Press Release

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

What's On in February 2011 at the California Academy of Sciences
Events & Lectures

FEBRUARY EVENTS

Special for Valentine’s Day
“SEX AND SCIENCE” WINE & DINE TOUR
Sunday, February 13

At the California Academy of Sciences, love isn’t just in the air—it’s also in the water and on land. Celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with the Academy’s special “Sex and Science” themed Wine & Dine tour, and take your cues from some of our planet’s most amorous creatures. During a pre-dinner tour, flaunt your feathers with the African penguins, which mate for life, or pucker up with the cichlids, which frequently lock lips. Take some lessons from the give-and-take practices of hermaphroditic sea slugs, and learn the real story behind Nemo’s clownfish family tree. Then, enjoy a romantic three-course dinner in the Academy’s award-winning restaurant, The Moss Room. 5:30 and 6:30 pm; $199 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.
 
THE ACADEMY SALUTES FIRST RESPONDERS
February 1 - 28, 2011

During the month of February, the Academy will offer free admission to active firefighters, police officers, sheriffs, CHP officers, and EMTs, in honor of their service to our communities. 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.
 
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‘Tis the Season for Science continues in the Piazza through February 27

Celebrate winter in the Academy’s Arctic wonderland, complete with indoor snow flurries and stunning imagery, and learn about life in some of Earth’s most frigid climes during these special programs:
 
POLAR JEOPARDY
Monday – Friday at 11am
Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 3pm

Think you know a thing or two about polar bears, emperor penguins, and the Northern Lights? Want to challenge your knowledge of Earth’s frozen caps? Or want to watch your friends and family put on their thinking caps? Come take part in this fun game show, and expand your polar expertise. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org.
 
POLAR PERSPECTIVES – Shows daily
Step into the igloo presentation dome for a glimpse of the stark, vast beauty of the North Pole. Rotating 5-minute shows will tell the stories of the Northern Lights, polar ice caps, and the winter sky with stunning HD footage and twinkling stars. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org.
 
LIVE SNAKE PROGRAM – Daily at 1pm
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. Learn more about these often misunderstood reptiles, and life as a “cold-blooded” vertebrate. A variety of snake species are featured from week to week. 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

Get creative with winter- and nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children aged 4 to 8. 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.
 
“CHILL OUT” WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST – AGES 10+
Wednesday, February 9 and 23 at 1:30pm

Meet Academy scientists who study plants, animals, and climate change in some of the planet’s coldest environments. In their travels, these explorers have studied high-elevation ice beetles, Arctic migrations, frozen clams and warming ice caps. Join them for a fascinating look at their work to explore the world, discover new life, and help explain Earth’s amazing story. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000, www.calacademy.org.
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LIFE: A COSMIC STORY
Daily, proceed to the planetarium entrance upon arrival to get your show passes.

How did life on Earth begin? This tantalizing question forms the basis of Morrison Planetarium's newest show, narrated by two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster. Begin your journey by “shrinking” down to enter a single redwood leaf, and discover that all life on Earth shares a common ancestry. Then, travel through time to witness key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life. Along the way, you will see two scenarios for the dawn of life on early Earth, and discover how our planet has changed since those microscopic beginnings. 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.
 
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.
 
CALIFORNIA SPOTLIGHT
Daily at 12:00 pm

Throughout history, California has been home to some of the most unique landscapes and amazing wildlife found in North America. Join us in the Altered State: Climate Change in California exhibit for a special look at some of these animals, including the grizzly, the mountain lion, and the condor. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SANCTUARY IN THE SEA: A GULF OF THE FARALLONES EXPERIENCE
Daily, ongoing

Discover the beauty, diversity and history of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, an isolated haven for sea birds, seals, and white sharks, right off the coast of San Francisco. Through the eyes of Ron Elliot, an urchin diver turned videographer, audiences will witness this fragile ecosystem’s transformation from exploited hunting ground to protected sanctuary in this short film. Free with Academy admission. Forum Theater at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SWAMP TALK
Friday - Monday at 1:30 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.
 
EXPLORE THE LIVING ROOF WITH NATURALISTS
Every Monday at 3:00 pm

Learn about the Academy’s 2.5-acre living roof and the diversity of birds and insects that visit its 1.7 million native plants daily. 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.
 
SHARKS & RAYS
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm

Learn more about the Mangrove Lagoon’s shallow reef residents and watch a feeding on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free with Academy admission. 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

The Academy is home to several rescued birds of prey, including a Barn Owl, Swainson’s Hawk, and Turkey Vulture. Visit the Living Roof to 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.
 
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 songs, chants, and items like felt boards, 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.
 
NIGHTLIFE – AGES 21 +
Every Thursday from 6:00 to 10:00 pm

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/events/nightlife.
 
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Every Friday at 2:15 pm

Each week, get to know a different specimen during a short presentation 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.

P IS FOR PENGUIN — AGES 12 and under
Every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 pm

In this program specifically designed for children ages 12 and under, learn about Pierre, Howard, Ocio, and the rest of the African Penguin colony. Play a fun spelling game and learn the 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.
 
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.
 
PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (Kids ages 6+ and their adult chaperones)
Friday, February 4 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 am

Why count sheep when you could count geckos, butterflies, sharks, and penguins? Now kids can camp out for a night at the California Academy of Sciences—and see the museum in a whole new light. Sleepovers include after-hours access to Academy exhibits, a special penguin talk, live animal demonstration, planetarium show, story time with cookies and milk, parking, breakfast, and more. Tickets $119 per person ($99 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
LITTLE LEARNERS LAB (Ages 3-5)
Sunday, February 6 and 20, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Introducing a special new program designed for some of our youngest learners in the Early Explorers Cove. Come be a scientist-in-training and join us for fun hands-on-experiments! 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.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
Wednesday, February 16, 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. Please note that final entry to the museum on free days is 4 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
New! LIVING ECO-WISE – Girl Scout Patch Program (Grades 4-5)
Saturday, February 19, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Explore what makes the Academy the greenest museum in the world -- from our reused denim insulation to our amazing Living Roof covered with native plants. Increase your eco-awareness doing fun activities and games, such as making your own recycled art masterpiece, and creating your own pesticide watch card. Must be a registered Girl Scout to attend; participation patch included. $24.95 per person (includes Academy admission). Space is limited; to register, call (415) 379-8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. www.calacademy.org.

FEBRUARY LECTURES

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 at 7 pm
Resilient Cities: Creating a Livable World, a panel discussion

This event is the first of a two-part discussion featuring Timothy Beatley, professor of sustainable communities at the University of Virginia; Dean Macris, former city planning director for San Francisco; and others from the Bay Area. Presented in partnership with Island Press. Tickets are $12 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors and members; to reserve a space, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or call 800-794-7576. Meet at the Business Reception desk (Middle Drive entrance). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 at 7 pm
Pritzker Lecture: Humans - Are we just another primate?
Featuring Dr. Robert Sapolsky

Academy Fellow Dr. Robert Sapolsky is the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. He is also the author of A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life among the Baboons and Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. 7:00 pm; Tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors, free for members; to reserve a place, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or call 800-794-7576; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 at 6:30 pm
Bookworms Book Club: Fossils, Limbs & Evolution
Your Inner Fish, by Neil Shubin

In a very readable and accessible style, Shubin tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years. In his study of fish fossils, he examines how some of our body parts resemble parts of a fish and relates the exciting discovery of Tiktaalik. This is a book discussion group and participants are strongly encouraged to read the book before attending. Free; to reserve a space, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or call 800-794-7576. Meet at the Business Reception desk (Middle Drive entrance). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 at 7:30 pm
Benjamin Dean Lecture

Check www.calacademy.org/event_tickets for the latest speaker information for this series of talks by noted scientists in the fields of astronomy and space science. 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.
 
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 at 12:30 pm
Expedition Spotlight: Dr. Brian Fisher

Learn about Fisher’s research highlighting insects as a useful tool to discover and preserve a wide range of plants and animals on the uniquely biodiverse island of Madagascar. 12:30 pm; Free with museum admission; seating is limited - to reserve a place, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or call 800-794-7576. Forum at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

ACADEMY TOURS
For those wishing to enhance their Academy visit, we offer several guided tour options.

Children’s Adventure Tours (Ages 5+)
10am Daily

Treat the kids to a special day at the Academy by signing up for a new Children’s Adventure Tour. The Aquarium Adventure Tour explores coral reefs, lungfish, flashlight fish, and many other fascinating species, and even includes a visit to the aquarium’s prep kitchen, where the animals’ food is prepared each day. Each hour-long interactive tour includes general admission to the Academy for the entire day, VIP access to the Rainforests of the World exhibit, and a commemorative gift. A private animal encounter is included on Saturdays and Sundays. 10am; tours are for children ages 5 and up, and there must be an adult chaperone to every group of up to three children; $44.95 per adult, $29.95 per child. Discounted group rates available. For dates, availability, and tickets, visit www.calacademy.org/tours or call 415.379.8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
Platinum Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Available Daily

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; $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 and hors d’oeuvres 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 unlike anything else in San Francisco, great for celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, entertaining guests, special occasions, or simply a relaxing evening with family and friends. Every third Sunday, a specialty liquor is featured in place of wine. Check the website for details. 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.