Naturalist Night

Come to the Museum for Naturalist Night and explore the diverse natural history of Santa Cruz. Each month we will feature a different guest speaker from the local community to share stories, artifacts, and knowledge about a unique aspect of our natural world. Gain insight, build new skills, share your stories, and befriend fellow naturalists.

UPCOMING LECTURES_

The Natural History of Insects

Thursday, July 25 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Reserve Your Seat
Free with Admission*
Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Talk will begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Pre-registration highly recommended.

About the talk:

To many, insects are off-putting. But once you get under their exoskeletons and into their natural history, we’re sure you’ll find them awe-inspiring. During this Naturalist Night lecture, Dr. Peter Oboyski, entomologist and curator of the Essig Museum of Entomology at UC Berkeley, will guide us on an exploration of the main facts and principles of biology as illustrated by insects. We’ll zoom into the fascinating world of these small, but impactful creatures while also exploring the distinctions between insects, arachnids, and “bugs.”

About the speaker:

Dr. Peter Oboyski is the curator of the Essig Museum of Entomology at UC Berkeley, a collection of over five million insects and spiders. His research focuses on insects on remote islands (Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.), especially the ecology and evolution of moths. Currently he is collaborating on a biotic survey of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

We recommend that participants interested in attending this lecture also attend our August 10 Guided Hike of Mima Meadow with Dr. Oboyski.

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The Stories Behind Our Murals with Ann Thiermann

Thursday, August 22 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Reserve Your Seat
Free with Admission*
Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Talk will begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Pre-registration highly recommended.

About the talk:

Murals have long been important tools for museums and nature centers to create a sense of place within their galleries and help tell stories of our natural history. Many of these murals found along the Central Coast of California — in museums, nature centers, and on the walls of buildings in public spaces like Downtown Santa Cruz — were painted by local artist Ann Thiermann. During this Naturalist Night lecture, learn about the research, staging, sketching, and interviews that must be done before creating natural history murals. Also hear the story behind the creation of our museum’s Ohlone mural, her recent work with State Parks to create a mural at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and other stories from her years as a natural history muralist, partnering with museums, parks, businesses, and tribes.

About the speaker:

Ann Thiermann has created over 70 California murals including 15 local natural history murals from Half Moon Bay to Pfeiffer Big Sur. Her 2018-19 exhibit Pathways Through Our Parks at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History shared her work as an avid local landscape painter and participant in open studios. The plein air studies included in the exhibit have also served to provide essential flora and fauna research for her studio murals. An experienced Cabrillo art lecturer and church organist the murals are designed to create dramatic, engaging visual energy akin to musical expression.

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Loma Prieta + 30:
Remembering the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake on the 30th Anniversary of the Event

Thursday, October 17 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Reserve Your Seat
Free with Admission*
Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Talk will begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Pre-registration highly recommended.

About the talk:

Those who lived in the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay areas on October 17, 1989, and are old enough, undoubtedly remember where they were when the big earthquake struck. Speaker Frank Perry started collecting information on the quake soon after it occurred, and will share some of what he has learned over the past 30 years about the quake and its impact on the Northern Monterey Bay area. Frank will examine it within the context of local geology, the history of earthquakes in this area, some of the curious phenomena associated with the shaking, and what the future may hold.

About the speaker:

Frank Perry grew up in Santa Cruz and majored in Earth Sciences at UCSC. He worked for many years on a free-lance basis researching, designing, and building natural sciences and historical exhibits for museums and park visitor centers around central California. He has also written several books, his favorite topics being lime kilns, fossils, lighthouses, and Capitola history. After the earthquake occurred he curated two museum exhibits on the topic. For the past six years Frank has served as curator of the Capitola Historical Museum, where each year he does an exhibition on a different theme.

This event is in partnership with the Capitola Historical Museum.


*$4 General | $2 Students/Seniors | Free for Members and Youth Under 18
Do you have an idea for a future Naturalist Night? Let us know at education@santacruzmuseum.org. Interested in attending, but not ready to purchase a ticket? Call (831) 420-6115 or email education@santacruzmuseum.org to reserve a seat and pay at the door — events with low enrollment are subject to cancellation.