55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
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9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


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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 

May 30, 2012

Naturalist 101 Workshops

Great blue herons

Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences

Do you enjoy the outdoors? Wish you could identify some of the interesting animals you encounter? Join the Naturalist Center this summer to get out and learn basic identification skills in and around the Academy. For families with children ages 10 and up.

Birding Basics: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 10 am–noon

Insect Basics: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 10 am–noon

Each workshop: $10 for members, $15 non-members (does not include admission to the Academy). Space is limited. Please reserve a space online or call 415-379-8000. Meet at the Research & Staff Entrance.

Filed under: News,Programs — nature @ 1:38 pm

May 17, 2012

Solar Eclipse This Sunday


At the Naturalist Center, 10 AM-5 PM:
>> Color an Eclipse Dragon
>> Watch a documentary about the Sun
>> Play games, puzzles and much more

Join docents with telescopes on the roof, 1-4 PM.

View the eclipse, starting at 5:16 PM, outside the Academy’s entrance.

Note: Program is free of charge with admission to the Academy.

Filed under: Programs — nature @ 2:29 pm

May 16, 2012

Endangered Species Day


Friday, May 18, 11:00 am-4:00 pm

Join us at the Naturalist Center to make an African penguin bag puppet in honor of Endangered Species Day. Learn about the importance of protecting endangered species and everyday actions that individuals can take to help protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife.

Note: Program free of charge with admission to the Academy.

Filed under: Programs — nature @ 2:27 pm

May 6, 2012

Growing Up Asian in America: Science and the World Around You

2012 Student Essay and Art Contest: Our Oceans
Presented by the Asian Pacific Fund and the California Academy of Sciences
Note: The 2012 contest has ended. For information on the 2013 contest, see http://www.asianpacificfund.org/growing-up-asian-in-america

Middle school students can share their wonder of and desire to protect one of our most precious resources by entering our essay and art contest. Dive into hands-on activities related to oceans at the Academy and in public library branches.

Growing up Asian in America is an annual essay and art contest. The contest always has a theme, and prizes are awarded each year. This year there is an added program with prizes for a science contest about oceans.

First Place: $1500
Second Place: $750
Third Place: $500
Honorable Mention: $250

Get Inspired!

Click here for more ideas for your contest entry and to register for the contest. Growing Up Asian: Our Oceans 2012 >>

Basic CMYK
Contest made possible through the generosity of Loretta Huahn and the support of the Oakland and San Francisco Public Libraries.

Filed under: News,Programs — nature @ 10:48 am

May 1, 2012

International Migratory Bird Day


International Migratory Bird Day at the Academy

May 7-13, 2012

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) with a week packed with fun educational activities, presentations and field trips! This year’s theme is “Connecting People to Bird Conservation.” (For more information about the day, visit Environment for the Americas’s page.)


All week at the Naturalist Center (L3) & Early Explorers Cove (L1)

Complete three interactive self-guided activities like playing the Migration Game and using a field guide to earn a 2012 IMBD certificate. Please note: The Cove is an activity area for children ages 5 and under and their adult friends. Naturalist Center hours are Mon.-Fri. 11:00 AM-4:00 PM and Sat.-Sun. 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

Chat with a Scientist

Wednesday, May 9, 1:00 pm (Science in Action L1)

Join a discussion with Allen Fish, director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Allen has a particular interest in bird population responses to urban development, climate change and other human pressures.

Specimen Spotlight

Thursday, May 10, 11:30 am (Project Lab L1)

Find out more about some feathered friends from the Naturalist Center in this short presentation.

How to Draw Birds Workshop

Friday, May 11, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (L3 Classroom)

Discover how to quickly and accurately draw birds with naturalist, educator and artist John Muir Laws, author of The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada and The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn the basics of bird anatomy and tricks to help draw birds either for field notes or for the pleasure of sketching. Master the one-minute gesture sketch and learn tricks on how to draw heads, wings and feet. No previous drawing experience is necessary.
Reservations: $25 per person. For ages 10 and up. Space is limited. To reserve a place today, register online or  call 415-379-8000.
Note: Workshop does not require admission to the Academy and participants should plan to meet at Business Reception on Middle Drive. Please bring a pencil and sketchpad.

Bird Walks to Stow Lake

Saturday, May 12, 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (Meet at the Naturalist Center L3)

Explore the variety of birds around us with Golden Gate Audubon. For ages 5 and up.
Reservations: No advance registration required; each walk is limited to 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Meet at the Naturalist Center.
Note: Program free of charge with admission to the Academy.
Bring your binoculars if you have them; binoculars will be available to borrow if you don’t.

Birding on the Living Roof

Saturday, May 12, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (L4)

Join Golden Gate Audubon Society to observe birds that use the unique habitat of the Academy’s Living Roof. Meet at the Living Roof.
Note: Program free of charge with admission to the Academy. Don’t forget your binoculars!

Chat with a Scientist

Saturday, May 12, 2:30 pm (Science in Action L1)

Join a discussion with Marie Strassburger, Migratory Bird Chief, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Marie’s group provides national and international leadership in the conservation and management of migratory birds.

Organizations Making a Difference

Saturday, May 12, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm (Around L1)

Meet local organizations that are making a difference in bird conservation and research. Participating organizations include U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, SF Planning Department and Golden Gate Audubon.

Science Story Adventures

Sunday, May 13, 2:30 pm (L3 Classroom)

Explore the natural world through stories, experiments, games and crafts.

The California Academy of Sciences’s International Migratory Bird Day event was made possible by a partnership with the Golden Gate Audubon Society and the San Francisco Planning Department.

Filed under: Programs — nature @ 2:48 pm
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