Dr. Dennis M. Power was the Museum’s Executive Director for 21 years from 1972 to 1994. During Dr. Power’s tenure he guided a number of milestone changes that would prepare Santa Barbara’s first museum to be more than a museum – to become an environmental resource center for the community and beyond.
The first milestone was in 1972, when Dr. Power ushered in the computer age to the Museum when he installed a computer in his office with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Over the years, the changes Dr. Power implemented went beyond a computer. He cultivated and grew the administrative and curatorial staff, developed a fundraising campaign, and directed the construction of the former Sea Center, current Collections & Research Building, and current Cartwright Hall of Plants and Insects.
Beyond Dr. Power’s legacy at the Museum, he is also an ornithologist with a special interest in the evolution and biogeography of island birds. Dr. Power was born in Pasadena, California, and received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where his interests were in both studio art and biology. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.