Public Events

We have not been able to host our typical public events this year due to the coronavirus. So we are going virtual.

Join us on Wednesday, December 16, for a virtual tour and a look at insects under the microscope.

Each year we host three events when we open our doors to the public: Darwin Day (February), Cal Day (April), and Homecoming (October). Each has a slightly different focus.


As a research collection, the Essig Museum does not have the space for permanent exhibits. These special events allow us to give back to the community and talk about the work that we do to catalog the past and protect the future.

For Darwin Day (February 12) we borrow specimens from the other Berkeley Natural History Museums that illustrate principals of evolution discovered by Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Henry Bates, such as Heliconius butterflies, a marine iguana, Galapagos finches, fossil barnacles, pressed plants, and live orchids and carnivorous plants.

Cal Day (3rd Saturday of April) is a campus-wide open house to introduce incoming students, and the general public, to the broad array of research and education that takes place across campus. The Valley Life Science Building, home to the Essig Museum, UC & Jepson Herbaria, UC Paleontology Museum, and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, is particularly popular for visitors.

Homecoming / Alumni weekend (usually October) is geared towards families of alumni and current students (but all are welcome). The date of Homecoming weekend varies from year to year (based on the football team’s schedule). That Friday and Saturday we open the doors for visitors to wander in, look around, and ask questions.

To find out more you can visit the webpage for each of these events, or subscribe to our electronic newsletter.

We hope to see you at one of our events!