One hundred years ago, scientists—both amateur and classically trained—found plants in the Baja California Peninsula that now seem to have disappeared. No one has seen them growing in the wild for decades—until now. Multiple recent expeditions have led to the rediscovery of some species. Where did they go and how did we find them? Read more.
The Museum is delighted to celebrate milestone promotions for two of our long-time curatorial staff members. Phil Unitt in the Birds and Mammals Department and Dr. Brad Hollingsworth in the Herpetology Department were promoted from associate curator to curator in fall 2019. Read more.
Specimens and resources in our archives are not just of interest for their historical value; they are strikingly relevant today. The Museum is five years into a multi-year project to photograph and digitize every one of the 76,000 specimens in its Herpetology collection, some of which date back to the 1890s. Read more.
The flat-tailed horned lizard has the most limited distribution of any horned lizard species in the United States, and its habitats have been impacted by development, off-road vehicle activity, and more. Using records of where the animal has been observed, coupled with data from the museum’s historic collections, scientists can understand the environmental factors that shape patterns of biodiversity and learn what the lizard needs to survive. Read more.
Professionally trained researchers can’t be everywhere at all times. Citizen science projects, including one focused on the invasive shot hole borer beetle, provide opportunities for regular people to contribute to science. Read more.
Camp Pendleton retains an incredible amount of biodiversity, including insects and spiders that are critical to ecosystem health. Museum scientists are partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps to study and document them, with the goal of creating a baseline inventory of what lives where. Read more.
Bridges make great bat roosts. But what happens with the bridge is crumbling and needs repair? That’s where our scientists come in. Read more.
Who doesn’t love dune bugs? Our entomologists are studying insects in the dunes of Baja California to gather data that will help inform conservation decisions around these incredibly unique—but potentially threated—ecosystems. Read more.
Museum scientists are taking action to restore California Red-legged Frog habitat in Baja California in response to massive declines in their population. Read more.
A glimpse at the personal herbarium of Kate Sessions, known as the Mother of Balboa Park. Read more.