Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Receives $1,000,000

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History received a generous gift of $1,000,000 from Keith Coulter and the B. Paul Moser Trust with $900,000 specifically designated for master planning costs and $100,000 to support the astronomy program over the next several years. Mr. Coulter’s incredible donation coupled with the generous support of several Museum trustees and friends brings the total raised for the Museum’s master planning to more than $2 million.

As Trustee of the B. Paul Moser Trust, H. Keith Coulter supported the Museum’s education programs for over 15 years. He directed more than $150,000 towards numerous Museum activities including astronomy education programs for schoolchildren, general operations of the Sea Center, and most recently to support the restoration of the Blue Whale skeleton. He and Museum Executive Director Karl Hutterer spoke frequently about the vision for a new Museum which would better serve the community. Mr. Coulter understood the challenge of raising the money needed to fund the preliminary planning of a new Museum and decided in January to make a leadership gift to help support the planning efforts.

Mr. Coulter, who recently passed away, and his wife, Rica, have been staples of the Museum family and of the Santa Barbara community for several decades. As a retired naval officer and electrical engineer, Mr. Coulter’s knowledge was vast, and he had an unmatched passion for learning. This passion for learning inspired his generosity through the B. Paul Moser Trust which was often focused on providing educational opportunities through numerous and varied local nonprofit organizations. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Coulter, Santa Barbara is richer in scientists, engineers, nurses, artists, woodcarvers, and teachers.


A few weeks ago on July 20, the Museum presented an update of its proposed Master Plan at a joint review by Santa Barbara City Planning Commission and Historic Landmarks Commission. A rebroadcast of the session is available online on the City’s Historic Landmarks Commission video web page (see link below). The Museum also updates its website with Master Planning information at:

HLC Video Link: (Scroll down to the July 20, 2011 meeting and click “Video.”)


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