Nature Club

Drop in between 10:30 am – 1:00 pm on the first SATURDAY of the month to enjoy special activities for families plus all of our regular museum programming, Raising Big Blue movie, museum tours, and more!

Two young museum visitors complete a puzzle of a harbor porpoise skeleton hanging on a wall.These drop-in sessions are designed for children 5-12 years old accompanied by an adult (not suitable for preschool-aged children). All sessions will be held at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, with experts from the Pacific Museum of Earth and around UBC making guest appearances. Drop-in activities will run between 10:30 am and 1:00 pm.

Everyone is welcome to participate! Thanks to the generous support of Campus and Community Planning, UBC campus families can take part for free! UBC Campus Families are families of anyone who lives at UBC Vancouver or UBC Okanagan or is a staff, faculty, or student on either campus. Other families are welcome to join us, museum admission rates apply. Please remember to look through our COVID-19 procedures before you visit. 

Pre-register below to guarantee your spot at these activities!

Please remember to look through our COVID-19 safety procedures before you visit.

To be notified of future nature club sessions, please sign up for the museum’s newsletter.

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This month we will be looking closely at petals and exploring flowering plants, the group of plants produce seeds, fruits, and flowers.

We are home to the largest herbarium in Canada, holding more than 650,000 specimens, some dating back as far as 1804.  A herbarium is a museum of dried plant specimens. Herbaria provide a permanent record of our changing flora over time, documenting all plant species discovered so far, their variation, and their past and present distributions. These specimens also hold a treasure trove of anatomical, chemical, ethnobotanical, and molecular information, and document the history of plant exploration.

Interested in exploring the flowering plants in your own backyard?

October 2, 2021: Fish

Fish have a backbone, live in water and breathe using special organs called gills. Fishing to find out more? Join us as we explore the diversity of fishes and take a closer look at fish in our collection.

The collection holds over 800,000 specimens and over 50,000 DNA and tissue samples, making it the third-largest fish collection in Canada. The collection holds 11 holotype specimens, original specimens that were used to describe new species. It also contains representatives of what may be the youngest fish species on Earth: pairs of stickleback species that evolved only recently in British Columbia’s lakes.

Interested in learning more about fish at home?


November 6, 2021: Fungi

Autumn has arrived, the air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing colour, and mushrooms are starting to appear. Want to learn more? Join us as we take a closer look at some fabulous fungi from the museum collection and learn a bit more about mushrooms, from the parts we see to the vast networks beneath our feet.

The fungal and lichen collections at the museum contain roughly 70,000 specimens—45,000 lichens and 25,000 other fungi—but the diversity of fungi and lichens is only partly understood, even in the Lower Mainland, with many new species still to be discovered!

Interested in exploring fungi from home?


December 4, 2021: Fossils

Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of plants and animals. They can tell us about ancient life on earth and help us understand present-day biodiversity. Interested in seeing fossils at the museum?

The fossil collection was started in 1924 and contains over 20,000 specimens!   Join us as we learn more about different types of fossils, how they are made, and what we can learn from them.

Interested in learning more about fossils from home?


January 8, 2022: Bryophytes

Bryophytes, a group of plants that include mosses and liverworts, are beautiful! Learn more about this curious group of plants that do not produce any flowers and reproduce using spores instead of seeds.

The museum is home to 327,000 specimens, making this one of the largest and most comprehensive Pacific Northwest bryophyte collections!

Interested in learning more about bryophytes in your own backyard?

  • In this NEW worksheet created for this month's Nature Club, become a bryophyte detective! Join Laura, a LEEF student, to find her study site and identify three bryophytes! Download the worksheet by clicking here. You'll want to use your computer to help you!
  • Close observation is essential to appreciate the fine details of these intricate organisms, find a quiet spot in the collection and practice your careful looking and drawing skills using this worksheet.
  • Rhizoid, liverwort, spores - there is a range of vocabulary to learn when you study bryophytes. Use this template to create a crossword puzzle using all your new words.
  • Dr. Karen Golinski recently joined the Beaty Biodiversity Museum as Collections Curator – Bryophytes, Fungi & Lichens with the Herbarium. In this video, we get to know more about Karen, her research and her experience.


February 5, 2022: Birds

This month we are learning more about our favourite feathered friends. Join us as we explore the diversity of bird bodies, shapes, and sizes.

Visit the Cowan Tetrapod collection at the Beaty Museum to see birds, as well as reptiles, mammals and amphibians. With over 40,000 specimens representing over 2,500 species, the collection is the second-largest scientific collection of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians in British Columbia.

Interested in learning more about the birds in your backyard?


March 5, 2022: Marine Invertebrates

Join us and learn more about this amazing group of marine creatures that live without backbones. Our museum collection contains several thousand specimens representing the major lineages of invertebrate animals. We will explore the world of mollusks, starfish, sponges, jellyfish, and corals, just to name a few!

Exploring marine invertebrates from home?

  • Krill colouring sheet.
  • How to draw krill.
  • In this video, Dr. Colin MacLeod, Curatorial Assistant for the Marine Invertebrate Collection, explains how, when the university and museum closed, he found a way to continue his research on parasites on marine invertebrates by setting up a mobile lab in his house.


April 2, 2022: Mammals

Mammals are a group of warm-blooded animals with backbones and include musk ox, humans and blue whales! Find out more about the characteristics that link us together.

Visit the Cowan Tetrapod collection at the Beaty Museum to see birds, as well as reptiles, mammals and amphibians. With over 40,000 specimens representing over 2,500 species, the collection is the second-largest scientific collection of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians in British Columbia.

Interested in learning more about mammals from home?


May 14, 2022: Entomology

Entomology is the study of insects. This month we are taking a closer look at some interesting insects in the museum collection and learn more about the fascinating features of these organisms.

With over half a million pinned specimens, 75,000 alcohol-preserved specimens and 25,000 specimens on slides, a visit to the Spencer Entomological collection at the museum is your chance to see incredible insect diversity.

Interested in learning more about entomology from home?

  • Learn how to identify some local insects.
  • Meet the Pollinators! In this video, Tiia Haapalainen from the Spencer Entomological Collection introduces you to some pollination basics, the major insect groups involved with pollination, and how to tell them apart (mimicry abounds!)
  • Create your own origami butterflies.