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Celebrating California Biodiversity Day!

Choose your own adventure this California Biodiversity Day! Explore the biodiversity around you through a series of activities for kids — from building tools to aid in your observations to scavenger hunts that showcase the variety of life in your neighborhood.

Observation jar full of cool plants

Observation Jar Activity | Make observations, explore the different ways we can group objects together, and create a jar full of our fun finds!

Make Your Own Museum | Museums might be closed but in this video you can learn to make your own natural history museum at home! Include a favorite exhibit from the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History as well as your own curations.

Build a Bug Net | Reuse materials from your home to create a tool to help you observe the secret world of insects more closely — a bug net!

Nature Bingo | Tune into the biodiversity around you by following completing our nature bingo.

Monterey Bay Algae Guide | Dip your toes into the world of algae with this illustrated guide to local species and foraging ethics. Available in Spanish.

Cultivating Nature Awareness | Build your sensory awareness skills through nature journaling, games, stories, and exercises in mindfulness.

Pollinator Matching Activity | Explore the diversity of plants and insects around us through this fun game. Available in Spanish.

Collections Close-Up: Santa Cruz Fossils and the People Who Dig ‘Em

Frank Perry works on a cast of a fossil sea cow skeleton.

Dig into the fossil record of Santa Cruz through the eyes of locals who find themselves captivated by these windows into the past and who made it their work to share this passion with others. One of these important contributors, Wayne Thompson, will share his history with the Museum and the unique potential that fossils have to engage students with science and the natural world, inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.

About the series: Zoom into the stories, secrets, and science of our collections during monthly webinars with Collections Manager Kathleen Aston. This live event is an extension of our monthly Collections Close-Up blog, with added insights and intrigue. Members are invited to participate in this program before it is made available to the general public as well as ask questions directly of Kathleen. Watch last month’s webinar on preservation policies in Museum collections.

Not yet a Member? Join today!

Rockin’ Pop-Up: Impacts of Fire on Geologic Landscapes

This month, the Geology Gents are joined by their colleague Alandra Lopez, a Ph.D. candidate in the Earth System Science Department at Stanford University who will discuss the impacts of fire on geologic systems, as well as spend some time on one of our state’s unique features: serpentine soils.

Alandra studies the biogeochemical processes that control the release of naturally occurring contaminants, like arsenic, uranium, and hexavalent chromium, in soils to groundwater.

About the Series: Join the Geology Gents, Gavin and Graham, for monthly 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 here or by email to events@santacruzmuseum.org and 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

Rockin’ Pop-Up: 115 Years of Geologic History in Santa Cruz

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 events@santacruzmuseum.org, 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

Collections Close-Up: Preserving Our Past

The Museum opened its doors to the public 115 years ago this month, and though the doors have changed over time, the task of stewarding our collections has always been an inherent part of our mission. Explore the journey of our collections over the past century and gain a deeper understanding of what preservation looks like today.

About the series: Zoom into the stories, secrets, and science of our collections during monthly webinars with Collections Manager Kathleen Aston. This live event is an extension of our monthly Collections Close-Up blog, with added insights and intrigue. Members are invited to participate in this program before it is made available to the general public as well as ask questions directly of Kathleen. Watch last month’s webinar on malacology and the life of Hulda Hoover McLean.

Not yet a member? Join today!

Rockin’ Pop-Up: Coastal Geology

Topic: Explore the impacts that the ocean, weather, and tectonic activity have on our ever-changing coastline.

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 events@santacruzmuseum.org, 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

Rockin’ Pop-Up: California’s State Symbols

Topic: California’s symbols are iconic — from the California Poppy to the California Grizzly Bear. Though they may be less discussed, our state’s geologic symbols do not disappoint. Learn about what makes our state’s gemstone, mineral, and rock iconically Californian during this week’s Rockin’ Pop-Up.

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 events@santacruzmuseum.org, 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

Naturalist Night: Santa Cruz Habitats and History

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.

Rockin’ Pop-Up: Sea Level Rise and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet

Gavin and Graham discuss their new paper exploring evidence of massive sea level rise due to past melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

Resources:
Read the full paper
Explore NOAA’s sea level rise simulator
Explore the City of Santa Cruz’s Climate Action Program


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 events@santacruzmuseum.org, 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

Rockin’ Pop-Up: Volcanoes and Mass Extinctions

Gavin and Graham will be joined by Dr. Seth Burgess, research geologist at the USGS volcano science center. Dr. Burgess got his PhD at MIT, where he studied the timing and rate of the Earth’s mass extinction events. At the USGS, he specializes in dating young volcanic activity in the western US to reconstruct the volcanic history of the area, and to assess the risk that volcanic activity poses to the general public. We will chat with Seth about some of the highlights from his mass extinction work, as well his role and projects at the USGS.

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 events@santacruzmuseum.org, 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