Press Release

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

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

Don’t miss Spring to Life, a new exhibit on display from March 14 – April 24, 2011, highlighting renewal in many forms. Surrounded by larger than life blades of grass in the piazza, an incubator and hatchery for live chicks will showcase the life cycle of young chickens. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will be immersed in the frenzy of sprouting, blossoming, nesting and emergence by which new life enters the world.

APRIL EVENTS

NEW! CHIRPING CHICKS
A special program for Spring to Life
March 14 – April 24: Drop-in daily

Witness the stages of a young chicken’s life cycle in-person at a hatchery set up in the Academy’s piazza. See how biologists care for incubating eggs and newly-hatched chirping chicks that are starting to explore their environment. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
NEW! ARTIST AT WORK: MICHAEL BARTALOS
A special program for Spring to Life
March 27 – April 23, 2011

Artist Michael Bartalos embarks on a month-long project in the Academy’s piazza, giving new life to used cardboard by creating unique animal sculptures from recycled material. Watch the artist work, and see the artwork grow and change over time. Visitors are encouraged to participate by bringing in specific recycled materials for Bartalos to use in the artwork, and lending a hand with a craft activity. Activity details, and a list of what material to bring in will be announced at www.calacademy.org/spring in March. Bartalos’ piece, titled Handle with Care, will encourage people to reflect on the role recycling plays in protecting forested ecosystems. Once completed, the installation’s opening will take place during the Academy’s Earth Day Celebration April 21-23. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
The culmination of the Spring to Life exhibit
Thursday, April 21, 6-10 pm (NightLife for ages 21+)
Friday, April 22, 9:30am – 5pm (all ages)
Saturday, April 23, 9:30am – 5pm (all ages)

Celebrate our home planet at the greenest museum on Earth. The family-friendly fun includes Earth Day-themed visitor programs, activities, and entertainment that highlight sustainability and conservation, along with the unveiling of an art installation by Michael Bartalos inspired by deforestation happening around the world. See the final art work, which includes craft contributions made by visitors, and sit in on a Q&A with the artist. Tour biodiversity hotspots around the globe with Google Earth on Friday and Saturday, and join the Alliance for Climate Education on Saturday for a memorable interactive program. For additional details about the weekend, visit www.calacademy.org/earthday in March. Sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
NEW! CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP & FIELD EXCURSION
April 23 and 30, 2011

Dive into conservation photography during this hands-on, two-day workshop. On day one, workshop participants will be introduced to the field’s methodology and techniques among the Academy's live animals. One week later, the group will put its skills into practice on an all-day excursion to some of the most dramatic protected spaces in Point Reyes National Seashore. Conservation photography is a field rich with history, which has only recently been recognized as a discipline and powerful medium for conservation of wild areas. Throughout the experience, Academy staff and guest experts will offer photographic guidance and insight into the subjects' natural history. Check www.calacademy.org/events/special_programs for details in March. Ages 18 and over. $189 adults and $159 members; includes Academy admission on day one, and round trip transportation & lunch on day two; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
PENGUIN FEEDINGS
NEW TIME! Daily at 10:30 am & 3:00 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.
 
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
 
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.
 
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.
 

CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST – AGES 10+
Wednesday, April 13 and 27 at 1:30pm

Meet Academy scientists who study plants, animals, and climate change all around the globe. 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
 
SANCTUARY IN THE SEA: A GULF OF THE FARALLONES EXPERIENCE
LAST CHANCE! Shows daily through April 3, 2011

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.
 
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.
 
FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS – AGES 4-8
Every Sunday 10 am – 1 pm

Get creative with winter- and nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children aged 4 to 8. Takes place in the piazza; space is limited, and 10-11am is a members-only hour. 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.
 
LITTLE LEARNERS LAB (Ages 3-5)
Sunday, April 3 and 17, 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.
 
PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (Kids ages 6+ and their adult chaperones)
Friday, April 8 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.
 
BOOKWORMS BOOK CLUB: At the Table. Fish No More?
Wednesday, April 13 at 6:30 pm
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg

Considered one of the best books of 2010, Greenberg’s tale explores the history of the most popular fish gracing dinner tables around the world: salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna. Join us for a discussion of how what we eat might change. 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.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
Wednesday, April 20, 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.


APRIL LECTURES

MONDAY, APRIL 4 at 7:30 pm
Benjamin Dean Lecture
The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World
Prof. Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams, Esq., University of California, Santa Cruz

In the centuries since Newton, scientifically minded people have thought of Earth as a lonely rock orbiting an average star in a universe where no place is special. But modern cosmology has now given us a completely new picture of the universe based on dark matter, dark energy, and the drama of cosmic evolution. In this talk, Abrams and Primack will explain the new picture with stunning astronomical videos and relate it to life here on Earth, suggesting ways of understanding the global issues of our time in their cosmic context. 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.
 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 at 8:00 pm
Conversations at the Herbst Theatre: Enduring Voices – All Roads Photography
Featuring Chris Rainier in conversation with Mary Ellen Hannibal

As a National Geographic explorer and one of the leading documentary photographers working today, Rainier's mission is to record the remaining natural wilderness and the indigenous cultures around the globe by putting these wonders to film and using the visual stories to create social change. 8:00pm; tickets are $20 for non-members, $18 for Academy members. Series tickets also available (6 events). For tickets, call City Box Office at 415-392-4400, or visit www.cityboxoffice.com. Lecture takes place at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco.
 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13 at 3:30 pm
Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us about the Fate of Earth's Largest Animals
An Author Talk with Sharon Levy

In Once and Future Giants, science writer Sharon Levy digs through the evidence surrounding Pleistocene large animal ("megafauna") extinction events worldwide, showing that understanding this history—and our part in it—is crucial for protecting the elephants, polar bears, and other great creatures at risk today. 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.
 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20 at 7:00 pm
Exploring the “Last Biotic Frontier”: Emerging Trends from Three Decades of Canopy Research in Tropical and Temperate Rainforests
Nalini Nadkarni, Member of the Faculty, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

A Pritzker Lecture
Until 30 years ago, the rainforest canopies – the upper treetops - has been almost entirely unexplored. With the advent of canopy access techniques such as construction cranes and hot-air balloons, scientists have been able to document the highly diverse communities of plants, animals, and fungi that dwell 100 meters above the forest floor. Dr. Nadkarni has been a pioneer in exploring this "third dimension" of forests on four continents, supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Her lecture will document the development of the field of canopy studies, and her own ecological work to understand this "last biotic frontier." She has also been a strong agent to communicate canopy research to the public, particularly to non-traditional segments of the public such as faith-based communities, urban youth, and incarcerated men and women. 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, APRIL 27 at 3:30 pm
Aquaponics lecture
Featuring Max Meyers, Norcal Aquaponics

Aquaponics is one of the most productive and sustainable food production systems in the world. It is a system of agriculture involving the simultaneous cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a symbiotic environment. In traditional aquaculture, animal effluents accumulate in the water and continue to increase the water’s toxicity. In aquaponics, this water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients. This results in clean water which is circulated back to the animals. The synergy of these two systems combined far exceeds the productivity of either one as a stand alone system. In this talk, you can learn how to produce food in a nearly closed loop system that requires 95% less water than traditional farming and doesn’t even require soil. 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. On the third Sunday of the month, specialty cocktails will be featured in addition to 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.