Saturday: Biodiversity By the Dozen

Logos of the 12 museums participating in Biodiversity Museum Day.
A dozen museums and collections are participating in Biodiversity Museum Day.


Seven collections will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and five from noon to 4 p.m. Here’s the breakdown (with special features — child- and adult-friendly — in parentheses):

9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Noon-4 p.m.

Complimentary parking

From honeybees to hawks, from carnivorous plants to dinosaur bones, the sixth annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, this Saturday (Feb. 18), promises to have something for everyone.

The family-friendly event, set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will showcase 12 museums and collections — all within walking distance of one another on campus except for the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven (west of Highway 113) and the California Raptor Center (south of Interstate 80).

Biodiversity Museum Day is free open to the public, and parking is also free. All of the collections have active education and outreach programs, but, in some cases, the collections are not readily accessible to the public otherwise — so, if there’s something you want to see, now’s your chance!

In the event of rain, the outdoor events will move indoors. Signs and volunteers will direct visitors, and you can download a map here or use this My Map by Google. You can also follow the event on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #BioDivDay.

The committee lists these attractions, geared toward children ages 6 to 10, but also interesting to all age groups:

• Walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and tarantulas are featured in a petting zoo at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, in 1124 Academic Surge on Crocker Lane.

• You can marvel at the huge dinosaur bones in the Paleontology Collection in the Earth and Physical Sciences Building on Crocker Lane.

• You can see carnivorous plants “swallow” flies and other unsuspecting insects in the Botanical Conservatory, off Kleiber Hall Drive.

• You can sample Vegemite and kombucha at the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, in the Earth and Physical Sciences Building on Crocker Lane.

• You can get up close to hawks and other birds of prey and watch demonstrations at the California Raptor Center on Old Davis Road. You can also check out the Raptor Center museum and even pick apart owl pellets to look for bones.

• You can see prehistoric tools and watch demonstrations of flint knapping and atlati throwing at the Anthropology Museum in Young Hall.

Bee sculpture at Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
 The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven will have a catch-and-release activity on Biodiversity Museum Day — with real bees, not this one! You’ll also have an opportunity for a close-up view of the queen bee, workers and drones in a bee observation hive.

• You can engage in leaf-rubbing activities, olive wreath crown-making and interactive activities dealing with erosion control and composting at the Arboretum and Public Garden, headquartered on La Rue Road.

• You can look through a portable scanning electron microscope in Academic Surge (in the Bohart Museum of Entomology or the Wildlife and Fish Biology Museum)

Coming next month: Brain Awareness Week program for all ages at the Center for Neuroscience, Saturday, March 11.

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Kathy Keatley Garvey, 530-754-6894,

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