625 Esplanade
(near Bidwell Mansion)
Chico, California


Closed Jan. 8-19, 2018

Calendar of Events

Upcoming Exhibits

Coming May 26, 2018

More information coming soon!

The Glenn E. and Ruth Gray Cunningham Memorial Exhibit – The Foothills

Beauty & The Beast: California Wildflowers & Climage Change

This exhibit will be on display in the Newberry Gallery beginning May 26, 2018 and running through Fall 2019.

Climate Change Oceans: Acid vs. Life

This exhibit will be on display in the North Gallery from May 26 through August 19, 2018.

Ocean acidification has been described as potentially the greatest environmental threat we face, yet very few people have even heard of it. The oceans have experienced a 30% increase in acidity in recent years. We're already seeing the impacts far and wide: it's changing fish behavior, making them more vulnerable to predation; it's harming coral reefs, the most biologically diverse areas of the sea; it's upsetting the ecological balance of the seas, and the world's oceans are rapidly becoming even more acidic. Visitors learn about acidification at live-action and computer animated video stations as well as several activity stations. 

Coral Reefs: Nurseries of the Sea

This exhibit will be on display in the James W. Cornyn Valley Gallery from May 26 through August 19, 2018.

Go under the sea to experience the lively metropolis of the coral reef! This exhibit will enrich the mind with the colors and variety of one of Earth's most biodiverse ecosystems.

Biology of Corals – Coral animals have been around since before the dinosaurs. Learn about this amazing creature and how they help sustain over one million species of plants and animals.

Our dependence on the reef - Coral reefs prove their invaluable worth by providing everything from food and shelter to cancer-fighting medicines and more.  

Dangers to coral reefs - Coral reefs may be gone even before we can fully understand them. Learn about the many threats facing coral reefs, including how our fascination with reefs can be harmful.

Conservation efforts - Efforts to help conserve coral reefs include large-scale initiatives and dedicated individual action. Pick a single action from the exhibit recommendations and have a collective effect in saving this natural wonder.

Diary of a Hammerhead

This exhibit will be on display in the James W. Cornyn Valley Gallery from May 26 through August 19, 2018.

If you thought you knew everything about sharks, think again…Experience the epic life of Harriet Hammerhead, a great hammerhead shark! Take a peek inside Harriet's diary to explore hammerhead sharks and their importance as apex predators and keystone species of the world's oceans. 

Biology of hammerhead sharks - Learn what makes hammerheads some of the most unusual fish around. Sharks are "cartilaginous vertebrates." They have skeletons of cartilage rather than bone. But don't be fooled, the anatomy of the hammerhead makes it an efficient predator. That's not all, hammerheads give birth to live "pups," exhibit some interesting social behaviors and even have a sixth sense.

Hammerhead sharks are important - Learn why ocean ecosystems all over the world depend on hammerheads and other sharks to thrive. The disappearance of hammerheads causes disruption and endangers all levels of the food chain.

Dangers to hammerheads - The primary dangers to hammerheads are the demand for shark fin soup and bycatch. How many sharks are we talking about? Over 10,000 sharks are killed per hour around the world. 

Conservation efforts - Can sharks be saved? Learn about the efforts of people dedicated to saving sharks as well as what "everyday people" can do to help.