Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
sstone@calacademy.org
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128

What's On in February 2010 at the California Academy of Sciences
Events and Lectures

FEBRUARY EVENTS

WE SALUTE OUR HEROES
February 1 - March 15, 2010: Military, Firefighters, Police, and Teachers get free admission with proof of occupation and valid ID

From February 1 through March 15, the Academy will offer free admission to military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and teachers, in honor of their service to our communities and country. To participate, individuals must show proof of occupation and a valid ID at the ticket window. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
PENGUIN FEEDINGS
Daily at 10:30 am & 3:30 pm

The Academy’s African penguins are always especially animated during meal time. Watch the birds dip and dive in their tank at the end of African Hall as a biologist dons a wet suit and hands out vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin. Each feeding takes 10 minutes, and questions are encouraged. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
CORAL REEF DIVES
Daily at 11:30 am & 2:30 pm

Watch as a diver suits up in SCUBA gear and plunges into the world’s deepest living coral reef exhibit. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver will answer all of your reef-related questions. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SWAMP TALK
Weekdays at 1:00 pm
Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

Join us at the Swamp to learn about some of the Academy’s most popular animals, including American alligators and alligator snapping turtles. You’ll find out what it takes to care for these amazing creatures, which are native to swamps in the southeastern United States. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
JOURNEY TO THE STARS PLANETARIUM SHOW
Daily, Proceed to the planetarium entrance upon arrival for the day’s schedule and to pick up your passes.

Travel through time and space to experience the dramatic lives and deaths of stars. Witness brilliant supernova explosions, dive into the heart of the fiery Sun, and watch it transform into a red giant five billion years in the future. Along the way, you will discover the deep-rooted connection between humanity and the stars. Free with Academy admission; seats are limited and show passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
LIVE BIRDS OF PREY
Tuesday – Thursday at 2:00 pm, as conditions permit

Visit the Academy Mews in the West Garden, home to rescued birds of prey including a Barn Owl, Swainson’s Hawk, and Turkey Vulture.  Learn about these magnificent raptors from a biologist providing their daily care. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
EXPLORE THE LIVING ROOF WITH A NATURALIST
Every Monday, 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Learn about the Academy’s 2.5-acre living roof and the birds, bees, and other animals that visit its 1.7 million native plants. Meet in the Naturalist Center. Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SHARK & RAY FEEDING
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 pm

Join the Academy’s shallow reef residents for lunch at the Mangrove Lagoon. Watch and ask questions as a biologist feeds vitamin-stuffed fish to the sharks and doles out a special diet of chopped clams, shrimp, squid and fish to the rays. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST – AGES 10+
Every Wednesday at 1:30 pm

Academy scientists explore every corner of the globe, studying the diversity of life and how to protect it. Meet a different scientist each month and learn about their past discoveries, recent expeditions, and current research. Free with Academy admission. Science in Action exhibit (level 1) at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
NIGHTLIFE – AGES 21 +
Every Thursday from 6:00 to 10:00 pm

February marks NightLife’s first anniversary! Celebrate with a month of programming about mating, Darwin and evolution, and stellar music from OM Records (Feb. 4), DJ Jeff Stallings (Feb. 11), Noisepop (Feb. 18), and Party Ben and MyKill (Feb. 25). Every Thursday night, the Academy opens its doors from 6-10 pm for NightLife, a chance for adults to explore the museum in a whole new light. Dance to some of San Francisco's most popular DJs, enjoy food and cocktails, and mingle with the like-minded while you explore the Academy’s world-class exhibits and get up close and personal with aquarium critters. Take in some knowledge with your libations – each week features provocative science programming and a few surprises. NightLife is for those ages 21 and over; a valid ID is required for entry. Admission is $12 per person ($10 Academy members). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org/nightlife.
 
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every Thursday and Saturday at 11:00 am

Children ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers are invited to the Early Explorers Cove to listen to tales about nature, science, and the wonderful world around us. Stories come to life with puppets, felt boards, songs, chants, rhythm sticks, and natural specimens. Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early Explorers Cove at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Every Friday at 11:30 am

Find out more about a different specimen each week in these mini-presentations at the Naturalist Center. Free with Academy admission. Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
PENGUIN SHOW & TELL — AGES 12 and under
Every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 pm

A chance to meet Pierre, Howard, Ocio and the rest of the African Penguin colony, specifically designed for children ages 12 and under. Learn more about these amazing birds by playing a fun spelling bee game and learning the special mystery word of the day. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
LIVE SNAKE DEMONSTRATION
Every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm

See a live snake handled by one of the Academy's expert staff and learn about its amazing attributes and role in its natural ecosystem. A variety of snake species are featured from week to week. Come learn more about these often misunderstood reptiles. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS – AGES 4-8
Every Sunday at 11:00 am

Families with children aged 4 to 8 are invited to make nature themed crafts. Space is limited. Check lobby for location. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SCIENCE STORY ADVENTURES – AGES 6-10
Every Sunday at 2:30 pm

Come explore the natural world through stories, experiments, games and crafts. Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Education Classroom at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
BOOKWORM CLUB: Medical Detectives in New Guinea
Tuesday, February 16 at 6:30 pm
The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen by Warwick Anderson

Join a lively discussion about this compelling story of scientific research in the 20th century. Kuru, a rare brain disease affecting people in the central highlands of New Guinea, came to the attention of scientists in the 1950s who were puzzled by its origins. This mystery led to the new field of medical investigation in which the scientists learned from the natives and vice-versa. Participants are encouraged to read the book before coming. Free; space is limited, to reserve a space, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or call 800-794-7576. Meet at the Business Reception desk. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
brought to you by The Bernard Osher Foundation
Wednesday, February 17, 9:30 am – 5 pm

The Academy is free to the public on the third Wednesday of each month. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, and early arrival is recommended due to the likelihood of high demand. Also, please note that final entry to the museum on free days is 4pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.


FEBRUARY LECTURES

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 at 7:30 pm
Dean Lecture
Featuring Tom Abel, Stanford University

Supercomputer calculations reveal a universe unseen by our biggest and best telescopes—including the first luminous objects in the Universe! These ultra-massive stars shone one million times as brightly as our sun, dying quickly and seeding the cosmos with the elements necessary for life. Join Dr. Abel on a fascinating journey that uses the latest computer animations of early star formation, supernovae explosions, and the evolution of the first galaxies. 7:30pm; Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or by calling 800.794.7576. Seating is limited and tickets are first-come, first-served. Tickets are $12 for non-member adults, $10 for non-member seniors, and $6 for members. Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 at 12:30 pm
Expedition Spotlight: Tropical plant collecting expeditions, and the evolution of Princess Flowers
Featuring Darin Penneys, California Academy of Sciences

This presentation will highlight the places and plants encountered during several collecting expeditions throughout the Americas and China. Dr. Penneys will also discuss his research on the Princess Flower family (Melastomataceae) including their associations with ants, mites, bees, hummingbirds, and rodents. 12:30pm; Free with Academy admission, but RSVP is required since seating is limited. Reservation details available after January 10 at www.calacademy.org/events/. Education classroom at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.


ACADEMY TOURS

For those wishing to enhance their Academy visit, we offer several guided tour options, and a self-guided audio tour.

Platinum Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Daily at 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2p
m
Go beyond the public exhibit spaces for an all access, exclusive, up-close-and-personal look at the greenest museum on Earth. Tour highlights include stepping into a working lab and interacting with Academy researchers, viewing of some of the Academy's treasured gems and minerals, and visiting the aquarium’s life support systems. The Platinum Tour also includes express entry into the building, VIP access to the four-story rainforest exhibit, reserved planetarium seating, and general admission for the entire day. Available daily (excluding the third Wednesday of each month). $99 per person (general admission included); purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/tours, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
NightLife VIP Tour (Ages 21 +)
Every Thursday 6-8:00pm

For an enhanced NightLife experience, join us on a NightLife VIP Tour. The one-hour behind-the-scenes tour includes a closer look at the unique native species of California’s largest living roof, a private viewing of the Academy's renowned gem and mineral collection, and interaction with Academy researchers. In addition to the tour, guests receive VIP access to the Rainforests of the World exhibit, reserved planetarium show seats, and an open bar in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour. 6:00- 8:00pm (building closes at 10:00 pm); available every Thursday during NightLife. $59 per person (NightLife admission included); purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/events/nightlife, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
After-Hours Wine and Dine Tour
Every Sunday at 6pm

Explore the Academy and its world class exhibits after it is closed to the public, and enjoy a delicious three course dinner designed by renowned chef and restaurateur Loretta Keller in the Moss Room. Begin with a wine reception, take a one-hour private tour of the Academy, and then sit down with your party for a special dinner in the Moss Room. This after-hours tour is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, entertaining guests, special occasions or simply a relaxing evening with family and friends. 6:00pm; available every Sunday. $159 per person (dinner included); purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/tours, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
Self-guided Multimedia Tour
Daily during standard hours

This self-guided audio-visual tour is a great way to explore the Academy with more information at your fingertips. Visit the Guest Services desk in the lobby after you have entered the building. Tours are available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. Available daily, no reservations required; $7 per person; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.