The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL), a network of 10 neighborhood library branches throughout Santa Cruz County, will hold its innovative Citizen Science program now will be held the first Thursday of each month at an SCPL branch, including the Scotts Valley Library on Dec. 3.

The Citizen Science program is an ongoing series for teens and adults conducted in partnership with the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History and UC Santa Cruz. The program includes a science-focused presentation by a local expert followed by a question and answer session.

“SCPL enjoys great partnerships with community organizations that allow the Library to bring a broad range of fun, intelligent and interesting programming to our patrons,” said Janis O’Driscoll, interim director of Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

The events will be 6:30-8 p.m. Thursdays this fall. The Citizen Science presentations will include:

  • Oct. 1: Sea Otters at the Downtown Santa Cruz Library, 224 Church St.
  • Nov. 5: Climatology, El Nino, & Santa Cruz at the Downtown Santa Cruz Library, 224 Church St.
  • Dec. 3: California Moray Eels at the Scotts Valley Library, 251 Kings Village Road

Chris Law, who is pursuing his doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCSC, will lead October’s Citizen Science program about sea otters. He is broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of Musteloidea, a group of animals that consists of otters, weasels, badgers, raccoons, and skunks. Part of his dissertation is to understand how morphological variations within sea otters contribute to differences in feeding ability and prey specialization between individual otters of Monterey Bay.

Details about future programs will be released later this fall.



The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) system delivers information, education, enrichment and inspiration through a network of 10 neighborhood library branches, a web-based digital library, a Bookmobile and community-based programs. SCPL serves children, teens and adults with innovative programming, professional services and community facilities that spark imagination and support discovery. Residents can explore a wide range of interests from academic research, book clubs and literacy programs to digital photography, locally-produced music and local history. Branch locations include Aptos, Boulder Creek, Branciforte, Capitola, Downtown Santa Cruz, Felton, Garfield Park, La Selva Beach, Live Oak and Scotts Valley. Learn more about SCPL at or via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.