55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
94118
415.379.8000
Regular Hours:

Daily

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday

11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:

Tuesday

8:30 – 9:30 am

Sunday

10:00 – 11:00 am
Closures
Notices

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

There are no notifications at this time.

 
Lectures and Workshops

The Academy is committed to engaging, inspiring, and empowering the public with its scientific mission. Its events and lecture programs offer thought provoking discussions on topics such as astronomy, ecology, sustainability, natural history, biodiversity, evolution and the science of life.

Conservation Photography Class
Adobe Lightroom for the Nature Photographer

Gary Sharlow, Photographer, Education Manager

Sunday July 27th 1:00pm to 4:00pm
In this class you will be introduced to Adobe Lightroom and taken through the various modules that make it an essential part of your photographic workflow. We will start with the basic layout and move through an introduction to various aspects of each feature that make it such an incredibly useful tool for your process. Along the way, you will learn some of the hidden secrets that help you to organize your images and to edit them in the digital darkroom. We’ll touch on the use of external drives, backup options such as cloud storage as well as simple web publishing right out of lightroom. Topics will also include, catalogs, keywording and metadata, rating systems and shortcuts. A strong digital assets management can save you a lot of time on the computer so that you can spend more time with your camera. We will also discuss how to transfer existing collections and organizational systems to Adobe Lightroom so that you can take advantage of this all-in-one tool. We’ll also cover some of the important extended concepts such as color profiles, bit depth, calibration and printer profiles.

Please Note: Entrance is via the Academy's Staff and Research Entrance at the back door located at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early.

Reservations: Members: $40, General $50. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Naturalist 101
HANDS-ON SKULLS, Double Workshop

Nan Sincero, Naturalist Center Program Lead Educator
Ore Carmi, Lifelong Learning Guide

Tues, July 29 and Thurs, July 31, 6:15 – 8:15PM
In this two-part workshop, you’ll get to investigate a wide variety of fascinating skulls and specimens plus learn the essentials of how to identify local animals by their skulls. You’ll discover what determines if the animal was predator or prey, what it ate, and what sense was most important to its survival. You’ll get to compare “your” Homo sapiens skull with other mammals and test your knowledge of animal senses. You’ll also go behind the scenes to see some of the Academy’s most extraordinary collections, visit the new Skulls exhibit, and be able to attend Thursday’s NightLife.

For adults 21 and up. Please sign-in at 6PM at the reception desk via staff entrance at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive rear entry to the Academy.

Reservations: Members: $24, General $30. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Benjamin Dean Lecture
Beyond Hubble: The James Webb Space Telescope & The Search for Life in the Universe

Dr. Jason Kalirai, Project Scientist Space - Telescope Science Institute

Monday, August 4th at 7:30pm, Planetarium
For over twenty-three years the Hubble Space Telescope has been a centerpiece of modern astronomy. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important scientific instruments that humans have every built. Using Hubble's amazing images, I will show why the New York Times described Hubble as having “taught us to see the properties of a universe humans have been able, for most of their history, to probe only with their thoughts.” With the hugely successful but last Hubble servicing mission in May 2009 now behind us, attention is now turning to Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST will be the size of a tennis court, be launched 1 million miles into space, and be 100x more powerful than Hubble and all previous telescopes. I will describe the design and technology behind this audacious "Hubble 2.0", and outline a prescription to use it and other telescopes to answer the fundamental question, "are we alone?".

Reservations: Members: $8, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Conservation Photography Class
Fundamentals of Exposure

Gary Sharlow, Photographer, Education Manager

Sunday, August 10th at 1:00pm
In this three-hour classroom presentation, you will learn about the inner workings of your DSLR camera. This class is designed as an overview to help you better understand your camera, the digital workflow and how to make better images. We cover basic features of the DSLR camera to include choosing lenses and filters, ISO, white balance, shutter, aperture and program modes, EV, exposure, bracketing, focusing, resolution, histograms and more. The main objective is to help you understand the fundamentals of exposure so that you can get your camera out of auto mode and start making images the way you want them to look. Once you have the skills to get the correct exposure under any conditions, we can shift our efforts to proper techniques for focus, light metering, depth of field and some basic rules of composition.

Please Note: Entrance is via the Academy's Staff and Research Entrance at the back door located at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive. You will not be permitted entry at the front door. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early.

Reservations: Members: $40, General $50. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Pritzker Lecture
Metal Munching Plants

Dylan Burge, Assistant Curator and Howell Chair of Western North American Botany

Wednesday September 3rd at 7:30pm
Did you know that some plants like to eat metal? Over 1,000 species of plants are known to gobble up and store heavy metals, including a host of toxic elements such as nickel, cadmium, zinc, arsenic, and selenium. There are even some plants that store gold. Some of these plants store enough metals to make them toxic to animals like cattle, and a few of them are even mined for the metals they contain. The Academy’s newest botany curator Dylan Burge will take you on a tour of the world's metal-munching plants, and explain how his research is helping to unravel how metal-storing plants evolved, and why they engage in this strange and way cool behavior. Dylan is an assistant curator in the Department of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences. He grew up in California, where he developed a love for living things. He attended UC Davis, and obtained a B.S. in Evolution and Ecology in 2004 before then completing his graduate work at Duke University, obtaining a Ph.D. in Biology in 2011. He has conducted post-doctoral work in Australia and Canada, and field work around the world, including Africa, Madagascar, Central America, and Mexico.

Reservations: Members: Free, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Special Program
In the Human Age

Diane Ackerman, Best Selling Author

Wed Sept 17th at 7pm in Tusher African Hall
Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses ― books beloved by millions of readers all over the world. In prose so rich and evocative that one can feel the earth turning beneath one’s feet as one reads, Ackerman’s thrilling observations urge us to live in the moment, to wake up to nature’s everyday miracles. Diane Ackerman's forthcoming nonfiction book The Human Age: the world shaped by us, celebrates the natural world and human ingenuity, while exploring how the human race has become the single dominant force of change on the whole planet, and the many earth-shaking changes that now affect every part of our lives and those of our fellow creatures. The Human Age is a beguiling, optimistic engagement with the earth-shaking changes now affecting every part of our lives and those of our fellow creatures — a wise book that will astound, delight, and inform intelligent life for a long time to come. “Our relationship with nature has changed radically, irreversibly, but by no means all for the bad. Our new epoch is laced with invention. Our mistakes are legion, but our talent is immeasurable.” — The Human Age, Diane Ackerman

Reservations: Members: $10, General $12. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Conservation Photography Class
Next Steps: Beyond The Auto Mode of your DSLR

Gary Sharlow, Photographer, Education Manager

Sunday, September 21 at 1:00pm
Go beyond the auto mode of your DSLR. We will explore the fundamentals necessary to understand when to use shutter or aperture priority and even give you the tools to start exploring full control of your photographic techniques in the manual mode of your DSLR. We will explore the way the aperture, shutter and ISO settings interact to control light and give you the exposure you desire. We will also look at how these three elements effect the depth of field, motion blur and grain effects in your images. Conservation photography is a vision of photography that has a long history with a new purpose. Typically, pressing the shutter defines the photographer with planning and execution culminating in the photograph. A conservation photographer’s work begins once they click the shutter. It’s what you do with these images that matters as it takes you into the active roll of effecting conservation for the natural world.

Please Note: Entrance is via the Academy's Staff and Research Entrance at the back door located at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early.

Reservations: Members: $40, General $50. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Pritzker Lecture: The Remedy
Thomas Goetz, Science Writer

Wednesday, September 24 at 7:00pm, African Hall
The riveting history of tuberculosis, the world’s most lethal disease, the two men whose lives it tragically intertwined, and the birth of medical science. In 1875, tuberculosis was the deadliest disease in the world, accountable for a third of all deaths. A diagnosis of TB—often called consumption—was a death sentence. Then, in a triumph of medical science, a German doctor named Robert Koch deployed an unprecedented scientific rigor to discover the bacteria that caused TB. Koch soon embarked on a remedy—a remedy that would be his undoing. Capturing the moment when mystery and magic began to yield to science, The Remedy chronicles the stunning story of how the germ theory of disease became a true fact, how two men of ambition were emboldened to reach for something more, and how scientific discoveries evolve into social truths.

Reservations: Members: Free, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Conservation Photography Overnight Excursion
In The Spotlight: Lassen National Park

Gary Sharlow, Photographer, Education Manager

Saturday & Sunday June 13, 14 2015 from 8am to 8pm
Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to smoking fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past while hot water continues to mold the land. Lassen Volcanic offers opportunities to discover the wonder and mysteries of volcanoes and hot water for visitors willing to explore the undiscovered. The remarkable hydrothermal features in Lassen Volcanic National Park include roaring fumaroles (steam and volcanic-gas vents), thumping mud pots, boiling pools, and steaming ground. Water from rain and snow that falls on the highlands of the park feed the hydrothermal system. Once deep underground, the water is heated by a body of hot or molten rock beneath Lassen Peak. Rising hot water boils to form boiling pools and mud pots. Super-heated steam reaches the surface through fractures in the earth to form fumaroles such as those found at Bumpass Hell and Sulphur Works. In this two day excursion you will be joined by a professional photographer who will guide you to some the most photographic spots on the mountain while also helping you learn the inner workings of your camera and offering tips on how to create stunning nature images. This trip will be kept to a small group and you will be driven to the trail heads by your guide. Leave your car at the lodging grounds and kick back for a full day of guided adventure.

Your instructor will be lodging at Hat Creek Resort. You are welcome to book cabins, tent sites or bring your own RV. You will be contacted by your guide before the trip so that you know how to meet up and where to board the van on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8am. At the end of the day on Sunday, you will be brought back to the meeting location.

Reservations: Members: $200, General $225. Space is limited and advanced ticketing is required.  (Ages 18+ must be able to hike 5-10 miles each day at a class 5 strenuous level.) Please buy your tickets in advance to avoid a trip cancellation. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

 

Conversations On Science

For this series, the Academy has partnered with City Arts & Lectures, Inc. to present distinguished scientists, professors, writers, thinkers, photographers and artists who discuss important and timely scientific and environmental issues. These conversations are held downtown at San Francisco's beautiful Nourse Theatre at 275 Hayes Street at Franklin Street.


Reservations:
Call 415-392-4400 or visit: City Box Office (Academy discounts applied during checkout.)

Members: $25 Orchestra
Non Members: $27 Orchestra


 

The Neuroscience of Music & Creativity
Indre Viskontas in Conversation with Kelly McGonigal

Wednesday, May 21 2014 7:30pm at the Nourse Theatre
A cognitive neuroscientist with UCSF and member of the faculty at the San Franciso Conservatory of Music, Indre Viskontas studies how memories, creativity and other cognitive processes are supported by neural networks  using the latest techniques  including direct recordings from neurons in the human brain and high-resolution functional MRIs. She has published ground-breaking work on the neural basis of memory and creativity and has won numerous research and teaching awards. Viskontas is a classically trained soprano and performs with regional opera companies and chamber music groups in the Bay Area and is the co-founder of Vocallective, a consortium of singers and instrumentalists dedicated to the art of vocal chamber music.

Indre Viskontas will be in conversation with Kelly McGonigal a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. She teaches for the School of Medicine's Health Improvement Program and is a senior teacher/consultant for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Her work demonstrates the applications from psychology, neuroscience, and medicine to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change. She is the author of the popular books: The Neuroscience of Change, The Willpower Instinct, and Yoga for Pain Relief.

Ticketing Information


 

Science & Scripture: Inside the Vatican Observatory
Father George Coyne, SJ in Conversation with Ryan Wyatt

Monday, June 9 2014 7:30pm at the Nourse Theatre
As a priest and an astronomer, Fr. Coyne bridges the worlds of faith and science. He has also been active in the continuing debate about the religious implications of scientific evolution. George V. Coyne, SJ is Director Emeritus of the Vatican Observatory and currently holds the McDevitt Chair in Religious Philosophy at Le Moyne College where he is teaching astronomy and developing a lecture series regarding the science and religion dialogue. He is an observational astronomer of international stature and has been widely recognized for promoting the dialogue between science and religion. He pioneered the series of conferences on “Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action” which bring together scientists and theologians from around the world.  

Fr. Coyne will be in conversation with Ryan Wyatt, the Director of the Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization studio at the California Academy of Sciences. Wyatt has written and directed the Academy’s three fulldome features, Fragile Planet (2008), Life: A Cosmic Story (2010), and Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet (2012) and is currently in production on the Academy’s upcoming fourth planetarium show.

Ticketing Information



 

Reservations:
Call 415-392-4400 or visit: City Box Office (Academy discounts applied during checkout.)

Members: $25 Orchestra
Non Members: $27 Orchestra


Pritzker Lectures 

Free to Academy members, the Pritzker lecture series features engaging speakers from the Bay Area and beyond. Topics cover a wide range of subjects related to the Academy's mission to "explore, explain, and sustain life."


 

In Partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Network
Wildlife Conservation: Large Carnivores in N. Kenya

Shivani Bhalla, Ewaso Lions, Founder

Tuesday June 3rd at 7pm African Hall
Shivani Bhalla is a fourth generation Kenyan who believes the key to lion conservation is working in partnership with local communities to deliver real solutions and ensure the long-term sustainability of not only northern Kenya’s lions but its other large carnivores as well. In 2007, she founded Ewaso Lions, a Kenya based conservation organization that uses scientific research and community-based outreach programs to promote coexistence between lions and people. It is the only project in northern Kenya to focus on lions in and out of protected areas. Bhalla’s study area covers over 1,466 km2 (approx. 566 square miles) and includes Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves and the adjacent community lands. The preserves’ resident lions are source populations for lion prides outside the reserves and therefore play an important role in the region. Ewaso Lions’ core research activities focus on understanding the factors driving lion pride establishments, their associations and movements in the wild and the extent of human-lion interaction in order to formulate strategies for long-term lion conservation. Her research makes use of conservation tools such as GPS-radio collar tracking, whisker-spot pattern identification, and scout patrols to achieve an accurate estimate of lion numbers, gain a better understanding of their movements in and out of protected areas, and assess the extent and impact of human-lion conflict. Ewaso Lions has established several community outreach and education programs to engage local people in conservation, provide training, find creative solutions to human-wildlife conflict, and give back to the community. Through her considerable efforts, Bhalla was recognized as “Africa’s Young Women Conservation Biologist of 2009” by the Society of Conservation Biology. Bhalla will be accompanied by Paul Thomson, Ewaso Lion’s Managing Director and Jeneria Lekilelei, a Samburu warrior and excellent wildlife tracker who serves as Shivani's right hand man in the field and is quickly becoming a rising star in Samburu.

Reservations: Members: Free, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

Benjamin Dean Lectures

This series of talks for the general public is given by noted scientists in the fields of astronomy and space science. It is held in the Morrison Planetarium, home of the most accurate and interactive digital Universe ever created, which is shown on the world's largest all-digital dome.


 

Benjamin Dean Lecture
Beyond Hubble: The James Webb Space Telescope & The Search for Life in the Universe

Dr. Jason Kalirai, Project Scientist Space - Telescope Science Institute

Monday, August 4th at 7:30pm, Planetarium
For over twenty-three years the Hubble Space Telescope has been a centerpiece of modern astronomy. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important scientific instruments that humans have every built. Using Hubble's amazing images, I will show why the New York Times described Hubble as having “taught us to see the properties of a universe humans have been able, for most of their history, to probe only with their thoughts.” With the hugely successful but last Hubble servicing mission in May 2009 now behind us, attention is now turning to Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST will be the size of a tennis court, be launched 1 million miles into space, and be 100x more powerful than Hubble and all previous telescopes. I will describe the design and technology behind this audacious "Hubble 2.0", and outline a prescription to use it and other telescopes to answer the fundamental question, "are we alone?".

Reservations: Members: $8, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

Recorded Lectures

   

            

Miss a Pritzker or Leakey Lecture?
Watch on Fora.tv
Or on iTunes University
Miss a Dean Astronomy Lecture?
Listen on iTunes University

Lectures eBlast

   

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BigPicture Competition

   

Our first year is complete and the judges have chosen the winners! On exhibt  August 1st - November 2nd 2014

Learn More

Member Perks

   

There are numerous benefits to being an Academy member:

  • Free unlimited daily admission
  • Personalized member card
  • Members-only hours
  • Free Pritzker members' lectures
  • And Many More...

Parking Options

   

Parking is available in the Music Concourse Garage seven days a week from 7 am–7 pm.  Limited 4hr parking is available on John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Nancy Pelosi Drive until 10pm (Except on Sundays) Please note that the garage is not operated by the California Academy of Sciences. For information, call 415.750.0741 Get Directions