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Natural History Museum

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The Museum is an exciting place. It is both a facility as well as a concept. It is both a reality as well as a dream. It is a never-ending treasure hunt for answers to questions. It is a constant amazement and appreciation of this blue and green planet we call Earth. The Museum's major focus is, of course, the study of natural history. Its primary participants are the students of Sierra College who attend classes, field courses, lectures, seminars and demonstrations. But there's much available for everyone.

The Museum is also a favorite place of the regional public. Thousands each year attend seminars, programs, field trips and activities sponsored by the Museum and designed specifically for the public.

The Museum is open during regular college hours during the week, but because there are classes in session in the building, we ask that visitors be quiet as they explore. It is open on weekends only when there are other activities in the building.

Get on the Museum events email list. Send a request to

Become a member of the Museum and help us become even better!

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As part of the new Sierra Science Speaker Series, the Nevada County Campus welcomes Steve Rothert in a discussion titled "Restoring Salmon to the Upper Yuba."  This presentation and discussion will be held on Tuesday evening, April 8, from 6:30–7:30 pm, in the Multipurpose Center, building, N-12. Come early and enjoy a meet-and-greet and refreshments at 6:00 pm.

Summary of presentation: Since before 2000, river advocates, scientists and dam owners have been studying and litigating whether and how to restore salmon and steelhead trout runs to the Yuba River above Englebright Dam, which has blocked fish from reaching the upper Yuba since 1940. River advocates have been inspired by the vision of restoring salmon to their home waters in the Sierra Nevada to spawn for the first time in nearly a century, while dam owners objected for fear of the costs they would incur in such folly, and scientists wondered if it could even be done.  After numerous studies over 15 years and costing more than $10 million, we believe the data say “Yes we can”.  This presentation will tell the story of what salmon seek in spawning habitat, what the North, Middle and South Yubas offer them, and how we might get salmon returning from the ocean up there to spawn and their offspring back out to the Pacific. 

About the speaker: Steve Rothert earned his B.S. in ecology from UCLA and his M.S. in river sciences from UC Berkeley. He was the director for the Southern Africa Program for International Rivers Network based in Botswana, was Director of the national Hydropower Reform Coalition, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the fisheries program in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Steve joined American Rivers in 2001 and in 2002 began serving as Director of American Rivers' California Regional Office. In addition to overseeing office operations, he manages American Rivers' programs in California related to hydropower reform, anadromous fish restoration, dam removal, climate change and water supply.

This presentation is free, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The Nevada County Campus is located at 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Parking is $3 on campus and can be purchased at the kiosk machine at the main entrance to the campus. For more information about this presentation and others in this series, contact the series coordinator, Jason Giuliani at:

Docent Led Tours and Visiting the Museum

If you are coming with a group, please contact us first. For a guided tour, call 916-660-7923 and leave a message. 

eJournals Online

The Journal of the Sierra College Natural History Museum is published twice a year. Each issue has articles and photos relating to science and natural history.

Also online is Snowy Range Reflections: a Journal of Sierra Nevada History and Biography is also published twice a year. Each issue concerns interesting and historic information and photos about the Sierra Nevada.

Do you have some spare time and want to personally help the Museum?

Learn how to be a Museum volunteer or docent

Past lectures available through iTunes U

(You need iTunes installed on your PC or Mac) 

Sierra College's iTunes U allows you to view or download audio and video podcasts to your computer or iPod directly from iTunes. And they're all FREE!

Scroll down to Campus Events, Guest Lectures, then Lectures and the Museum lectures are included in each of year tabs.

Take me to Sierra College on iTunes U


Keely Carroll Instructor, Biology, Natural History, Field Biology, Zoology, Museum Director

  • S 111D
  • 5000 Rocklin Rd.
    Rocklin, CA 95677

Keely Carroll is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Sierra College. After completing her Bachelor’s at CSU, Sacramento, she worked for... More

Richard Hilton Instructor, Earth Science

  • S 115 B
  • 5000 Rocklin Rd.
    Rocklin, CA 95677

Richard Hilton is a professor of earth science, a paleontological consultant and, with his wife Kristin, works as a world traveling naturalist. He... More

Jennifer Skillen Instructor, Zoology

  • S 117 A
  • 5000 Rocklin Rd.
    Rocklin, CA 95677

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