Museum open Weds–Mon, Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Commitment to the Principles of Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History & Sea Center is a leading scientific institution and a cherished cultural attraction on the Central Coast. For over one hundred years, families and visitors have looked to the Museum and the Sea Center as a trusted voice for science and as a welcoming place to learn, explore, and to engage with nature and the natural sciences.

The natural world is all around us and we are all embedded within it. Thus, it is our obligation to help every individual we come in contact with to experience an authentic connection to the wonders of nature in a way that is meaningful for them.

The principles of diversity, accessibility, and inclusion are foundational to our ability to be a truly welcoming place for all. Recent cultural conversations around these topics prompt us to reflect upon these principles and to rededicate ourselves to them. Each of these principles directly align with our strategic priorities and our mission.

  • Diversity – As in nature itself, diversity in the life of the Museum is a sign of a healthy organization that benefits from the experiences and values of every individual that is part of it. We therefore work to invite everyone to actively participate in the Museum and Sea Center – as visitors, as staff, as volunteers, and in leadership roles.

  • Accessibility – If we are to provide every individual with a compelling engagement with nature and science, we must meet every individual where they are. For our visitors, our staff, and our volunteers, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Both the visitor experience and the work culture of the Museum and Sea Center must be based upon doing our best to provide each individual with access to what they uniquely need to learn and to succeed.

  • Inclusion – We want everyone who visits or who is part of this great Museum to feel seen, to feel safe, and to feel respected. This requires us to learn from each other, keep our minds open, and question our assumptions—all familiar practices to us in science.

Our commitment to these principles is memorialized in our updated Strategic Plan. That plan forms the basis of our annual work planning and budgeting process thereby assuring we turn this commitment into action each year.