Need & Benefits

Northern California, with many of the state’s most pristine and stunning natural habitats, is the only major region without a natural history museum focused on the entire region. There simply is no place our region’s children and citizens can go to learn about the exceptional beauty and natural treasures of Northern California.

The need for a modern, state-of-the-art natural history museum devoted to Northern California is particularly pressing. In six counties of our region, our youth attend four-year colleges at less than half the statewide rate (8% compared to 18%, according to a 2001 McConnell Foundation study).

Statewide, 17,000 science and engineering jobs go unfilled every year because there aren’t enough qualified college graduates to fill them. The youth of our region and state need to be exposed to the challenge and exhilaration of the sciences if our economy is to recover and grow.

The Northern California Natural History Museum at CSU, Chico will provide our region’s hard-working elementary and high school teachers with a valuable tool to meet these challenges. “Teachers of the Year” on our Board of Directors are preparing school-visit packages to make sure that kids visiting the NCNHM on school field trips are prepared to get the most out of their visit. Our museum classroom will feature hands-on activities related to what they learn here. And our program of field trips to critical regional habitats will take them from the learning environment of the museum out to “the real world.”

With the support of Chico State and its College of Natural Sciences, we aim to finally provide for Northern California what the California Academy of Sciences and the Oakland Museum of California provide for central California, and what the natural history museums of San Diego, Santa Barbara, and L.A. County provide for southern California.

  • Celebrating the wonders of Northern California
  • Promoting knowledge of our region’s natural history
  • Engaging our children in biology and the sciences, encouraging more of them to attend college and consider science careers
  • Enhancing tourism, with conservative estimates of 40,000 visitors yearly
  • Promoting good stewardship of our natural resources