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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.

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Then, Now, and Onward: 115 Years of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Celebrate 115 years of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History! Explore highlights of our history, the current state of the Museum, and our plans for the future.

We will hear from community members, dig into the archives, and our Executive Director Felicia B. Van Stolk will present the annual Laura Hecox Naturalist Award to Amity Sandage, Environmental Literacy Coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

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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!

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.

Collections Close-Up: Malacology

From curiosity cabinets to catalog cards, abalone pendants to olivella beads on baskets, the stories of our seashells are vast like the ocean and rooted, like our museum, in the history of women in science.

Stroll with us into the malacology collections, where we look at the legacy of local naturalist and seashell collector Hulda Hoover Mclean. In the 1970s, Hoover McLean wrote one of the first shell identification guides for this area, based on a lifetime of seaside sojourns. Alongside her story we will highlight various collections specimens and the creatures who formed them.

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 kelp and conservation.

Not yet a member? Join today!

Lecture: Loma Prieta +30

The Loma Prieta Earthquake of October 17, 1989 did over $6 billion in damage to the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay areas of central California. This Naturalist Night lecture at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History was presented by Capitola Museum Curator Frank Perry on the occasion of the quake’s 30-year anniversary, October 17, 2019, in partnership between the two museums.

This lecture focuses on the geologic setting of the epicenter and phenomena associated with the earthquake. This video was created by Frank, combining an audio recording with the slides used in the talk. The speaker, Frank Perry, is introduced by our Public Programs Manager Marisa Gomez.