The Nat Blog

On February 20, 2018, The Nat hosted the inaugural State of Biodiversity Symposium. The event is designed to be a forum for environmentalists, land managers, and the public to explore the current status of regional conservation and research. Daylong sessions focused on emerging threats to biodiversity, genomics and conservation, biodiversity and landscape, and conservation stories of success and struggle. Read more.

Behind exhibit walls at the San Diego Natural History Museum (also known as The Nat), scientists and volunteers work diligently throughout various departments to keep an eye on what is happening in our region. And, recently, I had a chance to tour a small part of the Museum’s massive specimen collections with Dr. Michael Wall, Vice President of Research and Public Programs. It was a cool experience, to say the least. Read more.

In February 2017, the Museum received word that a manuscript written by staff paleontologists and outside colleagues about the discovery of mastodon fossils showing signs of human activity had been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Nature. As expected, the April 27 publication and announcement garnered widespread media coverage and stirred dialog within the scientific community. Some have been supportive and consider the hypothesis compelling and one that should not be ruled out. Others have dismissed it as questionable science or outlined why various interpretations of evidence are wrong.  Read more.

The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is providing leadership on regional biodiversity and conservation by hosting a trio of science-based events this spring: the State of Biodiversity Symposium and Nat Talk, the City Nature Challenge 2018: San Diego, and the 10th anniversary Balboa Park BioBlitz. Combined, these three initiatives will convene conservation practitioners and educate the public on the biodiversity of San Diego County and the Baja California Peninsula. Read more.

A Glimpse at Who We Really Are

Posted: December 28, 2017

Guest blogger Austin John Jones, a participant in the Social Stories Spectrum Project, writes about his experience in this program and shares his perceptive on the different faces of autism.  Read more.

Did you know the diversity of mammals in San Diego County is greater than any other county in the United States? It’s true—and now, thanks to a book authored and edited by staff at the San Diego Natural History Museum, along with several other authors and more than 40 contributors, amateur naturalists and professional biologists have a complete reference guide for San Diego fauna. Read more.

Even if you don’t know the name Edward Lear, you probably know his most famous poem, The Owl and the Pussy-cat. His first collection of poems, A Book of Nonsense—first published in 1846 and re-released in 1861—shot him to fame in his native England as an author of charming verse and playful limericks. But Lear’s success surprised him as he always considered himself not a poet, but an artist—in particular, a scientific illustrator. Read more.

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 more than 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.