The Morgan Initiative

randy weirdly smirkingRandall Morgan dedicated his life to studying birds, plants and insects of Santa Cruz County and advocating for protection of local biodiversity hot spots and imperiled species. The Randall Morgan Initiative aims to honor, preserve, and build upon the legacy of Morgan’s work as a local naturalist and conservationist. It provides for long-term stewardship of his collections and affords UCSC students the opportunity to develop their natural history skills and participate in local species and habitat conservation efforts.



The endangered Smith's Blue Butterfly and Coast Buckwheat. Finding this butterfly in Santa Cruz County motivated Morgan to create his insect collection.  Artwork by Michelle Pastor. 

The Norris Center

randy weirdly smirking

The Morgan Initiative is a major focus of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History at UC Santa Cruz. Consistent with Morgan’s passion, the Norris Center aims to train new generations of naturalists, researchers, and conservationists. Since 2002, the Norris Center has housed Morgan’s plant and insect collections, field notes, and maps. Our ongoing goals include specimen identifications, digitizing Morgan's collection and observational data, training students and researchers in collections stewardship and field survey methods, and promoting education and conservation of local species and ecosystems.

In Randy's Words

Just think how we could/should be training whole cohorts of students to the urgently needed work of discovery, documentation, and one would hope, salvation of all that beautiful life God made for us.” 

-R. Morgan 17 Dec 2010