The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. 

Earth has always been a place of constant flux, but the change accelerating around us today is far from natural. Plant and animal species are vanishing at a rate unmatched since the age of the dinosaurs—in many cases before we can even name them.

The Academy’s programs of research, education, and public engagement are cause for optimism in urgent times, helping people of all ages to hone science-literate brains and the passion to protect biodiversity. In our day-to-day work and overarching goals, we're guided by a mission statement as profound as it is simple: to Explore, Explain, and Sustain life on Earth. 

Two scuba divers with a sea turtle.


You'll find Academy researchers all over the world, from 500 feet below the ocean's surface, to Ethiopian deserts and rainforest canopies. Through expeditions, field work, lab work, and everything in between, we never stop exploring—or discovering—in our efforts to learn more about Earth's biodiversity.



Academy educator teaching chemistry to a young visitor.


Through engaging museum exhibits, educational programs, scientific publications, and digital resources, we share our discoveries and ever-increasing understanding of the natural world with people of all ages. 

Young visitors explore the Earthquke exhibit at California Academy of the Sciences.

Our Impact

Learn more about the ways we're impacting lives, environments, and policies worldwide with personal encounters, diligent research, and innovation.

Academy researchers on an expedition.


We work with governments, people, and organizations around the globe to help inform critical conservation decisions, while here in San Francisco (and online via digital resources) our exhibits, daily programs, and educational offerings aim to inspire better protection of Earth's richness.  

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A One-of-a-Kind Destination

Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Academy is a one-of-a-kind place to explore the nature and future of life on Earth. From the splashing penguins in African Hall to the wildflowers on the roof, the building is bursting with life. A four-story living rainforest and awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem showcase some of Earth’s most biodiverse habitats, while immersive planetarium shows offer a new perspective on the planet we call home. Opportunities abound to meet Academy scientists and share in their discoveries.

Driven to Discover

Scientists at the Academy’s Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability travel the globe discovering, documenting and sharing knowledge of the natural world. The Institute supports world-class scientists, researchers, fellows, and graduate students in 12 fields of study. Through expeditions around the world and investigations in the lab, they strive to understand the evolution and interconnectedness of life and guide critical conservation decisions. Their collective effort is pushing the scientific envelope, informing Academy exhibits and programs, and helping citizens here and abroad to be sustainable stewards of Earth’s biodiversity.

Passion for Education

Through formal and informal education programs, the Academy fosters scientific literacy among teachers and learners of all ages. Our accredited teachers, highly trained docents and scientists share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural sciences with tens of thousands of children, teens, and life-long learners each year. Academy educators host teacher workshops, create classroom materials, and facilitate field trips year-round to inspire the next generation of scientists. Daily museum programs, events, lectures and digital learning opportunities bring the natural world to life for visitors and curious individuals from around the world.