Each new species discovered, critical habitat protected, science career launched, teacher trained, and environmental steward nurtured helps further our mission to explore, explain, and sustain life.

No matter where they are—within the museum's walls, in classrooms on the other side of the world, slogging toward remote field stations—Academy staff are constantly studying, sharing, and working to protect the natural world. Learn more about how we're able to impact lives and policies worldwide through personal encounters, scientific research, innovative education, awe-inspiring exhibits, and more.

Academy researchers in scuba gear show a specimen collected

Real-World Science

Academy scientists have been documenting biodiversity around the world for more than 160 years, but with extinction and habitat-destruction rates rising, we're committed to rapidly sharing our data and discoveries to inform critical conservation decisions. 

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Young boys at a table examining a skull cast.

Mentoring Future Scientists

We offer a wealth of opportunities to budding scientists of all ages through initiatives such as student programs, mentoring for high school and undergraduate students, and professional development for teachers.

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A child looks at an animal in the Steinhart Aquarium.

Inspiring Wonder

Though we work on a global scale, many of the most important changes we effect happen right here at the Academy, one life at a time—sparked by interactions with fascinating live animals and the researchers passionate about protecting them.

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A woman examining a specimen in our collections.

Building a Library of Life

Comprising 45.6 million scientific specimens, the research collections at the Academy’s Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS) are an invaluable resource to the global scientific community.

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Explore IBSS

The Academy's Research Institute

The mission of the Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability is to gather new knowledge about life's diversity and the process of evolution—and to rapidly apply that understanding to our efforts to sustain life on Earth.

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Visit our Educator Center

Find an expansive collection of information, resources, activities, and opportunities for educators and students.