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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 

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

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