. Read more.

Are you a high-functioning verbal young adult, 18-25 years old, who has autism and who can participate in activities without the assistance of a parent or aid? If so, we would love for you to apply to be a part of the Social Stories Spectrum Project.  Read more.

I'm convinced that I just landed in the best job in San Diego. That's not to say it's particularly easy or without challenges, but it feels like a little piece of heaven for a lifelong learner with a love of natural history. Over the next few months, I’ll be blogging about my experiences and observations: sharing the adventure, highlighting the fascinating aspects of life in a natural history museum, and showing how an old dog learns new tricks. Read more.

Museums provide opportunities for individuals, families, and groups to spend quality time together in an interactive environment that aims to foster a sense of community and enjoyment. However, museums can sometimes be overwhelming for individuals with autism. TheNAT recently received a grant to collaborate with high-functioning young adults with autism to co-create “social stories” for our Museum and six others in Balboa Park.  Read more.