What's On At The California Academy of Sciences
December 2003

The California Academy of Sciences is celebrating its last month in Golden Gate Park with programs, lectures and events. The Academy will be open free to the public on the last three days of the year, December 29, 30, and 31. Also, every Sunday in December we will assist visitors in taking "Parting Pictures" at their favorite exhibit spot whether it be the African Watering Hole or the Swamp. Now is the perfect time for visitors to catch exhibits closing December 31. The Academy will return to Golden Gate Park in 2008. In the interim the Academy will be open to the public with Steinhart Aquarium, changing natural history exhibits, programs, and courses at 875 Howard Street opening this coming Spring 2004.

Exhibits

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land - Ongoing through December 31, 2003

150 Years of Science - Ongoing through December 31, 2003

Skulls - Ongoing through December 31, 2003

Village Children - Ongoing through December 31, 2003

Dennis Anderson Photos - Ongoing through December 31, 2003

-Exhibit Descriptions-

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land
Ongoing through December 31, 2003

In the far northeastern corner of Alaska, a pristine wilderness known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pulses with life, even in the depths of a white subzero winter. Until recently, most images of this vibrant ecosystem were captured only during the brief summer seasons when weather conditions permitted more comfortable photography - leaving many to imagine the area as largely frozen, barren and lifeless during the rest of the year. However, physicist-turned-photographer Subhankar Banerjee has now shattered any such assumptions by recording four seasons of abundant life in the refuge with a series of stunning photographs. In early 2000, Banerjee left his job at Boeing, raided his savings, and began a two year photographic journey of the region, enduring blizzards, bitter cold, and a trek that totaled 4,000 miles to capture polar bears, musk oxen, the rare buff-breasted sandpiper, and dozens of other species that thrive in the refuge throughout the year. Forty-nine of these stunning photographs are on display at the California Academy of Sciences.

150 Years of Science: Exploring Nature's Wonders
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.


Skulls
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, 860 sea lion skulls are on display 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.

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.

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.


Free Wednesday

The first Wednesday of every month is free. 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, December 3, 2003 10 a.m. - 8:45 p.m. California Academy of Sciences, free.


-Free Family Programs-

All programs free with museum admission unless otherwise noted.

Skull Detective
Thursday, December 4;1 pm
Examine skulls for clues that may reveal the owner's lifestyle. See samples of food that may have been eaten when they were alive. All ages.

Bird Watching for Kids
Saturday, December 6;10 am-Noon
Search for birds in Golden Gate Park, and learn about what to look for or hear when identifying birds in the field. Wear warm clothing in layers, walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Ages 8-12.

Make-A-Skull
Saturday, December 6; 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your own. All ages.

Tule Reed Crafts in Native California
Saturday, December 6; 1 pm-3 pm
Visiting the Bay Area from the Yosemite Park Museum, Kimberly Cunningham-Summerfield demonstrates the many uses of tule reeds by California Indians, including baskets, duck decoys, and mats. This is a special program in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

Children's Story Time
Saturday, December 6; 10:30 am
Favorite stories of the natural world for young children.

Parting Pictures
Sunday, December 7; 11 am-1 pm
Academy visitors are invited to take farewell photos of the Academy as we prepare for our move at the end of the year. Special photography zones by the African Watering Hole and the Swamp will be available. Each spot will have an assistant available to take photos of you and your family. Bring your camera and your smile.

Sun Prints
Sunday, December 7; 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Younger visitors are invited to make sun prints in the Academy courtyard. Pressed leaves and flowers, shells, animal transparencies and stencils will be available for compositions.

Bird Skulls
Sunday, December 7; 11:30 am & 1 pm
Meet a live toucan, touch real bird skulls and explore avian skull design.

Skull Detective
Thursday, December 11; 1 pm
Examine skulls for clues that may reveal the owner's lifestyle. See samples of food that may have been eaten when they were alive. All ages.

Bird Watching for Kids
Saturday, December 13; 10 am-Noon
Search for birds in Golden Gate Park, and learn about what to look for or hear when identifying birds in the field. Wear warm clothing in layers, walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Ages 8-12.

Make-A-Skull
Saturday, December 13; 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your own. All ages.

Annual Holiday Concert
Saturday, December 13, 2 pm
Members of the Deutscher Musik Verein brass band return to the Academy for their annual concert of Christmas music from around the world. Get in the holiday spirit and join us in celebrating the joyous sounds of the season.

Children's Story Time
Saturday, December 13, 10:30 am
Favorite stories of the natural world for young children.

Parting Pictures
Sunday, December 14; 11 am-1 pm
Academy visitors are invited to take farewell photos of the Academy as we prepare for our move at the end of the year. Special photography zones by the African Watering Hole and the Swamp will be available. Each spot will have an assistant available to take photos of you and your family. Bring your camera and your smile.

Sun Prints
Sunday, December 14; 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Younger visitors are invited to make sun prints in the Academy courtyard. Pressed leaves and flowers, shells, animal transparencies and stencils will be available for compositions.

Skull Sounds
Sunday, December 14; 11:30 am & 1 pm
Discover the strange sounds that animals can make with their skulls, and explore the way your skull affects your voice.

Owl Pellet Forensics
Tuesday, December 16; 11:30 am-12:30 pm
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.

Skulls Revealed
Thursday, December 18; 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Learn how to tell what an animal eats, how it may find its' food, and other interesting behavioral clues all by looking at the skull! We will examine different skulls from herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.

Skull Detective
Thursday, December 18; 1 pm
Examine skulls for clues that may reveal the owner's lifestyle. See samples of food that may have been eaten when they were alive. All ages.

Bird Watching for Kids
Saturday, December 20; 10 am-Noon
Search for birds in Golden Gate Park, and learn about what to look for or hear when identifying birds in the field. Wear warm clothing in layers, walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Ages 8-12.

Make a Skull
Saturday, December 20; 12:30-3:30 pm
Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your own. All ages.

Children's Story Time
Saturday, December 20; 10:30 am
Favorite stories of the natural world for young children.

Parting Pictures
Sunday, December 21; 11 am-1 pm
Academy visitors are invited to take farewell photos of the Academy as we prepare for our move at the end of the year. Special photography zones by the African Watering Hole and the Swamp will be available. Each spot will have an assistant available to take photos of you and your family. Bring your camera and your smile.

Sun Prints
Sunday, December 21; 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Younger visitors are invited to make sun prints in the Academy courtyard. Pressed leaves and flowers, shells, animal transparencies and stencils will be available for compositions.

Bird Skulls
Sunday, December 21; 11:30 am-1 pm
Meet a live toucan, touch real bird skulls and explore avian skull design.

Skull Detective
Friday, December 26; 1 pm
Examine skulls for clues that may reveal the owner's lifestyle. See samples of food that may have been eaten when they were alive.

Bird Watching for Kids
Saturday, December 27; 10 am-Noon
Search for birds in Golden Gate Park, and learn about what to look for or hear when identifying birds in the field. Wear warm clothing in layers, walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Ages 8-12.

Make-A-Skull
Saturday, December 27; 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your own. All ages.


Children's Story Time
Saturday, December 27; 10:30 am
Favorite stories of the natural world for young children.

Parting Pictures
Sunday, December 28; 11 am-1 pm
Academy visitors are invited to take farewell photos of the Academy as we prepare for our move at the end of the year. Special photography zones by the African Watering Hole and the Swamp will be available. Each spot will have an assistant available to take photos of you and your family. Bring your camera and your smile.

Sun Prints
Sunday, December 28; 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Younger visitors are invited to make sun prints in the Academy courtyard. Pressed leaves and flowers, shells, animal transparencies and stencils will be available for compositions.

Skull Sounds
Sunday, December 28; 11:30 am-1 pm
Discover the strange sounds that animals can make with their skulls, and explore the way your skull affects your voice.


-Courses, Seminars and Field Trips-

 

Pre-registration is required.

Wild World of Algae
Adult Seminar suited for ages 15
Sunday, December 7; 10 am to Noon $25
Find out what algae is and the important role this often overlooked organism plays in aquatic ecosystems. Instructed by Academy curatorial assistant Linda Novitski.

Illustrating Mammals from the Inside Out
Adult Workshop Saturday, December 13; 9 am to 4 pm $65
Discover mammal anatomy and how to accurately draw forms with pencil. Instructed by naturalist and illustrator Jack Laws.

Monterey Bay Wildlife Refuge by Sea Kayak
Adult Field Trip
Saturday, December 13; 9:30 am to 3:30 pm $100
Enjoy a day of kayaking at Monterey Bay Wildlife National Marine Sanctuary, a freshwater marsh home to large numbers of waterfowl, shorebirds, and hawks. Instructed by naturalist Greg Meyer.

Free Wednesday
The first Wednesday of every month is free. 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, December 3, 2003 10 a.m. - 8:45 p.m. California Academy of Sciences, free.

-Lectures-


Modern Human Behavior in the Egyptian Middle Paleolithic
Fred Wendorf
The questions of when modern behavior began, how it can be identified, and the relationship between that behavior and the modern physical type are perhaps the most controversial issues concerning human development. A study of the Bir Tarfawi and Bir Sahara basins in Egypt reveals a long sequence of human occupations on the shores of the ancient lakes beginning 300,000 years ago and continuing intermittently through the Middle Paleolithic. Join Wendorf as he explains that the Tarfawi/Sahara Middle Paleolithic occupations represent a unique opportunity to examine modern human development and juxtapose behavior with the modern human physical type.
Thursday, December 4, 7:30 pm $8 non-members
California Academy of Sciences
Book-signing to follow the lecture

Lonely Planets
Dr. David Grinspoon
It's been a quarter of a century since Carl Sagan first addressed the general public from the perspective of a practicing scientist confronting the possibility of extraterrestrial life. In Lonely Planets, Dr. David Grinspoon explores the big questions: How widespread are life and intelligence in the cosmos? Is life on Earth an accident or in some sense the "purpose" of this universe? And how can we, working from a sample size of one, even begin to think intelligently about life on distant planets? He gives us new ways of thinking about life and outlines his controversial view that Venus, not Mars, is the best candidate for finding nearby life. Lonely Planets concludes with provocative speculations on human destiny and reveals how the search for ET life unites our spiritual and scientific quests for connection with the cosmos.

Tuesday, December 9, 7:30-9 pm, Free
California Academy of Sciences
Book-Signing to follow the lecture

Galaxies and What Lies Between Them
Dr. Jessica Rosenberg
The universe is filled with tenuous filaments of gas and dark matter with galaxies and galaxy clusters residing at the intersections. Is the gas between the galaxies a reservoir of pristine material still in the process of forming galaxies or is it the refuse of star formation in galaxies? What is the connection between galaxies and these intergalactic filaments? Dr. Jessica Rosenberg from the University of Colorado at Boulder will discuss these questions, and how new instruments should shed light on them in the next few years.
Tuesday, December 16, 7:30-9 pm $3
California Academy of Sciences

 


# # # #