55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Naturalist Notebook 

April 30, 2014

Owl Pellet Investigation

What do owls eat? Join Careers in Science interns and Naturalist Center educators to become a skulls and bones sleuth! Dissect an owl pellet on Saturdays at 10AM, May 17 through September 27 in the Naturalist Center on Level 3.


Filed under: Uncategorized — nature @ 1:08 pm

April 23, 2014

NATURALIST 101 Workshops


Learn basic naturalist skills in these hands-on, small group (20 person) workshops.


Upcoming workshops:



Tuesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 31, 6:15 – 8:15PM

Scientists can learn many things by examining an animal’s skull, and so can you!

In this two-part workshop, you’ll get to investigate a wide variety of fascinating skulls and other specimens plus learn the essentials of how to identify local animals by their skulls. You’ll discover what determines if the animal was predator or prey, what it ate, and what sense was most important to its survival.

You’ll get to compare “your” Homo sapiens skull with other mammals and test your knowledge of animal senses.

You’ll also go behind the scenes to see some of the Academy’s most extraordinary collections, visit the new Skulls exhibit, and be able to attend Thursday’s NightLife.

For adults 21 and up. Please sign-in at 6PM at the reception desk via staff entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive (formerly Middle Dr) rear entry to the Academy.

Reservations: Members: $24, General $30Space is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member ticket or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831.  You may access information on transportation and parking here.


Naturalist 101 workshop topics offered previously include: Botany Basics, Insect Basics, Birding Basics, Skulls Tell It All, and Be a Bay Area Ice Age Tourist. These may be offered again, dates TBD.


Filed under: Uncategorized — nature @ 1:22 pm

April 1, 2014

Soil Sleuthing!

Junior Academy: Naturalist Know-how’s skill for the month of April is Soil Sleuthing. Learn dirt science and take home a sustainable seed-growing experiment!


This program is designed for youth ages 8 to 11. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited to 20 youth with attending adults. Onsite registration is required for this program (1:30 PM).  Free with Academy admission.

Junior Academy: Naturalist Know-how workshops are super fun and you get to learn naturalist skills in a real science lab and/or outside! Every month we have a new theme; click here for the list and additional information.

Sundays at 2pm – 2:45pm (sign-up at 1:30pm) Naturalist Center / Lab (Level 3 across from the Planetarium exit)


April 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — nature @ 10:11 am

March 24, 2014

A Shadow Over the Earth: The Life and Death of the Passenger Pigeon


A passenger pigeon from the Academy’s Department of Ornithology & Mammalogy will be on Display in the Naturalist Center’s Cabinet of Curiosities April through September 1, 2014.


Martha, the last passenger pigeon, in her enclosure in 1914 (Image, Wikimedia Commons)


When Europeans first arrived in North America, flocks of passenger pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius) blanketed the skies so much so that “the light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse,” as naturalist and painter John James Audubon observed. Estimated at 3 to 5 billion birds, passenger pigeons were the most numerous birds on the continent, possibly even the world. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last of her species, died in captivity.

To mark the 100th anniversary of this extinction, the Naturalist Center is displaying a passenger pigeon from the Academy’s Department of Ornithology & Mammalogy. It will be on exhibit with other specimens until Sept. 1, 2014.


Filed under: Uncategorized — nature @ 7:40 am

January 27, 2014


Saturday–Sunday, March 29–30, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Monday–Friday, March 31–April 4, 11:00 AM–4:00 PM

Saturday–Sunday, April 5–6, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM


Discover a miniscule world where materials have special properties and new technologies have spectacular promise! Find out how gecko feet, butterfly wings, and other things found in nature have inspired some amazing innovations during NanoDays at the Academy’s Naturalist Center (Level 3).

Build a giant nano puzzle, explore how 3D imaging helps scientists work on the nanoscale, and discover a variety of other activities. At various times throughout the week, join educators for fun activities about topics like how blue morpho butterfly wings aren’t really blue, how lotus leaves have inspired stain-resistant fabric, and how some things like DNA and snowflakes assemble themselves in nature. Each day at 3:15 PM, make a cool keepsake and discover what it has to do with the amazing world of nanoscience.

NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network). To find out more about the fascinating world of nanoscience, visit whatisnano.org.

Free with Academy admission.  Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.  (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

Filed under: Uncategorized — nature @ 11:35 am
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