About Us

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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 Science to Inspire 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. Many locals know the Museum by the life-size gray whale statue, created in 1982, that rests near its entrance, between Tyrrell Park and Seabright State Beach.

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