• If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.
  • If we seem busy...
    it's because we have millions of years of work to do.

We conserve the Californias

Two countries, one bioregion.

Southern California and the Baja California Peninsula each have their own cultural identity, but are more alike than different—biologically speaking. Breathtaking beaches, chaparral-covered hillsides, mountains, rugged desert landscape, and more. The unique and varied terrain in our binational region supports an incredible diversity of life. In fact, the area is home to one of the highest numbers of plant and animal species found nowhere else inthe world.

This place is unique—but it’s fragile and threatened. That is why we have studied and helped protect it for nearly 150 years. When a handful of our predecessors came together in 1874, they wanted one thing: to study, preserve, and protect this amazing place we call home.

We still gather every day to do just that.

Supporting a planet that supports us

We live in one of 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world—our region is home to many species found nowhere else on the planet, yet endangered and threatened by habitat loss. And we believe it’s our responsibility to protect it. The Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias (BRCC) 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 earth’s history and evolution

Science Blog

Read about new discoveries, field research, conservation highlights, and what our scientists are up to.

Research Departments

Research departments and collections at the San Diego Natural History Museum include: Birds and Mammals, Botany, Entomology, Herpetology, Marine Invertebrates, Mineralogy, Paleontology, and the Research Library.

Atlas Projects

Plant and animal atlases provide information on the distribution, abundance, and long-term change of species in a particular geographic area. Our scientists have developed a collection of atlas projects to promote a deeper understanding of the biodiversity of southern California and Baja California. More.

Scientific Expeditions

The Museum conducts expeditions and other field research along the Baja California peninsula, which is a major portion of our area of emphasis. Museum scientists often work with specialists in different disciplines from various institutions in the United States and Mexico. More.


Behind-the-Scenes 
Scientific collections are a continual investment by society that allow us to better understand the natural world. In the face of disappearing habitats, species extinctions, and the destruction of geological and paleontological sites, the specimens in our collections have become nonrenewable resources.