What's On in February at the California Academy of Sciences
Exhibits, Events, and Lectures

EXHIBITS

African Penguin Colony – ongoing exhibit
The African Penguin colony at the Academy just got livelier with the arrival of four new animals. Watch as the penguins maintain their shelters and dive in the water, and enjoy feeding shows every day at 11 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, takes temperature measurements, and then tosses 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, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

HOTSPOT: California on the Edge - through August 6, 2006
Meet live frogs, salamanders, and insects. Find endangered species. Explore six unique habitats. And discover how cool California really is in HOTSPOT: California on the Edge. Curated by Academy scientists, this hot new exhibit will open your eyes to the stunning biodiversity that exists within California and explain why the state has been designated as one of the world’s 34 “biodiversity hotspots.” 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, ball python, pine snake, vine snakes, African rock python, California kingsnake, ground boas, and emerald tree boas. Feedings take place every Friday at 2 pm. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

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 every Monday and Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm to care for the corals and clean the tank walls. Academy biologists are using this enormous tank to test ideas for the even larger 212,000-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 - 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

Discovery Tide Pool – ongoing exhibit
During your next trip to the aquarium, don’t let the fish have all the fun – start splashing at the Discovery Tide Pool, where visitors can handle a few of the animals that live along the California coastline, including turban snails, hermit crabs, and mussels. The Tide Pool is staffed with naturalists and trained nature lovers who can answer questions about the animals and their habitat. Open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street. (415) 379-8000.

 

FEBRUARY EVENTS

PENGUIN FEEDINGS
Every Day at 11 am & 3:30 pm
During daily penguin feeding shows, visitors may watch and ask questions as one of the Academy’s aquatic biologists dons a wet suit and tosses vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin to the penguins. Each feeding takes 20 minutes. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.  

SCAVENGER HUNT
Every Day from 10 am – 5 pm
Ask questions, follow the clues, and explore the Academy’s many exhibits on a self-guided scavenger hunt. In the end, receive a fun prize for all your efforts! Appropriate for children ages 5 and over. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

ILLUSTRATING THE SIERRA NEVADA : THE ARTIST’S STUDIO LIVE
Tuesdays through Fridays, February 1 - 28 from 10:30 am - 5 pm
See first-hand the process of creating a field guide to more than 1,200 species of plants, fungi, and animals of the Sierra Nevada . Naturalist Jack Laws will create scientific illustrations inside a specially designed studio.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

SURVIVORS OF THE COLD COAST
Wednesdays, February 1, 8, 15, and 22 at 12 pm
Meet an Academy naturalist and examine scientific specimens of creatures that have adapted to life along California ’s coast. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CORAL REEF CARETAKING
Mondays, February 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 2 pm
Wednesdays, February 1, 8, 15, and 22 at 2 pm
Watch as an Academy biologist suits up in SCUBA gear and dives into the Academy’s two-story Coral Reef tank to care for the reef’s inhabitants. During this 20-minute dive, the biologist will clean the tank windows and feed the anemones and fish. A second biologist will be on hand to answer questions. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

ILLUSTRATING CALIFORNIA BUGS
Wednesdays, February 1, 8, 15, and 22 at 2:30 pm
Join Academy naturalist and illustrator Jack Laws for a 45-minute illustration workshop. Jack will review basic field illustration techniques and guide program participants through the process of illustrating California insects and other invertebrates. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

COOL CREATURE FEATURE
Thursdays, February 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 12 pm
Visit the Discovery Tide Pool and learn about a different California creature each week. You may even get to hold one of the featured animals. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

RAPTOR DINOSAURS: BIRD-LIKE PREDATORS OF THE MESOZOIC
Friday, February 3 at 11 am and 12 pm
A lively presentation for all ages on Velociraptor and its close relatives. Academy “Dino Docent” Ralph Miller uses fossil casts and mechanical models to show you what these amazing Cretaceous killers were really like, inside and out. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.www.calacademy.org.

SNAKE FEEDING
Fridays, February 3, 10, and 17 at 2 pm
Watch as an Academy biologist feeds the anaconda, python, vine snakes, and more, while answering all your SSsssnake-related questions. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

IT’S COOL TO BE ORGANIC
Fridays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 3 - 5 pm
Every Friday, learn how you can keep the California hotspot healthy, and sample foods from a local organic vendor: TrailBlaze (February 3), Straus Family Creamery (February 10), Market Street Catering and VinoVenue (February 17), or Juicey Lucy’s (February 24). Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CHILDREN’S STORY TIME
Saturdays, February 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 10:30 am
Children ages 3 and up are welcome to join us for stories about California . Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

AFRICAN INFLUENCES ON SOUTH AMERICAN DANCE
Saturday, February 4 at 1 pm
In honor of African-American Heritage Month, join Afro-Peruvian drummer Lalo Izquierdo for a performance of Peruvian and Bolivian dances influenced by African music. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CHARLES DARWIN’S BIRTHDAY
Sunday, February 12 at 1 pm
Celebrate Charles Darwin’s 197th birthday with a special cake and raise a cheer to the father of evolution. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

SEA OF LOVE
Monday through Friday, February 13 - 17
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Steinhart Aquarium. All week long, embark on a special scavenger hunt or speak with Academy biologists about some of the ocean’s most amorous creatures. On February 14 at 2 pm , meet a biologist for a lesson about love in the coral reef. And on February 17, from 3 - 5 pm , sample sustainably harvested aphrodisiac foods. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

THIRD THURSDAY
Thursday, February 16 from 5 - 9 pm
Filled with clownfish, corals, and cocktails, the Academy after-hours is the place to be on the third Thursday of this month. $5 reduced admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

 

FEBRUARY LECTURES

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13
Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior
In conversation with Peter Gleick
After serving as governor of Arizona , Bruce Babbitt became one of the most important architects of environmental policy under the Clinton Administration. Never shy about tackling controversial issues in public land management, he led long-overdue reforms to mining, grazing, and endangered species law. Among his seminal contributions as the Secretary of the Interior was the historic Bay Delta accord, which brought peace to California ’s water wars, and drafting the interagency plans for the restoration of the Everglades , the largest environmental restoration project in history. Many of his experiences are reflected in his new book Cities in the Wilderness, which promotes federal and state cooperation to plan for land development and conservation in the United States . Babbitt joins us as part of the Academy’s Conversations at the Herbst Theatre series. 8 pm ; $16.50 members, $18.50 non-members; Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue , San Francisco . Purchase tickets by calling (415) 392-4400 or visiting www.cityboxoffice.com .

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Life Abounds in the Yunnan Province
Lecture by Dave Kavanaugh, Ph.D.
Since 1998, Kavanaugh has been part of a multi-disciplinary team of Academy scientists that has been working in a remote area of China , discovering a wide range of new species of plants, insects, spiders, and snakes. Though the lowlands of Yunnan Province have been extensively studied by the Chinese, the biota of the Gaoligong Mountain Range, one of the world’s 34 “biodiversity hotspots,” are virtually unknown due to their inaccessibility. With development pressures mounting, the knowledge generated from this multi-national, multi-institutional effort will provide the foundation for an inventory of natural reserves in Yunnan , and guide decision-makers in resource management and use. 2 pm & 7:30 pm ; free for members, $8 non-members; California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. Purchase tickets by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Late Winter Stargazing
Led by Bing Quock of the Morrison Planetarium
Join a night-sky viewing session on the beautiful grounds of the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park , including a laser-guided tour of the heavens and a deeper exploration with binoculars and a telescope. Examine the bright stars of the Winter Circle, the constellations Orion, Taurus, and Gemini, and the planets Mars, Saturn, and perhaps even Mercury. Class is cancelled in the event of cloudy weather. 6:30 - 8 pm ; $8 individual or $13 family (members), $12 individual or $18 family (non-members); SF Botanical Gardens, Golden Gate Park , San Francisco. For more information, call (415) 661-1316.

 

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 free for children ages three and younger. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm every day. www.calacademy.org (415) 379-8000.

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