About Us

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Under the guidance of our Board of Directors, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History operates in support of its Mission:

Connecting People with Nature and Inspiring Stewardship of the Natural World.

Historically, we are the first museum in Santa Cruz, dating back to 1904 with the founding collection of Santa Cruz lighthouse keeper and naturalist, Laura Hecox. Today the museum features educational, hands-on exhibits for children, families and adults who are curious about the world they live in and the natural history of one of the most scenic locations on the California coast. The museum’s life-size Gray Whale model, created in 1982 and commonly adorned with playing children, sits in front of the museum and has become a cherished landmark to local residents.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History Core Goals:

  • Build community around stewardship for the environment
  • Create a dynamic place for learning, dialogue, study, and exploration
  • Offer interactive educational experiences for children, families and adults
  • Celebrate the diversity of species, people, and cultures
  • Embrace global environmental awareness and local action
  • Collaborate with others to create positive change
  • Uphold ethics, integrity, and mutual respect in all we do