Thriving California is a major new Academy initiative that will harness scientific data and mobilize diverse communities to fight climate change, stop biodiversity loss, and advocate for nature in the Golden State.

California is at the very heart of the Academy. We are the oldest science institution in the American West, established to understand and celebrate the state’s stunning natural diversity. At the same time, California is also on the front lines of the ecological crisis, with many of the state’s species and habitats threatened by rising temperatures and record-breaking wildfires.

Through three pathways—biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement—we will investigate the past, monitor the present, and create a future where healthy, resilient human and natural communities thrive together.

Academy scientists hike through burned forest in the Caples Creek watershed.

Regeneration in action

Deep in the Sierras, Academy scientists are engaged in a multi-year partnership with the US Forest Service to investigate the relationship between intentional fire and enhanced biodiversity—and how both can boost forest resilience in the future. 

Hands holding a box of pinned ant specimens

Biodiversity science

By leveraging the Academy’s vast scientific collection of California flora and fauna, we will develop a deeper understanding of our state’s dynamic natural history. By engaging individuals to contribute to community science projects and building a digital tool to foster data-driven conservation planning across the state, we seek to chart a course toward a regenerative future.

2 students use a digging tool to collect sand crabs at the beach

Environmental learning

We will galvanize a movement in California aimed at providing equitable access to environmental and science learning, inspiring a love of nature, and supporting diverse environmental leadership. We seek to close the science education gap by providing every K-12 student and teacher in California the opportunity to engage their head, heart, and hands in understanding, caring about, and acting on behalf of their local environment.

2 smiling high school students display a specimen on a rocky tidepool

Collaborative engagement

From serving on the newly created California Biodiversity Network’s leadership team to supporting the State’s 30x30 goal of conserving 30% of California's lands and coastal waters by 2030, the Academy believes in the power of cross-cultural, cross-sector connections. By collaborating with communities, Indigenous groups, natural resource agencies, school districts, and nonprofit partners, Thriving California will ensure our state’s diverse voices inform environmental decision-making in California and beyond.

Our major initiatives
The Academy's mission is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Explore the initiatives that will help us achieve it.