A window into research and collections at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT).
There is more to the Museum than exhibitions. In fact, we have a collection of more than 7.3 million specimens including fossils, plants, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and more. Most of our collections are from southern California and the Baja California peninsula.
Our mission is to better understand the plants, animals, and geology of this unique region, present and past. The specimens in our collections help us do just that.
In the Research Demonstration Lab, you can see some of the ways our scientists prepare, preserve, and study specimens. Just beyond the Research Demonstration Lab is the Paleontology Fossil Preparation Lab where volunteers and scientists work diligently to prepare fossils collected in San Diego to go into the collection or on display.
The Research Demonstration Lab hosts weekly live demos with zooarchaeologists every Thursday from 1-4 PM. The Lab is located on Level 3 of the Museum.
Check out this timelapse video of our paleontology team preparing a whale fossil:
*Note: the schedule of scientists working in the Research Demonstration Lab varies. Contact the Visitor Services Desk for more information.
Funding for the Hazard Demonstration Lab digital imaging equipment generously provided by the County of San Diego and Las Patronas.