California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration
150th Anniversary Celebration 150 Years: A Timeline 150 Years of Research The New Academy
Collections Manager Jean DeMouthe and Collections Manager Robert VanSyoc in the IZ & G collections.
DEPARTMENT MILESTONES

1855
William P. Gibbons is elected Curator of Geology & Mineralogy, succeeded a year later by John B. Trask.

1906
Collections are destroyed in the earthquake and fire. One specimen is salvaged — an ammonite collected by John Trask.
The Galápagos Expedition returns with a substantial number of fossils, beginning a new collection.

1914
The Henry Hemphill Collection of marine, freshwater and land shells, over 60,000 specimens, is donated to the Academy.

1972
The Stanford University and Hopkins Marine Station collections are “adopted.” The ten tons of material doubles the size of the collections. It includes specimens collected by E. F. “Doc” Ricketts and John Steinbeck in the Sea of Cortez.

1982
The Departments of Geology and Invertebrate Zoology are combined into a single department, fondly known as IZ & G.

Anthropology | Aquatic Biology | Botany | Entomology | Herpetology | Ichthyology | IZG | Library | Ornithology & Mammalogy | Steinhart Aquarium | Morrison Planetarium | Education | Exhibits | Operations | Academy Store

Invertebrate Zoology & Geology:
The Study of Animals without Backbones & The Study of the Earth

Spineless Wonders
The Department maintains four major collections: recent invertebrates, fossils, diatoms, and minerals. These collections are the most diverse within the Academy and contain about 2.5 million specimens.

Snails Have Evolved into Slugs
During their evolution, sea slugs developed a wide range of toxic and noxious chemicals,which provide protection from predators. These toxic defenses allowed this group of snails, called nudibranchs, to discard their shells. Field studies of these animals have taken Curator Terry Gosliner to southern Africa, the western Indian Ocean, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Azores, Baja California, the Galápagos Islands and both coasts of the United States.
A Fine Collection of Fossil Ammonites
Ammonites, an extinct group of shelled marine animals, are widespread in the foothills of the Great Central Valley, which was covered by ocean 65 million years ago. In Shasta County, erosion has exposed the fossils. John B. Trask studied ammonites as early as 1855. In the 1900s F. M. Anderson continued collecting from the rich Sacramento Valley deposits. Until he retired in 1997 Curator Peter U. Rodda (left) conducted modern research on ammonites.

Skeletons of Glass
Diatoms, single-celled plants, reveal silica (glass) cell walls with complex structures when viewed under a microscope. Curator J. Patrick Kociolek studies modern diatoms, but also looks at the fossil record to find patterns in the relationships and distribution of these plants. He is interested in the broader questions of pattern and process in evolutionary biology.

 

150th Anniversary Celebration | 150 Years: A Timeline | 150 Years of Research | The New Academy

©2003 California Academy of Sciences

 

California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration