August 19 | 115 Years of Geologic History in Santa Cruz

Rockin' Pop-Up: Live on Facebook Every Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Wednesday, August 19 at 3 p.m.
Live on Facebook
 | Free

Topic: From earthquakes to erosion and limekilns to cement, a lot has happened geologically since the Museum first opened 115 years ago.

About the series: Join the Geology Gents, Gavin and Graham, for weekly conversations about rocks live on Facebook. Each week we’ll explore a different geologic topic, from Santa Cruz formations to tips for being a more effective rockhound. Graham Edwards and Gavin Piccione are PhD candidates in geochronology with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.

Submit your questions ahead of time on Facebook or by emailing, or during the program live on Facebook. Feel free to include pictures of rocks you’d like identified! Pro-tip: the better the picture, the better the ID.

Watch Past Pop-Ups

July 28 | Naturalist Night: Santa Cruz Habitats and History

Naturalist night

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 | 6-7 p.m.
Register for link to Zoom Webinar
Free | Limited to 20 participants | Make a donation

Get the bird’s eye view of the factors that have impacted the habitats of Santa Cruz for millions of years, thousands of years, and very recently as we dive into this new series exploring the nature of Santa Cruz, habitat by habitat, with the aim of developing our skills as naturalists.

About the series: Join fellow nature enthusiasts for monthly explorations of the biodiversity of Santa Cruz County. Each month, our Public Programs Manager Marisa Gomez will share the stories of a specific Santa Cruz habitat as we develop our skills as naturalists.

This series will feature a presentation as well as an interactive session and is in partnership with Santa Cruz Public Libraries.


Upcoming Events

An organized collection of shells and other samples

Explore the nature of Santa Cruz — wherever you are! Through live digital experience, connect with local experts and join your community in deepening understanding about nature, science, and stewardship.

World Oceans Day

Marisa beachcombing with a young student

Happy World Oceans Day! Celebrate with us through these ocean themed activities.

Ocean Sing-Along

In honor of World Oceans Day, we’re celebrating through song! Sing-along with our Education Coordinator Chris as he shares two of his favorite songs from The Beatles — Octopus’s Garden and Help! (adapted by Chris to become Kelp!) Sing-along!

Appreciating Algae

Next, head to the tidepools to explore the kelp we’ve been singing about, as well as the many other algae that are important parts of the ocean habitat with this guide to appreciating the algae of the Monterey Bay. Dive in!

Beach Clean-up

While you’re exploring the tidepools and the beach, be on the lookout for trash as well as interesting wildlife! Follow these steps for a safe and successful clean-up.

Resources for Teachers

Children painting with watercolors

Activities, worksheets, videos, and more developed to support standards and formal learning.

Community Resources

Artwork by Sophie Webb depicting woodpeckers
Artwork by Sophie Webb

Activities, guides, lectures, workshops, guided nature experiences, and other resources to support your nature explorations from home or while outside.

Activities for Kids

Children doing activities in the museum amphitheater

Family-friendly activities, videos, articles, and more to aid in your nature exploration!

All Resources

Yvonne Byers painting a watercolor of a cactus

“The Museum At Your Side” is a collection of hands-on activities, informative articles, and engaging videos to connect you with nature and science wherever you are!

Below are all of our activities at a glance:

Ami Davis: Development Manager

Ami Davis, Development Manager

For Ami Davis, being part of a museum family is second nature. Working for nearly the past 20 years in art museums, Ami brings experience in education and community partnerships to her role as Development Manager for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

“As a museum educator, I have always played a critical role in development: writing grants, meeting with funders, and developing membership incentive programs,” Ami said. “I hope I can work closely with the Museum’s stakeholders to develop exciting incentives that support the incredible work of this Museum.”

Ami manages the Museum’s membership program and pursues grants and other gifts. She joined the Museum staff in January and also serves as a trustee for the Santa Cruz Art League.

An alumna of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and most recently the Monterey Museum of Art, Ami also has served as an instructor for UC Extension courses in contemporary art and presents at national museum conferences.

Joining an institution that puts nature in the spotlight was a natural transition for Ami. Just as she has been “committed to making art relevant and accessible to all audiences” in her work, Ami is focused now on helping the Museum further its mission to make nature more accessible.

“My museum career began in Santa Cruz in the 1990s. I feel deeply connected to Santa Cruz’s natural splendor, rich history, and diverse culture. I am at home whether in the redwoods, at the beach, or in an art gallery. It’s an exciting time to be involved with the Santa Cruz cultural community.”

June 2017: Personifying Our Mission

Education Manager Felicia Van Stolk and Museum Programs Coordinator Marisa GomezA museum is many things — it is a keeper of collections and the important stories they hold, a space to explore exhibits with loved ones, and a community center to come together to learn and discover through engaging programs, just to name a few. In our case, it is also a strong team of talented individuals who strive to share its mission every day. I am so proud of the creative and dedicated team of staff and volunteers we have here at the Museum, such as Education Manager Felicia Van Stolk and Museum Programs Coordinator Marisa Gomez (pictured here having fun in the Santa Cruz Naturalist Exhibit.) I hope you will take an opportunity to get to know us better through our Faces of the Museum blog, which this month features our newest team member, Development Manager Ami Davis.

Throughout my two years leading our Museum, I have encouraged my team to expand our programming in new directions, establish and strengthen community partnerships and seek fresh ways to connect our community to nature and fulfill our mission. This month they have outdone themselves!

In June, we will have something for everyone, from compelling adult programs like Dr. Alison Galloway’s talk “Life of the Dead: The Natural History of Human Decomposition” at the Rio Theatre on June 6 to great family friendly events like our free Summer Kick-Off Festival at the Museum and surrounding Tyrrell Park on June 10. We also offering a guided hike of the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, a Naturalist Night talk on our diverse North Coast, and the opportunity to participate in helping restore Seabright Beach to its pristine glory. In addition, we are starting a new slate of summer camps with a week-long “Future Scientists Camp” in late June through Cabrillo Extension in Watsonville and “Winged and Wild” and “Can You Dig It?” nature-based camps at the Museum in July and August. Whew, the summer is bursting with opportunities to connect to our region’s natural wonders!

This month also marks the end of our wonderful scientific illustration exhibit The Art of Nature. Come by before June 18 to catch this great show — I recommend visiting on June 2 during our First Friday Art Tour event, which will feature scientific illustration demonstrations by exhibit artist Mattias Lanas. First Fridays are a special way to see this exhibit, complete with libations, nibbles and exhibit artists on hand to talk about their inspirations and technique.

I hope you’ll join us on one of these upcoming programs or simply stop by and say hello to our team at the Museum. We’d love to hear from you!

Thank you,