California is at the very heart of the Academy. We are the oldest science institution in the American West, established to understand and celebrate the state’s stunning natural diversity. At the same time, California is also on the front lines of the ecological crisis, with many of the state’s species and habitats threatened by rising temperatures and record-breaking wildfires.
Through three pathways—biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement—we will investigate the past, monitor the present, and create a future where healthy, resilient human and natural communities thrive together.
Regeneration in action
Since 2016, Californians have been able to combine a summer day at the beach with a biodiversity expedition. Snapshot Cal Coast is the Academy’s annual statewide community science effort to document animal and plant species along the California coast using the iNaturalist app. The data collected is helping to inform marine protected area (MPA) management and contribute to our understanding of how species ranges are changing along our coast.
By leveraging the Academy’s vast scientific collection of California flora and fauna, we will develop a deeper understanding of our state’s dynamic natural history. By engaging individuals to contribute to community science projects and building a digital tool to foster data-driven conservation planning across the state, we seek to chart a course toward a regenerative future.
We will galvanize a movement in California aimed at providing equitable access to environmental and science learning, inspiring a love of nature, and supporting diverse environmental leadership. We seek to close the science education gap by providing every K-12 student and teacher in California the opportunity to engage their head, heart, and hands in understanding, caring about, and acting on behalf of their local environment.
From serving on the newly created California Biodiversity Network’s leadership team to supporting the State’s 30x30 goal of conserving 30% of California's lands and coastal waters by 2030, the Academy believes in the power of cross-cultural, cross-sector connections. By collaborating with communities, Indigenous groups, natural resource agencies, school districts, and nonprofit partners, Thriving California will ensure our state’s diverse voices inform environmental decision-making in California and beyond.