Of Bugs and Plants and Eagles...and More...

Of bugs and plants and eagles...and more...

The 12th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, set Saturday, Feb. 18 on the university campus, will feature 11 museums or collections in what is billed as a "Super Science Day." Frankly, it's a super way to learn about science, it's super free, and it's super family friendly. 

You can meet the scientists and ask about their work. It's a great opportunity for students considering a scientific career. Food? You can purchase refreshments or lunches from the nearby food trucks.

Here are just some of the events:

  • The Bohart Museum of Entomology is the home of eight million insect specimens, plus a live petting zoo (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas). 


  • Check out the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, which will feature the Habitat Gardens in the Environmental GATEway, adjacent to the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive.
  • Breeze into the Botanical Conservatory greenhouses, along Kleiber Hall Drive. 
  • Head over to the Center for Plant Diversity, aka Herbarium, located in the Esau Science Hall (formerly known as the Sciences Laboratory Building), located off Kleiber Hall Drive. Special attraction (novelty): You can pet the pine cones in its petting zoo.


  • See eagles, hawks, owls, vultures, and falcons at close range. Operations supervisor Julie Cotton says that "The California Raptor Center's Education Program seeks to introduce people of all ages to raptors and their habitats, and to encourage appreciation, respect, and protection of these magnificent birds. Many rehabilitation centers, including the CRC at UC Davis, have programs that allow non-releasable birds to serve as ambassadors to educate the public about science and conservation. The CRC's 30 non-releasable raptors include eagles, hawks, owls, vultures, and falcons, most of which be viewed on the tour route alongside informative placards describing each bird and its personal story. Several of these raptors will be out 'on the glove' with their handlers for up-close viewing and opportunities for questions and answers. Visitors are invited to follow the self-guided tour route and to visit the small-onsite museum during their visit."

The list of the 11 museums or collections:

  • Anthropology Museum, 328 Young Hall and grounds, noon to 4 p.m.
  • Arboretum and Public Garden, Habitat Gardens in the Environmental GATEway, adjacent to the Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive,  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 and main hall of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Botanical Conservatory, the greenhouses along Kleiber Hall Drive, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • California Raptor Center, 340 Equine Lane, off Old Davis Road, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building/Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Nematode Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building/Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 9 am. to 3 p.m.
  • Marine Invertebrate Collection, Sciences Laboratory Building/Esau Science Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, 9 am. to 3 p.m.
  • Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1394, Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Paleontology Collection, 1309 Earth and Physical Sciences Building, 434 LaRue Road, 12 noon to 4 p.m.
  • Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Robert Mondavi Institute Brewery and Food Processing facility, Old Davis Road, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (See news story

Maps will be available, and a graphic also will be posted on the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day website

The UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, traditionally held on Presidents' Day Weekend, is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Organizing the crowdfunding are Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum of Entomology; Brennen Dyer, Bohart Museum collections manager; and Melissa Cruz Hernandez, outreach and leadership program manager, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

"Your support will enable our 11 collections--the students, staff and faculty associated with them-- to hold this event," they announced. "Donations will not only help us sustain this free science event, they will enable our student interns to take science outreach to a whole new level. The goal of our event is to connect people from all walks of life to science and the biodiversity surrounding them. All donors will be recognized on the Biodiversity Museum Day social media accounts with a shout-out post." 

The donor wall is at https://crowdfund.ucdavis.edu/project/35545/wall. Gifts are tax-deductible.