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

EXHIBITS

African Penguin Colony – ongoing exhibit
Watch the Academy’s African penguins dip and dive in their tank and maintain their shelters. Every day at 11 am and 3:30 pm , visitors can enjoy feeding shows and ask questions as an aquatic biologist 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 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 - 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.

 

MAY 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, collect 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. www.calacademy.org.

CORAL REEF CARETAKING
Mondays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 2 pm
Wednesdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 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.

WHO LIVES ON AND UNDER THE ROCKS
Tuesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 at 2 pm
Thursdays, May 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 2 pm
Have you ever wondered what kind of sea creatures you would find if you lifted a rock at the beach? Discover the amazing hidden life of sea creatures living on and under the rocks of the California coast. Free with admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CREATURE FEATURE: REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
Thursdays, May 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 1 pm
Discover how reptiles and amphibians differ from one another in this activity led by Naturalist Center staff. Handle specimens from the Academy’s collection and come face-to-face with a live animal. 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, May 5, 12, 19, and 26 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.

A TASTE OF CALIFORNIA : WHOLE FOODS & ROSENBLUM CELLARS
Friday, May 5 from 3 - 5 pm
Pair healthy organic treats from Whole Foods with award-winning Zinfandels and Syrahs from Rosenblum Cellars. 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, May 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 10:30 am
Children ages 3 and up are welcome to listen to 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.

ASTRONOMY DAY
Saturday, May 6 from 10 am - 5 pm
Celebrate the sky with local amateur astronomers, who will share their interest and enthusiasm for stargazing through presentations and displays at the Academy. Weather permitting, you can also learn how to use a solar telescope to safely view the Sun. 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
Fridays, May 12 and 26 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.

ORGANIC TASTING: TRUFFLES BY LOVE MORE GOURMET
Friday, May 12 from 3 - 5 pm
Sample sumptuous hand-rolled truffles from Love More Gourmet to experience the decadent side of sustainable, organic food. Featured flavors include divinely dark, agave, and maple sweetened. 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.

MOTHER’S DAY: PINE NUT BEAD NECKLACES
Sunday, May 14 from 1 pm - 3:30 pm
In honor of Mother’s Day, visitors are invited to join Renee Shahrokh for a necklace-making workshop. Renee will help visitors craft creative necklaces out of sanded and drilled pine nuts and small shells, similar to those traditionally made by the Maidu and Miwok tribes. 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, May 18 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. Explore various exhibits while listening to chill music and enjoying a cash bar. $5 reduced admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

ALCATRAZ AT THE ACADEMY
Friday, May 19 at 3 pm and 4 pm
Find out about this infamous island as Ranger Dan Unger takes you through the history of Alcatraz and some of its more sensational moments. 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.

GLOBAL WARMING: A HANDS-ON SCIENCE DEMONSTRATION
Saturday, May 20 from 11 am - 2 pm
Explore factors that affect global warming in this special presentation. 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.

ASIAN-PACIFIC HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATION
Sunday, May 21 from 12 - 2:30 pm
In honor of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, enjoy special programs that showcase the cultural traditions of the Far East . Listen to oboe music from several different Asian cultures (12 pm), watch a lively demonstration of the Japanese martials arts form Iaido, (1 pm), and learn the mental and spiritual discipline of Chinese Tai Chi (2:30 pm). 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.

ORGANIC TASTING: WHOLE FOODS & FREY VINEYARDS
Friday, May 26 from 3 - 5 pm
Sample organic treats from Whole Foods and then wash them down with a sip of Frey Vineyards’ award-winning organic wine. 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.

 

MAY LECTURES

MONDAY, MAY 1
Unpacking a Suitcase Full of Starlight: Probing the Cores of Stars to the Clouds of Exoplanets
Lecture by Dr. Jaymie Matthews, University of British Columbia
The Canadian MOST satellite is the most precise lightmeter ever built to study stars. Since 2003, it has seismically probed the hidden cores of Sun-like stars, mapped the complexion of a “pre-teen” version of the Sun, and studied the cloud cover on a planet we can’t even see located 160 light years away. Not bad for a microsat nicknamed the “Humble Space Telescope,” which is not much bigger than a suitcase and cost only $7 million to make. 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.

TUESDAY, MAY 16
Fish on Fridays: Feasting, Fasting, and the Discovery of the New World
Lecture by Dr. Brian Fagan
In Brian Fagan’s view, the discovery of America was the product of the spread of Christianity and the radical cultural changes it brought to Europe , economic necessity interacting with a changing climate, and hundreds of unknown fishermen who explored the North Atlantic for centuries before the Santa Maria crossed the sea. The Church’s tradition of abstinence from eating meats on holy days created a vast, constantly growing market for fish. When climate change in the 13th and 14th centuries diminished fish stocks off Norway and Iceland, fishermen were forced to range ever farther to the west – eventually finding incredibly rich shoals within sight of a new continent. 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.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24
Policymaking and Litigation Activities on Wildlife and Endangered Species
Lecture by Michael J. Bean
As the top attorney for Environmental Defense, Michael Bean has led the legislative, policymaking, and litigation activities for wildlife and endangered species issues both nationally and internationally. Join Bean as he describes the fascinating struggle to implement conservation measures in the modern world. 8 pm ; $8 members, $10 non-members, $6 students; Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street , San Francisco . Purchase t ickets by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door, when available.

FRIDAY, MAY 26
Spring Stargazing at the SF Botanical Garden
Led by Bing Quock of the Academy’s 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 spring constellations include Ursa Major, Leo, Virgo, and Hercules, while visible planets include Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Dress warmly, bring a quality pair of binoculars (if you have them), a red-colored flashlight to preserve your night-vision, and your curiosity about the night sky!  Class is cancelled in the event of cloudy weather. 8:30 - 10 pm ; $12 per person or $18 per family ($8 per person or $13 per family for members); SF Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park , San Francisco. Please reserve early by calling (415) 661-1316, x354.

 

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