Learn about the 2014 Philippines Expedition
Forams in compactors in the dry collection.
Partial view of the IZG Department.
Research in Invertebrate Zoology and Geology.
Our researchers work around the world.
Explore the aquatic diversity of the Philippines.
Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
Welcome to the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology. Our curators conduct research in their areas of specialty - systematics and phylogeny of octocorals, opisthobranch mollusks, echinoderms, and paleontology. Additionally, they oversee the preservation and maintenance of the specimen collections with the assistance of two senior collection managers and their curatorial assistants. The collections of the department are the most diverse within the Academy, containing over two and a half million specimens. View select geology and diatom specimens and archives on our Flickr page.
The Importance of Natural History Collections
CAS Special Publication: The Coral Triangle - The 2011 Hearst Philippine Biodiversity Expedition
Three researchers from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology (Terry Gosliner, Chrissy Piotrowski, and Gary Williams) presented lectures and participated in the 2012...
Research scientists from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology (Terry Gosliner, Chrissy Piotrowski, and Gary Williams) conducted a continuation of an ongoing...
Gary Williams, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, was the invertebrate zoologist on board the ROV Deep-Sea Coral Cruise in the Gulf of the Farallones...
Read KQED's story about California Academy of Science researcher Dr. Rebecca Johnson's study of evolutionary color patterns in chromodorid nudibranchs.
The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce that 12 new members have joined the ranks of the Academy Fellows, a governing group of around 300 distinguished scientists who have made...
Today we are pleased to officially announce the launch of PLoS Hubs: Biodiversity, a new pilot Web site to connect the biodiversity community with...
Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Nos. 7-18. 15 September 2010. Order Now.
Notes from the Field
Academy Scientist Terry Gosliner talks Nudibranchs, Corals and Readers’ Questions in The New York Times.
Nudibranchs, Corals and Readers’ Questions...
IZG maintains four major collections: Recent invertebrates, fossils (invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants), diatoms (fossil and Recent), and minerals.
Mapping the Undersea World
Are the CAS IZG collections open to non-staff for study?
Where are the mineral/gem/fossil exhibits in the Academy?
The Academy's new bulding "breathes," and the temperature and humidity inside the display areas usually reflect the conditions outside. Most natural history specimens cannot be displayed under these circumstances, and specially environmentally-controlled cases must be built for the main floor. This may happen gradually, as the Academy exhibitions mature and change.
Have a question about a strange animal or unusual natural occurrence?
Please direct it to our Naturalist Center.
How may I request a loan?
Where can I go to collect minerals/fossils?
In the Bay Area, most potential collecting sites are on private land or in a county/state/federal park, where collecting is not allowed. We suggest you join your local gem and mineral society (there are lots of them in Northern California and elsewhere) or take a class at the nearest university or community college. Those groups often take field trips to local sites of geologic interest, where collecting is allowed. And learning some geology along the way makes it more fun!
Where else can I go to see minerals and fossils on exhibit?
The California State mineral collection, which used to be on display in the Ferry Building in S.F., is in Mariposa, near Yosemite. It is displayed at the County Fairgrounds, in the care of California State Parks. It is unknown at this time whether that park will survive the State's government shutdown schedule. There are a few minerals on display at UC Berkeley and Stanford, but no organized exhibits. The closest good big mineral and fossil displays are at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
I think I've found a meteorite/dinosaur bone/fossil. How can I tell if it's real? Or can I bring it in and have somebody look at it?
It will save you a trip if you can take a couple of pictures of your specimen and send them to us via e-mail or as prints in the regular mail. You are welcome to drop specimens off at the Academy’s Naturalist Center, where they will be identified by CAS scientists. In some cases, you can make an appointment to talk to someone on staff about your specimen.
Are the collection data available online?
Yes. Please follow this link.
Who can borrow specimens from the IZG collections?
Any qualified research scientist, including students, with an institutional affiliation is eligible to borrow specimens. Final approval of any loan is at the discretion of the Collection Managers and Curators of IZG. However, most eligible loan requests are approved.