Frank Perry: Laura Hecox Naturalist Award Winner

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

Laura Hecox Collections

historic photograph of Laura Hecox standing along the coast

Laura Hecox was an extraordinary woman and a brilliant amateur scientist who even had species named after her. Laura was the Santa Cruz lighthouse keeper from 1883 to 1916, and a renowned collector whose lighthouse museum was known far and wide. Contemporary descriptions in newspapers, correspondence, and other publications describe a stunning collection that occupied … Read more

Collections Close-Up: Picturing Nature

From rediscovered family photos to contemporary takes on unprecedented times, pictures taken for all kinds of purposes illuminate our collective understanding of the changing world around us. This month we investigate and celebrate the capacity of photography to shape our relationship with nature, from our foundational collections to our current exhibits. Resources Collections Close-Up Blog: … Read more


Collections Close-Up Stories from our CollectionsRead Blog Faces of the Museum A Series Profiling our Museum CommunityRead Blog The Museum At Your Side A Collection of Hands-on Activities, Informative articles, and Engaging VideosRead Blog On the Rocks Exploring Science and Nature Through Curated CocktailsRead Blog Rock Record Musings on the Mineral WorldRead Blog

Virtual Exhibit: First Peoples of California

Mural of an Ohlone village in the Quiroste Valley by Ann Thiermann

People have lived in the Santa Cruz region for more than 10,000 years — since mammoths and mastodons roamed the land. In fact, one of the oldest known village sites in California is in nearby Scotts Valley. Today, as in the past, the environment of Santa Cruz offers a wealth of natural resources to support … Read more

Collections Close-Up: She Studies Seashells by the Seashore

Member Exclusive: Join Collections Manager Kathleen Aston for a special webinar on July 9 at 5:30 p.m. as she explores the specimens and stories of our malacology collection. Learn more. “Even if there are no collectible shells, a walk along the tide drift will yield recognizable bits and pieces of fifteen to twenty species. Don’t … Read more