What's On At The California Academy of Sciences
Exhibits, Lectures, Programs and Events
April 2003

150 Years of Science Ongoing through December 31, 2003

Skulls Ongoing through December 31, 2003

X-Ray Ichthyology Ongoing through December 31, 2003

Village Children Ongoing through December 31, 2003

Dennis Anderson Photos Ongoing through December 31, 2003


Earth Day 2003: Rainforests of the World
Butterflies, birds, and a binturong, oh my! On Saturday, April 5 and Sunday April, 6, the Academy's halls will be crawling with these and other live animals from the many of world's rainforests, including brightly colored beetles and frogs, free-flying macaws, and even a two-toed sloth. Part of the Academy's fourth annual Earth Day festival, these animals will inspire visitors to celebrate and protect the biodiversity of the world's rainforests. In addition to meeting - and sometimes touching - live animals during the festival, visitors will be able to sample sustainably harvested rainforest products, make tree-free paper and other rainforest-related crafts, view award-winning rainforest documentaries, and even take a tour of a real rainforest with guides from Strybing Arboretum.

All weekend long, visitors who ride their bicycles or take the bus will receive free admission to the Academy. Complementary, secure bicycle parking will be provided near the front entrance. All Earth Day programs are free after museum admission. Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6 from 10 am to 5 pm

Astronomy Day
Join The California Academy of Sciences for Astronomy Day activities inside and outside Morrison Planetarium and the museum. Saturday, May 10, 10 am-2 pm


The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy
Could Einstein have possibly anticipated directly testing the most captivating prediction of general relativity, that there exist isolated pockets of spacetime shielded completely from our own? Now, almost a century later, just such an entity has been found lurking at the center of our galaxy. Dr. Fulvio Melia from the University of Arizona will discuss this supermassive black hole in the Milky Way and the mounting excitement in the astronomical community over the idea that we might be on the verge of actually seeing this exotic object within the next few years. Following the lecture, Dr. Melia will be signing copies of his new book: The Black Hole at the Galactic Center. Tuesday, April 15, 7:30-9:00 pm $3.

Living off the Land: Early Hominid Diets
Presented at the California Academy of Sciences with the L.S.B Leaky Foundation
Margaret Schoeninger
The fossil record indicates that our early ape-like ancestors ate largely fruit and leaves, yet by 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus is thought to have been hunters as well as gatherers of plant foods. Schoeninger considers evidence from living and fossil primates, modern human foragers, and bone chemistry to address this dietary change.
Thursday, April 3, 7:30 pm $8

Early Humans Out of Africa
Presented at the California Academy of Sciences with the L.S.B Leaky Foundation
David Lordkipanidze
The human exodus from Africa that began global colonization remains one of the greatest mysteries in paleoanthropology. Dated at 1.7 to 1.8 million years ago, hominid remains at the Dmanisi site in the Southern Caucasus of the Republic of Georgia are the oldest undisputed remains ever unearthed outside Africa. Lordkipanidze, the co-director of the excavations, contends that these fossils represent the missing link between Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Thursday, April 24, 7:30 pm $8

W. S. Merwin
City Arts & Lectures presents Poet W. S. Merwin, author of The Mays of Ventadorn Flower & Hand In conversation with Renée Rothmann this lecture will take place at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. Tickets are not sold at the Academy but through City Arts & Lectures. Tuesday, April 22, 8 pm $18. For info (415) 392-4400 or www.cityarts.net.

-Traditional Arts Programs-

Tales from the Rainforest
Ruth Halpern shares stories told in rainforest lands. One tale, from Guatemala, "is about a monster who looks like a hairy human-until you notice that its feet are on backwards." This program honors Earth Day. Saturday, April 5, 1pm. Free after museum admission (415) 750-7165.

The American Tradition of Belly Dance
Dancers from Zambalita present an overview of belly dancing as it has evolved in the American context. This performance will include tribal and cabaret styles, as well as sword and veil dances. Saturday, April 19, 1 pm. Free after museum admission (415) 750-7165.

Sculptured Waxwork Candles
Totonac Artist Jun Tiburcio, visiting from Veracruz, Mexico, crafts sculpted candles embedded with seeds. Burning these creations reminds us of both the beauty and the evanescence of all things. Examples of Jun's work in various other media will also be on display. (1-3 PM, Cowell Hall) Saturday, May 3, 1 pm. Free after museum admission (415) 750-7165.

-Field Trips, Seminars and Classes-

When Birds Were Hats
Travel back to the 1890s, when millions of wild birds were killed each year to supply feathers for ladies' hats, and marvel at the fascinating characters who earned their place in environmental history by fighting for the birds' protection. Instructed by birding enthusiast Nancy DeStefanis. Adult Seminar-Thursday, April 3, 7-9 pm $30

Mysteries of the Mayan Underworld
Join a group of cave-diving explorers on a descent into the strange, mysterious Mayan underworld off the Yucatan Peninsula. Instructed by wilderness educator Jim Wiltens. Seminar for Families with Children Ages 8 and up-Thursday, April 10, 6:30-8:30 pm $30 adults/$25 children.

Spring Wildflowers of Pepperwood
Roam the oak woodlands and grasslands of the Academy's Pepperwood Preserve in Santa Rosa at the height of the spring wildflower season. Instructed by resident naturalist Michael Gillogly. Adult Field Trip for Ages 15 and up-Sunday, April 13, 10 am-3 pm $45.

Rising From the Ashes
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Department of Anthropology to look at some of the objects rescued from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and discover this part of the Academy's early history, including its first curator of anthropology, Alfred Kroeber. Instructed by Academy anthropologist Russ Hartman. Adult Seminar and Behind-the-Scenes Tour-Thursday, April 17, 7-9 pm $30.

Kayaking Tomales Bay
Kayak 4 to 5 miles on one of the most pristine and productive estuaries on the West Coast. No kayaking experience is necessary, and all equipment is provided. To make a weekend of exploring the watershed from mountain to bay, join "Hiking the Tomales Bay Watershed". Instructed by naturalist David Wimpfheimer. Adult Field Trip-Sunday, April 27, 9 am-3:30 pm $120 Combine with "Hike the Tomales Bay Watershed": $145.

Living in a Four-Dimensional World
Discover that Einstein's special theory of relativity is not mysterious or hard to understand when looked at from the right point of view. Instructed by research scientist Steve Bryson. Adult Seminar-6 Tuesdays, April 29; May 6, 13, 20, 27; June 3, 7-9 pm $100.

Between Thunderbird and Underwater Panther
Examine the stories and art of Native American mythological beings Thunderbird and Underwater Panther, representatives of opposing worlds-the sky world and underworld and the forces of good and evil. Instructed by anthropology lecturer Carol Morrison. Adult Seminar-2 Thursdays, May 1 & 8, 7-9 pm $40.

Photographing Wildflowers
Capture the beauty of wildflowers on film. Get tips on equipment, composition, and creative techniques to improve your images, and try out your new skills at nearby Strybing Arboretum. Instructed by photographer Chris Kibre. Adult Seminar and Field Trip-Sunday, May 4, 10 am-3 pm $40.

The Heyday of Natural History
Never has science been held in higher esteem and the public taken a bigger interest in natural history than during the mid-19th century in America and Britain when most of today's renowned science museums, including the Academy, were established. Explore this fervor and how Charles Darwin's Origin of Species eventually undermined it. Instructed by science historian John Dillon. Adult Seminar-Tuesday, May 6, 7-9 pm $30.

-Skull Skills-

Make a Skull - Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your own. All ages. April 2, 5, 12, 19, & 26, 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. All ages. Thursdays: April 3, 10, 17, & 24, 11:30 am & 1:30 pm.

Mysterious Victims of Flying Predators - Examine the hunting technique of hawks, eagles and other flying predators, then help reconstruct the scene of the crime as we identify the skulls of their prey. Sundays: May 4, 11, & 18, 11:30 am & 1:30 pm.

Skull Sounds - Discover the strange sounds that animals can make with their skulls, and explore the way your skull affects your voice. Saturday, April 12, 11:30 am & 1:30 pm.

Name That Skull - Learn some tips for identifying skull features, then play the naming game with a variety of bird, mammal and reptile skulls. Sunday, April 20, 11:30 am & 1:30 pm.

Owl Pellet Forensics - Look for skulls in owl pellets and find out who is on the menu. We'll provide owl pellets, dissecting tools, and skull identification guides. Tuesdays, April 15 and May 20, 11:30 am.

Rain Forest Skulls - This is an event in conjunction with The Academy's Earth Day Celebration: Rainforests of the World. Saturday and Sunday, April 5 & 6, 2-4 pm.


150 Years of Science
Ongoing through December 31, 2003
The Academy's 150th Anniversary Exhibit: 150 Years of Science: Exploring Nature's Wonders features an enormous timeline streaming through the Academy's exhibit halls, giving visitors the opportunity to walk through 150 years of history as they learn how world events and major discoveries have shaped the pursuit of science and the Academy. The timeline will lead visitors to further exhibits that detail the Academy's plans for its future.

Ongoing through December 31, 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.

X-Ray Ichthyology
Ongoing through December 31, 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.

Village Children
Ongoing through December 31, 2003
See faces of children from around the world, in villages both rural and urban. This collection of photographs is a tribute to communities that allow people to live and work in a space of human dimensions and shared values. Village Children is a traveling exhibit of photographs by the noted photographer Dr. Philip Rasori. This exhibit will be on display in the Academy's Cafe opening October 12.

Dennis Anderson Photos
Ongoing through December 31, 2003
Dennis Anderson presents portraits of life on the San Francisco Bay. From glowing undersea creatures and sunset scenes to commercial fisherman and cargo handling, Anderson's work captures the Bay as an intersection of nature and commerce in still photographs. Get a glimpse of San Francisco Bay through Anderson's photography exhibit on display at the Academy in Wild California Hall.

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 Aquarium. For more information, visit www.calacademy.org.

Steinhart Aquarium
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.

Free Wednesday
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, April 2, 10 am - 8:45 pm California Academy of Sciences.


# # # #