The Nat Blog

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.

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 recent rediscovery. Read a first-hand account by the researchers.  Read more.

Volunteer Profile: John La Grange

Posted: April 16, 2018

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.

With the concept of participatory science gaining traction globally, the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is spearheading a local effort to encourage San Diegans to opt outside and partake in the 2018 City Nature Challenge. The event is a multi-city competition to see which region can record the most observations of their local flora and fauna over a 4-day period. Read more.

During the 1800s, women had very limited occupational options available to them. Although Kate Sessions was able to graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a science degree, her employment opportunities as a woman in science were very restricted. However, she never let that stop her driving ambition. Read more.

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.