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The Nat Blog

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.

Nothing says “mechanics” more than gears. While we see gears in many man-made machines, intermeshing rotating gears were completely unknown in nature until just three years ago when researchers at University of Cambridge looked between the legs of a little plant-hopping insect called Issus. Read more.

Maker Faire San Diego (MFSD) is back for its second year and the San Diego Natural History Museum is a proud participant. The festival takes place on October 1 and 2 and will feature an array of fascinating displays for the public to enjoy. At theNAT, we will have a wide range of makers with interactive, hands-on activities and learning opportunities for adults and children to enjoy. Read more.

Dr. Jon Rebman, Museum curator and the Mary & Dallas Clark Endowed Chair of Botany, spent 10 months in La Paz, Baja California Sur as part of a work assignment. While there, he increased binational collaboration with Mexican scientists and students, conducted extensive botanical research in the southern part of the Baja California peninsula, and wrote a new bilingual, plant field guide for the Cape region.  Read more.

Have you noticed something new on the Museum’s mezzanine above the third floor? This blog post describes the making of the griffin pediment that marks the entrance of Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science, our new permanent exhibition scheduled to open August 20. Dive into the details of what it took to sculpt and mount this iconic piece of the exhibition. Read more.