The California Academy of Sciences
Crosses the Golden Gate
Bringing Spring Field Trips to Marin and Sonoma Counties

SAN FRANCISCO (March 18, 2002) - This spring families and adults are invited to skip the trip across the Golden Gate and sign up for Academy classes that take place in the North Bay. Families: hike the Academy's Pepperwood Nature Preserve with a naturalist; explore Tennessee Valley creatures at dusk with an environmental educator; trek Angel Island with a biologist. Adults: explore Tomales Bay, Mount Tam, and Lagunitas Creek all in one weekend. Qualified scientists, naturalists, and educators lead each program. Learn about these and other programs at Pre-registration required, for more information call (415) 750-7100 or e-mail

Family Field Trips:

Tracking Our Feathered Friends
Take an in-depth look at how scientists track birds during migration. Learn how to identify different kinds of birds by their body shapes, flight patterns, songs, and behaviors. Watch field biologists using mist nets to capture and band migratory songbirds at Point Reyes Bird Observatory in Marin County. Move across the street to Bolinas Lagoon, and look at shorebirds and waterfowl. For families with children ages 9 and up.
Margaret Feldmann
Saturday, May 4, 9 a.m. - noon

Family Hike at Pepperwood
Bring the children to the Academy's Pepperwood Nature Preserve, near Santa Rosa, for a discovery walk with beautiful mountain views, rolling grassy hills, shady woodlands and soaring hawks. Search for tree frogs, turtles, and salamanders at the pond and discover what lives in the meadow and along the forest edge. Picnic together amid the hum of insects and song of meadowlarks. For families with children ages 3 to 6.
Ginger Parish
Sunday, May 19, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Marin Headlands Experience for Little Ones
Bring your little ones to experience the wonder of the Marin Headlands. This remarkable natural area -- just north of the Golden Gate Bridge -- offers rolling hills, sweeping ocean views, and a variety of birds, mammals, insects, and coastal plants. Discover the secrets of this special place while taking a short hike to the beach. For families with children ages 3 to 5.
Ginger Parish
Sunday, July 7, 9:30 a.m. - noon

Angel Island's Amazing Creations
Inspect this hotbed of evolution, and become aware of Angel Island's unique biogeography. Watch unusual moles search for wriggling worms, and elongated lizards slip through the underbrush. Shaped into new forms by island life, see how coast live oaks, toyon, and manzanita differ from their kin on the mainland. Try to untangle the selective pressures and long periods of isolation that led to the evolution of Angel Island's creatures. For families with children ages 9 and up.
Chris Giorni
Saturday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tennessee Valley at Dusk
Many animals are most active at sunset. At dusk in southern Marin County, use an ultrasonic detector to search for bats. Learn a few simple hoots, and try to communicate with several great horned owls that live near the creek. Walk into the open meadow, and watch for a bobcat mousing. Hone your nighttime observational skills as your senses adjust to the twilight, and many other sights and sounds become apparent. For families with children ages 8 and up.
Chris Giorni
Saturday, August 24, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Adult Field Trips:

Natural History of Angel Island
Spend a delightful day on this San Francisco Bay island interpreting the natural and man-made landscape. Study its history, geology, climate, and vegetation, as well as its birdlife. Circle Angel Island on foot (about five miles), and ascend its highest point, Mt. Caroline Livermore. Expand your knowledge of this natural habitat while enjoying spring wildflowers in bloom.
Gary Holloway and Dan Murphy
Saturday, April 6, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or
Sunday, April 7, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Springtime at Pepperwood
Roam the oak woodlands and grasslands of the Academy's Pepperwood Nature Preserve at the height of the spring wildflower season. Explore vernal pools and serpentine outcrops for plants endemic to these unique Sonoma County habitats. Walk a total of two miles. Suitable for ages 15 and up.
Michael Gillogly
Sunday, April 7, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Water by Land and Sea

Tomales Bay is one of the most pristine and productive estuaries on the West Coast. Begin the weekend by exploring its watershed in a series of short walks approximately two miles each, including the upper slopes of Mount Tamalpais, Cataract Creek, and Lagunitas Creek to discover a variety of rich habitats. Later, view the mingling of waters as the creek flows into Tomales Bay. Sunday, experience the bay by sea kayak. Paddle four to five miles observing its salt marsh and wildlife. At high tide, silently glide past a roost of sandpipers, then visit several sites before lunching in a secluded spot. No kayaking experience necessary; all equipment is provided. Instruction is given before departure in stable double sea kayaks.
David Wimpfheimer
Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and
Sunday, April 14, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Spring Night Sky at Hume Observatory
Spend the evening exploring the spring sky from the Academy's Hume Observatory at Pepperwood Nature Preserve, in Sonoma County. Use telescopes to view all five major planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn - setting in the west soon after sunset. After viewing the sky late into the night, fall asleep under the stars on the deck of the Academy's rustic cottage.
Darryl Stanford
7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 through 9 a.m. Sunday, May 5
(Rain date: June 1 - 2)

West Marin Island by Kayak
Get a bird's eye view of the private lives of herons and egrets in this unusual colony located at West Marin Island; scull gently and unobtrusively through the waters of the Bay at the height of breeding season; watch as they go about nesting, brooding, and rearing their young. No kayaking experience necessary; all equipment is provided. Instruction is given before departure in stable double sea kayaks.
Nancy DeStefanis
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Geology of Wine: From Soil to Glass
Wine quality is dependent on terroirs, the entire microhabitat the vineyard from the soil to the glass. Learn the geologic history of Sonoma County that has given rise to the region's excellent wines-- from full-bodied reds to light sparkling whites. After the seminar join a tour of Sonoma vineyards and wineries, tasting the wines and learning to recognize the nuances of flavor and bouquet amidst the rocks and soils of their origin. Participants must be at least 21.
Terry Wright
Seminar: Tuesday, May 14, 7 - 9:30 p.m.
Field Trip: Sunday, May 19, 9 - 4 p.m.

Ring Mountain Rarities
The Nature Conservancy acquired Ring Mountain Preserve's 377 acres to protect rare plants, animals, prehistoric artifacts, and minerals from planned development. Learn about the ecology and geology of Ring Mountain and the creation of California's Franciscan mélange in the pre-trip seminar. Then hike over what was once ocean crust and is now studded with coastal live oak, bay laurel, and California native trees. The two-mile climb is moderate, and the views of San Francisco Bay are spectacular.
Rolf Ursin-Smith
Seminar: Tuesday, May 21, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Field Trip: Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

[The California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Academy's logo are registered trademarks of the California Academy of Sciences.]

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