Humboldt State University

Department of Biological Sciences

Vertebrate Museum

About the Museum

Welcome to the HSU Vertebrate Museum!

With over 15,000 specimens, the HSU Vertebrate Museum is home to one of the premier research and teaching collections of mammals, amphibians and reptiles in western North America. We serve as a center for field and specimen-based research on the ecology, evolution and conservation of vertebrates. We have very active teaching programs in Mammalogy and Herpetology through our home Department, the HSU Department of Biological Sciences. Our undergraduate and graduate courses in Mammalogy serve over 120 students annually, making it one of the largest and most dynamic programs in the nation. We provide a hands-on approach to student learning, with opportunities to receive training in everything from fieldwork, to museum specimen preparation, to modern DNA analyses.

In addition to the facilities and training offered by the Department of Biological Sciences’ Vertebrate Museum, Humboldt State also has one of the top Wildlife programs in the country. Training and research in the Wildlife Department focuses on applied vertebrate ecology. The major collections of birds are also housed in the Wildlife Museum.

Together, the HSU Department of Biological Sciences and the Wildlife Department offer one of the most complete experiences available anywhere for students interested in pursuing a career working with mammals, reptiles, amphibians or birds.

Marine Mammal Stranding Network

The Vertebrate Museum is an active member of the California Marine Mammal Stranding Network. We are responsible for recording data and collecting all specimens of dead marine mammals from Pelican State Beach (near the Oregon border) to Siskyone Wilderness State Park (north of Highway 1, Mendocino County). We also assist in live strandings and the necropsy of specimens that die during rehabilitation efforts.

To find out more about the stranding network, or to report a stranded or deceased marine mammal, please follow this link.

Please explore our site to find our more about the people, collections, research, and teaching at the HSU Vertebrate Museum.

HSU Vertebrate Museum • 1 Harpst St. • Arcata, CA 95521 • Contact Us.