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.
Words cannot describe the fever pitch of excitement barely contained within the walls of our Museum the past several months as we led up to opening our latest home-grown exhibition, Coast to Cactus in Southern California. If the walls could move, they would definitely have been pulsing with the high energy imbued in this new show. Read more.
Ancient Egyptians were connected with nature in many ways. In the physical sense, the lush Nile Valley between two hostile deserts and the rhythm of the Nile with its annual flood contributed greatly to the fertility of the land. Metaphorically speaking, countless murals in royal palaces and tombs depicted landscapes, gardens, and an array of animals and plants, indicating the natural world was revered by ancient Egyptians. Read more.
In 1908, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley mounted an expedition to the San Jacinto Mountain region, pioneering the exploration of southern California’s biology. On the 100th Anniversary of this expedition, from 2008 to 2010, the San Diego Natural History Museum retraced its path to see how the area’s wildlife has changed over the last century. This blog details one of the key findings of the San Jacinto centennial resurvey, the Gray Vireo. Read more.
As any local can attest, fires are a part of life here in San Diego. This year, the wildfires came four months earlier than usual and scorched more than 27,000 acres of land. Learn more about the life cycle of the chaparral, a ubiquitous California plant community that covers much of San Diego’s hillsides, and how it’s affected by wildfire. Read more.