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SWOT Public Programs CommitteeReport

Internal Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Scientific collection.
  2. New facility with great potential.
  3. Talented staff, including focused director, effective second and third tier managers, and strong volunteer corps.
  4. Tourist and binational location.
  5. Strong programming, especially binational focus and outreach efforts.


  1. No exhibits and building isn't finished-nothing for visitors to see.
  2. Inadequate funding, especially to finish building.
  3. Inadequate staff to accomplish numerous agendas, including grant writing.
  4. Corners cut in construction; poor circulation in building; disappointing temporary exhibition hall.
  5. Lack of parking and accessibility to Balboa Park in general.

Main Opportunities and Threats


  1. Technology offers new means of programming; convergence of portable, digital technologies.
  2. Outreach enables us to redefine the museum experience and audience.
  3. New sources of human capital in staff and volunteers.


  1. Economic downturn.
  2. National security, war, uncertain political situation.
  3. Competition for leisure time.

Natural Environment

  • T: Extreme weather turns away visitors; extreme hot/cold raises cost of doing business.
  • O: Visitors may see the Museum as a refuge in bad weather.

General Economic

  • T: Potential downturn; threat of recession.


  • T: Increasing energy instability and cost; decreasing energy availability.
  • O: Lots of natural light in the new building; opportunity to become a model "green" operation.


  • O: Four times the channels now at SDCOE-need content!
  • O: Advances in technology can enhance exhibits.
  • O: Distance learning can expand audience; video connection to schools and the website encourages visits and reinforces content afterwards.
  • O: Technology enables us to archive our resources.
  • O: Ability to engage high school students in helping with video production.
  • T: Hard to predict what future technology will be.
  • T: Need to make our content and experience unique from what's available on the Internet…an opportunity to emphasize the real thing.


  • O: People desire social connectedness and the ability to interact with real things. The Museum can be positioned as a place to "hang out," regardless of current exhibit; a venue for meetings, concerts, food service.
  • O: Military personnel may become a target audience.
  • T: Aging volunteer force.
  • T: People out of work.
  • O: Early retirees and people looking for resume enhancement, networking, and/or service learning are a volunteer resource.
  • T: Competition for leisure time (shopping, casinos, theme parks).
  • O: Museum Store can become a shopping destination.
  • O/T: People feel less secure, but we can be the safe haven to escape reality.


  • T: War/
  • T: Increased public security measures.
  • T/O: Decreased emphasis on science education, but the Museum can help fill the gap with teacher in-service, contract teaching, curriculum development, etc.
  • T: Reduced federal funding for education and museums.

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