What's on at the California Academy of Sciences
Exhibits, Lectures, Programs and Events
-Exhibits & Happenings -
Sharks in the Park
A temporary display by Wild Aid
Closing October 14, 2002
Sharks in the Park will be devoted to increasing public awareness about
one of the ocean's most fascinating and endangered creatures, sharks.
Three life-size shark inflatables will be on display, and a new traveling
Wild Aid shark display will open at the Academy before it proceeds on
a worldwide tour. The Wild Aid display will be at the California Academy
of Sciences September 21 through October 14.
ONGOING through late 2003
Skulls includes almost 1,700 different dead heads -- ranging from monkeys
and giraffes to warthogs and rats to bears and dolphins. Created by Academy
staff, this exhibit is festooned with 860 sea lion heads in a 93-foot-long
undulating display. Skulls shows visitors what the study of human and
animal skulls can reveal about behavior, injury, disease, evolutionary
adaptation, and more. This strange and stunning display will captivate
young and old alike.
Ongoing through 2003
Prepare to look at fish in a whole new light. X-Ray Ichthyology captures
forty-six fish from the Academy's ichthyology collection on X-ray film.
Blown up and backlit, these large-format photographs transform scaly swimmers
ranging from piranhas to guitarfish into eerie, luminescent works of art.
Photo Contest Winners
April 20, 2002 to December 2002
From France to Fresno, children ages 618 have submitted photographs
to the Children's Photography Contest at the Academy. Come see the winning
entries on display in Wild California Hall.
Powers of Ten
Ongoing through January 2003
Come visit a place where the farthest reaches of the Universe and the
familiar features of your own back yard are just a few steps and a few
zeros apart. Using a series of photographs based on the landmark film
of the same name by Charles and Ray Eames, Powers of Ten explores 44 powers
of ten, beginning with 1026 meters (the size of the known Universe) and
ending at 10-18 meters (the size of the smallest known subatomic particles).
At each station, videos and objects from the Academy's vast research collections
allow visitors to investigate scientific discoveries relating to different
powers of ten.
Nature Discovery - ongoing
Each year the California Academy of Sciences offers children, families
and adults more than 200 field trips, workshops and classes focusing on
science and the natural world. Explore tide pools in Marin, discover birds
in Golden Gate Park or learn how to draw and paint animals in Steinhart
Children's Story Time - ongoing
Story Time takes place in the Skulls exhibit at the California Academy
of Sciences each Saturday at 10:30 am. In September join story time for
Insect Investigation: Explore the world of Insects and Spiders. Children
from ages 3 to 7 are welcome. Free with admission
The first Wednesday of every month is free, all year long! The museum
stays open until 8:45 pm on free Wednesdays - at 5 pm step into Morrison
Planetarium for a free half-hour concert.
Wednesday, October 2, 10 am - 8:45 pm California Academy of Sciences,
Watch live sharks, alligators, penguins, hundreds of fish and a living
coral reef at Steinhart Aquarium. Steinhart Aquarium houses over 600 varieties
of aquatic life in 165 individual tanks. Open ocean fish swim around you
in the 100,000-gallon fish roundabout (feedings take place at 1:30 pm
daily). Penguin feedings take place at 11:30 am and 4 pm each day. California
Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park Open 365 days of the year
Fourth Annual Neighborhood Free Days
Weekends throughout the months of October and November San Francisco residents
are invited to visit the Academy free of admission. Invited by neighborhood,
according to zip codes, over 10,000 San Francisco residents visited the
Academy on Neighborhood Free Days the last three years. Each visiting
adult must prove residency by showing a driver's license or a utility
To find your neighborhood's weekend date and zip code go
to www.calacademy.org, click on General Information then on Neighborhood
Free Days 2002.
Documenting a Vanishing World
Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher
Whether they are documenting male and female initiation rites or the charming
and seductive Wodaabe courtship dances, Beckwith and Fisher convey the
reverence with which the participants carry out the various ceremonies.
In 1999, they released a two-volume tome: African Ceremonies, a celebration
in photographs and text of the continent's rapidly disappearing tribal
rites and rituals. This year the authors will release a concise one-volume
edition of their photographs. Wednesday, October 23, 7:30 pm. $6 members/
$8 non-members. Booksigning to follow.
Birds of North America
Kenn Kaufman has revolutionized the field of bird identification by digitally
editing real photographs to create ideal pictures for bird identification.
A noted birder, he brings a unique blend of technical knowledge and enthusiasm
for teaching others about the wonders of birds watching. Thursday, October
3, 7:30 pm. $6 members/$8 non-members. Booksigning to follow.
The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt
In 1911, Dr. Ernest Stromer led an expedition to Egypt's Bahariya Oasis
in the Sahara and discovered four new species of dinosaurs, Tragically,
a 1944 Allied bombing raid incinerated all of his work, leaving much of
his work unknown until Josh Smith and a team from the University of Pennsylvania
returned to Egypt in 1999 to retrace his steps. Join Josh Smith as he
recounts this fascinating tale and describes his finds in the deserts
of Egypt, which includes a new species of dinosaur, the second largest
to walk the earth. Wednesday, October 16, 7:30 pm. $6 members/ $8 non-members.
Booksigning to follow.
"Planets and Satellites in Our Solar System: Special Focus on
Io and Titan"
Dr. Imke de Pater, University of California Berkeley, studies the outer
solar system with data from the Galileo Spacecraft and from the Adaptive
Optics system on Mauna Kea's 10-meter Keck telescope. Her beautiful and
state-of-the-art images of our own solar system's giant gas planets give
us a better understanding of these worlds. This work is leading to new
theories of their origin and subsequent evolution. Of particular interest
are Jupiter's moon Io and Saturn's largest satellite, Titan. Dr de Pater's
images from both the Galileo Spacecraft and from the Keck Telescope reveal
new information about these mysterious satellites.
Tuesday, October 22, 7:30-9pm
Tickets are $3 each and may be purchased at the door.
-Kids: Things to Do -
Brain Case Drop
Skulls were designed by nature almost 500 million years ago to protect
the brain in vertebrate animals. Now you can build you own protective
brain case, using an egg to represent the delicate brain. To test your
construction, we'll drop your brain case from the top of our roof. Will
your brain survive the fall? Ages 7 and older. Space for this program
is limited and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Saturday,
October 5, Brain Case Construction 11 am - 1 pm, Brain Case Drop 1:30
Make a Skull
Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your
own. All Ages. Saturday, October 5, Sunday, October 6, Monday, October
14, Saturday, October 19, Sunday, October 20, Sunday, October 27, Saturday,
November 16, Sunday, November 17, Saturday, November 23, Sunday, November
24, 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
How Do They Do That?
How do animals locate prey without seeing it or hearing it? Or swallow
prey bigger than their heads? Explore animal senses by looking at skulls.
Friday, October 11, Friday, October 25,
Friday, November 1, Friday, November 29, All Ages 11:30 am and 1:30 pm
Mysterious Victims of Flying Predators
Examine the hunting technique of hawks, eagles and other flying predators,
then reconstruct the scene of the crime as we identify the skulls of their
prey. All ages. Saturday, October 12, Saturday, October 26, Saturday,
November 9, Saturday, November 30, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm
Skull Halloween Tour
After dark sets in
grab a flashlight and come to the Academy to tour
Skulls. Learn about the biology and history of some of the 1700 skulls
on display from Raymond "Bones" Bandar. Wednesday, October 30,
first tour 7 to 8:20 pm, Second tour 8:10 to 9:30 pm Members $2 Non-Members
$5. Ages 9 and up. Space is limited/Participants must sign for one tour
Take a crash course on recognizing animals by their skulls alone. Examine
human, hyena, turtle and rodent skulls, learning important details used
by experts to compare species. All ages. Thursdays in October, Sunday,
November 10, Sunday, November 17, Sunday, December 1,
11:30 am and 1:30 pm
Meet a live toucan, touch real bird skulls and explore avian skull morphology,
adaptations and conservation. All ages. Sunday, October 13, Tuesdays in
November, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm
Cats and Dogs
Explore the design, function, and adaptations of feline and canine skulls.
All Ages. Wednesday, October 2, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.
Songs of the Seafaring Life
Sea chanteys (chanties or shanties) are songs traditionally sung by sailors
to accompany and set the rhythm for certain kinds of heavy, repetitive
work on board ship. But sailors sang other sorts of songs, as well: maritime
ballads and forecastle songs also paint portraits of life at sea and on
shore. In today's program, the musicians of Mainbrace-Mike O'Leary-Johns
and Tony Fraser-offer a glimpse into this musical tradition. Mainbrace
is on tour in the Bay Area from South Wales. Saturday, October 12, 1 pm
Kites: Traditional and Contemporary
Tom McAlister of Highline Kites in Berkeley discusses the history and
culture of kites in various traditions. His talk will also highlight the
work of contemporary American kite-makers. This presentation will include
slides, as well as examples of various kinds of kites. Saturday, October
26, 11 am
- Celebrate Latino Heritage -
Celebrate Latino Heritage with the Academy see live demonstrations, enjoy
performances, join activities and workshops.
Argentine Folk Dance
Tango A Media Luz presents the chacarera, gato, and zamba, as well as
the macho dances of the gauchos, those fiercely independent Argentine
cowboys. These latter are performed by the Estrellas, the only North American
women trained in the dangerous art of "malambos de boleadoras,"
tap dancing with whirling weapons. Also this program will feature Argentine
folk songs presented by musician Heber Tosini.
October 5, 1 pm
Latino Heritage Day
Come celebrate Latino Heritage at the Academy with ongoing live demonstrations
and hands-on activities including paper flower construction, traditional
Zapotec weaving, crafts from Colombia, traditional dances from Chile and
tortilla and tamale making. Sunday October 20, 11am to 4:30 pm.
Havana Under the Stars
Join Orquesta La Moderna Tradición and feel the rhythm of traditional
Cuban music - especially the lilting grooves of the danzón, a legendary
ballroom style that developed from the synchronization of African and
European influences. Adult performance: Saturday, October 19, 6:30 pm
reception, 7:30 pm Concert, $6 members/$8 non-members. Children's performance:
Sunday, October 20, 1 pm, Morrison Auditorium FREE after admission.
Tickets: (415) 750-7141
Celebrate el Dia de los Muertos at the Academy and make your own calaverita
a modern version of a 3000 year old Aztec ritual to celebrate The Day
of the Dead in México. Space is limited, first come first served
basis. Ages 7 and up. Saturday, November 2, Sunday, November 3, 12:30
to 2:30 pm.
- Special Events -
11th Annual Halloween Party
The Academy invites you, your children, and grandchildren to our ghoulishly
grand Halloween happening on Friday, October 25. Known for having 18 million
'scary things' in bottles, it's the perfect place to celebrate this nocturnal
autumn holiday. $95 per adult-free for children. All children must be
accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, so be sure to send your reply
in soon. Reservations will be held at the door. This fun event benefits
the research and education programs at the Academy-your support above
$75 per ticket is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Friday, October 25,
2002,6:30 to 9 pm; $95 for adults/Free for children. All children must
be accompanied by an adult.
Morrison Planetarium's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Celebrate Morrison Planetarium's 50th anniversary. Make your own Paper
Cup Planetarium and learn about your Birthday Moon. Look through a telescope
with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers. Sing Happy Birthday to the
Planetarium and join us for a slice of cake at 1:30 pm. Activities will
take place throughout the day, the star show "Stars over San Francisco:
Then and Now" will run every hour. Join us to look forward to our
next 50 years.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary prices for the show "Stars Over
San Francisco: Then and Now" will be rolled back to .74¢. Saturday,
November 9, 11 am - 4 pm
- Field Trips, Seminars and Workshops -
Leave the Field Guides at Home
Who wants to be weighted down by cumbersome guidebooks on long hikes?
Learn how to use a field journal to record questions and observations
and how to use field guides-after hiking-as a tool for identification.
Instructed by naturalist and illustrator Diane T Sands. Adult Seminar
and Field Trip - Saturday, October 26, 9 am-4 pm $20 members/$25 non-members.
Take a cruise aboard the Delphinus to explore this East Bay park, accessible
by permit only. Learn about the island's plants, birds, and natural and
cultural history on a hike to the top for a panoramic view. Instructed
by naturalist and captain Ronn Patterson. Adult Field Trip - Sunday, October
27, 9 am-4 pm $75 members/$85 non-members. .
Discovering the Form and Beauty of Skulls
The form and beauty of skulls have fascinated artists for centuries. Explore
their architecture and function as you sketch in the Academy's acclaimed
skulls exhibit, and then discover how to paint with sepia-toned inks on
vellum using the sketches as references in the classroom. Instructed by
artist Carolynne Griffin. Adult Workshop - Saturday & Sunday, November
2 & 3, 9 am-3 pm $100 members/$110 non-members (Art materials are
not included; a supply list is sent with confirmation notice.)
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