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.

Parking and traffic in Golden Gate Park will be congested the weekend of Oct. 3–5. Save $3 on Academy admission when you take public transportation.

Chief Penguin
Musings from the Academy’s Global Ambassador

November 30, 2012

Volunteer Heroes


Docent at the Lagoon

We would have a much smaller Academy in programmatic terms if it were not for our hundreds of volunteers. Since 2008, over 900 volunteers have donated over 300,000 hours of their time and considerable skills to every department and every program. They bring enthusiasm, creativity and a sense of fun to their jobs. They contribute to a better Academy on an ocean of goodwill.

We are grateful for their efforts as: orienteers, staff in exhibits and education, library assistants, water quality monitors, living roof horticulturalists, specimen preparators, specimen envelope-makers, divers, husbandry assistants, research generalists, clerks, special events participants, outreach and tabling event participants, and field workers.

In addition, our engagement volunteers—the great 360-strong team of docents—are often the first people our visitors meet. They welcome our guests into the world of science, and inspire them with demonstrations of earthquakes, volcanoes, and skulls. Fully 91% of our guests recently surveyed rate their interaction with the docents as excellent.

As you know, I believe that people are the best educators—the best inspirers. When I first visited the Academy—anonymously on Howard Street—I spoke with the volunteer docents who were on the public floor and interacting with visitors like me at the time. I felt they were doing such a good job that I became really interested in joining the Academy.

Thank you docents. Thank you volunteers. You help bring this place to life.

Filed under: Uncategorized — gfarrington @ 11:00 am

November 9, 2012

Science: Engine of Economic Growth


Project Lab

Here is a piece authored by Neal Lane, former director of the National Science Foundation, that appeared in the New York Times on October 28, 2012. Dr. Lane’s point is that the economic future of the U.S. depends on vigorous and creative scientific research, which in turn depends on robust funding for basic research from the federal government.

The direct connection between fundamental research and national economic competitiveness has not been lost on other countries. They are racing to compete—and compete hard—with the U.S. in this critical area of achievement. It’s not a traditional arms race, but rather a creativity and entrepreneurship race that is every bit as important. We ignore reality at our national peril. Science matters. Research matters. Brains matter.


Filed under: Uncategorized — gfarrington @ 6:03 pm

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