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
Book signings by Peter Benchley
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. Activities for children will include interactive CD
roms, games, contests and the San Jose Sharks mascot, Sharkie. In addition,
Peter Benchley, author of Shark Trouble, will be present for a book signing
from 12 -2 pm.
Activities take place Saturday, September 21
The Wild Aid display will be at the California Academy of Sciences September
21 through October 14, 2002
"Stars over San Francisco - Then and Now"
Morrison Planetarium features a new sky show in honor of its fiftieth
anniversary. "Stars Over San Francisco - Then and Now" premiers
Friday, September 13, at 2 pm. It shows how the Planetarium and our knowledge
of the Universe itself have changed since we opened our doors on November
8, 1952. The show continues through March 2003. Schedule for September
13-30 is Weekdays: 2pm, Weekends: 2 & 3 pm.
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 - 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 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.
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 September 4, 10 am - 8:45 pm California Academy of Sciences,
Come watch live sharks, alligators, penguins, hundreds of fish and a living
coral reef at the Steinhart Aquarium. The Steinhart 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
4th Annual Neighborhood Free Days
Every weekend throughout 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
bill. The first weekend of Neighborhood Free Days the Academy invites
residents from the following zip codes to attend:
October 4,5 & 6 94103, 94107, 94130, 94111,
94105, 94108, 94104, 94102
For more dates and zip codes go to www.calacademy.org, click on General
Information then Neighborhood Free Days 2002.
- Lectures -
Seeing in the Dark
With more space probing power than the legendary observatories had a generation
ago, amateurs can engage in serious scientific research, even collaborating
with professional astronomers on cutting-edge projects. Dr. Ferris takes
us inside this revolution that is sweeping astronomy and shows how anyone
can get started in it, just by going outside on a dark night with a star
chart and learning his or her way around. Dr. Timothy Ferris is emeritus
professor at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of
twelve books. Thursday, September 5, 7:30 pm Morrison Planetarium; tickets
Searching for Ancient Monuments of Early America
Dr. Sheldon Breiner
Dr. Breiner, a Stanford geophysicist, has led a life of searching. Using
a magnetometer Dr. Brenier has discovered objects and archeological sites
under earth and sea. Most recently Dr. Breiner discovered 3,000-year-old
colossal monuments in the lowland jungles of Southern Mexico at San Lorenzo
Tenochtitlan. View photos of these giant Olmec heads and other carved
basalt objects, which now reside in museums throughout Mexico. Learn about
the people that gave rise to these astounding monuments and the search
that yielded them to human eyes for a second time. Wednesday, September
18 at 2 & 7:30 pm Morrison Auditorium; Free for members/$8 non-members.
The Substellar Zoo
Dr. Gibor Basri
At an epochal session in a meeting in Florence in 1995, the astronomical
community received its first confirmation that Nature makes objects that
are smaller than stars and are now classified as both brown dwarfs (a
very small or "failed" star) and extra-solar giant planets (huge
planets outside of our own Solar System). Dr. Basri, of the University
of California Berkeley and a Fellow of the Academy, will summarize important
discoveries in the substellar domain, and describe the issues of this
debate. Tuesday, September 17 Dr. Gibor Basri 7:309 pm; tickets
T-rex on Trial: Predator or Scavenger?
A Scientific Debate of Geologic Proportions
Dr. Jack Horner
A skull with 1.2-meter jaws, raggedly studded with 18-centimeter teeth
that could crush bone and consume 225 kilograms of flesh in a single bite.
Clearly it belonged to the ultimate predator, the undisputed master of
the Cretaceous world...or not. According to Dr. Jack Horner, one of the
world's leading paleontologists, Tyrannosaurus rex was not a hunter at
all. Evidence in the T-rex skull, hips and leg bones appear to tell a
different story. T-rex may have been a scavenger.
Dr. Horner, a professor at Montana State University, was a technical
adviser to Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park series. Saturday, September
21, 7:30 pm, $6 members/$8 non-members; Children's Lecture: T-Rex Skulls,
Sunday, September 22 1 pm, Free.
Powers of Ten and Other Eames' Philosophies
Eames Demetrios will speak about designing the Powers of Ten exhibit and
his recently completed book, An Eames Primer, which provides the first
documentation of the design process of his grandparents, Charles and Ray
Eames, producers of the famous 1977 film "Powers of Ten." Thursday,
September 26, 7:30 pm, Morrison Auditorium, $6 members/$8 non-members.
Purchase tickets at the door.
- Kids: Things to Do -
Body Music and Fancy Footwork
Throughout the month of September, the Traditional Arts Program presents
a series of events exploring what might be called "body percussion"
making rhythmic music with the body, especially the feet.
Zapateo Criollo: Afro-Peruvian Dance Dance to the beat of
the cajón (box drum). The zapateo criollo, with its intricate percussive
footwork, is an Afro-Peruvian dance form found along the coast of Peru,
where Africans were brought as slaves beginning in the 16th century. This
program features a performance by De Rompe Y Raja, a Peruvian folk dance
ensemble, and includes the participation of choreographer Lalo Izquierdo.
This program is in honor of Latino Heritage Month. Saturday, September
7, 1 pm.
Dances from English Tradition The dancers of Swords of Gridlock
present a program of noise-making English dances. Clogging, the rapper
sword dance, morris dancing (with bells), and other styles will be performed
to live music. Saturday, September 14, 1 pm
North American Percussive Dance Evie Ladin discusses the
cultural influences that have contributed to the various styles of percussive
dance in North America. She will show us samples of English and Appalachian
clogging, the African-American-based hambone, and other dance styles.
Saturday, September 21, 1 pm
Make a Skull - Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull
model of your own. Sunday, September 1; Saturday & Sunday, September
28 & 29; 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Free.
Mysterious Victims of Flying Predators Examine the hunting
technique of hawks, eagles and other flying predators, then help us reconstruct
the scene of the crime as we identify the skulls of their prey. Thursdays
in September; 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Free.
Skulls Culture Explore some of the beliefs and practices
associated with skulls around the world, including the head-shrinking
of Jivaro Indians. Sunday, September 8, 15; 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Free.
Bird Skulls Meet a live toucan, touch real bird skulls and
explore avian skull design. Saturday, September 7, 14; 11:30 am and 1:30
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. September 10, 17, 24; 11:30 am and 1:30 pm;
Skull Detective Examine mammal, bird, reptile and fish skulls
as we look for clues that may reveal what the skull owner ate and how
it lived. Wednesdays in September; 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Free.
The Late Summer Night Sky at Hume Observatory
Hunt for star clusters in the Milky Way, and view the conjunction of Venus
and Jupiter in the west after sunset at the Academy's Pepperwood Nature
Preserve in Sonoma County. Instructed by astrophysicist Darryl Stanford.
Adult Overnight Field Trip Saturday-Sunday, September 7-8, 6:30
pm Saturday to 9 am Sunday (RAIN DATE: September 28-29) $55 members/$60
non-members. Reservations must be made in advance.
Birds of Limantour Beach
Explore the tidal flats, marshes, and riparian habitats of the Point Reyes
National Seashore, where great horned owls, adult male summer tanagers,
white-tailed kites, and purple martins have been spotted. Instructed by
naturalist David Wimpfheimer. Adult Field Trip Sunday, September
8, 9 am-4 pm $40 members/$45 non-members. Reservations must be made in
Chain of Lakes and Western Golden Gate Park
In what has long been known as one of San Francisco's best fall birding
spots, early blooming eucalyptus and other abundant food sources attract
migrating flycatchers, vireos, warblers, sparrows, and finches. Instructed
by birder Dan Murphy. Adult Field Trip Saturday, September
21, 8 am-noon $30 members/$35 non-members. Reservations must be made in
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