Press Release

Kelly Mendez (415) 379-5133
kmendez@calacademy.org
Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123
ang@calacademy.org

What's On from January 7-31, 2013
at the California Academy of Sciences


Full schedule of programs, events & lectures below

New! Brilliant!Science: Decoding Human Health – The California Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Gladstone Institutes, will present a series of lectures, events, and opportunities for both families and adults to interact with distinguished scientists during this five-day biosciences festival from January 24-28. Some of the most brilliant minds in science today will be on hand to discuss pioneering research in human health, from new approaches to combating HIV/AIDS to the cutting-edge stem cell research built on a breakthrough that won a Gladstone scientist the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Coming soon: Human Odyssey (opening February 8, 2013) – Did you know that humans almost went extinct 90,000 to 70,000 years ago? Trace the milestones of our species’ fascinating history in Human Odyssey, a new display in African Hall at the California Academy of Sciences. Compare fossils of early human relatives, walk alongside a computer animation of the famous “Lucy” skeleton, map our species’ extensive journey out of Africa, and follow the clues that scientists—including noted paleoanthropologist and Academy curator Zeray Alemseged—use to investigate our past. You’ll discover why the 7 billion people on the planet today are much more alike than you might think.

 

GENERAL INTEREST PROGRAMS
(January 7-31, 2013)

PENGUIN FEEDING
Daily at 10:30 am and 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 DIVE

Daily at 11:30 am and 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.


SSSSNAKE ENCOUNTER

Daily at 1:00 pm
Meet some of the Academy’s live snakes in person! While viewing these fascinating (and harmless!) animals in the flesh, we will learn about snakes’ unique natural history, their predatory behavior, and their surprising special senses. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


EARTHQUAKE: EVIDENCE OF A RESTLESS PLANET

Shows daily
Proceed to the planetarium entrance upon arrival to get your show passes.
Journey through our planet's geologic history to witness the processes that shape our landscape in Morrison Planetarium's current show, narrated by Emmy-nominated actor Benjamin Bratt. Begin your journey in 1906 with an all-digital recreation of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked San Francisco, and then dive into the Earth's interior to see how it happened. You will then embark on a high-speed tour through the past 200 million years, witnessing the formation of the Atlantic Ocean and visiting the cradle of humanity in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, along with sites of historic earthquakes in India, China, and Japan. Along the way, you will discover how seismic events continue to shape our landscape. 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.

Last Chance!
DINOSAURS ALIVE!
Shows daily (through January 31)

Visit the Forum Theater to pick up 3D show passes

See the earliest creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous brought to life in the 3D show Dinosaurs Alive! The show, which will play several times daily in the Forum Theater, follows renowned paleontologists as they discover new fossils and uncover evidence that dinosaur descendants are still among us, and features realistic and scientifically-accurate computer-generated dinosaurs. 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.


ASTEROIDS: SCIENCE…WITH AN IMPACT!

Showing hourly on weekends (through January 31)

Proceed to the planetarium entrance upon arrival to get your show passes.

Asteroids and comets and meteors—oh, my! Our solar system is a busy place filled with small bodies that inhabit the vast spaces between and beyond the eight planets. Occasionally, these objects impact life on Earth—just ask the dinosaurs! What do we know about asteroids, and how can we find them before they find us? Learn more in this live fifteen-minute program hosted by our planetarium presenters in Hohfeld Hall. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Schedule
THE SCIENCE OF EXPLORATION
Monday-Friday at 12:00 pm
Academy scientists travel to remote corners of the Earth to explore some of the most extreme environments on this planet. Their mission is to shed light on the mysteries of life: how it got here and how we can help ensure it survives. In this interactive program, we take an in-depth look at a few of our intrepid explorers and see the wild adventures they’ve had while on their amazing explorations to discover and protect life on Earth. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Schedule
SWAMP DISCOVERY
Friday-Monday, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm

Learn about the wetland ecosystems of the Southeast United States and their hidden value. Listen to sounds of amazing swamp inhabitants, whose relatives have existed for millions and millions of years. We’ll 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.

SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT: MIGRATING MONARCHS
Thursdays at 11:30 am
Discover the amazing life cycle of monarch butterflies and view beautiful specimens in the Academy’s Naturalist Center. Monarch populations can travel thousands of miles each winter – find out how their journey unfolds on each coast.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.


SHARKS AND RAYS
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm

Learn more about the Reef Lagoon’s shallow reef residents, who share a family tree with prehistoric ancestors from millions of years ago, 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.

New Schedule
OUT OF THE LAB

Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00 pm
Curious to get a behind-the-scenes perspective on Academy research and the labs where the work gets done? Scientists will join visitors at the Project Lab to share stories about examining and documenting the many specimens collected on their global expeditions. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Schedule
CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST (AGES 10+)
Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 pm

Meet Academy scientists who explore the planet in search of life and a greater understanding of its mysteries. From the tops of mountains to the bottom of the oceans, and in high-tech laboratories here at the Academy, these explorers see the world, discover new life, and help explain Earth’s amazing story. Join them for a glimpse at their fascinating work, and to hear their exciting stories first-hand. Upcoming guests include:
January 5:
Ornithology and Mammalogy Collection Manager Moe Flannery will discuss winter bird and whale migrations along the California Coast.
January 6: Curator of Ichthyology Luiz Rocha will share his stories of searching for coral reef fishes in the Red Sea and around the world.
January 12:Geologist and paleontologist Jean DeMouthe will discuss the recent mammoth tooth discovery at a San Francisco construction site, now on view in the Academy’s Naturalist Center.
January 13:Curator of Herpetology David Blackburn will describe his experience exploring the jungles and deserts of Africa in search of new and little-known frog species.
January 19:Botanist Tom Daniel will share stories from his wild expeditions, finding rare plant species all over the world and uncovering their sometimes surprising evolutionary relationships.
January 20:Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology Gary Williams will discuss his career diving into beautiful, shallow coral reefs and exploring deep sea environments in submersibles.
For a complete list of upcoming guests, visit www.calacademy.org/events. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 

New Program
SCIENCE DISCOVERY
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm

Meet Project Lab scientists as they share and discuss specimens from the Academy’s collections and around the world. Learn about the fascinating research these scientists conduct everyday and what we learn from preserving these important specimens. Curious minds are encouraged! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN
(January 7-31, 2013)


LITTLE NATURALISTS (AGES 3-5)

Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am
These rotating programs for 3 to 5-year-olds are presented in the Naturalist Center.
  • Wild & Crafty (1st, 3rd & 5th Mondays of the month at 10 am)
    Get creative and learn about animals during this program that pairs children's literature with a take-home craft.
  • Sprouts (2nd, 4th Mondays of the month at 10 am)
    Explore the plants and animals of nature's gardens through hands-on investigation and activities.
  • Little Learners' Lab (1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays of the month at 10 am)
    Become a scientist-in-training and join us for a fun hands-on experiment.
  • Children of the World (2nd, 4th Wednesdays of the month at 10 am)
    A special program highlighting children from around the world through folktales, art, music and movement.

Visit www.calacademy.org/science/early_explorers_cove for program topics on specific dates. Adult supervision is required. Free with Academy admission ; space is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. You may register at the Naturalist Center after 9:30 am on the day of the program. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.


NATURALIST CRAFT

Fridays from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm (Sundays from 12:00 - 4:00 pm, starting January 13)
Visit the Naturalist Center every Friday for a fun and educational craft activity.  Spark your curiosity, be creative, and explore natural history specimens and other resources. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


SATURDAY SAFARI
Saturdays at 11:00 am
January 12 theme: Owls in the Night
January 19 theme: Reptiles Big and Small
January 26 theme: Saying "Hello" Around the World
All ages are invited to African Hall for an imaginary expedition around the corner or around the world. We will navigate with maps to chart our exploration and use props, specimens, storytelling, and songs to set the scene for our travels. A special children’s book will be read each week. 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 5-10)
Sundays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm , while supplies last
January 13 theme: Animal Burrow Models
January 20 theme: Groundhog Day Puppets
January 27 theme: Web of Life Game
Join us in front of the Swamp and get creative with nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children ages 5-10. Space is limited. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


TODDLER TREKS (AGES 1-3)

Tuesday, January 8 and Thursday, January 24 at 11:00 am (Theme: Snail Trek)

Visit the Early Explorers Cove for a caregiver/child participatory program designed especially for children ages 1-3. Each month will feature a different animal—some extinct, some still among us today. Participants will use props and their imaginations to “trek” together to the place each animal calls home. Please note that both programs each month are about the same topic, so participants should register for only one date per month. Tickets are $6 per child, $4 per Academy member child, free to adults with general admission. Note that Academy 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.


GIRL SCOUTS—LIVING ECO-WISE PATCH PROGRAM FOR JUNIORS
Saturday, January 12 from 10:00 am–12:00 pm

Increase your eco-awareness and discover what makes the Academy the greenest museum in the world in this fun program for Girl Scouts. Must be a registered Junior to participate.One adult chaperone is required for every eight girls. If attending the program individually, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. $24.95 per person. To register, visit www.calacademy.org/tickets/gs, or call (415) 379-8000.

 
PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
(January 7-31, 2013)


NIGHTLIFE (AGES 21+)

Thursdays 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 for Academy members). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org/nightlife.


NIGHTLIFE VIP TOUR (AGES 21+)
Thursdays at 6:00 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 in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour. 6:00-8:00 pm (building closes at 10:00 pm); available every Thursday during NightLife . $59 per person (NightLife admission included); p urchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/nightlife, or by calling (415) 379-8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

Note: This January 9 lecture kicks off the Conversations on Science 2013 season. The seven-event series, presented by City Arts & Lectures, brings the brightest and boldest minds in science together for intimate conversations that inspire and stimulate discussion and thought. Upcoming guests include neuroscientist David Eagleman, author Nicholas Carr, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, among others.


Conversations on Science

THE SCIENCE OF YOGA: A MIND-BODY PRACTICE
Featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn in conversation with Kelly McGonigal
Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 pm

Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A student of Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of the Cambridge Zen Center, his study and practice of yoga and Buddhist studies led him to integrate their teachings with those of Western science. His major research interests have focused on mind-body interactions for healing, clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training and the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on the brain, immune system and healthy emotional expression. MBSR combines meditation and Hatha yoga to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness by using moment-to-moment awareness and is now being taught at over 200 top medical centers around the world, and offered at hospitals, schools, prisons and in professional sports. Kabat-Zinn will be in conversation with Kelly McGonigal, PhD, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, and a leading expert in the new field of “science-help.” She is the author of Yoga for Pain Relief, which translates recent advances in neuroscience and medicine into mind-body strategies for relieving chronic pain, stress, depression, and anxiety. McGonigal is passionate about translating cutting-edge research from psychology, neuroscience, and medicine into practical strategies for personal health and happiness. 7:30 pm; Tickets from $22-$27 for adults, $20-$25 for Academy members, price dependent on seating area. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.cityboxoffice.com, or by calling (415) 392-4400. This event takes place at the Herbst Theatre.


CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP & FIELD EXCURSION:
The Life of Water: From Mt. Tamalpais to the Pacific Ocean (AGES 18+)
Saturday, January 12 from 1:00–4:00 pm
Sunday, January 13 from 8:00 am–6:00 pm

Led by Gary Sharlow, Photographer and Academy Education Manager and
Geoff Willard, Naturalist Guide and Academy Public Engagement Manager

Dive into the art of conservation photography during this hands on two-day workshop that will explore the life cycle of salmon. On Saturday, you will study the digital camera through a three-part workshop that covers the fundamentals of exposure, an introduction to digital asset management, the digital darkroom and a segment dedicated to defining conservation photography. On Sunday, the group will put these skills into practice on an all-day excursion to the Mount Tamalpais watershed. Starting with a hike along the waterfalls and streams of the watershed and continuing with stops along salmon creeks and the mighty redwoods of West Marin, ending at the final destination of Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Conservation photography is a field rich with history, which has only recently been recognized as a discipline and powerful medium for conservation of wild areas. Throughout the experience, Academy staff and guest experts will offer photographic guidance and insight into the subjects' natural history. This workshop includes all day admission to the Academy on Saturday, roundtrip bus transportation and a brown bag lunch on Sunday. The group will meet at the Academy’s business reception entrance at 12:45 pm on Saturday. Tickets are $175 for adults, $150 for Academy members; ticketing closes December 30. Reserve a space in advance online at www.calacademy.org/events/photography, or by calling (415) 379-8000. Tickets are non-refundable.

 

  Brilliant!Science: Decoding Human Health
Presented by the California Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Gladstone Institutes
(January 24-28, 2013)

INFECTIOUS CURES: HIJACKING VIRUSES TO OVERCOME DISEASE
Thursday, January 24 at 12:00 pm
An Intimate Conversation with Dr. Leor Weinberger, Associate Investigator, Gladstone Institutes
Hosted by Dr. Shannon Bennett, Associate Curator of Microbiology, California Academy of Sciences

We've made substantial progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the past three decades, but the epidemic continues to ravage humankind—especially in the developing world. Everywhere, viruses such as HIV compete with their hosts in an evolutionary ‘arms race’—building resistance to the latest therapies in order to maintain their deadly hold on our species. What if we could turn HIV on its head by hijacking the very virus that ravages the body, and transforming it into a cure? Join HIV expert Dr. Leor Weinberger as he reveals his revolutionary approach to halting the global AIDS epidemic. This special lecture will be hosted by Dr. Shannon Bennett, Associate Curator of Microbiology at the California Academy of Sciences. Tickets are $15 for adults/$5 for Academy and Commonwealth members/$7 for students. Purchase tickets in advance at www.commonwealthclub.org/events or by calling (415) 597-6700. This lecture takes place at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market Street, 2 nd Floor.


MICRO NIGHTLIFE (AGES 21+)
Thursday, January 24 from 6:00-10:00 pm

Every Thursday night, music, creatures and cocktails come together for NightLife at the Academy. As part of Brilliant!Science: Decoding Human Health, in partnership with the Gladstone Institutes, this week’s event features hands-on demonstration stations that will allow guests to use microscopes and learn about microbiomes—the plethora of microbes which colonize our bodies every day. At Academy microbiologist Shannon Bennett’s station, for instance, guests can find out if their faces are home to common but harmless eyebrow mites, and take a closer look at them. Academy exhibits, aquarium displays, and planetarium shows throughout the evening offer a complementary macro perspective. Music and additional details TBD. This event is for 21+ with valid ID. Tickets are $12/$10 for Academy members. Purchase tickets in advance at www.calacademy.org/nightlife or by calling (415) 379-8000. This event takes place at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.


BODY ART: AN EVENING SCIENCE MINGLE (AGES 21+)
Friday, January 25 from 6:00-9:00 pm

Mix and mingle with Academy and Gladstone scientists while exploring the human body as an art form—from brain to bone. The evening’s mingle will feature cutting-edge science displays from the Gladstone Institutes, U.S. home to research built on a breakthrough that won a Gladstone scientist the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of how to transform adult skin cells into cells that, like embryonic stem cells, can then develop into other cell types. Guests will nosh on tacos and beer while viewing scientific images on exhibit and body systems highlighted through body painting. Pick the brains of Academy and Gladstone scientists, who will don white lab coats as they mingle with guests. Tickets are $25 for adults/$20 for Academy members. Purchase tickets in advance at www.calacademy.org/brilliantscience in late December or by calling (415) 379-8000. This event takes place at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission Street.


DECODING HUMAN HEALTH FAMILY CELEBRATION
Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27 from 10:00 am–4:00 pm

Discover more about the fascinating world of human health that lives within us all through informative, interactive programs for the whole family, including live chats with Academy scientists. The Academy’s public floor will host hands-on demonstrations, presentations and special guests all weekend long. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. For more, visit www.calacademy.org/brilliantscience in late December or call (415) 379-8000.


Conversations on Science

STROKE OF INSIGHT: STRENGTHENING THE BRAIN
Monday, January 28 at 7:30 pm
An Intimate Conversation with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center
Hosted by Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor, WIRED
At the age of 37, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor had a massive stroke and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, memory, linear thinking and self-awareness — shut down one by one. After a long and successful rehabilitation, she has become a spokesperson for the possibility of full recovery from brain injury. In her best-selling book My Stroke of Insight, Taylor chronicles her recovery as well as her personal study of perception as it differs between left brain processing and right brain experiencing. Taylor is the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center and is an active member and supporter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Taylor will be in conversation with Thomas Goetz, executive editor of WIRED and author of The Decision Tree: A Manifesto for Personal Health. Tickets are $22-27 for adults/$20-25 for Academy members. Price dependent on seating area. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.cityboxoffice.com or by calling (415) 392-4400. This event takes place at the Herbst Theater.