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.
- 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.