• Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias
  • Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias
  • Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias
  • Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias
  • Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias
  • Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias
  • Biodiversity Research Center
    of the Californias

Practical information, specimen collection, and scientific discussion were major goals of the founders of the San Diego Society of Natural History in 1874. Today, the Museum’s Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias (BRCC) serves as a leader for the preservation and interpretation of scientific specimens that document the biodiversity of southern California and Baja California. The extensive collections of the BRCC support Museum scientists’ research and publications . BRCC scientists also work with Museum Education and Exhibits staff to link scientific research with permanent exhibitions and educational programming. By promoting a collaborative, cross-border dialogue, BRCC scientists hope to preserve the biodiversity and natural resources in our region.

Science Blog

Read about new discoveries, field research, conservation highlights, and what our scientists are up to.

Research Departments

Research departments and collections at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) include: Birds and Mammals, Botany, Entomology, Herpetology, Marine Invertebrates, Mineralogy, Paleontology, and the Research Library.

Atlas Projects

Plant and animal atlases provide information on the distribution, abundance, and long-term change of species in a particular geographic area. The San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) has developed a collection of atlas projects to promote a deeper understanding of the biodiversity of southern California and Baja California. More.

Binational Expeditions

The Museum conducts expeditions and other field research along the Baja California peninsula, which is a major portion of our area of emphasis. Museum scientists often work with specialists in different disciplines from various institutions in the United States and Mexico. More.

Mission

The mission of the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias (BRCC) is to conduct field explorations and collections-based research; to preserve specimens and associated information that document our region's natural history and biodiversity; to provide scientific knowledge about the natural history of our region; and to support the San Diego Natural History Museum's mission by laying the scientific foundation for its operation and programs.

Purpose

  • To understand and interpret—through research and collecting—the uniqueness of the biodiversity of Southern California and the peninsula of Baja California while maintaining a global scientific perspective.
  • To serve as the leading center for the scientific study of natural history, biological diversity, and evolution within our region;
  • To collect and preserve scientific specimens for research and as a continuous record of the changing world for future generations;
  • To foster cooperative efforts in natural history research throughout our region;
  • To provide dynamic leadership in natural history research through publications, expeditions, lectures, and field studies.


Behind-the-Scenes 
Scientific collections are a continual investment by society that allow us to better understand the natural world. In the face of disappearing habitats, species extinctions, and the destruction of geological and paleontological sites, the specimens in our collections have become nonrenewable resources.