Talks, Classes, and Films

The Museum offers talks, classes, film festivals, and other informal learning. Nat Talks, made possible with support from media partner KPBS, feature museum staff and outside experts and authors from around the country speaking on an array of topics, including the latest in scientific research, history, conservation, and the natural world. Natural History 101 is a series of informal talks given by museum scientists and curators on various topics. These classes were developed for our Docents, and we’re now offering this invaluable opportunity to the public.

Nat Talks and film events take place in the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater, and Natural History 101 talks take place in the museum’s lower level gallery space. Tickets to all events may be purchased online, at the Museum, or by calling 877.946.7797.



Upcoming Events


Special Nat Talk: The Fantastic Worlds of William Stout

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 7 PM

On November 27, Insight Editions will publish the career-spanning anthology, Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout. In celebration of this new book, The Nat is partnering with Comic-Con Museum to offer a talk with Stout.

During his astonishing 40-year career, world-renowned muralist, illustrator, comics artist, and poster designer William Stout has created a body of work that transcends genre, medium, and industry. He has exhibited multiple works at the San Diego Natural History Museum, including the iconic prehistoric murals of the Fossil Mysteries exhibit. Stout has also designed album covers for The Who and the Rolling Stones and worked on Hollywood films including Pan’s Labyrinth and Jurassic Park.

Curated by the artist himself, Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout bursts with classic Stout imagery. The book hits shelves this month and showcases stunning art from Stout’s student years through his robust career as a painter, illustrator, and more. Fantastic Worlds is the ultimate Stout retrospective—the perfect way for fans to commemorate the extraordinary work of a one-of-a-kind artist.

Come hear more about Stout’s career at this special Nat Talk, which is followed by a book signing (books available for purchase in the museum store). Museum doors open at 5:30 PM and the talk begins at 7 PM. Food, beer, and wine will be available for purchase at the Flying Squirrel Café before the talk.

Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for nonmembers, and include a signed poster. They can be purchased online, at the Museum, or by calling 877.946.7797.

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Natural History 101: Amphibians and Reptiles of Southern California

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 10:15 AM

Join Curator of Herpetology Dr. Brad Hollingsworth as he introduces the amphibians and reptiles of Southern California in our region. Brad will also share how you can become a citizen scientist by using iNaturalist to contribute to the Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California. This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s curators. Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for nonmembers.

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Natural History 101: Mammals of San Diego County

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 10:15 AM

Join mammologist Scott Tremor as he talks about the rich biodiversity of mammals in San Diego County and the adaptations needed for living in the harsh desert environment to urban landscapes. Scott is also the author of the recently published The San Diego County Mammal Atlas. This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s curators. Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for nonmembers.




Natural History 101: Insects of San Diego County

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 10:15 AM

Come hear Vice President of Science and Conservation and Curator of Entomology Dr. Michael Wall discuss the entomological biodiversity of San Diego County. He will also share (and answer) the top 10 questions he receives about insects in our region. This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s curators. Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for nonmembers.




Natural History 101: Plants of San Diego County

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 10:15 AM

Join Curator of Botany Dr. Jon Rebman as he discusses the biodiversity of plants in San Diego County. In addition, Jon will share botanical resources such as the San Diego County Plant Atlas and the use of iNaturalist to document plant diversity. This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s curators. Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for nonmembers.




Natural History 101: Birds

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 10:15 AM

Come hear Curator of Birds and Mammals Phil Unitt as he discusses general ornithology—including feather structure, skeletons of birds—and the diversity of birds in San Diego County. Phil is also the author of the San Diego County Bird Atlas. This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s curators. Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for non-members.




Natural History 101: Bats of San Diego County

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 10:15 AM

Join Field Biologist Drew Stokes as shares his knowledge of the biodiversity of bats in San Diego County and the acoustic identification of bat echolocation calls. Drew was a contributing author to the San Diego County Mammal Atlas. This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s scientists. Tickets are $9 for members and $12 for nonmembers.