The San Diego Natural History Museum, affectionately referred to as The Nat, is a flagship institution in Balboa Park featuring the natural history and unique biodiversity of our binational region. The Nat has four floors of exhibitions, a 3D theater, and a research collection of 9 million specimens.
Founded as—and still officially named—the San Diego Society of Natural History, the organization traces its roots to an enthusiastic group of amateur naturalists, who formed the San Diego Society of Natural History in 1874. The organization welcomes nearly 400,000 people into the Museum each year, hosts environmental education programs in the community, and is engaged in scientific research throughout Southern California and the Baja California Peninsula.
The world we live in is an amazing place. We want everyone to understand it better, enjoy it more, and love it as much as we do, so we’ll all protect it for the future. Because we believe that nature is the biggest exhibition of all.
To interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment.
We are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, which certifies the Museum continues to demonstrate a professional level of operation in accordance with AAM’s standards of excellence.
Our organization is a member of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaboration of 26 arts, science, and culture institutions in Balboa Park. By working together, we produce major outcomes that no single organization could achieve alone.
In 2009, the Museum was awarded LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Certification for efficiency in energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of sustainable strategies.