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Rockin’ Pop-Up: Great Geologic Landmarks

Tourist season is upon us, the time when people pick-up and travel the world in search of new experiences, lasting memories, and unbelievable views. For this month’s Rockin’ Pop-Up, we’ll be taking a roadtrip through some of the great geologic landmarks of the United States, from Yellowstone to Yosemite, and Carlsbad Caverns to our own Pinnacles.

About the Series: Join the Geology Gents, Gavin and Graham, for monthly conversations about rocks live on Facebook. Each month 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 by emailing events@santacruzmuseum.org and feel free to include pictures of rocks you’d like identified! Note: you do not need to have a Facebook account to be able to watch the program live.

Watch Past Pop-Ups
Read our blog Rock Record

5/1 Makers Market: The Art of Nature

Saturday, May 1 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, located in Tyrrell Park

During this outdoor Makers Market, meet featured artists from our annual science illustration exhibit, The Art of Nature, watch them at work through live demonstrations at their booths, and support their work by going home with prints, stickers, cards, cups, and more! We will also have an illustration station so that you can create your own works of art inspired by the native plants in our Garden Learning Center.

This is also the first day of Santa Cruz Museum Month and admission to the Museum will be free all month! So pop-in to explore The Art of Nature exhibit while you’re here. Wear your mask, keep your distance, and have fun in and out of the Museum!

Featured Artists

Molly Brown
Sami Chang
Quentin Freeman
Megan Gnekow
Bethany Kilzer
Logan Parsons
Elizabeth Romanini
Kylie Kathleen Smith

How a Botanical Artist Looks at a Rose with Maria Cecilia Freeman

Learn how to get to know a rose in order to illustrate it. We’ll explore native and heritage roses and observe their particular characteristics. During this online lecture, Maria Cecilia Freeman will demonstrate how to draw and paint petals, leaves, and other parts that help distinguish a rose. Once you draw the identifying parts of a particular rose, you’ll recognize it wherever you see it.

This program is in support of our science illustration exhibit, The Art of Nature, on view online and in-person at the Museum.

About the Artist

Maria Cecilia (Cissy) Freeman gardens, paints, and teaches in Aptos, where she finds or grows many of her plant subjects. Her work includes scientific illustration and botanically accurate fine art, often combining the two in graphite and watercolor studies. She takes a special interest in portraying native plant species with a view to their preservation, and she particularly loves drawing and painting heritage and species roses.

Her “Rose Studies” watercolors and drawings have appeared in solo exhibitions in Spello, Italy, at the Horticultural Society of New York, and at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her work has been included in juried exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe, and numerous publications. She is a member of the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. To see her artwork, visit http://www.mcf-art.com.

The Art of Nature Events

FULL Out and About: Birding at Neary Lagoon

Saturday, April 24 | 10 a.m. to noon
Free (donations appreciated) | FULL

Out and About is a monthly series of family-friendly, small group get-togethers exploring Santa Cruz’s diverse natural spaces through guided activities.

Let’s get out and about! This month we’ll be looking for birds at Neary Lagoon Wildlife Refuge, a wonderful oasis for local wildlife in the heart of Santa Cruz. We’ll bring along binoculars for everyone to use and share tips for identifying birds during this one-mile walk.

This program is based on the Museum’s Wetland Walk field trip for 3rd grade students where we explore concepts of seasonal change, migration, and human impacts by exploring this important wetland habitat and recording observations.

Families are encouraged to attend, but all ages are welcome. Please review the following details prior to registering:

COVID PROTOCOL

  • Wear a mask at all times
  • If you feel sick, stay home
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance from others
  • We are limiting this to 12 individuals
  • Registration is required

Register
Become a Member

FULL Rare Plants and Community Science in the CZU Burn Zone (In-Person Volunteer Training)

Thursday, April 15 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve
Community Science Volunteer Training | FULL

Join us for a socially distant volunteer community science training session at Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve. We’ll explore the unique Santa Cruz sandhills habitat and practice making natural history observations as part of the CZU Lightning Complex and Community Science Project. We’ll go over the basics of recording observations using iNaturalist and learn how to ID some rare plants, fire followers, and invasive species in the field.

We highly encourage all participants who sign up for this in-person training to also watch our online training with Amy Patten that will help prepare you for the field experience.

We’ll send out meet-up details and directions for getting started with iNaturalist in advance of the training. Registration is required to keep the group size small and safe.

COVID PROTOCOL

  • Wear a mask at all times
  • If you feel sick, stay home
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance from others
  • Registration is required

About the Speaker

Amy Patten works in the Rare Plant Program at the California Native Plant Society state office where she manages the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt project, a community science project that documents rare plant populations throughout California. Amy lives in Santa Cruz and is passionate about protecting the plants and wildlife of the Central Coast.

Collections Close-Up: The Life and Legacy of Randall Morgan

There are few names in our local naturalist community that are as universally revered as that of Randall Morgan. Also known as Randy or R, Morgan was a pillar of the local natural history community.

Though he passed away a few years ago, his influence on the natural world and those who celebrate it in Santa Cruz is evident from the the Sandhills that his activism helped to save, to the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society that he helped found, to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History where he worked as a taxidermist to pay for studying linguistics at UC Santa Cruz. His legacy also lives on in the collections of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History.

Join Kathleen Aston, Collections Manager at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, and Chris Lay, Director of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History, for an exploration of Randall Morgans life and legacy, including his collections, taxidermy, and conservation efforts.

This month’s Collections Close-Up is in sponsorship of the exhibit Look. Act. Inspire., celebrating the naturalists of Santa Cruz County. It is presented in partnership between the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History, the San Lorenzo Valley Museum, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

Resources for further exploration


This program is part of a series in support of the exhibit Look. Act. Inspire. and is presented in partnership between:

Image result for san lorenzo valley museum

Exhibit Opening Reception: The Art of Nature

We’re celebrating 33 years of exhibiting science illustration at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History with an online opening reception for this year’s The Art of Nature.

Featuring staff exhibit curators Liz Broughton (Visitor Services Manager), Marisa Gomez (Public Programs Manager), and Felicia Van Stolk (Executive Director), as well as artists Sami Chang and Megan Gnekow (artist curator).

Rockin’ Pop-Up: The Moon!

The earth rises over the surface of the moon.

Geology literally means the study of the Earth, so why are we digging into the Moon for this month’s Rockin’ Pop-Up? Well, as the Geology Gents put it, “The moon is basically the Earth.” Say what? Don’t worry, all will be revealed. This month, learn about the formation of our moon and how scientists study it.

About the Series: Join the Geology Gents, Gavin and Graham, for monthly conversations about rocks live on Facebook. Each month 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 by emailing events@santacruzmuseum.org and feel free to include pictures of rocks you’d like identified! Note: you do not need to have a Facebook account to be able to watch the program live.

Watch Past Pop-Ups
Read our blog Rock Record

4/3 Member Meet-Up: Insects at the Museum

A lygus bug on yarrow seen through a small hand lens magnifyer that frames the image.
Lygus bug (Lygus pratensis) on a common yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

Saturday, April 3 | 10 a.m. to noon
Member Exclusive | Register

Member Meet-Ups are small group get-togethers for Museum Members where we learn from each other while exploring Santa Cruz’s diverse natural spaces. Not yet a Member? Join today!

There’s no time like springtime for looking closely at the teeming world of insect life all around. While our natural spaces are wonderful locations for exploring insect life, cultivated gardens are also an important link in sustaining our insect populations. For this Member Meet-Up, we will look for insects at the Museum’s Garden Learning Center, exploring how sustainable gardening using local, native plants can help support native insects. We’ll use collecting tools such as nets and magnifying lenses to aid in our observations. Please review the following details prior to registering:

COVID protocal

  • Wear a mask at all times
  • If you feel sick, stay home
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance from others
  • We are limiting the number of Members who can join us to 12 individuals

What to expect

  • Further instructions will be shared upon registration.
  • Member Meet-Ups are more focused on shared exploration and less on downloading a bunch of information. We promise friendly (masked) faces, an abundance of enthusiasm, resources to aid in identifications, and a fun morning exploring nature.

Resources for further exploration

Become a Member

Rare Plants and Community Science in the CZU Burn Zone with Amy Patten

The area impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires hosts a slew of rare plants. As we enter spring, the season of new growth, botanists will be paying close attention to these rare plants, but they’re not the only ones. A “community scientist” is anyone who makes and shares observations in an effort to contribute to scientific understanding — and we hope you will help us bring community science to the burn zone.

During this online training with Amy Patten, Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Manager for the California Native Plant Society, you’ll learn how you can search for and document rare plants as a community science volunteer. We’ll go over some of the fascinating and beautiful rare plants you can see in the burn area, as well as online tools you can use for survey efforts as part of the CZU Lightning Complex and Community Science Project.

Limited space is also available for in-person trainings on March 27 and April 15.

About the Speaker

Amy Patten works in the Rare Plant Program at the California Native Plant Society’s state office where she manages the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt project, a community science project that documents rare plant populations throughout California. Amy lives in Santa Cruz and is passionate about protecting the plants and wildlife of the Central Coast.