Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128


SAN FRANCISCO (March 23, 2012) – The California Academy of Sciences is committed to exploring, explaining and protecting the natural world throughout the year, but for Earth Day, that spotlight on our planet’s health intensifies. From April 21 - 26, the Academy will host a series of special programs which highlight our planet’s incredible biodiversity and fragility. Details are available at

Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 21 from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, April 22 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Celebrate conservation through art and music this Earth Day, with a weekend of festivities sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Help create a beautiful mural and spread awareness about the environment, watch artists and performers create nature-themed masterpieces before your eyes, enjoy live music from instruments made with recycled objects, and see live presentations about the wildlife we share our planet with. Then, take a load off in PG&E's "pop-up café" filled with chairs, tables and benches made from recycled plastic, tennis balls and other found objects. Programs are free with admission unless otherwise noted. Highlights include:

  • Precita Eyes Mural Creation
    11:30 – 2:30 in the Piazza
    Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center is a community-based arts organization that has played an integral role in the San Francisco's cultural heritage and arts education. On Earth Day weekend, Precita will lead a mural creation activity that will give visitors the chance to add their part to a large, nature-themed mural that we will all create together!
  • Shovelman
    11:30 am– 12:30 pm and 2:30 – 3:30 pm on the Piazza Stage
    Shovelman is a junkyard beatnik—a shovel-guitar-wielding surrealist folk superhero. Armed with a collection of pawnshop effects pedals and an old barn-shovel turned slide-guitar, Shovelman plays ol’ fashioned folktronica—grooves looped straight out of the ground. The sound is like Mississippi delta blues being beamed from the electro-psychedelic future, colliding with the antiquated rubble of lyrical one-man-band hoboetry. He will entertain visitors while they take part in all the interactive art activities of the day.
  • Live Art by Mike Kershnar
    11:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Piazza
    Mike Kershnar will create wildlife-themed art throughout the day. His colorful and dynamic artwork seeks to be a "signpost pointing the way toward Earth, to purpose, and to a more fully awakened state of being.” His style has been influenced by indigenous art styles from around the world, and his large mosaic paintings of North American wildlife provide a fresh perspective on the animals that inhabit the planet with us.
  • Richard and Judith Selby Lang
    11:00 am and 2:00 pm at Science in Action
    Since 1999, Richard and Judith Selby Lang have been collecting plastic debris from a beach in Northern California and making beautiful art out of it. What began thirteen years ago as a simple "tidying up" job, has opened to a deep understanding of one tiny spot – the geology, flora & fauna, and human history of just 1,000 yards of Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. It has opened their eyes to an ecological problem of global proportions, and has connected them to a world-wide community of fellow travelers working to bring attention to plastic pollution. They will share their story and their art with us and offer their unique perspective on this ongoing problem.
  • The Wildness and Spirit of Yellowstone
    Saturday at 2:30pm at Science in Action
    Love grizzly bears, wolves, wildness and Yellowstone? Michael Leach, Director and Founder of Yellowstone Country Guardians, will recount his time as a bear education ranger in Yellowstone National Park and share the fascinating story of Yellowstone. Re-discover the beauty of living with wildness, and be inspired to re-commit to the future of Yellowstone and other wild spaces.
  • Fun & Games with SPAWN
    The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network works to protect endangered salmon in the Lagunitas Watershed in Marin County. They will host fun games for kids about the life cycle of salmon, and share stories about their work of habitat restoration and environmental education on one of the most endangered salmon creeks in central California.
  • Hands-on Family Activities
    11am – 4pm in the Naturalist Center
    Visit the Academy's Naturalist Center for a variety of hands-on family-friendly activities all weekend long, including a trash timeline game, recycled craft activities, stories, and a special Earth Day assortment of books, games, DVDs and other resources about sustainability and our planet.
  • Fragile Planet
    Enjoy special screenings of the Academy's award-winning inaugural planetarium show, Fragile Planet, all weekend long. Leave Planet Earth behind as you fly to the farthest reaches of the Universe in this 25-minute show. Zoom through the roof of the Academy’s building, float up through Earth’s atmosphere, and gain an astronaut’s view of your home—the only planet currently known to support life. Then travel to the Moon, Mars, and even beyond the Milky Way to search for habitats that might support extraterrestrial life.

Nature Deficit Disorder, featuring Richard Louv, Co-founder of Children & Nature Network
Tuesday, April 24 at 8:00 pm

Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue
In his bestselling book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv sparked a national debate that spawned an international movement to reconnect kids and nature. In The Nature Principle, Mr. Louv delivers another powerful call to action—this time for adults. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv identifies seven basic concepts that can help us reshape our lives. He makes a convincing case that we are entering the most creative period in history that, in fact, the twenty-first century will be the era of human restoration in the natural world. This encouraging and influential work offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live. In conversation with Dawn Scott, who serves as the family program coordinator at Spirit Rock. This event is part of the California Academy of Sciences' Conversations at the Herbst Theatre lecture series.
8pm; Tickets range from $20 -26. Purchase tickets in advance through City Box Office (, or 415-392-4400). Lecture takes place at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Full schedule available at
Dirty, Earthy NightLife (ages 21+)
Thursday, April 26 from 6-10 pm

Get your hands dirty this Earth Day with a NightLife devoted to compost, urban farming, recycled art, and getting in sync with nature. Experience a “dirt tasting” with artist Laura Parker, attend a “Worm Composting 101” workshop, and contemplate starting your own urban garden with the experts at Garden for the Environment. Catch a screening of KQED’s “Edible Insects” and consider joining the wave of gourmands getting their protein from delicacies like roasted mealworms and sautéed bee larvae. Award-winning conservation photographer Ian Shive returns to NightLife to showcase his stunning photos of the natural landscapes we’ve become detached from in this digital age, including a short multimedia film, Healing Waters, that profiles his latest photo expedition through India. Join SCRAP to create your own masterpiece from recycled and reused items, and catch special showings of Fragile Planet in the planetarium. Music by DJ Aaron Pope (a.k.a. the Academy’s green guru). 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.