Science Adventures in the Field -- Academy of Sciences Offers Family Field Trips

SAN FRANCISCO (March 27, 2000) This spring, discover how toothaches can be treated with California poppies, explore Tomales Bay in a kayak, or camp at Warrior’s Point near Pyramid Lake. These are just a few highlights from the California Academy of Sciences’ action-packed field trips. For more information, call (415) 750-7100.


Spring Bounty: Indian Uses of Native Plants
Native wildflowers and shrubs make Mount Tamalpais an interesting area for a spring hike. While today these plants are appreciated for their beauty, in the past they were used for food and medicine. Before entering the field, participants will learn these practical applications in a slide-illustrated presentation. In the field, hike three to four miles on Mount Tamalpais and learn how toothaches can be treated with California poppies, twine can be made from wild irises, and bay nuts can tantalize your taste buds. Discover how the local Native Americans managed their environment to encourage the growth of certain useful plants.
Seminar: April 11; 7 — 9 pm
Field Trip: April 15; 10 am — 4 pm
Cost: $40 members/$45 non-members


Water by Land and Sea: A Hiking and Sea Kayak Adventure
Tomales Bay is one of the most pristine and productive estuaries on the west coast. Explore its watershed during a series of short walks on Saturday followed the next day by kayaking in the Bay. On Saturday, look for aquatic insects in Cataract Creek, which flows through the upper slopes of Mount Tamalpais. Hiking downstream, listen for wrens. Almost at sea level, wander along Lagunitas Creek through mature willows and alders where birds can be particularly abundant. On Sunday, observe the salt marsh, open water, and marine wildlife of the Bay by kayak.
April 15-16; 9 am — 4:30 pm
Cost: $135 members/$145 non-members
(No previous kayaking experience necessary; full instruction will be given).

Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake, 45 minutes northeast of Reno, Nevada, has been called the most beautiful desert lake in North America, a remnant of Lake Lahontan, the great Pleistocene lake that once covered much of the Great Basin. Lahontan’s history is etched into the unique tufa formations, the largest in the world, that lie in the Pyramid Lake basin. Rendez-vous at the Visitors Center in the Marina area. Travel on paved and dirt roads around the lake studying the fascinating geology of the area. Observe the abundant wildflowers and migratory birds including white pelicans which breed and nest on Anaho Island in Pyramid Lake. Tour the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Cui ui hatcheries. Learn about the threats to the lake, which belongs to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Camp overnight as a group at Warriors Point.
April 29 - 30 11 am Saturday — 4 pm Sunday
Cost: $85 Academy members/$95 non-members