Upcoming Norris Center Events 

Look. Act. Inspire: Sustaining & Expanding the Community of Naturalists in Santa Cruz County

We are excited to open an online and in-person exhibit featuring the diverse naturalist community in Santa Cruz County. Look, Act, Inspire highlights contributions of over 100 naturalists spanning more than 50 years in Santa Cruz County, including a diverse cohort of up-and-coming naturalists. A special part of the exhibit celebrates the contributions of Fred McPherson to the natural history and conservation of the San Lorenzo Valley. 

The web-version of the exhibit is here:

The in-person exhibit is officially open to the public! Starting March 19th, the exhibit will be open Thursdays 1-4PM, Fridays 4-7PM, Saturdays 1-4PM and Sundays 1-4PM. You can reserve 30-minute timeslots for your pod to visit the exhibit on Thursdays and Saturdays on Eventbrite. Visiting on Fridays and Sundays does not require a reservation. Capacity is limited on all days to 8 people (including docents!) in the museum, and masks are required throughout. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the Norris Center at Directions to the San Lorenzo Valley Museum in Felton are here

Register to visit on a Thursday or Saturday, or come drop by on a Friday or Sunday starting on March 19th!

Other Look, Act, Inspire Events

June 14: Hidden Wonders: A Natural History Film Series Screening Event featuring Fred McPherson

We are excited to announce our next event will be jointly hosted with the San Lorenzo Valley Museum in-person at the Belardi Gallery in Felton. Join us to see Fred McPherson's film edited by a team of Norris Center Film Interns led by Jessica Carver.  This event is free and you can register by emailing us at 

The event will take place on Monday June 14th at 8 PM in the back outdoor areas of the Belardi Gallery where the Look, Act and Inspire exhibit is hosted until June 30th. The event is outdoors so you may want to bring a jacket. You may also bring a lawn chair if desired; we will provide blankets and tarps to sit on if you do not have a chair. Attendees must bring a mask and follow proper social distancing protocols with members outside their household. 




June 26: Pocket Sized Landscapes Art Workshop with Erika Perloff

Pocket Sized landscapes Workshop Saturday, June 26, 2021 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM PDT; Held outside at the UCSC Arboretum


Join us at the UCSC Arboretum and learn how to paint miniature landscapes from life in this afternoon workshop. We’ll practice techniques for distilling the landscape down to its essential components and learn how to compose a scene with UCSC’s tree lined meadows for inspiration. We’ll cover brush handling, color mixing and various watercolor techniques so you’ll have the tools you need for painting landscapes on the go. This quick and loose practice is great for hiking, traveling, journaling, and recording the landscape when you don’t have a lot of time. The pocket landscapes can serve as inspiration for larger paintings back home and often are beautiful little gems on their own. All art supplies provided. No experience required. Register Here.

Pricing: $20 for students and $60 for community members.




Past Look, Act, Inspire Events:

If you missed our virtual opening on January 31, here is a link to the recording, and a compilation of the participant's hommages to inspirational Santa Cruz Country nature and naturalists. 

If you missed Christian Schwarz's wonderful first lecture on fire-following fungi, here's a link to the recording

If you missed our March 7th event on nature journaling with Jessica Carver, here's a link to the recording.

If you missed our April 13th event about Randy Morgan's Collections, here's a link to the recording.

Our past event on April 25th "Celebrating Earth" and on May 6th "Ethnobotany with Rick Flores" was in-person and does not have a recording.

If you missed our May 19th event about Coast Redwoods and Fire with Zane Moore, a recording is coming soon.



Other Norris Center Events

What Makes Us Human: An Art + Genomics Convergence

November 12, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Featuring art from the Norris Center's Art-Science Residency program, What Makes Us Human is an art exhibit that assembles contributions from researchers at the cutting edge of their fields in the arts, the humanities and the sciences. Learn more here.


Other Santa Cruz Area Natural History Events

Santa Cruz Natural History Museum 

SCMNH has lots of great lectures, events, and workshops. Visit their website for more information on their upcoming events, lectures, and workshops. 

Seymour Marine Discovery Center and Younger Lagoon

The Seymour Center has frequent lectures on marine biology, leads many outreach events for the public, and offers public tours of the nearby Younger Lagoon. Check out their events calendar here.

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History has great exhibits on everything natural history related about Monterey County. Each year they also feature the natural history illustrations of CSUMB's students. Those students visit the Norris Center during their class, and do really great work. Check out the museum's current offerings, and especially visit for the CSUMB student artwork.