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.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

 
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.

Best Selling Author: Diane Ackerman
In the Human Age

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


 

Presented by Book Passage - Marin
Carbon Shock

Mark Schapiro, Professor
UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism

Saturday Sept 27, 1pm Corte Madera Book Passage
As the world demands that more and more polluters pay for carbon emissions, a financial mystery unfolds: What are the costs? Who is responsible to pay for them? Who do you pay? How do you pay? And what are the potential impacts? In Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy, veteran journalist Mark Schapiro attempts to answer these questions as he illuminates the struggle to pinpoint carbon's true costs, all while bumping up against the vagaries of the free market, the lobbying power of corporations, the political maneuverings of countries, and the tolerance of everyday consumers buying a cup of coffee, a tank of gas, or an airplane ticket. Along the way, Schapiro tracks the cost of carbon through the drought-ridden farmland of California, where higher temperatures are driving up the price of the food we eat, the prices farmers pay for crop insurance, and the impact on taxpayers.

Mark Schapiro explores the intersection of the environment, economics, and political power, most recently as a correspondent at the Center for Investigative Reporting. His work has been published in Harpers, The Atlantic, Yale 360, and other publications. He has reported stories for the PBS newsmagazine Frontline/World, NOW with Bill Moyers, and public radio’s Marketplace, and is the author of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Reservations:  This is a free drop in event taking place at 51 Tamal Vista Blvd in Corte Madera, CA 94925 at the Book Passage store.


 

Brilliant!Science: Pandemic
Extreme Medicine

Matt Lewin MD, Academy Fellow
Director of the Center for Exploration & Travel Health

Mon, Sept. 29 at 8:00 pm | The New Parkway, Oakland
Held monthly in more than 70 cities around the globe, Nerd Nite is where science nerds take the stage to deliver fun and informative presentations, while audience-nerds drink along. Throughout his career, Dr. Matt Lewin has treated patients and scientists in some of the world’s most remote locations and under the harshest conditions. Lewin, along with an international group of colleagues, made headlines recently for their pioneering approach to the treatment of venomous snakebites using a nasal spray. This novel technique is the first step toward finding a universal antidote for snakebite—one of the world’s most neglected tropical diseases, affecting nearly 5 million people annually. Snakes kill and maim more than 25 times as many people as land mines and rank 3rd on the Earth's "Most deadly animals" list after mosquitos and humans. Anti-venom has been around for more than 125 years and remains the state-of-the-art treatment. Yet, it has not proven to be a medically or economically effective solution to this issue. Dr. Lewin discusses the history of snakebite research and potential solutions to this woefully neglected global problem. Hear Lewin’s exciting tales from the field during this special edition of Nerd Nite.

Reservations: $8, all ages. Nerd Nite East Bay is held at The New Parkway, 474 24th St., Oakland. For tickets, please visit: Nerd Nite Doors open at 7:00 pm.


 


Conservation Photography Class & Excursion
Whales, Birds & Life of the Farallon Islands

Gary Sharlow, Photographer, Education Manager
Kathi Koontz, First Responder - National Marine Fisheries Service

Sat Oct 4th 1pm - 4pm at the Academy
Sun Oct 5 Boat Excursion 8am - 4pm out of Sausalito
Affectionately known as San Francisco’s "Galapagos Islands" the Farallon Islands serve as one of the most biologically rich and important habitats along the western coast of the United States. Just 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco, the Farallon Islands lie amid the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a food-rich marine ecosystem that attracts whales, dolphins, seals and seabirds each summer and fall, to feed and to breed. Twenty three species of marine mammals, including eighteen species of whales and dolphins, can be found here. The refuge is the largest seabird rookery in the contiguous US with nesting Tufted Puffins, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres and other species. Migratory seabirds such as Shearwaters, Jaegers, and Phalaropes are also attracted by these nutrient-rich waters. Island beaches are covered with sea lions, including massive Steller's sea lions, now on the Endangered Species List.

On Saturday, we will gather at the Academy to learn about the history of the marine protected zone and the animals that inhabit these waters. You learn the art of taking pictures on a moving boat and get the best tips for being ready for when that whale breaks the surface. We’ll also discuss what it means to be a conservation photographer and feature examples of story telling techniques. On Sunday, we’ll hop aboard the boat and head out into the open ocean, just off our coast, and into the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

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 $150 Non-Members $175 (Ages 14-17 with Guardian or 18+) Please purchase your tickets at least 2 weeks in advance of the event. To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831. Ticket includes all day admission to the Academy on Saturday.


 

Benjamin Dean Lecture
A Planet for Goldilocks

Natalie Batalha, Space Sciences Division of NASA Ames

Monday October 6th at 7:30pm Morrison Planetarium
Not too hot, not too cold reads the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of astronomy focused science agencies in the United States and abroad. The goal looms closer as a result of recent discoveries made by NASA's Kepler Mission. Launched in March 2009, Kepler is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems orbiting other stars in the galaxy. Finding inhabited environments is a path of exploration that stretches decades into the future and begins by determining if Goldilocks planets abound. Dr. Batalha will describe the latest discoveries of NASA's Kepler Mission and the possibilities for finding inhabited environments in the not-so-distant future.

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


 

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco Presents
The Science of Writing Well

Steven Pinker Professor of Psychology at Harvard University

Wed, October 8th at 12pm, JCC San Francisco
Steven Pinker, a leading scientist of language and the mind, regularly appears in lists of the world’s top 100 thinkers. A psychology professor at Harvard, he is the bestselling author of eight books including The Stuff of Thought and How the Mind Works. His latest, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, is a fascinating analysis of the ways in which skillfully chosen words engage the mind, and a cognitive science-based guide to writing well. Book signing to follow.

Reservations: Standard $25, Premium $35 Tickets available from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. This event takes place at JCCSF at 3200 California St, SF or 415.292.1233


 

Exclusive Member Special
Introduction to Nature Photography for Youth

Kathryn Whitney, Photographer, Academy Photo Editor

Sunday October 12th 1pm- 4pm in the Boardroom
Young photographers ages 15 to 18 will explore the basics of nature photography with Academy photo editor and photographer Kathryn Whitney. In this hands-on workshop, our students will be acquainted with the power of a DSLR camera! We’ll cover a wide range of topics to include the fundamentals for shooting in shutter, aperture or manual modes explaining briefly which mode is right for a given situation. From there we will jump into the basic principles of composition to help the photographer see more creatively when they work the shot. Have you ever struggled with a tricky lighting situation? Learn how to get the most out of the situation with some simple tricks of the trade. Instructors will also address the benefits of shooting in RAW, the importance of white balance and color temperature, as well as proper focusing technique. Afterwards, we will head out on the Academy floor to test our skills in the aquarium, rainforest, and on the Living Roof. Time permitting, the workshop will conclude with a brief image review and group critique so the photographers can benefit from direct feedback on their work.

BorrowLenses.com will provide the attendees with Canon EOS Rebel cameras to use for this workshop. You may bring your own camera if you have one that you prefer to use during the workshop. 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 Aged 15-18: $35. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To reserve a place today, buy a ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831


 

Photography Presentation
Earth As My Witness

Art Wolfe, Award Winning Nature Photographer

Mon Oct 20 2014 at 7:30 pm in Morrison Planetarium
For almost fifty years, world-renowned photographer Art Wolfe has been capturing the beauty of the planet's stunning landscapes, wildlife, and cultures from every continent. In Earth Is My Witness, Wolfe presents an encyclopedic selection of his photography along with intimate stories about his encounters that exemplify his boundless curiosity about the world. From the rich sights and smells of the Pushkar Camel Fair to the moment when a polar bear and her cubs leave their arctic den, these images represent what Wolfe has lived for: the instants when circumstance, light, and subject miraculously collide to form an iconic photograph. Together, these images and the stories behind them explore the delicate interconnectivity of life across our planet. In this presentation we will immerse the viewer inside a sequence of Wolfe's images presented on the Morrison Planetarium's 75 foot all digital dome. You will experience a tour through the world's great landscapes, wildlife and cultural festivities to get a sense of what it's like to be Art Wolfe as he travels the globe making images of captivating moments in time. Book signing to follow.

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


 

Photography Workshop
Introduction to Astrophotography

Kathryn Whitney,
Academy Photo Editor

Friday, October 24th at 6 to 10pm
Academy Photo Editor Kathryn Whitney will teach you how to photograph the night skies in this two-part introductory class. This DSLR workshop will focus on building your skills for capturing scenic images using a variety of tools and techniques to address the complexities of photographing in low light situations as well as in locations with considerable light pollution challenges. The workshop is geared for photographers who are confident in their technical abilities but just beginning with Astrophotography. Long exposure techniques, image stacking, and specialized post-production software will be explored in the first half of the workshop; afterwards we will head outside to try our luck in shooting the night sky on the Living Roof!

Please Note: Entrance is via the Academy's Staff and Research Entrance at the back door. This is located at 75 Nancy Pelosi Drive. There won’t be anyone at the front door to let you in. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early and note that the music concourse garage closes at 7pm.

Reservations: Members: $40, General $50. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. This class is limited to eight participants. Bring your own DSLR and tripod. 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
Introduction to Your DSLR

Gary Sharlow,
Photographer, Education Manager

Sunday October 26th 1pm to 4pm in the Boardroom
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


 

Benjamin Dean Lecture: Mapping the Heavens
Celestial Cartography Through the Ages

Nick Kanas M.D. Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society

Monday, November 3rd at 7:30pm
Initially, Earth was seen as the center of the universe surrounded by orbiting planets and stars. Then, the Sun became the center of the cosmos. Finally, there was no center but instead a vast array of galaxies with individual stars, some with their own retinue of planets. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in our Solar System prompted by the launching of giant orbiting telescopes and space probes, which have made once unimaginable discoveries. In this presentation, Kanas will share with us the ways in which humans have been fascinated by the night sky for thousands of years. We have populated it with images of imaginary beasts, gods and goddesses that reflected important aspects of our various cultures. Both constellation maps and maps of the solar system will be illustrated from antiquity to modern times. Through a historical examination from the perspectives of the people who made them, these images will tell us much about our ancestors and how we got to where we are today. Author of: Solar System Maps: From Antiquity to the Space Age. Book signing to follow the talk.

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


 

2014 Osher Fellow
Conversations on Science
The Wisdom of Science and the Power of Words

Carl Zimmer in Conversation with Amy Standen

Thurs November 6, 7:30pm at the Nourse Theatre
Award-winning science journalist Carl Zimmer reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. He is a columnist for The New York Times and is an expert on topics ranging from biology and evolution to parasites and viruses. His award-winning blog, “The Loom,” is hosted by National Geographic where he has also published numerous popular articles including such topics as: “Bringing Back the Mammoth” which looks at the feasibility of using genetic research to restore extinct species or manage species under threat. He is a lecturer at Yale University, where he teaches writing about science and the environment, and he also lectures at some of the country’s leading universities, museums and science conferences. Zimmer is known for enthralling audiences with topics on the cutting edge of science as well as for how easily he talks about the history of the scientific revolution. He is the best selling author of twelve books on science including Soul Made Flesh, a history of neuroscience, which was named one of the top 100 books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, and dubbed a "tour-de-force" by The Sunday Telegraph. Zimmer is, in the words of The New York Times Book Review, “as fine a science essayist as we have.” He won the National Academies Communication Award and is a two-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award. He will be speaking about the power of words and the art of connecting people to science through evocative story telling and a commitment to scientific accuracy. Carl Zimmer has been chosen as the California Academy of Sciences’ 2014 Osher Fellow for his commitment to communicating science.

Carl Zimmer will be in conversation with Amy Standen from KQED Science, an award-winning multimedia science and environment series. Her work has been recognized by the National Association of Public Radio News Directors and Northern California's Society of Professional Journalists. Standen has been a producer on Pulse of the Planet, editor of Terrain Magazine, an editor at Salon and a roving reporter for KALW's Philosophy Talk.

Reservations:$25 Members, $27 Non Members. Buy your ticket online or call 415.392.4400. NOTE: Members can apply their discount on the final payment page. This event takes place at the Nourse Theatre at 275 Hayes Street in San Francisco, CA.


 

Conservation Photography Class
Adobe Lightroom for the Nature Photographer

Gary Sharlow, Manager of Photography Programs

Sunday Nov 9th at 1:00pm
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 makes it such an incredibly useful tool for your process. You will learn how to set up your system from scratch including the best process for importing your images. Culling your import to minimize wasted storage of your not so great images. You know the ones I’m talking about! We will then look at star rating and how to use the software as an incredibly powerful cataloging tool so you can find the images you want to work with in a matter of seconds. We will then take a brief look at the darkroom aspects of the software so you can plan your editing process. From there, you will get a brief overview of the publishing tools in LR and an understanding of the power of meta data and the maps module as added tools to your cataloging methods. Finally, we will discuss the best backup strategies to keep your images and your catalog edits safe from any technical problems that are sure to come up at some time in the future. We’ll also cover some of the important extended concepts such as color profiles, bit depth, calibration, file types 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


 

Pritzker Lecture
Carnivore Way: Conserving America’s Predators

Cristina Eisenberg, Smithsonian Research Associate, Earthwatch Scientist

Tuesday Nov 18th 7pm, Tusher African Hall
What would it be like to live in a world with no predators roaming our landscapes? Would their elimination bring about a pastoral, peaceful human civilization? Or in fact is their existence critical to our own, and do we need to be doing more to assure their health and the health of the landscapes they need to thrive? In this talk, Cristina Eisenberg delivers a compelling call for the necessity of top predators in large, undisturbed landscapes, and shows us how a continental-long corridor—a “carnivore way”—provides the room they need to roam and disperse. Along the way we will follow in the footsteps of six large carnivores—wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, jaguars, wolverines, and cougars—on a 7,500-mile wildlife corridor from Alaska to Mexico along the Rocky Mountains. Backed by robust science, Eisenberg shows how their well-being is a critical factor in sustaining healthy landscapes and how it is possible for humans and large carnivores to coexist peacefully and even to thrive. University students in natural resource science programs, resource managers, conservation organizations, and anyone curious about carnivore ecology and management in a changing world will find a thoughtful guide to large carnivore conservation that dispels long-held myths about their ecology and contributions to healthy, resilient landscapes.

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


 

Presented in Partnership with the Leakey Foundation
The Shape of Human Evolution

Carol Ward, Professor of Pathology & Anatomical Sciences
University of Missouri

Wed Dec 3rd at 7pm, Tusher African Hall
Walking upright on two legs is the hallmark of the human lineage. Understanding when and how we made the transition to this unique way of moving about the world is key to deciphering how, and why, we evolved. Scientists have traditionally studied hands, feet, arms and legs to understand animal movement, but primates differ in body shape as much as they do in their limbs, and this is related to the ways they are designed to move about the world – whether they hold their bodies upright or horizontally, whether they hang below branches in the trees or walk above them on all fours, and more. Over the past few decades, more bones associated with the trunk, including ribs, pelves and vertebrae, have been discovered for fossil hominins and our relatives, shedding new light on the evolution of body form in apes and humans. In addition, new 3D computer technologies allow us to study these fossils in new ways. These new insights into the evolution of human body form paint a striking new picture of the transition from ape to hominin, leading to a whole new way of thinking about our origins.

Reservations: Members: $12, General $15. 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
Alien Worlds

Nick Cowan, Assistant Professor of Astronomy
Amherst College

Monday, December 8th at 7:30pm, Planetarium
Thousands of planets orbiting other stars have been discovered since the 1990's. The existence of extrasolar planets confirms that planets are commonplace, but closer inspection of these planetary systems reveals that they are completely different from our Solar System. Cowan will discuss how we can observe the atmospheres of exoplanets with current and future telescopes, despite the fact that our targets are pale dots next to bright stars. Current observations of exoplanets are sufficient to infer clouds, winds, and greenhouse gases on these alien worlds. Evaluating the large-scale planetary climate for dozens (and soon hundreds) of worlds will eventually revolutionize our understanding of all planets, including Earth. Over the course of the presentation, we will explore what makes Earth habitable and will estimate the likelihood that similar climes exist on nearby exoplanets.

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


 

Presented in Partnership with:
Wildlife Conservation Network
High Himalayas: In Search of Snow Leopards

Rodney Jackson, Snow Leopard Conservancy

Wednesday Dec 10th 7:00pm
Dr. Rodney Jackson has devoted nearly 35 years of his life to protecting the iconic cat of central Asian mountains, the snow leopard. Arguably the world’s foremost snow leopard expert, Dr. Jackson has developed relationships with a myriad of people throughout the cats’ range with the goal of empowering them, the local people, to protect these magnificent creatures with whom their lives are so entwined. As a child growing up in South Africa, young Rodney Jackson knew he would someday work to protect wildlife. What he didn’t imagine then was that seeing a picture in a magazine of poached snow leopard pelts would change his life forever and he would end up immersing himself in an undertaking that would find him working in the highest mountains of the world, sometimes trekking for several days just to reach his research area. Nor did he imagine his work would one day be endorsed by the Dalai Lama, or that he would be the recipient of a Rolex Award for Enterprise resulting in a cover story in National Geographic Magazine. Come hear about the amazing travels, science and discoveries of one of the world’s leading Snow leopard researchers.

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."

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
A Planet for Goldilocks

Natalie Batalha, Space Sciences Division of NASA Ames

Monday October 6th at 7:30pm Morrison Planetarium
Not too hot, not too cold reads the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of astronomy focused science agencies in the United States and abroad. The goal looms closer as a result of recent discoveries made by NASA's Kepler Mission. Launched in March 2009, Kepler is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems orbiting other stars in the galaxy. Finding inhabited environments is a path of exploration that stretches decades into the future and begins by determining if Goldilocks planets abound. Dr. Batalha will describe the latest discoveries of NASA's Kepler Mission and the possibilities for finding inhabited environments in the not-so-distant future.

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


 

Benjamin Dean Lecture: Mapping the Heavens
Celestial Cartography Through the Ages

Nick Kanas M.D. Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society

Monday, November 3rd at 7:30pm
Initially, Earth was seen as the center of the universe surrounded by orbiting planets and stars. Then, the Sun became the center of the cosmos. Finally, there was no center but instead a vast array of galaxies with individual stars, some with their own retinue of planets. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in our Solar System prompted by the launching of giant orbiting telescopes and space probes, which have made once unimaginable discoveries. In this presentation, Kanas will share with us the ways in which humans have been fascinated by the night sky for thousands of years. We have populated it with images of imaginary beasts, gods and goddesses that reflected important aspects of our various cultures. Both constellation maps and maps of the solar system will be illustrated from antiquity to modern times. Through a historical examination from the perspectives of the people who made them, these images will tell us much about our ancestors and how we got to where we are today. Author of: Solar System Maps: From Antiquity to the Space Age. Book signing to follow the talk.

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


 

Benjamin Dean Lecture
Alien Worlds

Nick Cowan, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Amherst College

Monday, December 8th at 7:30pm, Planetarium
Thousands of planets orbiting other stars have been discovered since the 1990's. The existence of extrasolar planets confirms that planets are commonplace, but closer inspection of these planetary systems reveals that they are completely different from our Solar System. Cowan will discuss how we can observe the atmospheres of exoplanets with current and future telescopes, despite the fact that our targets are pale dots next to bright stars. Current observations of exoplanets are sufficient to infer clouds, winds, and greenhouse gases on these alien worlds. Evaluating the large-scale planetary climate for dozens (and soon hundreds) of worlds will eventually revolutionize our understanding of all planets, including Earth. Over the course of the presentation, we will explore what makes Earth habitable and will estimate the likelihood that similar climes exist on nearby exoplanets.

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

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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