San Diego Natural History Museum | Coast to Cactus in Southern California

In the brand-new exhibit Coast to Cactus in Southern California, a permanent exhibition now open at theNAT, visitors can explore the various and beautiful ecosystems found in southern California.

San Diego is known for its incredibly diverse terrain, ranging from the beaches and chaparral near the coast, to the mountains and the desert farther afield. This terrain is what makes the region one of only 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, meaning areas that have the highest concentration of different species of any geographic area of similar size. Using specimens from the Museum’s scientific collections, alongside immersive environments built by Blue Rhino Studio (hands-on exhibits, live animals, and innovative media), Coast to Cactus illustrates that richness by taking visitors on a journey through these habitats and the plants and animals that live in them.

Images below show details of the construction and installation of these gigantic immersive dioramas and interactive exhibits.

Beth Zaiken