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Naturalist Notebook 

May 31, 2012

Summer Reading San Francisco Style

summer_reading_flyer

In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, we invite you to join us for the San Francisco Public Library Summer Reading Kick-Off event this Sunday, June 3 at the Academy. The Green Bookmobile will be on-site for you to peruse library materials and to sign-up for the program. All ages from babies to grandparents can join in the summer reading fun. Track the time you spend reading through August 4th and win a prize for:

  • 10 hours of reading (Children)
    Very young children can participate by having someone read to them.
  • 30 hours of reading (Teens)
  • 40 hours of reading (Adults)



Prizes are available at your local San Francisco public library. For more information on Summer Read SF, check out the library’s website.
Young readers can start earning some minutes by attending our Science Story Adventures program at 2:30 pm in the Classroom this Sunday, which will focus on earthquakes.


And speaking of earthquakes…don’t forget to check out the Academy’s new Earthquake exhibit. Experience the 1906 and Loma Prieta earthquakes in our Shake House. Meet live ostrich chicks and learn what they have to do with earthquakes. Immerse yourself in seismic encounters in our new Planetarium show.


If you want to delve deeper into the world of earthquakes (and earn some minutes for Summer Read SF), check out the following earthquake-themed booklists:


Filed under: News,Programs — nature @ 11:36 am

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 22, 2012

Spotlight On…

Check out this week’s featured specimen!

(Pictured below, really close up!)

5-4-12
Photo: Dr. Robert T. and Margaret Orr © California Academy of Sciences


Can you guess what it is?


Here are some hints:

  • This plant can take in water through its leaves. This helps it survive in its habitat that has plenty of fog, but not much rain.
  • Beetles, sunbirds and sugarbirds are the main pollinators of this plant.

Leave us a comment with your answer! Then come see us in the Classroom on Sunday, May 27th at 2:30 pm for Science Story Adventures to see if you’re right and to learn more about this plant. Science Story Adventures is our program for children ages 4 – 8 and their caregivers. In the program, we explore the natural world through stories, specimens, games and crafts.


Filed under: Spotlight On... — nature @ 8:30 am

May 20, 2012

California Habitats: Part 1

Paige Bardolph © California Academy of Sciences
Paige Bardolph © California Academy of Sciences

It’s Wild California month here in the Naturalist Center, and we have enough resources on display to answer most of your California natural history questions.

While you’re visiting, make sure to take a look at our California habitats exhibit. Each display is jam-packed with specimens from 1 of 6 different key California environments. You may see some familiar faces, but you’re bound to discover some neighbors you never knew you had!


California Coast

Spanning the entirety of the state’s western border, the coast is a shining symbol of California. Besides being a central economic and social component, it’s also home to a plethora of fish, marine mammals, birds, and invertebrates! Just walking along a tide pool reveals a staggering amount of biodiversity, a trend which continues as you look deeper to find kelp forests and hydrothermal vents.

For more information, take a look at the following resources:
http://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/03ecology/tpindex.htm
http://www.lagunaoceanfoundation.org/tidepool_ecology.html
http://life.bio.sunysb.edu/marinebio/rockyshore.html

California Wetlands
From vernal pools to coastal estuaries, California’s wetlands generally act as a transitory space between a body of freshwater and another environment. As a result you can find a fascinating mix of species from differing environments, as well as animals that have adapted to the area’s unique ecological niches.

For more information, take a look at the following resources:
http://www.californiawetlands.net/tracker/
http://www.sccwrp.org/ResearchAreas/Wetlands.aspx
http://www.elkhornslough.org/tidalwetland/downloads/VanDykeWasson2005.pdf
http://ca.water.usgs.gov/projects/sf_eco.html


California Redwood Forest

Towering at heights of 300 feet or more over the forest floor, California redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are not only impressive icons of the Golden State, but also a hugely influential force on the habitat below. The massive shadows these trees cast limit the amount of sunlight available to other local flora, fundamentally changing the surrounding ecosystem.

For more information, take a look at the following resources:
http://www.savetheredwoods.org/
http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses/Fall99Projects/redwood.htm
http://www.redwoodecology.org/hemlock.html
http://www.humboldt.k12.ca.us/fortuna_un/5-8/redwood_forest/index.htm


Filed under: Theme of the Month — nature @ 2:17 pm

May 17, 2012

Solar Eclipse This Sunday

solareclipseannapic

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
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