The Nat Blog

The Hidden World of the Maritime Maya

Posted: September 15, 2015

The amazing part about being an archaeologist is the adventurous effort needed in order to discover the facts about an ancient civilization, especially for the legendary Maya. Unearthing venerable relics, climbing through abandoned caverns dedicated to gods, and understanding how it all came to be can be found here, do you dare venture further to learn more? Read more.

After years of research, miles of field work, and countless hours poring over herbarium specimens and scientific publications, Curator of Botany Jon Rebman, Ph.D., has discovered seven cacti that are new to science. These newly named species, just published in the scientific journal Madroño: A Western American Journal of Botany, include six chollas and one species of prickly-pear, all endemic to the Baja California region. Read more.  Read more.

Exhibits are at the heart of the museum experience for most people, but how is an exhibit made? What are necessary steps to see an exhibit come to life? And what do exhibits teams do exactly? This is exactly what a group of middle school campers learned last summer. Read more. Read more.

Volunteer Profile: Julie Blyth

Posted: May 29, 2015

Julie Blyth received one of only four Friends of Balboa Park Inspiration Awards on October 21, 2014, an honor given to volunteers who have contributed countless hours of volunteer service to the Park’s organizations. Read more about Julie's selfless contributions here.    Read more.

By now, the Museum’s Atlas programs should be familiar to you. Years ago, we published the renowned San Diego County Bird Atlas, and we continue to work toward completion of the Plant Atlas and Mammal Atlas. We are proud to announce one more addition to these highly successful citizen science research projects, the Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California.    Read more.

Resident bug expert and head honcho of our research department Michael Wall bugs out on baseball. In the first of a series of blog posts featuring fun science fodder and natural history musings, he wonders: why do insects hate the home team? Is it bug sabotage—or pure statistics?  Read more.

You probably know us well for our exhibitions and public programs, but did you know we have an entire department of scientists who are actively involved in involved in research projects, environmental studies, expeditions to relatively unexplored areas within our binational region, and much more? A recent expedition to the Sierra Cacachilas in Baja California Sur sums up why these research projects are so important to science and future generations. Read more.    Read more.

World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass is a tireless advocate for archaeological exploration and conservation of Egypt’s extraordinary ancient monuments, having served as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and as the first Minister of State for Antiquities. He is also the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and 40 scholarly and popular books. We chatted with Dr. Hawass about how he got into the field of archaeology, what he’s up to now, and the treasures he believes are still waiting to be discovered.     Read more.

Ever notice the spectacular tree outside the Museum’s north entrance? Of course you have! It’s the iconic Moreton Bay Fig tree, which—like most of the other large trees in the Prado area of Balboa Park—was planted in preparation for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Since it was a few years old when it was planted in 1914, its age should probably be computed from about 1910, making this majestic tree more than 100 years old today. While many people would like to attribute its planting to Kate Sessions, San Diego's pioneer horticulturist and street tree planter, there is no documentation to verify this claim.   Read more.

Gray whales are one of the most interesting sights to see off the coast of San Diego each winter. From mid-December to April, these whales pass by San Diego as they migrate from the Bering and Chuckchi seas in the Arctic to the warmer lagoons on the Baja peninsula where they calve and breed. They typically leave the Arctic in the late fall as it begins to freeze over.    Read more.