Press Release

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

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

OCTOBER EVENTS

THE ACADEMY SALUTES U.S. MILITARY
October 7 - November 11, 2011

The California Academy of Sciences salutes the U.S. Military by offering free daytime admission to active military personnel from October 7 - November 11, 2011, in honor of their service to our communities and country. To participate, individuals must show a valid military ID at the ticket window. All accompanying family and guests of the active military member will receive a 15% discount on their General Admission tickets. This offer is available at selected military bases (for pre-purchase), online, and at the Academy’s ticket office window during the promotion period. Offer not valid for special events, or NightLife on Thursday nights. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New! LIVE SNAKE PROGRAM
Sat and Sun at 1:00 pm

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. A variety of snake species are featured from week to week. Come learn more about these often misunderstood reptiles. 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.
 
SCALES, TAILS, TEETH & MORE
Daily at 11:00 am

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
New schedule!AMAZING SNAKES OF THE BAY AREA
Monday – Friday at 1:00 pm

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 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 their special hunting strategies from biologists, and keep an eye out this fall for birds migrating south along California’s Pacific flyway. Visit the west garden 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.
 
New schedule! CALIFORNIA SPOTLIGHT
Monday – Thursday 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.
 
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.
 
NIGHTLIFE – AGES 21 +
Every Thursday from 6-10pm

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.
 

  • Highlight: Zombie NightLife on Thursday, October 27
    A Bay Area Science Festival event
    Days before Halloween, NightLife is overrun with zombies! Take in a talk on zombie neuroscience, sample the latest zombie video games, even go on a zombie apocalypse adventure through the museum. Makeup artists will be on hand for those who want to channel their inner zombie.

 
SOUNDS OF THE SWAMP
Friday - Monday at 1:30 pm

Learn more about this wetland ecosystem of the Southeast United States and its hidden value as we explore the swamp. Listen to sounds of the inhabitants as we follow the life of the American alligator from hatchling chirps to the booming bellows of mature adults, all beneath the moss-draped limbs of a bald cypress. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New schedule! PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Friday – Sunday at 12:30 pm

In October, Planetary Exploration explores 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 to investigate this fascinating story, imagine with us 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.
 
New schedule! 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.
 
New schedule! THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm

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.
 
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every Saturday at 11:00 am
Sunday, October 9 and 23 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.
 
New age-range! SCIENCE STORY ADVENTURES – AGES 4-8
Every Sunday at 2:30 pm

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.
 
New time! LITTLE LEARNERS LAB – AGES 3-5
Sunday, October 2 and 16 from 3:00-4:00pm

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, October 6 and 20 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, October 11 and 25 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, October 12 and 26 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. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New age-range! PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (ages 5-17, with adult chaperones)
Saturday, October 15 6pm – 8am

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.
 
TODDLER TREKS – AGES 1-3
Tuesday, October 18 at 11 am
Wednesday, October 26 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 October's programs will both be about spiders, 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 415.379.8000. Early Explorers Cove, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
Wednesday, October 19, 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. www.calacademy.org.
 
LOCAL BITES
Sunday, October 23 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 at a discounted rate. Tickets available at www.calacademy.org/localbites. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
SUPERNATURAL HALLOWEEN PARTY
Saturday, October 29, 6:30-9:30 pm

Trick-or-treat your way through the Academy at night, among “spook-tacular” animals, creepy specimens, and more. This fun-filled evening for all ages includes a costume contest, a giant pumpkin carving demonstration, special dive program, and family-friendly activities. Proceeds from the special event help to support the Academy's educational outreach activities. For tickets and details, please call (415) 379-5411, or visit www.calacademy.org/halloween in October.  Individual tickets are $50 for adults, $35 for children under age 17; Family VIP packages and member tickets also available. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
HALLOWEEN WEEKEND
Saturday, October 29 – Sunday October 30

Kick off your celebration of Halloween with a weekend full of special programs and demonstrations highlighting the incredible (and sometimes spooky) diversity of creatures and phenomena that populate our natural world. Learn how dermestid beetles are used by museums like the Academy to clean bones. Discover how leeches, tape worms, and other parasites feed off of other life forms to survive. Take a closer look at human and animal skulls, live tarantulas, hissing cockroaches, snakes and other crawling, slithering critters. All weekend long, observe owl vomit dissections, separate bat fact from fiction (including what they really eat), and explore natural materials that glow in the dark. Plus, meet the Academy's Turkey Vulture and other birds of prey during a special Halloween edition of Live Birds of Prey, and make spider themed crafts during Family Nature Crafts and Science Story Adventures (Sunday, ages 4-8). All programs included with general admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.



OCTOBER LECTURES & WORKSHOPS

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 from 1:00-4:00 pm
Conservation Photography Workshop - An Introduction to your DSLR & Storytelling
Led by Gary Sharlow, Photographer and Manager of Lifelong Learning

In the first hour, learn about basic features of the DSLR camera, including how to choose lenses and filters, ISO, white balance, shutter, aperture and program modes, EV, exposure, bracketing, focusing, resolution, histograms and more. In the second hour, topics will include managing the digital workflow, post production, color management, and simple web publishing. In the final hour of the workshop, discover what it means to be a conservation photographer. 1 pm; 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.
 
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4 at 7:00 pm
The Life and Death of Monterey Bay
Featuring Dr. Steven Palumbi, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University
A Pritzker lecture
Dr. Palumbi will discuss his work on developing new methods to help design marine parks for conservation. His latest book is an unusual environmental success story called The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival. How do an economy and an ecosystem recover in the face of record unemployment, devastating oil spills, and a rancorous public debate? California’s Monterey Bay offers a surprising and timely example. Once known for rampant whaling, overfishing, and putrid canneries, Monterey Bay has become a world-renowned tourist destination famous for its picturesque coastlines, enchanting otters, and popular aquarium. 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.
 
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 at 7:30 pm
Tiny But Powerful: The Smallest Supermassive Black Holes
Featuring Dr. Jenny Greene, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

A Benjamin Dean lecture
Supermassive black holes, with masses of millions to billions of times that of our own Sun, are found lurking at the centers of most nearby large galaxies. But which came first, the black hole or the galaxy? Dr. Greene will talk about the search for the smallest supermassive black holes today, and what they teach us about the first black holes. 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.



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.
 
New name, lower price! 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. (Formerly called the Platinum VIP Tour.) Available daily; $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 6-8:00pm

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.