Press Release

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

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

AUGUST EVENTS

New! THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Mondays, Fridays and Sundays at 1:00pm

Do you love fresh strawberries? Have you ever wondered what "the essence of life" – DNA – looks like, without the use of a microscope? In the course of this 15-minute program, watch as a presenter crushes up fresh strawberries and extracts their DNA for visitors to see up close and personal. During the process, discover why some scientists call DNA the most extraordinary molecule on earth. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New! LIZARDS ALIVE!
Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 and 3:00 pm
A special program for Snakes & Lizards through Sept. 5

Animal specialists from the East Bay Vivarium will share an amazing variety of reptiles large and small with Academy visitors in a funny and entertaining program. Participants will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animal kingdom’s most fascinating creatures. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New! CHAT WITH A PARK RANGER
Sundays at 11am and 2pm
A special program for Snakes & Lizards through Sept. 4

Meet a ranger from a Bay Area city or state park, and learn about the important role snakes play in local ecosystems, their experiences with snake encounters in wilderness areas, and how humans and reptiles can live together successfully. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SCALES, TAILS, TEETH & MORE
Daily at 11:00 am
A special program for Snakes & Lizards through Sep
t. 5
Discover the diversity of hunting, eating and locomotion strategies used by snakes and lizards. Having survived for more than 200 million years, squamates (the group snakes and lizards belong to) are among the most successful vertebrates on Earth. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
AMAZING SNAKES OF THE BAY AREA
Daily at 12:00 pm
A special program for Snakes & Lizards through Sept. 5

Learn about native snakes found in backyards and hiking trails throughout the Bay Area, and the important role they play in balancing their ecosystems. A presenter will introduce live snake ambassadors, and explore their habitats and fascinating adaptations for living in local arid and coastal climates. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
LIVE AFRICAN SAFARI
Daily at 1:00 pm
A special program for Snakes & Lizards through Sept. 5

Explore Africa on a mini-safari highlighting the continent’s biodiversity, and get up close and personal with fascinating live animals and specimens. Africa sustains many types of ecosystems – from savannahs and grasslands to tropical rainforests – and highly diverse wildlife, including numerous species of snakes and lizards, all of which exist in a delicate balance with one another. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SNAKES – SHEDDING THE MYTHS
Daily at 2:00 pm
A special program for Snakes & Lizards through Sept. 5

Snakes are both fascinating and sometimes a bit intimidating! Through the ages, they have been represented in myths, movies and pop culture in both positive and negative ways. Learn about how incredible they really are, face your fears, and discover where some of those misconceptions come from. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
PENGUIN FEEDINGS
Daily at 10:30 am & 3:00 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 12:30 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.
 
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

Visit 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 on the Living Roof viewing deck. 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.
 
NIGHTLIFE – AGES 21 +
Every Thursday from 6-10pm

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.
 
OUT OF THE LAB
Fridays and Saturdays at 2:30 pm

Sundays at 11:30 am
Curious to get a behind-the-scenes view of Academy Research and the labs where the work gets done? Scientists will join visitors at the Project Lab to share stories about dissecting and documenting the many specimens collected on their global expeditions. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Fridays at 11:30am

Did you know the Academy is home to more than 26 million specimens?! That’s a lot of fur, feathers, teeth and spines! Join naturalists at the Project Lab as we highlight a different specimen each week. 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.
 
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every Saturday at 11:00 am
Sunday, August 14 and 28 at 2:00 pm

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. Takes place on Saturdays and the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month in the Early Explorers Cove. 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.
 
FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS – AGES 4-8
Every Sunday 10 am – 1 pm

Get creative with nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children aged 4 to 8. Takes place between the piazza and Swamp; space is limited, and 10-11am is a members-only hour on Sundays. 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
Fridays and Sundays 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, August 7 and 21 from 2:00-3:00pm

Families are invited to have their young learners be scientists-in-training and participate in fun hands-on experiments. Meet in front of the Project Lab on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. 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.
 
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD – AGES 3-5
Thursday, August 4 and 18 at 3:00 pm

This special program highlighting children from around the world features stories, crafts, music and movement. Takes place in the Early Explorers Cove on the first and third Thursday of the month. Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early Explorer Cove at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SPROUTS: EXPLORING NATURE’S GARDENS – AGES 3-5
Tuesday, August 9 and 23 at 2:00 pm

Explore a variety of nature’s gardens, including deserts, forests, wetlands and even your own backyard! Activities can include reading books, sprouting seeds or making simple crafts. Takes place in the Early Explorers Cove on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. 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, August 10 and 24 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. Takes place on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. August programs will focus on the most recent Academy research expedition to the Philippines, the new species that were discovered, and how the Academy is sharing important new findings with the Filipino community and the world. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
TODDLER TREKS – AGES 1-3
Tuesday, August 9 at 11 am
Wednesday, August 24 at 11 am

Join the Academy’s Early Childhood staff for a caregiver/child participatory program designed especially for children ages 1-3. Each month will feature a different animal that shares our world—all of which can be found in the Bay Area or at the Academy. Participants will use props and their imaginations to “trek” together to the place each animal calls home. Please note that August's programs will both be about turtles, so participants should register for only one date per month. Tickets are $6 per child, $4 per member child, free to adults with general admission. Note that museum general admission is free for children 3 and under. Space is limited; to reserve a place today, buy a ticket at www.calacademy.org/tickets/toddler_treks/, or over the phone at 800-794-7576. Early Explorers Cove, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
Wednesday, August 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. 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.
 
PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (Kids ages 6+ and their adult chaperones)
Saturday, August 20 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.

New! LOCAL BITES
Sunday, August 21 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Gather with friends and neighbors in the Academy's west garden for a Sunday afternoon featuring local chefs and their tasty treats, music, and fun for all ages. Sample hors d'oeuvres crafted by local chefs who source sustainable ingredients and employ green practices in their restaurants, enjoy entertainment by local musicians, and learn about organic gardening, farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and other such projects happening in Bay Area communities. Local Bites takes place on select Sundays throughout the year. Tickets for the event only (not including general admission) are $19.95 for adults ($14.95 for members), $9.95 for youth ages 4-18, and free for kids ages 3 and under. Or, Academy visitors can add on Local Bites admission to their general admission ticket for $10. Tickets available in July at www.calacademy.org. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

AUGUST LECTURES & WORKSHOPS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 7 from 3:00-7:00 pm
Conservation Photography Workshop: Sustainable Architecture

This afternoon workshop and field practice session focuses on the storytelling methods of conservation photography, the Academy’s sustainable architecture, and the digital darkroom. The day will be broken into two parts. The first, in a classroom environment, will touch on digital workflow, choice of format, and storytelling techniques. During the second part, the group will discuss sustainable architecture and explore the idea of telling a story about the Academy through photography. Meet at the Business Reception Desk (75 Middle Drive E. entrance) at 2:45 pm. $50 for adults, $40 for members. Open to ages 18+, with limited space available. To reserve a place today, buy a ticket at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or call 800-794-7576.
 
MONDAY, AUGUST 8 at 7:30 pm
Benjamin Dean Lecture
Your Map to the Stars --- Exploring the Sun's Neighborhood
Featuring Dr. Todd J. Henry, Director, RECONS; Professor of Astronomy at Georgia State University

Who are our neighbors? Since 1994, the Research Consortium On Nearby Stars (RECONS) has been spying on the several hundred nearest stars, both old friends and new members of the neighborhood. Dr. Henry will describe the latest comprehensive census of stars, brown dwarfs, and planets closer than 10 parsecs (about 33 light years). The surprising result is just how many small, red neighbors are lurking near the Sun. Some of these are even orbited by planets. There are also other dark, hidden companions that have, so far, eluded full detection—just what are they? 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.

ACADEMY TOURS
For those wishing to enhance their Academy visit with a guided tour

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. Exclusive Wine & Dine Tours are available for corporate groups; visit the website for more 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.