Wayne Thompson: Paleontologist

Ocotober 2019 Meet Wayne Thompson: paleontologist, science educator and friend of the Museum. Wayne holds a long and rich history with us — he was the first person to receive our mastodon skull when it was brought through our doors and, today, he helps advise our Collections department.   Wayne first came to the Museum in … Read more

8/19 Super Summer Saturday | Museum Birthday Bash!

Enjoy FREE family-friendly pop-ups in the park all summer long. Featuring nature activities, community groups, food vendors, and more! Plus enjoy free admission to the Museum all day. August’s event celebrates the Museum’s 118th birthday.🎉 Saturday, August 19, 202311 a.m. to 3 p.m. Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History1305 E. Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, … 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

Press Room

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people with nature and science to inspire stewardship of the natural world. Founded on the collection of naturalist Laura Hecox, it is the oldest public museum in Santa Cruz dating back to the early 1900s. The Museum welcomes thousands of local … Read more