In case any of you are unfamiliar with the Naturalist Center, I’d like to introduce this wonderful space, a hidden treasure on the 3rd floor of the museum. Stocked with juvenile literature, videos, dvds, and specimens representing the main research divisions of the Academy (Anthropology, Botany, Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology & Geology, and Ornithology & Mammalogy), the Naturalist Center is the place to go to learn more about the natural world. From identifying unknown specimens to helping students complete research projects, Naturalist Center staff are passionate about answering specific questions from curious visitors. (For specimen identification, remember to take a photo rather than removing the object from the wild.)
Some Frequently Asked Questions from Educators:
Can I borrow materials for free?
Teachers, like museum Members, are automatically eligible to borrow books and multimedia from the collection at no charge. Just sign up for a library card and start borrowing materials for use in the classroom (5 books for 3 weeks; 2 DVDs or videos for 1 week). Specimens are only available for use on-site, so take advantage of these resources when you visit with students.
Do I have to pay museum admission to access these resources?
To visit the Naturalist Center or to pick up materials without paying admission to the museum, call ahead (415.379.5494) to let us know you are on the way. Remember to come in through the Business Entrance at the rear of the building. You’ll avoid the crowds, and our staff will escort you directly to the Naturalist Center. You can browse through library catalog online.
I signed up for a library card during the Exclusive Educator Preview. Can I expect to receive it in the mail?
Your card is being held at the Naturalist Center information desk. Just pick it up next time you come in!
Do you have any recommendations for particular books or videos in your catalog?
But, of course! Check out the Naturalist Center Notebook to read suggestions hand-picked by staff. Each month, the Naturalist Center will highlight resources, display new specimens, and structure activities around a different theme.
Let me know if you have questions! And do share feedback after visiting by yourself or with your class.