Darwin is Turning 194!
Come Celebrate at The California Academy of Sciences

(San Francisco) Monday, January 6, 2003 --The California Academy of Sciences is proud to pay tribute to Charles Darwin and his research with a two-part celebration beginning February 5, 2003. Without this man, often called the Father of Evolution, the Academy's natural history museum and research collections might look substantially different than they do today. Fortunately, Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, and - once his medical career was foiled by his frequent fainting - he turned his attention to evolution.

Darwin collected much of the evidence for his theory of "evolution by the process of natural selection" on a trip to the Galapagos Islands in 1831 - a trip that would spark a nearly 100 year long relationship between The California Academy of Sciences and the islands off the coast of Ecuador. In 1905, Academy scientists launched their first expedition to the Galapagos Islands with the goal of continuing Darwin's groundbreaking research. The expedition would last 17 months, making it the longest single expedition ever made to the Galapagos. By the time these voyagers returned to San Francisco, the infamous 1906 earthquake and fires had destroyed most of the Academy's collections, so the new Galapagos specimens they brought back with them became the core of The California Academy of Sciences Research Collection.

To this day, the Academy's Galapagos archive holds some of the most frequently used specimens in our research collection. Our scientists are still conducting research in these amazing islands, and we work closely with the Charles Darwin Research Station to promote environmental conservation and scientific education in the area. In appreciation of the legacy he left behind, we are pleased to present a birthday party for Charles Darwin.

Darwin's Road Show
Did your uncle leave you a butterfly collection you don't know how to identify? Do you wonder about the evolutionary significance of the bright blue feather you found in your backyard? Bring us your leaves, worms, bugs, rocks, feathers and bones. Our experts will identify them. Academy scientists from the fields of Anthropology, Aquatic Biology, Botany, Entomology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Geology, Ornithology and Mammalogy will be on-hand to tell you what it is, where it comes from and why it's important.
Wednesday, February 5, 5:30-7:30 pm
California Academy of Sciences

Natural Selection
Celebrate Darwin's Birthday with the Academy Explorers for an evening of revelry and romance Headliner Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers will entertain with classic jazz and funky blues. Later, visitors may "smooch under the stars" during a special planetarium show. Those who prefer to pucker up among the fishes may wander through the aquarium. To top it all off, enjoy a sumptuous dessert menu, with complimentary wine and beer. Join us for Darwin's birthday: a natural selection for a quirky, romantic evening.

Friday, February 7, 8:30 pm - midnight
21 and over please
Complimentary wine, beer, and dessert
$40 in advance/ $55 at the door if available
Buy tickets online at www.calacademy.org


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