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 www.calacademy.org/education.
Pre-registration required, for more information call (415) 750-7100 or
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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