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  • Expedition Baja
    Now open
  • Expedition Baja
    Now open
  • Expedition Baja
    Now open
  • Expedition Baja
    Now open

Expedition Baja

Conserving one of the most amazing places on Earth.

The Baja California Peninsula is one of the most special places in the world. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortés on the east, this 775-mile-long peninsula has a warm climate and diverse terrain, ranging from coastal sand dunes and rugged mountain peaks to desert flats to isolated islands. The varied landscape supports an amazing diversity of plant and animal life—towering cardón cacti, islands crowded with breeding birds, and insects and arachnids with special adaptations to cope with life in the dunes.

The peninsula has been a magnet for adventurers and naturalists, including our own researchers who have been exploring and studying the region for more than a century. Go on an expedition with our scientists as they work alongside colleagues in Mexico to conserve one of the most amazing places on earth.

A new exhibition about your favorite part of the Baja California Peninsula: all of it.

Using specimens from the Museum’s scientific collections alongside immersive imagery and stories about conservation work happening there, Expedition Baja brings to life one of the most incredible regions in the world.

At home in a brand-new gallery on the top floor of the Museum, this new permanent exhibition takes visitors off the beaten path on a journey with researchers through sky and sea islands, palm oases, and fog deserts as they discover new species, work to conserve native plants and animals, and explore the most remote parts of the peninsula.

Exhibition highlights:

  • An immersive diorama featuring the otherworldly succulent plants of the peninsula’s central deserts, including a life-sized cardón cactus and boojum tree.

  • Specimens that showcase some of the area’s rare, native species, including the Isla Santa Catalina rattlesnake, the newly rediscovered San Quintin kangaroo rat, and the extinct Guadalupe caracara.

  • Stories about researchers from Mexico and the U.S. (including from The Nat) who are studying and conserving the region, and a glimpse at the tools of their trade.

  • See how the peninsula’s habitats have changed over time, and what we can do to help sustain the plants and animals that live there.

  • A stunning mural created by Tijuana-based artist Néstor “Spel” Mondragón, inspired by the stories in the exhibition.

In keeping with the Museum’s binational focus, all information in Expedition Baja is presented in both English and Spanish.

Learning Resources

Southern California and the Baja California Peninsula are linked together by more than a name. Whether you're an educator, student, or just want to learn more about our neighbors in nature, you can find educational resources, talks, quick facts, and more through our learning resources.

Learn more

Plan Your Visit

Take a journey into two remarkably different and inseparable worlds—Mexico’s Sea of Cortés and the Baja California desert. Pair your visit to the exhibition with a film in our Subaru Giant Screen Experience. And when you're done, there are 75 million more years to explore.

Plan your visit

Conservation Partners

Binational collaboration is key to the future of the Baja California Peninsula. We thank the conservation community that is collectively protecting this region.

Amigos para la Conservación de Cabo Pulmo | Banco de Semillas, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México | Bureau of Land Management | Center for Plant Conservation | Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada | Centro de Investigaciónes Biológicas del Noroeste S.C. | Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas | Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad | Conservación de Fauna del Noroeste | Eco Alianza de Loreto | Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas | iNaturalist | Innovaciones Alumbra | International Community Foundation | Jardín Botanica San Quintín | Dr. Charles and Judy Wheatley | Lindblad Expeditions | National Geographic Society | Pro Esteros | Pronatura Noroeste | Rancho Cacachilas | Rancho Meling | San Diego County Fish and Wildlife Commission | San Diego State University | San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance | Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparaja | Terra Peninsular | The David and Lucile Packard Foundation | The Nature Conservancy | United States Fish and Wildlife Service | United States Geological Survey | Universidad Autónoma de Baja California | Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México | WILDCOAST

Special Thanks

Expedition Baja was developed and designed by the San Diego Natural History Museum staff. The Museum also thanks the following individuals and organizations for their contributions.

Tanya Symons Bredehoft, Artefact Design | Brian Gibson | LumberCycle | Chris Schaie, A Reason to Survive | Fancisco Valencia, A La Naturaleza | Wildlife Acoustics

Photography and Videography:

Alan Cressler | Jack Daynes | Bill Evarts | Jamie Friedland | Alan Harper | Jill Holslin | Erik Meling | Anny Peralta Garcia | Jon Rebman | Deborah Small | Darian Spencer

Our Donors:

We would like to recognize the generous donors to Expedition Baja and to our research programs throughout the Baja California Peninsula.

Alumbra Innovations Foundation | Americas Foundation | Anonymous | Dale Clark | William Cole Foundation | The Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund at the San Diego Foundation | The Hervey Family Fund at the San Diego Foundation | Institute of Museum and Library Services | International Community Foundation | JiJi Foundation | Dr. David K. Jordan at Schwab Charitable Gift Fund | Anneli Kyner and Tim Stahl | Gastón Luken, Sr. and Alejandra Luken | The Family of Chrysa Mineo and Mark Stephenson | National Science Foundation | National Geographic Society | The Nature Conservancy | Eleanor and Jerry Navarra | The David and Lucile Packard Foundation | Dr. Rebecca Papendick and Dr. Jay Savage | Sue and Tom Sparrow | San Diego Natural History Museum- Evolutionary Venture Fund | Nita and Henk van der Werff | Christy Walton | The Walton Family Foundation | Charles and Judy Wheatley | Dennis and Carol Wilson | World Wildlife Fund

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