Events and Public Programs

Explore the diverse natural history of Santa Cruz with the Museum through a variety of programs — from lectures and workshops at the Museum to guided hikes and Mobile Museums around Santa Cruz County. Gain insight, build new skills, share your stories, and befriend fellow naturalists.


Workshop: Illustrating Geology

Tuesday, May 21 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
$20 General | $15 Museum Members | SOLD OUT

Explore maps of local geology and study samples of the rock types typical of the Santa Cruz area before learning the process of creating cross-sections and stratigraphic columns. Gain a greater understanding of geologic maps, create your own geologic illustrations, and engage with local geology by creating art. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Naturalist Night: Exploring Science Through Art

Thursday, May 30 | 7-8:30 p.m.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Free with Admission | Pre-registration recommended

Join us on a journey into science illustration – past and present. During this lecture, Andrea Dingeldein will provide historical and contemporary perspectives on how art is essential to increasing scientific knowledge and inspiring conservation. CLICK HERE to learn more.

First Friday: Birds Eye View
Photography by Jacqueline Deely

Friday, June 7 |5-7 p.m.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Explore the coastal birds of California through photography, during this opening reception of this Jacqueline Deely exhibit. Consider the challenges affecting certain coastal birds, such as the Western Snowy Plover, through an interactive activity station and enjoy free wine and snacks as you meet the artist. This exhibit is part of the Museum’s Summer Art Series, featuring a different photographer each month, June-August. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Naturalist Night: Coastal Conservation

Thursday, June 13 | 7-8:30 p.m.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Free with Admission | Pre-registration recommended

Through this lecture, biologist Carleton Eyster will provide insight into the secret lives of the Western Snowy Plover, the challenges they face, and how we can all aid in their recovery. One such conservation tool is photography, as local wildlife photographer Jacqueline Deely will share. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Exploring the San Lorenzo River walks

Monthly, 2nd and 4th Saturdays 10 a.m. – noon
Various locations
Free | Pre-registration required

Join expert naturalists, historians, wildlife specialists, and biologists on guided walks along the river, to learn and connect with this beautiful natural resource in our own backyards. Great for families! CLICK HERE to learn more.

Rockin’ Pop Up

Monthly, 4th Saturdays 10 a.m. – noon
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Free with Admission

Have a rock that needs identifying? Want to learn more about the geology of Santa Cruz? Like digging for fossils? Join Gavin and Graham — also known as our “Geology Gents” — for our monthly rock-talk days. Every fourth Saturday of the month, these PhD students from UC Santa Cruz will be at the Museum, ready to ID your local (or not-so-local) geologic finds, as well as show off a rotating collection of specimens. So get ready to talk shop with these rock jocks!

May: The ocean is right on our doorstep here in Santa Cruz, but do you know where all that water comes from, or where it’s going? Explore currents, circulation, and how these phenomena effect wildlife with our Geology Gents and special guest rock star, Beryl deLong, PhD student in the Department of Ocean Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.


Member events provide our supporters with behind-the-scenes opportunities to connect with the Museum. Join our family of Members to receive invitations to Member events and other benefits. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Want to know more about our events or share your suggestions about potential topics? Email us at

CLICK HERE to view Past Events.