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

Information about Academy exhibits follows the event listings.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land Opening Saturday, September 13, 2003

X-Ray Ichthyology Closing August 24, 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


The California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Festival in Golden Gate Park
Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7, 2003
Spending 150 years in San Francisco is no small feat; and as the oldest scientific institution in the West, the Academy is proud of its long history. In celebration, the Academy is throwing an outdoor street festival in its front yard-Golden Gate Park. On the same site as the 1894 Midwinter Exposition, the Academy will roll in a 75-foot Ferris wheel to offer birds' eye views of Golden Gate Park September 6 and 7. Throughout the weekend, the Academy will showcase science demonstrations, naturalist interpretations of live animals, solar viewing, live music, children's entertainment, street festival foods and free cake.
In addition to learning more about our environment, festival revelers will enjoy two full days of headline musical acts on the main stage in the historic Spreckles Temple of Music band shell. Musicians include the American Ragtime Ensemble, the Golden Gate Park Band, Lee Press-on and the Nails, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums, Swing Session, Vivendo de Pão, and one for the kids, The Banana Slug String Band.
Other highlights of the two-day festival include these free programs:

Wild Cats
Guaranteed to "wow" children and adults alike, wild cats from around the world will be on view. Naturalists will bring live cats on stage to discuss the cats' delicate habitats and natural behaviors. Visitors will be able to view a Canadian Lynx, a Siberian Lynx, a Cougar, and a Cheetah each day.

Raptor Rap
Learn about predator-prey relationships when these birds of a feather are on the children's stage with a naturalist. See a Great Horned Owl, a Peregrine Falcon, an American kestrel, and a Turkey Vulture on stage each day.

Hither, Slither, and Yon
Slithery snakes and raucous reptiles will be on hand in this program, when naturalist Chris Giorni brings a Red-tailed boa, a Burmese Python, an African spurred tortoise as well as frogs, toads and lizards on stage to discuss the habits and habitats of these slippery friends.

Bat Ma'am Patricia Winters
In the full light of day, view a variety of bat species found in California on stage with Bat Ma'am Patricia Winters. Ms. Winters, or Bat Ma'am, introduces audiences to the ecological importance of these night-flying creatures.

Draw Me a Story
Ane Rovetta uses the art of storytelling and illustration to teach listeners about nature. As an accomplished illustrator and naturalist, Ms. Rovetta weaves and illustrates tales (and tails) to the young and young at heart, teaching her listeners about the natural world.

American Ragtime Ensemble
Enjoy popular dance hall and theater music from the turn of the last century. Using original ragtime orchestrations from director David Reffkin's large collection, the group performs lively and engaging selections from its musical repertoire. Ragtime is arguably the first truly American form of music, predating jazz.

Taiko: The Art of Japanese Drumming
The internationally renowned San Francisco Taiko Dojo, led by Master Artist Seiichi Tanaka, was the first taiko group in the U.S. and continues to lead the way in modern taiko interpretation worldwide. In this program, senior ensemble members Heidi Varian and David Gonzalez present the four elements of taiko-communication, respect, power, and spirit.

Presidio Performing Arts Foundation Children's Dance Theatre
Dancing Across Cultures is the Presidio Children's Dance Theatre's highly successful performance of the folk dances of 25 nations. It is fast paced and exciting with authentic and colorful costumes from the folklore traditions.

And More...
o Eco Maze
o Red Panda Acrobats
o Rolling Rainforest
o Marine Mammal Center Whale Bus
o Story Time
o Solar Viewing and Paper Cup Planetariums
o Scientific Demonstrations

The festival is free and open to the public. Visitors who ride bikes or take public transit will also receive free admission to the museum. For a complete schedule of events and entertainment for the weekend visit www.calacademy.org.

-Free Programs-

Programs are free with museum admission. For information call (415) 750-7348.

Thursday, September 11; 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.

Every Saturday in September; 10:30 am Baby Animal Stories. For children ages 3-7.

Saturday, September 13; 11:45 am-1:45 pm
The Lindsay Wildlife Museum joins the Academy to introduce visitors to live hawks and falcons from Alaska.

Saturdays, September 13, 20 & 27; Sundays, September 14, 21 & 28; 12:30-3:30 pm Examine real skulls and then make a simple machine skull model of your own. All ages.


Saturday, September 13; 1 pm
Theatre of Yugen performs short plays in the comic Kyogen tradition.

Saturday, September 13; 1:30 pm
Meet a live African penguin and learn about the penguins of the Steinhart Aquarium. Biologist and penguin keeper Pamela Schaller will share with us what it's like to care for our wet, feathered friends.

Tuesday, September 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.

Thursday, September 18; 11:30 am & 1 pm
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.

Saturday, September 20; 12:30 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.

Saturday, September 20; 1 pm
The musicians of Brocelïande offer "a magical, musical blend of Celtic and European folk tunes combined with medieval, renaissance, and baroque sounds."

Thursday, September 25; 11:30 am & 1 pm
Meet a live toucan, touch real bird skulls, and explore avian skull design.

Saturday, September 27; 1 pm
Ex-submariner Tom Lewis draws on his nautical experiences to present traditional work songs and maritime lore from the age of the sailing ships. Tom's rich voice is enhanced by the button accordion and ukulele.


Subhankar Banerjee
Seasons of Life and Land
In his book, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land, Subhankar Banerjee's striking photographs are paired with original essays by Peter Matthiessen, David Allen Sibley, and George Schaller, among others, with a foreword by former president Jimmy Carter.
Join Banerjee as he recounts his adventures and insights developed during his time spent in the Refuge. Listen as he shares the stories behind his photography. An exhibit of Banerjee's photos at the Academy, recently opened to the public, will be open for lecture attendees to view. A book-signing will follow the lecture.
Thursday, September 18
7:30 pm $8
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. John McCosker
The Academy's Life Through Time: 150 Years of Discovery
Born in 1853, the Academy is the oldest and, many would say, the most important natural history museum in the West. It is certainly the most colorful, as McCosker relates in his illustrated lecture about its creators and curiosities, its expeditions and eccentrics, and its discoverers and discoveries over the last 150 years.
Wednesday, September 10
2 & 7:30 pm $8
California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Kim Coble
September Dean Lecture
Mapping the Universe From Antarctica
The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which formed when the Universe was only a few hundred thousand years old, is one of the most important lines of evidence for the big bang theory. Observations of the CMB, including those made from Antarctica, can be used to test models of how large-scale structures formed and to answer questions about the nature of our Universe.
Dr. Kim Coble from the University of Chicago and the Adler Planetarium will discuss the CMB and her own experience observing at the South Pole in the first lecture of the fall Dean series.
Tuesday, September 23, 7:30-9 pm; $3.
California Academy of Sciences

Phil Plait
Seven Ways a Black Hole Can Kill You
Astronomer Phil Plait from Sonoma State University offers a light-hearted lecture on all the nasty and gruesome ways a black hole can ruin your day. In the process, he tells you what black holes are, how they form, how they can die, and how scientists have figured all this out. Following the talk, Dr. Plait will be signing copies of his book, Bad Astronomy.
Tuesday, September 16, 7:30 pm; Free
California Academy of Sciences

-Classes, Seminars and Field Trips-

For registration information and more details, including other course offerings, call (415) 750-7100 or visit www.calacademy.org.

Jeweled Skulls
Make a brilliantly decorated, sustainable cast piece of nature in celebration of Latino Heritage Month and the Academy's skulls exhibit. Instructed by painter Susan Tibbon. Workshop for Families with Children Ages 8 and Up-Sunday, September 14, 10 am-3 pm; $50 adults/$45 children.

Kayaking Elkhorn Slough
Spend a day kayaking the peaceful waterways of one of California's largest remaining coastal wetlands. Located halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, Elkhorn Slough is home to numerous shorebirds, harbor seals, leopard sharks, and sea otters. Instructed by naturalist Greg Meyer.Adult Field Trip-Sunday, September 21, 9:30 am-3:30 pm; $115.

Limantour Beach Natural Area
Explore the tidal flats, marshes, and riparian habitats of the Point Reyes National Seashore area, a great place for migratory shorebirds. Instructed by naturalist David Wimpfheimer. Adult Field Trip-Sunday, September 21, 9 am-4 pm; $45.


Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land
Open Saturday, September 13, 2003 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 s0andpiper, and dozens of other species that thrive in the refuge throughout the year. Beginning September 13, 2003, forty-nine of these stunning photographs will be put 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.

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.

X-Ray Ichthyology - Closing August 24, 2003

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, 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 3, 10 am - 8:45 pm California Academy of Sciences, free.

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