The State of Biodiversity

Save the date for the 2022 Symposium

Our annual State of Biodiversity Symposium will take place on Thursdays in March 2022. Speakers, topics, and registration details coming soon.

  • March 3, 3-5:30 PM | Keynote speaker at The Nat
  • March 10, 9-10:30 AM | Panel discussion via Zoom
  • March 17, 9-10:30 AM | Panel discussion via Zoom
  • March 24, 9-10:30 AM | Panel discussion via Zoom

Conversations and convening around regional biodiversity.

Thinking about the state of our region’s biodiversity can leave a person feeling pretty grim. But with climate change and the environment back on the national agenda, we planned this year’s State of Biodiversity Symposium with a renewed optimism. We explored not only the challenges but the stories that make us hopeful around the topics of binational biodiversity, pandemic-era science, and statewide conservation efforts.

This annual Symposium brings together conservationists, land managers, scientists, and natural history nerds for in-depth conversations about our current ecological condition and what’s to come.

Previously a full-day event held at the Museum, the 2021 “deconstructed symposium” featured morning talks that took place on Zoom across four Thursdays in April. Sessions took place from 9 to 10:30 AM and were followed by a 30-minute discussion and networking opportunity. Sessions were free, but participants had the opportunity to make a donation to support the Museum’s research and conservation efforts.

El idioma oficial de la reunión será el inglés. Habrá interpretación simultánea español.

Thank you for joining us in 2021!

The 2021 Symposium is over, but the conversations continue--read more about last year's themes and panelists below. You can find recordings of our panels and Q&A on our YouTube channel.

April 1: Keynote address | Earth Optimism

Optimismo para la tierra

The earth is home to millions of different kinds of creatures whose futures, and ours, hinge on how we manage the planet over the next decade. Will we halt our destruction of nature and begin to restore it? The task may seem hopeless, but around the world people are making a difference. Dr. Nancy Knowlton, author of Citizens of the Sea and Sant Chair for Marine Science Emerita at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, shared these sources of inspiration, wisdom, and hope.

April 8: Binational Biodiversity and the Border

La biodiversidad binacional y la Frontera

Two countries, one bioregion. The Nat’s research area includes southern California and the Baja California Peninsula. We are fortunate to work alongside scientists and conservationists who are passionate about preserving biodiversity on both sides of the border. Panelists discussed trans-border contrasts and collaborations. Learn more about the panelists.

April 15: Pandemic-Era Science

Ciencia en la era pandemia

The past year sparked broad interest in infectious diseases, with particular attention to those viruses with origins in the animal world. In this wide-ranging panel, speakers discussed both the effect of biodiversity on disease and the effect of disease on biodiversity. Learn more about the panelists.

April 22: A Biodiversity Roadmap for California

Un mapa de ruta para la biodiversidad de California

The final session in our series of State of Biodiversity webinars covered a variety of initiatives that are underway to study, conserve, and protect California’s biodiversity. Learn more about the panelists.