Press Release

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

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

NEW! PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Daily at 2:30 pm

Planetary Exploration in September takes you on an incredible journey around the San Francisco Bay, through Yosemite Valley, across to Monterey and down the California coast to follow marine mammals' migratory routes. Join us for a unique digital expedition of California’s rich and diverse marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
NEW! 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
AMAZING SNAKES OF THE BAY AREA
Daily 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Monday - Friday 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.
 
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.
 
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, 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.
 
THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00pm

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, September 11 and 25 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 6-9
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.
 
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD – AGES 3-5
Thursday, September 1 and 15 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.
 
LITTLE LEARNERS LAB – AGES 3-5
Sunday, September 4 and 18 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.
 
TODDLER TREKS – AGES 1-3
Tuesday, September 13 at 11 am
Wednesday, September 27 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 September's programs will both be about squirrels, 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.
 
SPROUTS: EXPLORING NATURE’S GARDENS – AGES 3-5
Tuesday, September 13 and 27 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, September 14 and 28 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.
 
EXTINCTION BURST DANCE PERFORMANCE
A re-animation of lost movement created by award-winning choreographer and Academy Artist in Residence Chris Black, with an original score by Erik Pearson
September 15 at 7:30 pm (NightLife)
September 20 at 11:00 am
September 22 at 2:00 pm
September 27 at 2:00 pm
September 29 at 11:00 am

Extinction Burst is a dance installation that re-animates the movements of lost species to put a face on the statistics of extinction. Designed to play like an old school break-up album, it chronicles our deteriorating relationship with the earth and its other inhabitants. The cast of five performers will move through the expanse of the Academy, bringing to life the grace and formidability of creatures such as the Great Auk, Thylacine and Passenger Pigeon. Daytime performances are free with Academy admission. NightLife tickets (ages 21+) are $12. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
MEET SID THE SCIENCE KID
Sunday, September 18, 9:30 am – 5 pm
Meet KQED's Sid the Science Kid and participate in special programs and activities for children of all ages. Perform an experiment at the Little Learners Lab, investigate Mystery Boxes at the Naturalist Center, explore the natural world with a Science Story Adventure, and more! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
Wednesday, September 21, 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, September 25 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.
 

SEPTEMBER LECTURES & WORKSHOPS

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 at 6:00 pm
The Making of Life: A Cosmic Story
Featuring Ryan Wyatt, Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization, & Jeroen Lapre, Senior Technical Director, Morrison Planetarium - Visualization Studio at the California Academy of Sciences

Presented by the California Academy of Sciences & San Francisco Public Library
Narrated by Jodie Foster, the all-digital planetarium show produced by the California Academy of Sciences takes viewers on a high-speed ride through the history of life and plays 7-10 times daily in Morrison Planetarium through May 2012. The show’s core concept is that all life on Earth is related, having evolved from a common ancestor. The Academy drew on the expertise of several outside advisers as well as its own scientists to ensure that even the tiniest details were scientifically accurate and as up-to-date as possible. Join us for a behind the scenes presentation on the making of Life. 6:00 pm; Free event at the SF Main Library. Seating is limited, so reserve a space online at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or by calling 800.794.7576. San Francisco Public Library – Main Branch, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
 
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 at 7:30 pm
WISE Astronomy: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
Featuring Bryan J. Mendez, Ph.D., Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley

A Benjamin Dean Lecture
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mapped the sky in infrared light, searching for asteroids, the nearest and coolest stars, the origins of stellar and planetary systems, and the most luminous galaxies in the Universe. WISE was an unmanned satellite carrying an infrared-sensitive telescope that imaged the entire sky, providing a vast storehouse of knowledge about the Solar System, the Milky Way, and the Universe. During this lecture, Dr. Mendez will describe the mission, its history, current status, and some of the discoveries it has made. 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.
 
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 at 7:00 pm
Report from the Philippines: 2011 Hearst Expedition
Featuring Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science, and Dr. Meg Burke, Director of Teacher & Youth Education at the California Academy of Sciences

A Pritzker Lecture
The Academy recently returned from the largest field expedition in its history having sent shallow water, deep water, terrestrial and education teams to the Philippines to continue its study of one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots in the world. Join us to learn about the findings and the ongoing international efforts that the Academy has forged with the scientists and educators in the Philippines. 7:00 pm; 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 seniors, free for Academy members. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 at 7:00 pm
Shifting Baselines: The Past and Future of Ocean Fisheries
Featuring Jeremy Jackson, Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Soundings from Island Press at the California Academy of Sciences

In recent years, scientists have recorded dramatic drops in fisheries' catches around the world. But what if the declines are even greater than we’ve realized? Dr. Jackson examines how much we know about the changing oceans with some of the top names in marine science and history in his new edited volume, Shifting Baselines. He will discuss how skewed visions of the past have led to disastrous marine practices and why historical perspective is critical to re-vitalize fisheries and ecosystems. 7:00 pm; 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 members and seniors. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Conservation Photography: Overnight Field Excursion to Yosemite National Park
Led by Gary Sharlow, Photographer, Academy Manager of Lifelong Learning
& Geoff Willard, Naturalist Guide, Academy Manager of Public Programs

Join an Academy Naturalist and photographer, who will guide you through a 3 day/2 night trip to Yosemite National Park. Pick up the fundamentals of exposure with a DSLR camera, and an introduction to the concept of conservation photography. This trip includes roundtrip bus transportation and group accommodations (photography gear and food not provided). Rigorous hiking expected; open to ages 18 and up. Space is limited, and non-refundable tickets must be purchased in advance. For full details, visit www.calacademy.org/events/photography, or call 800-794-7576.
 
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 at 12:30 pm
WORKSHOP: How to Memorize Anything
Instructor: Brent Sverdloff

This 90-minute workshop will focus on memorizing names and faces in your personal and professional life. The basic memory principles learned here can enable you to sharpen your powers of observation, banish absentmindedness, and memorize anything. Ellen DeGeneres once quipped, "Scientists say we use less than 10% of our brain power; imagine how smart we'd be if we used the other 65%." 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 seniors, free for Academy members. 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.