Once, while walking around the Museum, I saw a young boy about four years old looking at one of our exhibits of a marine mammal skeleton. Shortly after taking a gander at the specimen, he turned to his dad and asked, “Is that real, Daddy?” Young kids have a way of cutting to the chase, don’t they? Yes, they have a million questions about this new world that they are learning about, but “is it real?” is one of the first and foremost. And here’s the deal: at The Nat, we specialize in real. Real bones, real minerals, real butterflies, real birds, real bugs and snakes and spiders and everything in between. Read more.
Considering San Diego’s status in the craft beer industry, people should not have a problem locating an establishment that will pour a celebratory frothy beverage on August 3, International Beer Day. In the grand tradition, crowds will convene at their favorite local tasting room, raise a pint, and enthusiastically declare the traditional International Beer Day toast, “Thank the gods for herbivorous insects!” Or at least that is how it should be. Read more.
Museums for All, a signature access program of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build a lifelong affinity for arts and culture. The Nat is a proud participant in this program, which serves low-income families by offering free admission to the Museum year-round with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Women, Infants & Children (WIC) card. Read more.
If you are interested in birds and have yet to visit Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage, our exhibition that reveals specimens from our hidden storage areas, you need to hustle on over and check it out. A stroll through Unshelved quickly reveals an abundance of “all things birdy” to appreciate, including more than 46 birds, 6 nests, and no less than 24 sets of bird eggs. Read more.
National Sugar Cookie Day falls on July 9, so break out the flour, sugar, and icing and take part in the time-honored summer tradition of making natural-history themed cookies. I’m personally a fan of insect-shaped cookies. I think I might just be trying to mentally prepare myself for the day when insects become the primary source of protein for the human population—that day might be closer than you think. Read more.
Living in a rather large metropolis, it’s easy to forget we are surrounded by nature every day—the intersection between people and wildlife is often overlooked. That’s why we’re building The Backyard, a new play space for young, curious minds up to the kindergarten age. Opening July 20, this new exhibit will allow little learners to expand their horizons by exploring the natural world through play. Read more.
This past summer, scientists working in Baja California resurrected a species from the ashes of extinction, and are now working with local agencies on a conservation plan. The San Quintin kangaroo rat was held as an example of a modern extinction due to agricultural conversion in the San Quintín area of Baja California. The animal had not been seen for 30 years, until its rediscovery last summer. Read a first-hand account by the researchers. Read more.
All San Diego Natural History Museum volunteers are special, but John La Grange, an associate in our Botany Department, is exceptional. John started as a volunteer 11 years ago for the San Diego County Plant Atlas. Our Botany staff was so impressed with his ability to identify plants, they invited him to join them in the field. Read more.
Lauren Marino Perez is a longtime employee at the San Diego Natural History Museum. She began her tenure at The Nat as a visitor services associate in 2005 then ventured into the Education Department serving as education collections manager for many years. In her current role as citizen science manager, which is also a part of the Education Department, Lauren is responsible for elevating the Museum’s profile in the participatory science realm by making science accessible and approachable to the public. Read more.
A mother of five children whose passion entailed searching for fish and marine creatures in local tidepools. An outdoorsman with an 8th grade education who from an early age collected and learned about birds and mammals in the San Diego back country. An engineer who became the world’s expert on rattlesnakes. What did this disparate group of people have in common? They are all San Diego citizen scientists who played a role in the early days of the Museum. Read more.