Frank Perry: Laura Hecox Naturalist Award Winner

Frank Perry is an institution within our institution. Frank’s professional relationship with the Museum dates back to his time as a student at Soquel High School, when a stint as volunteer led to a job during college. Several decades later, we are lucky to still have him today as a freelance exhibit creator and an … Read more

Unearthing Local Geology

“What on earth,” asks Frank Perry, “could tiny plankton drifting in the sea have in common with arrowheads and spear points made by people who lived here thousands of years ago?” In his new book, Geology of the Northern Monterey Bay Region, local author Frank Perry delves deeply into the ways that geology consists of surprising … Read more

Guide to Collecting Fossils

A large fossil in grey rock on the beach.

People find fossils in Santa Cruz County all the time! Some of these objects are important for research, while others are best left as part of the landscape. This guide will help you decide what to do when you find something during your outdoor exploration. Where can I find fossils? We live in an area … Read more

Mastodons and the Museum

June 1, 2023 A very special tooth in Santa Cruz County has captured the attention of the world. A widespread community campaign to recover a mastodon tooth that went missing after being recorded on a local beach culminated on May 30, 2023 when Jim Smith brought a special treasure to the Santa Cruz Museum of … Read more

Collections Close-Up: Taxonomy

The science of tying things together Research appointments are the highlight of any given week in the collections department. Not only do we get to learn more about the ways our collections contribute to science, we get to see the process in action. Scientists and students bring their questions alongside various tools of the trade, … Read more

A Guide to the Rocks of Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz is an area of geologic interest with a complex history of processes that shaped the coastline, bluffs, terraces, and mountains we see today! Wind, waves, earthquakes, fires, and other natural forces have changed and shaped the landscape for millions of years, though humans have only been able to document those changes in the … Read more