Press Release



SAN FRANCISCO (April 3, 2007) — The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce that Ryan Wyatt will join the Academy as the Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization on April 23. Wyatt is currently the Science Visualizer at the American Museum of Natural History, where he has produced shows about cosmic collisions, the search for extraterrestrial life, and other space-related subjects for the museum's Hayden Planetarium. He is also a regular lecturer at Hayden Planetarium and has helped to develop supplemental educational materials to accompany the planetarium's shows.

"Ryan will bring great energy, vision, and skill to his new position at the Academy, and we are thrilled to have him join our team," says Dr. Carol Tang, Director of Visitor Interpretive Programs at the Academy. "Featuring an impressive 90-foot dome and groundbreaking digital technology, the new Morrison Planetarium will be one of the highlights of the Academy's innovative new building in Golden Gate Park, and we are all looking forward to its reopening in late 2008. Under Ryan's passionate leadership, this new immersive theater is sure to inspire millions of visitors to ponder their place in the Universe."

Prior to joining the American Museum of Natural History, Wyatt opened planetariums at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix and the Lodestar Astronomy Center in Albuquerque. His experience in opening new facilities will be invaluable as the Academy prepares to open its new building in Golden Gate Park. Moreover, his expertise in science visualization will help bring compelling, cutting-edge research to the Academy's visitors.

"I am proud to play a role in the long and venerable history of the Morrison Planetarium," says Wyatt. "The Morrison made history when it opened in 1952, showcasing the first American-made star projector—a home-grown invention that introduced new technologies to projector design and construction. When the new Morrison Planetarium opens next year, it will push the envelope once again, with both new technology and new content, and it will be an honor to help shepherd this beloved institution into the next phase of its life." Wyatt will work closely with the longtime voice of Morrison Planetarium, Bing Quock, who will serve as Assistant Director of Morrison Planetarium.

The California Academy of Sciences is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Kimball Natural History Museum. The Academy is in the midst of an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is scheduled to open on September 27, 2008. (415) 379-8000.

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