Permanent Exhibits

The Museum Permanent Exhibits focus on the natural history of the Santa Cruz region  and the Monterey Bay.  This includes:  Wildlife and Habitats, The Ohlone Peoples, Geology of Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay Marine Life, Santa Cruz Naturalist, our outdoor Garden Learning Center, and our Santa Cruz Naturalist exhibit.

The Art of Nature

April 8 – June 18, 2017

Every April-June, the Museum hosts its beloved annual exhibit of scientific illustration, The Art of Nature. The exhibit highlights the work of several artists whose work illustrates science in a variety of mediums with a wide range of subjects. Meet exhibit artists on the First Friday of May and June for a live demonstration of scientific illustration techniques.

Kids in Nature: The Art of Exploration

Special Exhibit open May 2 – June 4, 2017

Come and learn about the variety of edible and medicinal plants growing in your own neighborhood through their art, collections, and personal tales of discovering a sense of place in Santa Cruz’s forests. This special exhibit was created by students of the Kids in Nature after school program. Learn more.

Summer Art Series

First Fridays | July – September, 5-8pm

Each month this summer, the Museum will feature a different local artist who is inspired by the natural world of the Santa Cruz region. From cyanotypes to etchings, each artist shares a unique perspective of nature’s beauty. On the First Friday of each month meet the artist on the debut of their exhibit. Learn more. 

Upcoming Exhibit: Rocks and Waves

October 7, 2017 – January 21, 2018

Over a dozen natural arches and bridges have come and gone along West Cliff Drive during the past century and a half. The ocean waves act like a giant sculptor, chisling away the sandstone and mudstone, creating natural works of art.  Learn More.