Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123
ang@calacademy.org

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

Exhibits

New Exhibit: "Aquarium Under Construction"
What does it take to prepare 38,000 animals for their future home in the new Academy? Over seven miles of piping, hundreds of pumps and filters, and nearly a million gallons of water are just the beginning. Visit this new exhibit at 875 Howard Street and get a unique, in-depth understanding of the process - see real holding tanks, massive blocks of acrylic, food prep and medical stations, and much more. 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.

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.

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, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (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 to 5 pm. California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

Xtreme Life: On Earth and Beyond? – ongoing exhibit
Does life exist beyond Earth? Join the journey to answer this question by looking for life in some of Earth’s most extreme environments, then look for similar environments in space. Highlights of the exhibit include an interactive projection of the surface of Mars, a touchable meteorite, underwater video footage of deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and a “Microbe Hall of Fame,” where visitors can find the single-celled organisms that endure the hottest, coldest, saltiest, most acidic, most basic, and most radioactive environments on the planet. 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.

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. California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (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 Academy 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 7, 14, and 21 at 2 pm
Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 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 Academy 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 4, 11, 18, and 25 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 Academy 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 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 10:30 am
Explore nature with a story for children ages 3-5. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

BLUE OCEAN

Saturdays, May 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 1 pm
Dive into the incredible world of our blue planet, and explore topics such as water currents, animal migrations, fisheries, and global warming. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

MEET THE BIOLOGIST
Saturdays, May 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 2 pm
Sundays, May 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 2 pm
Meet an Academy biologist and discover how to care for aquarium creatures. Depending on the animal you visit, you may learn how to take and test water samples, check filters, clean tanks, or administer appropriate amounts of food. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS: A “YOU AND ME” EXPERIENCE FOR ADULTS WITH CHILDREN AGES 4-8
Sundays, May 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 10:30 am
Spend an hour together creating a unique nature-inspired craft project. Extend the fun with educational take-home information. Free for members, $2.00 per person for non-members. Reservations required at (415) 379-8000.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

SAMPLING FROM THE SEA
Sundays, May 6, 13, and 20 from 1 - 3 pm
The Academy will highlight sustainable food options associated with the ocean. Come in and enjoy a savory selection from the sea! Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES FISH TOURS

Wednesday, May 9 from 10:30 am - 12 noon
Friday, May 11 from 10:30 am - 12 noon
Wander through the Academy’s collection of over 200,000 bottled ichthyology specimens, see the water-filtering systems for the aquarium, watch biologists prepare food for the animals, and learn about the coral rearing pods. $10 members, $15 non-members (plus admission). Registration required by calling (415) 379-8000.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

MIGRATORY BIRD DAY: ART & SCIENCE FOR CHILDREN AGES 4-8
Saturday, May 12 at 10:30 am
Celebrate bird migration at the Academy. Using paper, crayons, and scissors, create your own migratory bird to take home. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

MIGRATORY BIRD DAY: CALIFORNIA’S BIRDS ON THE MOVE
Saturday, May 12 at 1 pm
Look into the incredible lifestyles and travel schedules of some of California ’s migrating birds, see real bird specimens from the Academy’s research collections, and learn about some of the Bay Area’s prime migratory bird watching locations. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND: MOTHER’S DAY OFF
Saturday-Sunday, May 12-13 at 2 pm
In many aquatic organisms, parenting is handled largely by the males of the species. Steinhart Aquarium biologists will introduce you to seahorses, cardinalfish, and other species where the males do much of the work. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND: STEINHART AQUARIUM FROM A MOTHER’S PERSPECTIVE
Sunday, May 13 at 1 pm
Discover fun facts about some of our aquarium inhabitants and learn about mothers and their offspring in nature. Free with Academy admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000.

THIRD THURSDAY
Thursday, May 17 from 5 - 9 pm
Filled with clownfish, cocktails, and conversation, the Academy after-hours is the place to be on the third Thursday of this month. Explore aquarium and museum exhibits while listening to chill music and enjoying a cash bar. $5 admission after 5 pm.
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 7
The Day the Sun Blew Up
Lecture by Dr. Sten Odenwald, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
In 1859, the biggest solar storm in recorded history rocked the Sun, causing major worldwide disruptions of telegraph service and reports of fires in every major city on Earth. What will happen when such a “superstorm” comes again? This talk will explore the possible human and technological impacts of the next solar superstorm. 7:30 pm; $4; Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street, San Francisco. Purchase tickets by calling (415) 379-8000 or at the door.

TUESDAY, MAY 8
Michael Pollan, journalist and author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Marion Nestle, nutritionist and author of What to Eat
As part of the Conversations at the Herbst Theatre series, join authors Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle as they discuss the biology, health, and politics of food. 8 pm; $17 members, $19 non-members; Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Purchase tickets by calling (415) 392-4400 or online at www.cityboxoffice.com.

TUESDAY, MAY 15
Birds and Bears of Churchill, Manitoba: A Wildlife Photographer’s Vision
Lecture by Eleanor Briccetti, wildlife photographer
Although most famous for its polar bears, Churchill is also a prime location for many species of native and migratory birds, such as Arctic tern, Hudsonian godwit, parasitic yeager, and Pacific loon. Eleanor Briccetti’s eye and talent for capturing wildness gives life to her work that is trumped only by the tales that accompany these photographic gems. Included in this northern journey are Arctic foxes, a release of rehabilitated snowy owls into the wild, and polar bears in various poses as they await the freezing of Hudson Bay and the chance to feed on fur seals. 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.