Press Release

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

California Academy of Sciences Programs to Highlight the "Sea of Love"
from FEBRUARY 9-MARCH 23, 2012


Full schedule of programs, events and lectures below

New! Love is in the air—and under the sea—this spring, as the Academy opens a new aquarium gallery titled Animal Attraction on February 11, just in time for Valentine's Day. From February 9 - March 23, 2012, special programs will highlight the "Sea of Love"—the courtship and reproductive mechanisms that drive the evolution of life under water.
 
Coming soon: Special programs on the "Science of Adventure" in April, 2012 (details in mid-February).

 

PROGRAMS
(February 9-March 23, 2012)

Special "Sea of Love" program
New! THE MAGIC OF LIFE
Friday - Monday at 12:00 pm (starting Feb. 9)

In almost 4 billion years, the quirks of reproduction and evolution have created an astounding variety of life forms on Earth. Take a closer look at some of the world's most wondrous animals, through imagery, video and specimens, and gain a new perspective on how reproduction drives evolution. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
PENGUIN FEEDINGS: SEA OF LOVE EDITION
Daily at 10:30 am & 3:00 pm

The Academy’s African Penguins live in a fascinating social colony. These relationships—who is mating with whom, arranged marriages and family squabbles—are always especially apparent during meal time. Watch the birds dip and dive, strut and show off in their tank at the end of African Hall as a biologist dons a wet suit and hands out vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
CORAL REEF DIVES: SEA OF LOVE EDITION
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 discuss love on the reef—from clownfish dads who become clownfish moms to coral spawning and captive breeding programs—and the amazing adaptations these animals have to thrive in this ecosystem.Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Fridays at 11:30 am

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 who will highlight a different specimen each week, with a special focus on reproductive strategies in the "sea of love." 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.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every Saturday at 11:00 am

Feb. 11 theme: Amazing Seahorse Dads
Feb. 18 theme: Amazing Whale Moms
Feb. 25 theme: Amazing Sea Turtle Moms
March 3 theme: Amazing Fish Parents
March 10 theme: Amazing Octopus Moms
March 17: Amazing Amphibian Moms
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 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. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every 1st and 3rd Monday at 10:00 am

Feb 20 theme: Baby Giraffes
March 5 theme: Babies in Eggs
March 19 theme: Baby Ducks
Children ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers are invited to the Naturalist Center to listen to tales about nature, science, and the wonderful world around us. Stories come to life with songs and items like felt boards, rhythm sticks, natural specimens and crafts. 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.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS – AGES 5-10
Every Sunday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, while supplies last

February 12 craft: Amazing Dad—Emperor Penguin
February 19 craft: Amazing Mom—Surinam Toad
February 26 craft: Amazing Dad—Lumpsucker Fish
March 4 craft: Amazing Dad—Seahorse
March 11 craft: Amazing Mom—Octopus
March 18 craft: Amazing Dad—Three-spined Stickleback Fish
Get creative with craft projects designed for families with children aged 5-10. Takes place every Sunday 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.
 
Special "Sea of Love" program
CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST – AGES 10+
Wednesday, February 22 at 1:30 pm
Wednesday, March 14 at 1:30 pm
Wednesday, March 28 at 1:30 pm

Meet Academy scientists who study the reproductive strategies of plants and animals 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. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SNAKES IN SPRINGTIME
Daily at 12:30 pm

How and when do limbless snakes find "love"? When springtime arrives, it signals the beginning of the reproductive cycle for snakes and many other animals. Learn how they charm one another, who nests and who doesn’t, and find out which species lay eggs and which give birth to live young. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
POLLINATION PARTNERS: BEES AND FLOWERS
Daily at 1:00 pm

Pollinators like bees are a crucial link in ecosystems and agriculture around the world, allowing flowering plants—from roses and sunflowers to cotton and strawberries—to reproduce year after year. Bees, who depend on these plants for nectar, communicate the locations of flowers to each other with dances. In this fun, interactive program, discover how these pollination partners help one another, and perform a bee-dance of your very own. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SOUNDS OF THE SWAMP
Friday - Monday at 1:30 pm

Alligators use some surprising methods to entice a mate and then successfully rear young. Meet Claude the Academy’s albino alligator, and learn about love in the swamp. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Daily at 2:00 pm

Explore how life has been evolving on Earth for billions of years, and how the regular changes in Earth’s landscape and climate help guide the way life evolves. Using Google Earth, investigate this fascinating story, and imagine how evolution could play out on other worlds throughout the universe. 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.
 
CALIFORNIA SPOTLIGHT
Daily at 11:00 am

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 BIRDS OF PREY
Monday - Friday at 2:00 pm, as conditions permit

Get up close and personal with rescued birds of prey including a Barn Owl, Swainson’s Hawk, and Turkey Vulture. Learn about these magnificent raptors' special hunting strategies and migratory habits from biologists 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.
 
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.
 
NIGHTLIFE – AGES 21 +
Every Thursday from 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Every Thursday night, music, creatures and cocktails come together for NightLife at the Academy. Explore exhibits and aquarium displays while sipping creative cocktails, and let exotic animals from around the world transport you to the tropics, Tibet, and dozens of other remote destinations. Special planetarium shows will take you even farther afield. Each week features a live band or DJ, and a unique theme. 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.
 
THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what “the essence of life” – DNA – would look like if you held it in the palm of your hand? In the course of this 15-minute program, we will crush up fresh strawberries and extract their DNA in order to see it up close and personal – without the aid of a microscope. 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.
 
SCIENCE STORY ADVENTURES – AGES 4-8
Every Sunday at 2:30 pm

Explore the natural world through stories, experiments, games and crafts. Takes place every Sunday at 2:30 pm.
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.
 
TODDLER TREKS – AGES 1-3
Wednesday, February 22 at 11:00 am (Theme: Whales)
Wednesday, March 7 and 21 at 11:00 am (Theme: Seahorses)

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 both programs in February (Feb. 8 and 22) are about whales, and both programs in March (March 7 and 21) are about seahorses, 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.
 
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD – AGES 3-5
Wednesday, February 22 at 10:00am (Theme: Toys for Miwok Children)
Wednesday, March 14 at 10:00am (Theme: Inuit Families)

This special program highlighting children from around the world features stories, crafts, music and movement. Takes place in the Naturalist Center on the second and fourth Wednesday 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.
 
LITTLE LEARNERS LAB – AGES 3-5
Sunday, February 12 and 26 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm (Theme: Egg Examination)
Sunday, March 11 and 25 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm (Theme: Ants & Scents)

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 2nd and 4th 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.
 
SPROUTS: EXPLORING NATURE’S GARDENS – AGES 3-5
Monday, February 13 at 10:00am (Theme: Love in the Garden)
Monday, February 27 at 10:00am (Theme: Planting Seeds)
Monday, March 12 at 10:00am (Theme: Pollination)

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 Naturalist Center on the second and fourth Monday of the month. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (ages 5-17, with adult chaperones)
Saturday, February 11 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 $99 per person ($79 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

 

LECTURES & WORKSHOPS
(February 9 – March 23, 2012)

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13 at 8:00 pm
Unlocking the Mysteries of Genetics
Featuring Craig Venter, Ph.D., Founder and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute
Conversations at the Herbst Theatre
He was one of the pioneering researchers who sequenced the human genome. Next, his team built the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporated it into a cell to make what they call the world's first synthetic life form. This achievement heralds the dawn of a new era in which new life could be made to benefit humanity, starting with bacteria that churn out biofuels, soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and even manufacture vaccines. J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. He is Founder and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research and support organization with more than 400 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant and environmental genomic research, the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics, and seeking alternative energy solutions through genomics. Venter will be in conversation with Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor of Wired Magazine. 8pm; Tickets are $22 Balc/Dress/Rear-Orch; $26 Orch/Box; $140 for season tickets (discount available for Academy members). Purchase tickets in advance through City Box Office (www.cityboxoffice.com, or 415-392-4400). Lecture takes place at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Full schedule available at www.calacademy.org/herbst.
 
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 at 7:00 pm
Stem Cells: Not What They Used to Be
Featuring Bruce R. Conklin, M.D., Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease & Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco
A Pritzker Lecture
Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In many tissues, they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. San Francisco’s Gladstone Institutes is a leading force in stem cell research. In this presentation, Gladstone investigator and Academy fellow Dr. Bruce Conklin explains the surprising past, present, and future of stem cells. 7:00 pm; Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or by calling 415.379.8000. Seating is limited and tickets are first-come, first-served. Tickets are $12 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors, free for Academy members. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 at 6:00 pm
California Native Plants in a Managed Landscape
Featuring Alan Good, Landscape Exhibit Supervisor, California Academy of Sciences
Presented by the California Academy of Sciences & the San Francisco Public Library
On weekend walks through the natural landscapes of the Bay Area, Alan Good and his team at the California Academy of Sciences find inspiration from the efficient design of the botanical world that surrounds us. This inspiration leads to a dynamic, native living exhibit on the roof and grounds surrounding the Academy's now "Double Platinum" LEED-certified building. Join Good for a multimedia presentation about California native plants and the best operating practices for a managed landscape, which you may even be able to use to help sprout the gardens around your own homes and businesses. 6pm; this is a free event at the SF Main Library with limited seating. Reserve a space by calling 415-379-8000. Takes place at the SF Main Library, 100 Larkin Street.
 
MONDAY, MARCH 5 at 8:00 pm
Primate Behavior: Lessons for Life

Featuring Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biology, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford University
Conversations at the Herbst Theatre
For more than thirty years, Dr. Sapolsky has divided his time between the field and the lab. As a result, he can effortlessly move from a discussion of pecking orders in primate societies (human and baboon) to an explanation of how neurotransmitters work during stress—and he get laughs doing it. In fact, he chose to live with baboons because they are perfect for learning about stress and stress-related diseases in humans. Like their human cousins, baboons live in large, complex social groups and have lots of time, Dr. Sapolsky writes, “to devote to being rotten to each other.” Just like stressed-out people, stressed-out baboons have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hardened arteries. And just like people, baboons are good material for stories. His gift for storytelling led The New York Times to suggest, “if you crossed Jane Goodall with a borscht-belt comedian, she might have written a book like A Primate’s Memoir,” an account of his early years as a field biologist. Dr. Sapolsky is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. He will be in conversation with Michael Krasny, Host of KQED’s Forum. 8pm; Tickets are $22 Balc/Dress/Rear-Orch; $26 Orch/Box; $140 for season tickets (discount available for Academy members). Purchase tickets in advance through City Box Office (www.cityboxoffice.com, or 415-392-4400). Lecture takes place at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Full schedule available at www.calacademy.org/herbst.
 
SUNDAY, MARCH 11 from 1-4:00 pm
Conservation Photography Workshop: Adobe Lightroom with Nik Software Plugins

Unlock the power of Adobe Lightroom with some of the most versatile plugins available. This workshop is appropriate to all levels and will show you how to make your photos really pop. 1-4pm; tickets are $50 for non-member adults, $40 for Academy members. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or by calling 415.379.8000; Open to ages 18+; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
MONDAY, MARCH 12 at 7:30 pm
About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang

Featuring Dr. Frank Adam
A Benjamin Dean astronomy lecture
Hear from Dr. Frank Adam is a popular author, a science commentator and blogger for NPR, and a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester. His latest book earned a Kirkus star for “remarkable merit.” Book signing to follow. 7:30pm; Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or by calling 415.379.8000. 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.
 
TUESDAY, MARCH 13 at 7:00 pm
The Western Arctic: Adventures in Alaska

A special presentation
Debbie Miller, naturalist and author of Midnight Wilderness: Journeys in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, will share her experiences hiking and canoeing in the wildlife-rich western Arctic. Book signing to follow. 7:00 pm; Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors. Seating is limited, reserve your spot by visiting www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or calling 415-379-8000.

 

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

Children’s Adventure Tours (Ages 5+)
10:00 am 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.
 
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 Behind-the-Scenes 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. Tickets are $89 per person/$69 per person for members (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 6:00 – 8:00 pm

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 6:00 pm

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.