Educator Workshops

Through partnerships with 22 museums and universities around the country, DigIn is working to make information about marine species freely available for researchers, educators, and policy makers. Important goals of this project include collaborating with teachers to develop resources such as lesson plans and educational activities that make use of this information, building connections between educators and their local natural history museums, and incorporating authentic experiences into standards-based learning. 

2023: Scientific Discovery & Natural History Collections

July 10th-July 14th, 2023. NHMLA hosted a four-day workshop for educators exploring how specimens in natural history collections, and their associated data, are being used in timely research. The workshop involved hands-on, multi-day immersion with visits to the Museum, the California Science Center, the shore, the Cabrillo Aquarium, and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. The workshop introduced educators to publicly accessible education resources to aid in developing exciting and engaging curricula for students.

2022: Marine Biodiversity & Climate Change

June 21st-June 24th, 2022. NHMLA co-hosted a four-day K-12 Educator Workshop with California State University Dominguez Hills that explored how biodiversity has and is predicted to change. The workshop introduced teachers to local scientists and resources for scientific exploration and involved hands-on, multi-day immersion with visits to the Center for Innovation in STEM Education at CSUDH, the Museum, Cabrillo Aquarium, and AltaSea. The major products of the workshop were lesson plans or units designed by each teacher that made use of the resources to which they were introduced over the course of the week.

2021: Dive Into Marine Biodiversity

June 28th-July 2nd, 2021. NHMLA hosted an educator workshop for California State University Dominguez Hills STEM teachers, involving hands-on, multi-day immersion with visits to the Museum, the shore, sampling from a research vessel, and exposure to traditional and modern approaches for studying marine biodiversity. 

This workshop, funded by Boeing, had excellent media coverage. We not only had Spanish language Univision television coverage, but also in-depth video coverage by the Los Angeles County Communications Department. This exposed us to some of the possibilities for dissemination of our museum-oriented biodiversity work for greater impact as we develop the larger outreach component of the project in Years 2 & 3. The 2021 workshop also laid the groundwork for our Summer 2022 outreach training for the CSUDH STEM teachers participating in this grant (see above)

Join us in digitizing invertebrate specimens!

Invertebrate Time Machine

We’re using Notes from Nature to engage the community in transcribing label data from marine invertebrate specimens. You can help! Visit our project page for more.

Acquiring Specimens

New Specimens from 2021 Nautilus Cruises Eagerly Expected

The Museum of Comparative Zoology is expecting the 2021 samples from E/V Nautilus’ Cruises NA134 and NA135 from areas within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to arrive at the Museum shortly. Our staff has worked hard over the years to get the specimens curated, databased and properly housed in our collections. Enjoy this video of highlights from the Nautilus 2021 cruises.

Introduction to the DISCO project

The D.I.S.C.O (Diversity Initiative Southern California Ocean) project seeks to establish a molecular identification library with about 5,000 unknown marine species. The database, which would be created from the tissue samples of the collected species, aims to provide a significant contribution to the informative world about the vast marine ecosystem in the region.

This and the next few pieces reflect coverage of this museum specimen-based project by Spanish-language Univision, the leading news network in Los Angeles. 

DISCO — Reaching high school students

The Los Angeles County National Museum of History (NMH) is leading an initiative called DISCO (Diversity Initiative Southern California Ocean), which allows high school students to venture into ocean exploration and learn about the seabed. and the species that inhabit it. “Our life is impacted by the ocean every day, so there is value in knowing how we are connected to it,” says Nicole Durán, representative of the NMH.

DISCO — Reaching women and girls

Although environmental damage affects everyone, Regina Wetzer, director of the National Museum of History in Los Angeles County, points out that it is women who generally make decisions in homes and in their close surroundings, which is why she highlighted the importance of a program that, together with AltaSea, brings together young women in ports to show you up close the need to protect the environment. “The more women are CEOs, the more changes and policies we are going to see,” said psychologist Lydiana García.

DISCO — Reaching STEM teachers

With the help of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History (NHMLC), public school teachers spent four consecutive days learning about the ocean and experiencing natural science first-hand. All as part of the initiative called Diversity Initiative for the Southern California Ocean (DISCO).

From Ship to Shore: Processing Biological Samples from Nautilus Expeditions

Technology aboard E/V Nautilus allows our scientists to collect organisms and biological samples from the deepest parts of the ocean, bring them back aboard Nautilus, and preserve them for scientific study now and in the future. 

Photo by Yannick Peterhans.

Collaboration with USC Annenberg Agency

Each semester the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Agency, operating as a professional communication consultancy, supports the needs of local organizations. The agency is structured as a directed-research course and designed to give graduate and senior undergraduate students hands-on skills in communication and public relations strategies by serving community organizations and local nonprofits. This Fall semester five students with Communications/Digital Social Media, Public Relations & Advertising, and Communication Data Science backgrounds (and their faculty mentor) are developing social media templates and designs, branding, and a social media calendar for the DigIn project. We expect to roll out our first communications before the semester ends (December 2021). The goal is that the DigIn consortium can easily and efficiently continue our social media presence throughout the project without making it a burden on any single DigIn participant or institution.

Extended Specimen Lecture Series

This three part lecture series explores how scientists and researchers are working to integrate contextual information, link it to specimens, and make it available to all.  At each event our NHMLAC Research and Collections staff members, Dr. Regina Wetzer and Dean Pentcheff, discussed the extended specimen concept with a guest speaker.

Nickelodeon Science of Slime

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and Nickelodeon are joining forces to bring you a kid-friendly exploration of goo. Discover how different species use slime to survive, from squid ink to snail trails to bubble-blowing insects. You will never see nature’s sliminess the same way again!