55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
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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 

January 18, 2013

Dinos Amongst Us

As regular visitors of the Naturalist Center know, our real Camarasaurus lentus leg bone (that you can touch) and dinosaur coprolite (fossilized poop) are quite impressive! If you haven’t seen these Jurassic fossils, come visit soon, as they’re part of a temporary display.

And, if you’re looking for even more dinos, check out this petting zoo performance from one of our partners:

Created and Performed by
ERTH – Visual & Physical Inc.

ERTH’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo

Gather the kids for a visit to a petting zoo like none other! Life-like puppets, from cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing tyrannosaurs, come to life in an eye-popping performance that will delight all ages. This interactive event allows you to travel back to prehistoric times with ERTH performers and even feed, water and care for these marvelous creatures. The meganuera, dwarf allosaur and leallynasaura can’t wait to be petted and fed. Dare you get close?

“Technical brilliance, cultural insight and enchantment all in one go.”
Sydney Morning Herald

Standard:    $18 | Members $16 | Students $14

Saturday, Feb 2  Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Starts at: 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Filed under: News,Programs,Uncategorized — nature @ 3:04 pm

December 26, 2012

Monarch Waystation

Monarch Waystation
Photo: Anna Barr © California Academy of Sciences

To celebrate ‘Tis the Season for Science at the California Academy of Sciences, seasonal animal behavior and adaptation information is on display throughout the museum. In the Naturalist Center, we are showcasing the amazing migration of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). The population found east of the Rocky Mountains migrate up to three thousand miles south to overwintering sites in central Mexico. Monarch butterflies that live west of the Rocky Mountains spend the winter in the coastal forests of California. Although some butterflies live long enough to complete the annual migration cycle, most of the monarchs heading south are navigating to the winter roosts without having been there before! How they are able to navigate remains a mystery and scientists continue to research this amazing behavior.

You can visit the Naturalist Center to learn more about the monarch butterfly life cycle, migration patterns and current conservation efforts. Throughout the winter at the Naturalist Center, specimens will be on display and monarch butterfly-themed games and resources will be available. You can also take part in the following activities:

  • Make a monarch butterfly using printed origami paper and add it to one of our winter roosting areas!
  • Learn about “monarch waystation” gardens and how you can help monarch butterflies thrive throughout the year by ensuring host plants like milkweed species are abundant.
  • On Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. join us for Specimen Spotlight to learn more about the butterfly life cycle, behavior and migration patterns. Get a close-up view of butterfly wings!

We also encourage you to visit The Xerces Society and Monarch Watch to learn more about monarch butterfly migration and conservation issues.

Filed under: News,Programs,Theme of the Month — nature @ 2:37 pm

December 21, 2012

Our Oceans Contest 2012

Growing Up Asian in America:

Science and the World Around You, 2012 Our Oceans Contest


“Saving Our Oceans One Stroke at a Time” by Sophie Fu

Growing Up Asian in America is an annual essay and art contest sponsored by the Asian Pacific Fund. This year the California Academy of Sciences jointly sponsored a science essay and art contest around the theme of “Our Oceans.” All students in grades 6–8, regardless of ancestry, were eligible to enter. This contest was made possible through the generosity of Loretta Huahn and the support of the Oakland and San Francisco Public Libraries.

On November 10, 2012, the contest winners and their families came to the Academy for an awards ceremony. After the ceremony, the winners went to the Naturalist Center to pick a marine specimen to display with their work. Be sure to check out these awesome essays and artwork, plus specimens, on display in the Naturalist Center. The displays will be on exhibit until January 25th.

The winners:

Sophie Fu, 1st Place, artwork: “Saving Our Oceans One Stroke at a Time” (displayed image)

Divya Prakash, 1st Place, essay: “Letter from an Ocean”

Emily Zhao, 2nd Place, artwork: “Saving the Oceans with Kids’ Power”

Hender Lin, 2nd Place, essay: “The Shark Fin’s Dilemma”

Gloria Fung, 3rd Place, artwork: “We All Live in One Ocean”

Logan Dong, 3rd Place, essay: “I am Asian American”

Nancy Li, Honorable Mention, untitled artwork

Kiana Hu, Honorable Mention, essay: “Ocean Waves”

Filed under: News,Uncategorized — nature @ 12:59 pm

September 20, 2012

Sea Otter Awareness Week at the Academy

Photo: Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is home to the world’s largest collection of skulls, skeletons and other preserved samples of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Celebrate the 10th annual Sea Otter Awareness Week here at the Academy between September 23–29, 2012. Throughout the week, select research specimens will be on display in the Project Lab and sea otter-themed games and resources will be available in the Naturalist Center and the Early Explorers Cove (an activity area for children under five and their adult friends).
In addition, join us for the following activities:

  • Sunday, Sept. 23, 2:30 pm: Science Story Adventures, featuring stories, games and crafts for children ages 4-8 in the Education Classroom.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25, 11:30 am and 2:00 pm, and Thursday, Sept. 27, 11:30 am: Specimen Spotlight, highlighting sea otter research specimens in the Naturalist Center.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 6:00-10:00 pm: NightLife for ages 21 and up, showcasing sea otter skulls being prepared as specimens and a special table with biologists and specimens outside the Project Lab.
  • Friday, Sept. 28, 11:00 am-4:00 pm: Naturalist Center Crafts. Make a sea otter kelp bed!

Filed under: News,Programs — nature @ 2:19 pm

September 12, 2012

Celebrate Claude’s 17th Hatchday!

Our favorite alligator, Claude, turns 17 this Saturday, Sept. 15. Help us celebrate his hatchday!

Photo: Ron DeCloux © California Academy of Sciences

Learn about alligators and how to tell them apart from crocodiles during our “Specimen Spotlight” program tomorrow, Sept. 13, at 11:30 am in the Naturalist Center. Stay afterward to play games and browse books featuring crocodilians, reptiles whose ancient ancestors date back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Stop by the Naturalist Center anytime between 11 am-4 pm on Friday, Sept. 14, to make a very fashionable Claude hat for this week’s “Naturalist Center Craft.” Be sure to wear it proudly around the museum after you’re done!

Photo: N. Sincero © California Academy of Sciences

Filed under: News,Programs — nature @ 8:57 am
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