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

EXHIBITS

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 previous home. 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. 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.

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 sea cucumbers. The tidepool is staffed from 10 am until 5 pm every day 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.

 

JANUARY 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. 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. www.calacademy.org.

CORAL REEF CARETAKING
Mondays, January 2, 9, 23, and 30 at 2 pm
Wednesdays, January 4, 11, 18, and 25 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.

SNAKE FEEDING
Fridays, January 6, 13, 20, and 27 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
Saturdays, January 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 2 - 4 pm
Sample local organic foods and beverages, and learn how you can help keep the California hotspot healthy. 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.

ARCHIPELAGO: MEET-THE-AUTHORS AND BOOK SIGNING
Saturday, January 7 at 1 pm
Join photographers David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton as they read from their new book ARCHIPELAGO: Portraits of Life in the World's Most Remote Island Sanctuary. Over 150 photographs showcase the remarkable diversity of life in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, as well as the people working to preserve it. 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 THE SIERRA NEVADA : THE ARTIST’S STUDIO LIVE
Tuesdays through Fridays, January 11-28 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. www.calacademy.org.

SURVIVORS OF THE COLD COAST
Wednesdays, January 11, 18, and 25 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.

ILLUSTRATING CALIFORNIA BIRDS
Wednesdays, January 11, 18, and 25 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 birds. 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, January 12 and 19 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.

CALIFORNIA ETHNOBOTANY
Saturday, January 14 from 10 am – 4 pm
Find out how California Indian tribes used plants to provide shelter, clothing, food, and everyday utensils during a day of special programs. Artists and cultural demonstrators will grind acorn flour, decorate gourds, and make ropes, brushes, baskets, and flutes. 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, January 27 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.

 

JANUARY COURSES & LECTURES

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8
Winter Birds of Bodega Bay
Field Trip with David Wimpfheimer
One of California ’s best birding areas, Bodega Bay is a critical feeding area for thousands of ducks, grebes, loons, pelicans, herons, and other waterbirds. The tidal flats, rocky shores, and beaches provide diverse habitats for a huge number of sandpipers, and many raptors take advantage of this rich fare. Focus on bird identification and behavior during several short and easy walks. Explore back roads for additional raptors, bluebirds, and other landbirds. This is a magical area in the bright sunshine of a winter day or even under gray, misty skies. Suitable for adults and teens ages 15 and up. 9 am – 3:30 pm ; $30 members, $40 non-members; Doran Regional Park , Sonoma County . To register, call (415) 379-8000.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
The Art and Science of Mushroom Hunting
Seminar and Field Trips with Debbie Viess
Discover a fungal wonderland in this three-part course: one evening seminar with a slideshow and hands-on learning, and two field trips to premier Bay Area mushroom habitats. Head south on the first field trip to Memorial Park in San Mateo County, which has a diversity of habitats and easy walking. On the second field trip, depending on conditions, head north to either Point Reyes National Seashore or Salt Point State Park ; both parks allow you to collect up to 5 pounds of mushrooms per person. By course’s end, you will have learned how to identify and appreciate many of the edible, poisonous, and ornamental species that occur here in Northern California . Suitable for adults and teens ages 15 and up. 7:30-9 pm on January 12, 10 am–1 pm on January 21, and 10 am–3 pm on January 28; $60 members, $70 non-members. To register, call (415) 379-8000.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Birding at Palo Alto and Mountain View
Field Trip with Dan Murphy
With levees and boardwalks, Palo Alto Baylands and Mountain View Shoreline are among the most accessible sites for birders on San Francisco Bay . Both the baylands and shoreline have freshwater marshes, extensive mudflats, and open grassy areas, where 80 bird species—including ducks, shorebirds, waders, and raptors—winter in these urban areas. Clapper and black rails are regularly seen at the baylands’ extensive salt marsh. Suitable for adults and teens ages 15 and up. 8 am –3 pm ; $30 members, $40 non-members; Palo Alto Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto . To register, call (415) 379-8000 .

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
Genes as Markers of Biodiversity and Conservation
Lecture by Jack Dumbacher, Ph.D.
Written about extensively throughout 2005 for his work on avian toxicity, Dumbacher is currently studying the genetics of birds in lowland New Guinea . Through these studies, he has found a great deal of unappreciated biodiversity. Join Dumbacher as he delves into the use of genetics for understanding diversity within animal species. Learn what this can tell us about the history of the species, the history of an island, and even the future of a species. Finally, discover how a species history, as reflected in the genes, may inform present-day managers and conservationsists about which parts of an ecosystem are likely to have interesting pockets of diversity. 2 pm and 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 t ickets by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

MONDAY, JANUARY 23
Digging a Comet: Results from NASA’s Deep Impact Mission
Lecture by Dr. Peter Schultz, Brown University
In July 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft flew by Comet Tempel 1 and released a probe that steered itself into the comet’s path. Overtaken at about 10 kilometers per second, the impactor collided with the comet while the flyby spacecraft watched. Results from this mission are providing an amazing glimpse into the life of a comet, and telling us important information about the early solar system. 7:30 pm ; $4; Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street , San Francisco . Purchase t ickets by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25
Beyond the Void
Lecture by Simon Yates
In 1985, British climber Simon Yates set off with Joe Simpson to attempt the West face of the Siula Grande in the majestic Peruvian Andes. Little did he know that the ensuing descent would become one of the world’s great sur-vival stories, as he was faced with the decision to cut the rope and continue down the mountain after believing his friend had perished. Join Yates in this exhilarating lecture as he describes the high-altitude adventure and the fateful decision that would so affect the climbing community. 8 pm ; $6 students, $8 members, $12 non-members; Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street , San Francisco . Purchase t ickets by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Mid-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. The long nights of winter are usually the clearest, showcasing some of the brightest and best-known constellations, such as Orion, Taurus, and Gemini, as well as the Pleiades star cluster and Orion Nebula. Class is cancelled in the event of cloudy weather. 6–7:30 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.

# # # #