What's On in October at the California Academy of Sciences
Exhibits, Courses, Programs, and Lectures


Exhibits

For a high resolution version of this image or others, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

African Penguin Colony - ongoing exhibit
Watch as The Academy's African penguins dip and dive in their new tank, which contains four times as much water and nearly twice as much land as their old home in Golden Gate Park. Enjoy feeding shows every day at 11:00 am and 3:30 pm. During the shows, visitors may watch and ask questions as one the Academy's aquatic biologists dons a wet suit, measures the temperature of the air and water, and then steps into the pool to toss vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin to the penguins. Each feeding takes 20 minutes. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

SSsssnake Alley - ongoing exhibit
They're scaly, slinky, and slithery, and they line the walls of a winding passageway called SSsssnake Alley. View Steinhart Aquarium residents that formerly made their home in the Swamp in Golden Gate Park, including the anaconda, African rock python, ball python, pine snake, vine snakes, California kingsnake, ground boas, and emerald tree boas. Stop by and say hello to some of your favorite slithering snakes. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

Touch Tidepool - ongoing exhibit
During your next trip to the aquarium, don't let the fish have all the fun - start splashing at the Touch Tidepool, where visitors can handle a few of the animals that live along the California coastline, including sea stars, turban snails, hermit crabs, and sea cucumbers. The tidepool is staffed from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm almost every day with naturalists and trained nature lovers who can answer questions about the animals and their habitat. Even when facilitators are not present, clear plexiglass tank walls allow visitors to view the tidepool inhabitants. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

For a high resolution version of this image or others, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

Coral Reef - ongoing exhibit
View a two-story, 20,000-gallon coral reef tank that features dozens of tropical reef fish as well as a wide variety of colorful corals. Children will especially love seeing the common clownfish (often called Nemo) and the blue tang (otherwise known as Dory). Wetsuit-clad divers enter the tank often to care for the corals and clean the tank walls. Academy biologists are using this enormous tank to test ideas for the even larger 225,000-gallon coral reef tank that will be a part of the New Academy when it opens in Golden Gate Park in 2008. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

Steinhart Aquarium - ongoing exhibit
View thousands of fishes, a captivating array of reptiles and amphibians, and the Academy's beloved penguin colony at Steinhart Aquarium every day. Now that the animals are happily housed at 875 Howard Street, visitors may view them in up-close displays that bring the back of the house to the front, allowing the public to see the equipment and technology required to keep an aquarium running. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

For a high resolution version of this image or others, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

ANTS: Hidden Worlds Revealed - through April 2005
Curated by Academy entomologist Brian Fisher, ANTS: Hidden Worlds Revealed showcases six colonies of live ants, each of which display distinctive nest building and food collecting behaviors. Four of the species represented - Harvester ants, Carpenter ants, Honeypot ants, and invasive Argentine ants - are commonly found in California. The other two species, however, come from farther afield. Leaf Cutter ants, which cultivate gardens of fungus in order to ensure a steady food supply, make their home in the tropical rainforests of South America, while meat-eating Army ants migrate through parts of Africa and the Americas in search of prey. Each of the six live ant colonies offers visitors the chance to look inside the chambers and tunnels of the ants' nests and watch them forage for food. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme - ongoing exhibit
What is life? How do we study it? Where is it found on Earth? And does it exist elsewhere in the Universe? To identify the types of environments that would be capable of supporting life beyond our own planet, astrobiologists must study the limits of life here on Earth. They do this by researching extreme environments, such as thermal springs and hydrothermal vents (geysers on the ocean floor), that host hardy living organisms. Both of these types of extreme environments are explored in the Academy's exhibit, Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme. Astrobiology is an exciting new scientific discipline that combines the traditional fields of astronomy, biology, geology, chemistry, and physics to address a vast topic: the study of life in the Universe. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

Programs, Courses & Lectures


DECEMBER ACTIVITIES

For a high resolution version of this image or others, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

Afternoon Hands-on Science at the Academy
Hands-on learning demonstrators teach visitors of all ages how to examine microscopic aquatic life or study adaptations of marine animals. Taking place every Wednesday through Sunday in December at 4 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Penguin Feedings
During daily penguin feeding shows, visitors may watch and ask questions as one the Academy's aquatic biologists dons a wet suit, measures the temperature of the air and water, and then steps into the pool to toss vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin to the penguins. Each feeding takes 20 minutes. Every day at 11 am and 3:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Lunch Break Lecture Series: Great White Sharks of the Farallon Islands In the Bay Area, Great White Sharks congregate around the Farallon Islands to feed on seals every fall. Explore their life history with a slide show and lecture, and touch real Great White Shark teeth. Wednesday, December 1, 12:30 and 1:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

The California Academy of Sciences Presents
Boiling Point: The Debate on Global Warming Heats Up
Ross Gelbspan, a reporter and editor for 31 years at The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, has spent the last decade sounding the alarm about the global climate crises. With the publication this year of his second book on the topic, Boiling Point, Gelbspan uses his investigative skills to discern fact from faction and tells a compelling story of the urgency of climate change. In this lecture, he provides a brief treatment of the science and a look at some of the recent impacts of the increasingly unstable climate. He also highlights the political, economic and equity dimensions of the climate issue, including its implications for security in a post 9/11 world. Not content to merely report on the environmental crisis, Gelbspan outlines a set of solution strategies designed to reduce global emissions by the 70 percent required to allow the climate to re-stabilize. A truly appropriate response to this challenge could substantially increase the wealth, equity and stability in the global economy, even as it generates a much greater and more pervasive appreciation of the need for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. His new book, Boiling Point, will be available at the lecture. A book signing will follow the lecture. To order tickets, call (415) 292-1233 or e-mail arts@jccsf.org. Tickets also sold at the door, when available. For more information, call (415) 379-8000 or e-mail lectures@calacademy.org. Thursday, December 2, 8 pm; $6 students, $8 general public; Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street at Presidio Avenue.

For a high resolution version of this image or others, email Stephanie at sstone@calacademy.org.

An Evening of Turkish Culture
Enjoy an evening of Turkish arts, including traditional costumes, carpets woven by women from the DOBAG cooperative, music by the Kervan Ensemble, dance by the Yore Folk Dance Ensemble, and informal talks on the aesthetics of Turkish rugs. Friday, December 3, 6:30 - 9 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free to the public.

Children's Story Time
Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for Story Time every Saturday. This month's selections will feature stories about the seasons. Saturday, December 4, 10:30 am; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Bird Migration
Explore the diversity of migrating birds found in the Bay Area, some of them traveling as far south as Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. Saturday, December 4, 12:30 and 1:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Turkish Carpet-Weaving
Serife Atlihan and Cennet Deneri will demonstrate the knotting techniques of Turkish rugs made by the DOBAG women's cooperative, a project dedicated to reintroducing natural plant dyes and to conserving ancient village designs. With their bold, geometric motifs and glowing colors, DOBAG carpets are a feast for the eyes! Saturday & Sunday, December 4 & 5, 10 am - 4:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

The California Academy of Sciences and the Sierra Club Present
Oil on Ice: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Balance (film screening)

In March 2002, Senator Frank Murkowski (now governor of Alaska), held a blank white poster up in front of Congress as his rendition of what the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge looked like. By doing so, he hoped to encourage the federal government to open the protected area to oil drilling. "Don't be misinformed," he demanded. Oil on Ice, a one-hour documentary about the refuge and the controversy over drilling for oil there, unveils a very different picture than the lifeless wasteland portrayed by Murkowski. The film is a visually stunning journey through a pristine land that is teeming with wildlife, enriched by centuries of Native American culture, and at risk of being destroyed by the invasive trucks, bulldozers and pipelines of the oil industry. Oil on Ice shows how the fate of the refuge, one of America's last wild places, is inextricably linked to decisions our nation makes about energy policy, transportation choices, and other seemingly unrelated matters, while the culture and livelihood of the native Gwich'in Indians and the survival of migratory wildlife are caught in the balance. Join the Academy and the Sierra Club for a special viewing of this unique documentary. A short clip of the film was presented during Subhankar Banerjee's exhibit at the Academy in 2003. The film's director, Dale Djerassi, will host an audience question & answer period after the lecture. To order tickets, call (415) 292-1233 or e-mail arts@jccsf.org. Tickets also sold at the door, when available. For more information, call (415) 379-8000 or e-mail lectures@calacademy.org. Wednesday, December 8, 8 pm; $6 students, $8 general public; Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California Street at Presidio Avenue.

Scientific Illustration
Meet a scientific illustrator and experience a live demonstration of drawings used for scientific publications and research. Friday, December 11, 3-3:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Children's Story Time
Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for Story Time every Saturday. This month's selections will feature stories about the seasons. Saturday, December 11, 10:30 am; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Vanishing Vernal Pools
Meet a Tiger Salamander, and discover the extraordinary story of survival of this species in California's vernal pools. Handle live earthworms, learn to read the secret code of "wildflower rings," and find out why your help is needed to keep California's vernal pools from vanishing forever. Saturday, December 11, 12:30 and 1:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Songs from the Hebrew Tradition
In celebration of Chanukah, the choral group Pass It Around! performs a repertoire of canons (vocal harmonies) from Israel, Europe, Russia, and the Sephardic diaspora, highlighting the historical context of songs within the Hebrew tradition. Audience participation is encouraged! Saturday, December 11, 1 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

What's that Ant in my Kitchen?
Drop by the Naturalist Center and learn how to collect and identify local ant species. Researchers working on the Bay Area Ant Survey will be available to answer questions and provide information on how you can participate in this exciting scientific project. Data sheets and ant collecting kits will be provided for all participating families. Wednesday, December 15, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Out of the Lab
Get a glimpse into the science behind-the-scenes at the Academy. Curators and scientists will show their latest acquisitions and talk about their research in places near and far. Wednesday, December 15, 12-1:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Children's Story Time
Children ages three to seven are welcome to join us for Story Time every Saturday. This month's selections will feature stories about the seasons. Saturday, December 18, 10:30 am; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

What's that Ant in my Kitchen?
Drop by the Naturalist Center and learn how to collect and identify local ant species. Researchers working on the Bay Area Ant Survey will be available to answer questions and provide information on how you can participate in this exciting scientific project. Data sheets and ant collecting kits will be provided for all participating families. Saturday, December 18, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

Lunch Break Lecture Series: Newts and Salamanders
Meet a Japanese Fire-bellied Newt and explore the world of Newts and Salamanders through a slide show presentation. Wednesday, December 22, 12:30 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

California Mammals
Come explore the diversity of California mammals! Join educators in the Naturalist Center, where you can touch pelts, examine skulls and discover more about wild animals and their adaptations to life in diverse habitats. Tuesday, December 28, 1-3 pm; California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000. Free with museum admission.

 

The California Academy of Sciences, including Steinhart Aquarium and the Natural History Museum, is open to the public at 875 Howard Street. Admission to the Academy at 875 Howard Street is: $7 for adults, $4.50 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages 65+ and students with valid ID, $2 for children ages four to 11 and children ages three and younger will be admitted free of charge. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. www.calacademy.org (415) 379-8000.

The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. The Academy is beginning an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is expected to open in 2008.

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