Talks and Lectures

Nat Talks, made possible with support from presenting sponsor The Downing Family Foundation and media partner KPBS, feature museum staff and outside experts speaking on an array of topics, including the latest in scientific research, history, conservation, and the natural world.

Purchase tickets by clicking on the link associated with each event. To view recorded talks and lectures, visit our YouTube playlist. Please note that all talks are offered in local time (PST/PDT).

Upcoming Events

Nat Talk: California’s 30x30 Initiative

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 6:30 PM

California is one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots because it is home to so many unique species found nowhere else on Earth—many of which are experiencing unprecedented threats. Dr. Jennifer Norris, Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat at the California Natural Resources Agency, shares how the state’s 30x30 initiative will help to protect California’s biodiversity.

The current crisis isn’t just bad news for biodiversity— it is also detrimental to humans because we depend on these ecosystems. And it is clear the crisis is real. The effects of climate change are manifesting daily in extreme weather, historic drought, catastrophic wildfires, and ocean warming.  

One major step towards action is the 30x30 initiative which is a global effort to conserve 30 percent of land and coastal waters by 2030. The state of California emerged as a leader of this initiative when Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-82-20 in 2020 to lay the groundwork for implementation.  

Dr. Jennifer Norris leads the state’s 30x30 initiative and oversees “Cutting Green Tape” in support of landscape scale habitat restoration. Join us as Dr. Norris shares how the 30x30 initiative will help to protect California’s biodiversity, support our communities, and build resilience to climate change, and why it is important to act now to protect our incredible biodiversity before it is lost. 

Click ‘RSVP now’ to purchase a ticket to the in-person Nat Talk. If you want to join virtually, click here. There is no cost to join virtually, but donations are appreciated

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Torrey Pines & the Birth of San Diego's Environmental Movement

Tuesday, May 2, 2023 7 PM

Hosted in partnership with the La Jolla Historical Society, professional nature photographer Bill Evarts takes us on a photographic journey of the history and preservation of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

Bill is author of Torrey Pines: Landscape & Legacy, featuring photographic images of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, often taken from locations never accessible to the public. A native San Diegan who grew up in La Jolla, Bill has personal connections to both Torrey Pines and The Nat—he is the grandson of Clinton Abbott, who served as director of the San Diego Society of Natural History from 1922 to 1946. Bill will provide a personal perspective on the role the Society and his grandfather played in saving Torrey Pines and other public lands in San Diego. The Nat’s interest in the pines dates back to 1883 when Charles Parry, the first European to recognize the trees as unique, recounted his discovery of Pinus torreyana to members of the San Diego Society of Natural History, and they immediately launched plans to protect the groves.

Stop by the Museum store after the talk for a book sale and signing of “Torrey Pines: Landscape and Legacy” by Bill Evarts.

Tickets are $9 for members of The Nat and La Jolla Historical Society, and $12 for non-members.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with La Jolla Historical Society’s exhibition Rare Trees & Sacred Canyons: Torrey Pines - San Diego's Symbol of Preservation, on view February 10 - May 28.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit

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Past Talks

Check out our top five most viewed talks from the 2021 season on YouTube.

Climate Change Series

Throughout 2021, The Nat and Climate Science Alliance collaborated to offer a series of evening talks and daytime lessons around climate change. These quarterly events dove into the complex topic of our changing climate. The more we know, the better we can respond to what is happening. Watch the series and be empowered.