Press Release

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

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

Don’t miss Snakes & Lizards: The Summer of Slither, a major new exhibit on show May 9 – September 5, 2011. The Academy will be hopping, crawling, climbing, and slithering with more than 60 snakes and lizards from around the world, and will feature a series of special daily programs to complement the exhibit.


MAY EVENTS

NEW! AMAZING SNAKES OF THE BAY AREA
Daily at 12:00 pm (Beginning May 9)

A special program in the Piazza for Snakes & Lizards
Learn about native snakes found in backyards and hiking trails throughout the Bay Area, and the important role they play in balancing 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.
 
NEW! LIVE AFRICAN SAFARI
Daily at 1:00 pm (Beginning May 9)

A special program in the Piazza for Snakes & Lizards
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.
 
NEW! SNAKES – SHEDDING THE MYTHS
Daily at 2:00 pm (Beginning May 9)

A special program in the Piazza for Snakes & Lizards
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.
 
NEW! CHILDREN OF THE WORLD —AGES 3-5
Thursday, May 5 and 19 at 3:00 pm

A special program highlighting children from around the world. Stories, crafts, music and movement. 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.
 
NEW! TODDLER TREKS – AGES 1-3
Tuesdays, May 10 and 31 at 11:00 am

This participatory program for toddlers and caregivers features stories, songs, activities and more! Come join our imaginary adventures to different habitats around the world to learn about the animals that live there. Ages 1-3 and their caregivers. Tickets are $6 per child; $4 member child in addition to general Academy admission; to reserve a place, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets or call 800-794-7576; Early Explorers Cove, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. Registration available after April 1.
 
THE ACADEMY SALUTES TEACHERS & CSEA MEMBERS
May 1-31, 2011

During the month of May, the California Academy of Sciences will offer free admission to school teachers and California School Employees Association (CSEA) members 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.
 
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 12:00 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST – AGES 10+
Wednesday, May 11 and 25 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.
 
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 +
Thursday, May 12, 19, and 26 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. Note: there will not be a NightLife event on May 5, the evening of the Big Bang Gala. 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.
 
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every Saturday at 11:00 am
Sunday, May 8 and 22 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. 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.
 
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 science- 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, May 1 and 15, 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.
 
BIG BANG GALA
Thursday, May 5 at 6:00 pm

Meet some of the world’s brightest and bravest scientists, contemplate the future of human life, and enjoy a naturally glamorous event where the music includes a chorus of songbirds, and the brightest jewels in the room are swimming through a colorful forest of coral. The evening raises funds for Academy research and education programs, and features some of the brightest stars in science: Space Explorer Elon Musk, Laboratory Explorer Craig Venter, Technology Explorer Eric Schmidt, and Eco Explorer David de Rothschild. Visit www.calacademy.org/events/bigbang_2011 for details. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
BOOKWORMS BOOK CLUB
Wednesday, May 11 at 6:30 pm

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss
Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the first person to win two Nobels in two different fields. Join us for a discussion of this illustrated and unconventional look at her life and her science. 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, May 18, 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.


MAY LECTURES

TUESDAY, MAY 3 at 8:00 pm
Conversations at the Herbst Theatre: The Science of Liberty – Coming of Age in the Milky Way
Featuring Timothy Ferris in conversation with Roy Eisenhardt

Science writer and Professor Emeritus at U.C. Berkeley, Timothy Ferris is the author of twelve books, the most recent of which is The Science of Liberty. In this book, Ferris argues that just as the scientific revolution rescued billions from poverty, fear, hunger, and disease, the enlightenment values it inspired have swelled the number of persons living in free and democratic societies from less than one percent of the world population four centuries ago to more than a third today. 8:00pm; tickets are $20 for non-members, $18 for Academy members. 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.
 
MONDAY, MAY 9 at 7:00 pm
Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins
Featuring Dr. Donald Johanson, Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Pritzker Lecture
Professor Donald Johanson, founding director of The Institute of Human Origins (IHO) at Arizona State University, discovered the 3.2 million year old hominid skeleton popularly known as “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis) in Ethiopia in 1974. She has become an icon in this field of study and remains an important touchstone for scholars and lay-people alike for understanding our beginnings. This famous discovery forever changed our understanding of human origins. Dr. Johanson’s talk will focus on how paleoanthropological field work over the last 30 years has established the continent of Africa as the crucible for human evolution. 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
 
TUESDAY, MAY 17 at 7:00 pm
Environmental Awareness: Science and Wagner’s Ring
Special Panel

Carol Tang, earth scientist and director of public programs at the California Academy of Sciences, Jan Hartley, projection designer for The Ring of the Nibelung, and Michael Yeargan, set designer for The Ring provide perspectives on the intersection of science and the environment in Wagner’s work and the rise of environmental stewardship in Germany and the U.S. 7:00 pm; Tickets are $18 adults, $15 seniors and 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.


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. 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.