Behind The Scenes Research Carries On Online Programming Is Thriving And A New Gallery Is Taking Shape
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Like all of the museums in Balboa Park, the San Diego Natural History Museum has been locked down for most of the past year.
The perpetually swinging Foucault pendulum in the lobby hangs still. Glass cases holding rare and antique books are draped with heavy cloths to protect their sensitive pages from light. And the fourth-floor administrative offices have been empty since the pandemics arrival last March.
But a peek through the glass atrium windows into the darkened lobby can be deceiving. Behind the scenes over the past year, the museums scientists, staff and volunteers have been as busy as the bees in its Living Lab exhibit.
While the public side of the 150,000-square-foot museum sleeps, the museums scientific team has been archiving thousands of insect specimens, conducting fossil research, doing field work and hosting online lessons. The downtime has also allowed the museum to expand its online footprint, revamp its fourth floor to build a new exhibition gallery and examine new ways to open its vast specimen archives to visitors.
When the museum finally reopens Gradwohl said the target is early April it will have a transformed business model. Based on the success of its pandemic-spawned online programs, the museum will carry on this expanded mission even after it returns to full operation.
Here are some of the other highlights of work that has been under way since last March at the Natural History Museum:
Stop #: Cabrillo National Monument
Just outside of the SeaWorld area is historic Point Loma, with a lighthouse and the Cabrillo National Monument to explore. Don’t forget about the famous Point Loma tide pools, where you can see a microcosm of San Diego’s marine life in one teeny tiny little vignette. Its a great vantage point from which to see San Diego, Coronado, the naval base, and even all the way to Mexico, so dont forget your camera! If you want to learn more about this amazing area, consult the National Park website for more information about the tide pools and the natural landscape. Getting In: We recommend reserving about 1 hour for this attraction.
What Are The Best Art Museums In San Diego
The San Diego Museum of Art is San Diegos go-to spot for art. The prestigious museum is famed for its Spanish art and hosts some of the best Asian art collections in the country.
Other top art museums include the Museum of Photographic Arts and the Mingei International Museum. For local art, make sure to check out La Bodega Gallery
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Places To Go In San Diego
Discovery Science Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating young minds, assisting teachers and increasing public understanding of science, math and technology through interactive exhibits and programs.
- Location 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
- AddedFebruary 6, 2012
Pretend City Children’s Museum
Pretend City Childrens Museum is Where Imagination and Education Come to Play!Pretend City Childrens Museum provides children with unlimited opportunities to develop creativity and learn through purposeful play. Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization.
ExplorOcean Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
At ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, you dont just visit our museum, but rather discover a unique experience dedicated to all things ocean, nautical and maritime. We have several exhibits to check out. Best part is, they cost less than a movie.
Getty Museum Los Angeles
The J. Paul Getty Museum, commonly called the Getty Museum, is an art museum housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and Getty Villa.
The Getty Center is in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present.
The museums second location is the Getty Villa, which is located in the Pacific Palisades or Malibu neighborhood and exhibits art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
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Save On Attraction Admission
Pick up a 3-Day Go San Diego® Card and save off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Remember, this 3 day itinerary is just one of many ways to experience San Diego. The Go San Diego® Card gives you the flexibility to create your own itinerary, so you can choose from dozens of top attractions and create a vacation tailored to your interests. Planning to visit other spots in California? Then take a peak at our California road trip itinerary. We dare you to not have any fun with these recommendations.
Save On The Natural History Museum With A Go San Diego Pass Or Explorer Pass
The Natural History Museum is included in the Go San Diego Pass and Explorer Pass. You can save a significant amount of money if you are going to multiple attractions and taking some tours. The coupon code CMGOCITY10 will save you an additional 10% on the all passes. Even if the pass is already on sale.
Fossil Mysteries is one of the permanent exhibitions at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The interactive exhibition is all about exploring and touching. Visitors will be able to ponder the big questions of science in the areas of evolution, extinction, ecology, and Earth processes. This part of the museum is a feast for the senses, offering murals and dioramas, models, and fossils. Learn how prehistoric animals evolved, examine and identify microfossils, or build an animal. Youll never see the world the same way again.
Skulls is another permanent exhibition at the California Natural History Museum. Visitors get a rare glimpse at 200 of the wildest skulls from around the world. Visitors will be amazed by the astonishing rhinoceros skull and marvel at the skull of Californias tiny Western Black-headed snake. In fact, youll get to see the skulls of all 57 San Diego lizards and snakes. Youll even learn about the different bones in your own skull and see how they compare to other animal skulls.
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Supporting A Planet That Supports Us
We live in one of 36 biodiversity hotspots in the worldour region is home to many species found nowhere else on the planet, yet endangered and threatened by habitat loss. And we believe its our responsibility to protect it. The Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias is the research arm of the Museum, and we focus on these key areas of conservation:
- Species discovery and preservation
- Studying how our natural world is changing, especially from human-induced impacts
- Conserving our collections that provide an unparalleled ecological record
- Understanding and interpreting earths history and evolution
How To Get Ready For Your Experience At The Fleet
- Ghostbusters have nothing on us! Increased frequency of sanitization with our hospital-grade Protexus Electrostatic Disinfecting Sprayers twice a day.
- Regardless of vaccination status, all visitors ages 2+, employees and volunteers are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the building to protect vulnerable community members, including our younger guests who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, and following current state, local and CDC guidelines for institutions that cater to families and children under 12.
- Seek and you shall find! Some exhibits may be set up in different areas to provide more space for exploration.
- The city that never sleeps is back! Kid City will be open for our 5 and under friends. Additional cleanings twice a day and sanitizing stations have been installed.
- Reduce time standing in line, get your tickets online. While reservations are not required, you can bypass the ticket counter if you get your admissions online. Purchase your tickets now!
- Treat yourself! Our Craveology Café and North Star Science Store processes have been updated in compliance with County public health restaurant and retail guidelines.
Learn more about our guidelines:
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Hotel Cecil Sixth Avenue
In 1887, the Society was given a lot on Sixth Avenue between B and C streets by E. W. Morse, a former president of the city’s short-lived Lyceum of Natural Sciences. The Hotel Cecil was eventually built on part of the society’s lot, and in June 1912 the Society began to meet there.
In 1910, the San Diego Society of Natural History hired Kate Stephens, an authority on terrestrial and marine mollusks, as curator for its collections. These included the personal collection of her husband, mammalogist and ornithologist Frank Stephens, who donated over 2000 bird and mammal specimens to the Society in 1910. In June 1912, Katherine and Frank Stephens installed the Society’s first museum exhibits at the Hotel Cecil, where they could be viewed by the public on selected afternoons.
The Sixth Avenue property hosted the museum’s exhibits for a very short time, roughly 1912-1917. However, it remained the property of the Society until 1987, when it was sold to the Trammel Crow Company. Money raised by the sale became part of the Museum of Natural History’s endowment fund.
This Stuff Never Gets Old
The real world: it sure can be real interesting. Explore the natural history of southern California – from past to present – at the San Diego Natural History Museum . From rattlesnakes and flesh-eating beetles, to dinosaurs and fossils, to a Foucault pendulum that proves the earth is spinning, there’s something for everyone at The Nat, a flagship institution in beautiful Balboa Park. Visitors will be impressed by the unique, interactive exhibitions that span across five floors. The museum features a giant-screen theater with daily showings of 2D and 3D films as well as rotating exhibitions that bring nature to life.
Permanent offerings include Fossil Mysteries and Coast to Cactus in Southern California, which together serve as a walk through the region’s prehistoric past and biological present. You’ll travel through a period of 75 million years – from the time of dinosaurs to present day – along the way learning all about this amazing place we call home. Get to know The Nat’s sparkly side in Hidden Gems, showcasing more than 100 dazzling gem and mineral specimens displayed on every floor of the Museum. Skulls features 200 of the most fascinating animal skulls from the museum’s collection, and Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science invites visitors to explore treasures from its Research Library, including rare books, artwork, and historical documents displayed alongside plant and animal specimens.
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Birch Aquarium At Scripps
Location: La Jolla
I always get so excited when people choose San Diego as a vacation destinations because their kids have an interest in oceanography. The first place I send them is to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and I encourage residents to also take advantage of their programming.
Here, research discoveries by Scripps Oceanography scientists are showcased across 60 habitats of fishes and invertebrates, hands-on exhibits, outdoor tide pools with panoramic views over La Jolla Shores Beach, and more fun.
Speaking of the outdoor tide pools, there is a new animal touch experience where guests can gently touch juvenile Swell Sharks, Horn Sharks and Round Rays, endangered Pink Abalone, sea stars and more.
Be sure to also check their schedule of naturalist-led offsite programming including tide pool tours, whale watching, snorkeling with La Jolla leopard sharks, and more.
Make sure to know how to use the QR code reader on your phone. In place of hands-on exhibits, there are new ways to explore exhibits that youll discover after reading the associated QR code. Also, they are working on a fun Halloween outdoor experience. Stay tuned for more details.
What Museums In San Diego Are Free
The Timken Museum of Art offers free general admission for every day that it is open, and so does the Wells Fargo Museum, although it is temporarily closed. While most museums in San Diego do not offer free general admission every day, several museums offer free admission days every month on a rotating basis.
For San Diego residents and active military members, the San Diego Air & Space Museum is free on the second Tuesday of every month, the San Diego Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Us are both currently free on the third Tuesday of every month .
Similar resident deals exist for other San Diego museums, so make sure to check these out before booking your museum tickets.
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Celebrate Life At The Natural History Museum
Have you ever wondered how mass extinction changed the world, or watched scavenger beetles devour the flesh off an animal skeleton? Did you know San Diego imports 80-90% of its water? You can get answers to these and other questions and learn much more at the fascinating San Diego Natural History Museum. Located in beautiful Balboa Park.
San Diego United States
2 weeks ago
The Exequiel Ezcurra Director of Conservation Biology at the San Diego Natural History Museum is a newly created, endowed position intended to transform the Museums ability to have direct conservation impacts in our mission region of Southern California and Baja California. The DCB will play a leadership role in using an evidence-based, scientific approach to conduct research, inspire, and steer the conservation strategies of the Nat. As part of the Museums Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias, the DCB will work with its curators to strategically integrate collections-based research into the Museums conservation portfolio and actively collaborate with the regions conservation biologists in both Southern California and Baja California. The DCB is expected to have their own research program that generates data to inform conservation efforts and lead to direct conservation actions. In addition to serving as the intellectual leader of our conservation research strategy, the DCB will serve as the Museums face for conservation and environmental justice. In this capacity, the DCB will act as a strong representative of the Museum within the local, regional, and global conservation communities. The DCB should be a skilled and creative science communicator, generating and co-creating conservation-inspired outreach, and functioning as a content expert for internal and external stakeholders.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
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Whats Playing In The Heikoff Giant Dome Theater
Step off the beaten path with Into Americas Wild, a visually stunning cross-country adventure into the hidden wonders of the natural world. Discover one of the rarest animals on earth, the fabled Spirit Bear, hidden from the outside world in one of the planets most secluded wildernesses, in the Great Bear Rainforest. Follow the majestic, Australian green sea turtle Bunji, as she swims thousands of miles across the open ocean and has wild encounters in Turtle Odyssey.
Maritime Museum Of San Diego
Location: Downtown San Diego
See the largest preserved collection of historic ships in the United States at the . Of the various ships, steam-powered boats and submarines, museum highlights include the Star of India, an 1863 iron bark, a historically-accurate replica of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillos, San Salvador. Guests can even take a ride on board some of the museums ships. Tours include whale watching.
In addition to touring the ships, permanent and temporary exhibits convey important milestones in maritime history ranging from Swift Boats at War in Vietnam to Charting the Sea.
See the Maritime Museum of San Diego and USS Midway Museum on the same day as theyre only a short walk from each other. Get discounted tickets.
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San Diego Museum Of Man
Housed in historic landmark buildings, the San Diego Museum of Man traces the anthropology of the western Americas, from the pre-Colombian period until the present era. In addition to the indigenous cultures of Southern California, the museum highlights Mesoamerican civilizations like the Maya. The Museum of Man collection also includes rare ancient Egyptian artifacts and antiquities.
Museums In The United States
- Museums support over three-quarters of a million jobs.
- Museums contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy every year.
- There are about 850 million visits each year to American museums.
- Museum volunteers contribute a million hours of service every week.
- Museums partner with Schools and Communities for mutual benefits.
- Museums are considered the most trustworthy source of information than local papers, the U.S. government, or academics.
- Museums are considered a more reliable source of historical information than books or teachers.
- Zoos save Species and support conservation.
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Balboa Park Explorer Passes
The Balboa Park Explorer Passes are San Diego’s best cultural value. The one-day, multi-day and annual explorer passes offer visitors the chance to experience up to 17 museums in the Park, with savings of more than 50% and the convenience of a one-time purchase. The Multi-Day Explorer/Zoo Combo includes the Balboa Park Multi-Day Explorer Pass plus a one-day admission ticket to the San Diego Zoo, all for one low price.
Whats New In Our Exhibit Galleries
Immerse yourself in the digital world and witness the traces you leave behind in Digital Me. In this exhibition,explore todays digital world through over a dozen larger-than-life exhibits in technology, art, play and media, presented from a powerful new perspective youve never imagined. Enter the curious world of Mechanics Alive! and be delighted with this fun-filled, interactive experience that combines science, technology, engineering, art and math . In this exhibition, you can explore small, surreal worlds through fantastical and amusing mechanical sculptures known as automata. Plus, all of your favorite experiences, including Kid City, Studio X, Illusions Gallery and our VR Transporter, are open with additional cleaning and with more space for a safe exploration.
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