What's on at the California Academy of Sciences
Exhibits, Lectures, & Public Programs
December 2001


Russia's Great Voyages to America: Science Under Sail 1728-1867

Closing January 2, 2002
This exhibit tells the surprising story of Russia's role in exploring California and the Pacific Northwest. For the first time since the original expeditions, Russia's Great Voyages returns to California some of the thousands of animal and plant specimens, artifacts, illustrations and journal entries that the Russian explorers collected and created in the early nineteenth century.

Under Antarctic Ice
November 22, 2001 through January 15, 2002
With hurricane force winds and cold that can kill in minutes, Antarctica's surface hosts little year-round life. But underneath its frozen seas lies one of the earth's most stable and vibrant ecosystems. Hailed as 'the James Brown of his profession' by San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, underwater photographer Norbert Wu's exhibition, Under Antarctic Ice, describes this surprisingly rich community of life at the bottom of the Earth. Forty of his award winning photographs will be at the Academy in a compelling display of one of Earth's most enchanting realms. Under Antarctic Ice was developed by Norbert Wu Productions and produced by the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. The exhibit may be viewed online at www.pgmuseum.org.

Domestic California
Saturday, October 20, 2001 through Spring 2002
Not too long ago Sacramento Street in the Financial District was a sparkling stream, flowing to the Bay. And the parking lot near Fourth and Townsend? It was the Bay. The natural history of these and other spots in San Francisco is the subject of the newest exhibit at the Academy: Domestic California. Artist Mark Brest van Kempen uses collages of digital photographs to create dual panoramic pictures of five locations in the city - one of the modern cityscape and one of the way it looked before there was a city. The results will challenge your assumptions about the streets you walk on and the definition of nature.

Lectures, Classes, Field Trips

So You Want to Buy a Telescope
Want to look at the stars? A telescope is the answer, but what are the questions to ask when considering a purchase? What is the best kind of telescope for any particular purpose, and what are the specific items needed? Darryl Stanford offers sound advice from his years of experience, and discusses all the pros and cons of various types of telescopes. Leave ready to make an educated purchase.
Friday, November 30 7:30 - 9:30 pm
$20 members/ $25 non-members

Winter Birds of Bodega and Tomales Bays
Tomales and Bodega Bays are important wintering areas for thousands of loons, grebes, and other waterbirds. The tidal flats, marshes, and beaches provide diverse feeding areas for many different types of birds. Bird identification and behavior will be the focus during several short and easy walks. The trip begins at Bodega Bay and car-caravans to Tomales Bay.
David Wimpfheimer
Saturday, December 1 9:30 am - 4 pm
$40 members/ $45 non-members

Technology Goes to the Movies
Today, special effects dominate certain genres of movies such as fantasy and science fiction. Thanks to modern techniques like blue screen processes and computers, things like dinosaurs or aliens can be produced with astounding realism. But this technology extends further than just films-it is affecting everything from the Hubble Space Telescope to your next TV purchase. Learn why is it no longer true to say that "the camera never lies," with the SETI Institute's Seth Shostak.
Wednesday, December 5 & Wednesday, December 12 7 - 9 pm
$30 members/ $35 non-members

Sitting by Silver Stream
Starting at Five Brooks Pond near Olema, sample the incredible diversity of freshwater creatures including dragonfly, water beetles, and water striders. Then head to Bear Valley for a leisurely stroll down a trail lined by fern, horsetail, alder and willow trees. Sit by the creed and soak up the sounds, sights and smells without urban distraction. Open to families with children four years and older.
Chris Giorni
Saturday, December 8 11 am - 2 pm
$25 adult/$20 child, members
$30 adult/$25 child, non-members

Discovering an Urban Treasure: Lake Merced
San Francisco's Lake Merced and the surrounding parklands form a critical habitat for wintering birds on the coast of central California. The freshwater marsh surrounding Lake Merced is the largest between Point Reyes National Seashore and Pescadero Marsh. Spend the morning discussing Lake Merced's history and learning about the crisis it now faces, while viewing the areas many bird species. Plan to car-caravan to various sites around the lake and walk about one mile.
Dan Murphy
Saturday, December 8 8 am - Noon
$30 members/ $35 non-members

Pine Needle Baskets
The Seminole Indians wove pine needle baskets for use in their daily chores, and the techniques they used can be learned easily in this hands-on workshop. Hubbard demonstrates several traditional weaving techniques and guides in pine needle basket construction.
Kathleen Hubbard
Saturday, December 8 10 am - 4 pm
$65 members/ $75 non-members
$15 per person materials fee

Dr. Giorgi Dvali, "The Universe's Unseen Dimensions"
Dr. Giorgi Dvali, Department of Physics, New York University, will discuss "The Universe's Unseen Dimensions." In his research, Dr. Dvali is concerned with the effects of gravity in an extra-dimensional universe. He will explain how adding extra dimensions would help us to understand the inexplicable weakness of gravity. This may also lead to the holy grail of the unification of the forces of nature. "Inflation," in an astronomical context, is an epoch of accelerated expansion of the universe driven by the repulsive energy of a "false vacuum." Twenty years ago a theory of eternal inflation was suggested to explain some seemingly unnatural features of the universe. In the last few years, observational evidence has accumulated which strongly suggests that there was indeed a period of inflation in the early history of the universe.
Tuesday, December 11 7:30 pm $3
Morrison Planetarium

The Late Fall Night Sky at Hume Observatory
Spend the evening admiring the late-fall sky from the Academy's Hume Observatory in Sonoma County. View the glorious Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades as well as Jupiter and Saturn. We may even catch a glimpse of some late arriving Geminid meteors. After observing stars and planets late into the night, camp on the deck of the Academy's rustic cottage with a kitchen, bathrooms, and a magnificent view. For those who prefer, sleep inside.
Darryl Stanford
Saturday, December 15 - Sunday, December 16
4 pm Saturday - 9 am Sunday
$55 members/$60 non-members

Public Programs

Painted Gourds
For nearly a decade, artist David Snooks has been meticulously painting and beading gourds into one-of-a-kind works of art. He is from a traditional Washoe family, and his gourd designs are inspired by the baskets made by his mother and grandmother. But, in contrast to the traditional practice, in which a basket-maker would ask permission to use an elder's design and then faithfully reproduce it time after time, Snooks' pieces are innovative and unique. Come meet the artist and examine his decorated gourds-and the baskets that inspired them.
Saturday, December 1 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Cowell Hall
Free with museum admission

Marine Mammals
Join Academy naturalist Juan-Carlos Solis and explore the lives and conservation of the marine mammals of the Northeastern Pacific. During this family program, we'll look at Academy specimens including skulls, bones, fur, claws and more.
Saturday, December 1 12:30 & 2:30 pm
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission

Sea Birds
Explore the lives and conservation of the sea birds of the Northeastern Pacific. During this family program, look at Academy specimens including bird skins, nests, eggs, feathers and more.
Wednesday, December 5 12:30 & 2:30 pm
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission

Drums Across the Tundra: Yup'ik Traditions and Culture
The Academy hosts a musical demonstration with renowned Yup'ik artist Chuna McIntyre. As a traditional and contemporary musician and storyteller, Chuna has performed in several museums and institutions around the world. Also a fine artist, Chuna's work can be seen in museums, galleries, and public spaces throughout Alaska and the continent. His magical and melodic performances offer a treasury of insight into Yup'ik culture as it is and once was -across the Tundra.
Saturday, December 8 10 am - 4 pm
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission

Annual Holiday Concert
Members of the Deutscher Musik Verein brass band return to the Academy for their annual concert of Christmas music from around the world. Get in the holiday spirit and join us in celebrating the joyous sounds of the season.
Saturday, December 8 2 pm
African Hall
Free with museum admission

California Indian Stories
Join master storyteller Jessie Riddle and hear California Indian stories. Jessie Riddle, an Apache tribe descendant and a member of the Pit River Nation, has worked as a storyteller for the past 25 years and currently works as an educator at the Oakland Museum of California.
Sunday, December 16 & Saturday, December 29 12:30 & 2:30 PM
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission

A Naturalist Challenge
Learn about scientist's adventures on Russian Expeditions to the New World, and then find out how you can take the Naturalist's Challenge to explore the world around you. We'll send you home with a little piece of California history to plant.
December 13, 20 and January 8, 15 & 22 12:30 & 2:30
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission

California Herps
Meet naturalist Chris Giorni and come face to face with toads, tree frogs, newts, lizards, snakes and salamanders as you learn about local reptiles and amphibians. Imagine yourself as an early Russian naturalist studying these amazing creatures for the first time. Chris will also address the issue of global amphibian decline - "Where have all the frogs gone?"-----
Wednesday, December 26, 2001 12:30 & 2:30 PM
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission

Steller's Curse: A story of endangered lives
Was there a curse that followed Georg Steller on his Russian expedition in 1741? Find out what happened on that terrible trip, and the amazing discoveries that came from it. Meet live animals that are in danger of extinction today, and find out what you can do to help them avoid Steller's Curse.
Thursday, December 27 and Friday, December 28 12:30 & 2:30 pm
In Russia's Great Voyages Exhibit
Free with museum admission


Photo Contest for Children
Children 18 and under are invited to enter to win prizes in the Academy's Annual photo contest. The contest includes two categories: 1) California Wild - photos of plants, animals and landscapes taken in California and 2) Photos taken inside the Academy. All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form. Entry forms, rules, and other details are available on our website: www.calacademy.org/photocompetition.
Deadline: January 10, 2002

Run To The Far Side®
The 5K and 10K Run To The Far Side® is a Thanksgiving weekend tradition that pays tribute to the zany cartoon creations of Gary Larson. It is the only race where herds of costumed cows, chickens, squid, cavemen, and assorted Far Side fanatics compete side-by-side with serious athletes in a beautiful jaunt through Golden Gate Park. Costumes are a race tradition in the 5K, with a costume contest following the race. Those more interested in slimming their waistline after their Thanksgiving feasts are invited to join in the 10K run.
Sunday, November 25 8:30 am
$18 for members; $23 for non-members; $30 for all on race morning
Fees support environmental education and research programs at the Academy and include free admission following the race.

IMAX Galápagos
Please join us for a special Academy benefit event celebrating the newly released IMAX film Galápagos. Galápagos delves deep into the largely unknown waters surrounding the volcanic archipelago to explore the natural wonders of a realm that is truly a living science laboratory.
This family event will feature a talk by the Academy's own Dr. John McCosker, Senior Science Advisor on this IMAX presentation.
Friday, November 30 7pm
$25 per person
Loews IMAX Theatre, Metreon, 101 Fourth Street, San Francisco

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