Press Release

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

 

New California Academy of Sciences Programs to Highlight
Earthquakes from MAY 23-AUGUST 31, 2012 in Honor of
New Earthquake Exhibit and Planetarium Show


Full schedule of programs, events & lectures below

New! Prepare to be moved! Earthquake: Life on a Dynamic Planet, a major new exhibit and planetarium show, will open at the California Academy of Sciences on May 26, 2012. Programs surrounding the launch with explore plate tectonics, ostrich evolution, earthquake preparedness, and more.

Coming soon: Jurassic in the Park, series of special programs highlighting dinosaurs and their modern descendants.

Note: The release is organized a bit differently this month, into sections for general interest, children, and adult audiences.

 

GENERAL INTEREST PROGRAMS
(May 23 – August 31, 2012)

New Earthquake Program
EARTHQUAKES DEMYSTIFIED
Daily at 11:00 am

What do Poseidon, Japanese folklore, and your pet dog have in common when it comes to earthquakes? Each plays a role in a common myth or misconception about these powerful natural events. Uncover the truth behind the stories, and learn how you and your family can become quake-ready. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New Earthquake Program
OSTRICHES: GROUNDED FOR LIFE
Daily at 11:30 am

Join us at the live ostrich chick enclosure within the Academy's new Earthquake exhibit to trace their fascinating evolutionary history and learn how they have adapted to life in Africa. You might be surprised by the connection between plate tectonics and the world's largest flightless bird. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New Earthquake Program
THE GEOLOGY OF OTHER WORLDS
Shows daily (starting May 26)

Visit the Forum Theater to pick up 3D show passes
Voyage through our Solar System to explore the geology of Earth's neighboring planets and moons in 3D using the latest images captured by spacecraft. We’ll size up the giant volcanoes on Mars, peel away the clouds of Venus, and slice open the planet Mercury! A live presenter will guide audiences through extraterrestrial landscapes, mountain ranges, and submerged oceans, and share how observations made far afield can help shed light on our own planet's geologic history. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New Planetarium Show
EARTHQUAKE
Shows daily (starting May 26)

Proceed to the planetarium entrance upon arrival to get your show passes.
Take a high-magnitude journey through our planet's geologic history to witness the processes that shape our landscape in Morrison Planetarium's newest 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 crust to see how it happened. Then embark on a high-speed tour through the past 200 million years, and witness the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, and visit 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 have and are continuing to shape our landscape almost constantly. 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 Theme
PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Friday – Monday at 2:00 pm

Embark on an interactive journey to some of the most monumental landscapes on Earth– above and below sea level—and learn about the role plate tectonics have played in shaping them. In our travels, we’ll see some strange, alien environments (on this planet and beyond), and discover how we can learn about earthquakes in Google Earth. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
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 & 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.
 
New Schedule
TALES FROM OUR AMAZING RACE
Daily 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 race 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.
 
SSSSNAKE ENCOUNTER
Daily 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.
 
New Schedule
THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Daily at 1:30pm

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.
 
New Schedule
SWAMP DISCOVERY
Daily at 3:30 pm

Learn more about these wetland ecosystems of the Southeast United States and their hidden value. Listen to sounds of swamp 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
DISCOVERY NATURE WALK
Tuesday – Thursday at 2:00 pm

Join us for a 30-minute nature walk, exploring gardens and groves that surround the Academy. Learn about the importance of native plants and trees and how they support animals in Golden Gate Park, a unique and unusual ecosystem. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SHARK FEEDING
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm

Learn more about the Mangrove Lagoon’s shallow reef residents, including sharks and rays, 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.
 
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Thursdays at 11:00am

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 who will highlight a different specimen each week, with a special focus on endangered species and specimens from countries where Academy scientists study. 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
CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST (AGES 10+)
Thursdays at 12:30pm

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. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New Schedule
POLLINATOR POWER
Friday – Wednesday at 12:30 pm

Join us atop the Academy’s living roof to explore the fascinating lives of pollinators including birds, bats and bees. As these animals buzz, swoop and fly through the air, they are helping to keep California one of the most diverse places on earth. Here at the Academy, researchers and gardeners work to maintain a living roof of entirely native plants—come find out how this helps keep habitats healthy! 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
Friday – Monday at 2:30pm

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 dissecting 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.
 
ACADEMY FREE DAY
Sunday, June 3

The Academy is free to the public on selected Sundays throughout the year. A schedule is available on www.calacademy.org/visit/. 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.
 
THE TRANSIT OF VENUS
Tuesday, June 5 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join us in the Naturalist Center to learn more about this rare alignment between Earth, Venus and the Sun that won’t happen again for more than a hundred years. Browse NASA’s official website, play games, puzzles and much more! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New Program
NATURALIST 101: BIRDING BASICS (AGES 10+)
Saturday, June 16 from 10 am–12 pm

Do you enjoy the outdoors? Ever wish you could identify more of the interesting animals you encounter? Join the Naturalist Center this summer to get out and learn basic identification skills in and around the Academy. The program is designed for families with children ages 10 and up. Tickets are $15 ($10 for Acadmy members) and do not include admission to the Academy. Space is limited, so please reserve a space online at www.calacademy.org/tickets/le2.php?t=3, or by calling 415-379-8000. Meet at Business Reception. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
NATIONAL GEEK DAD DAY
Sunday, June 17

Enjoy a day full of fun nano science activities around the Academy designed to fortify family relationships and children’s passion for science, technology, engineering, and math. The event is part of the first annual National Geek Dad Day, dreamed up by the folks at WIRED. Why? Because it's time to bring Father's Day back from the land of ties and brunches! Together, learn about the structure and properties of thin films in everyday life; discover how graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms only one atom thick—is used in nanotechnology; and create a Do-It-Yourself Weather Vane using home office supplies during Family Nature Crafts. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
New Program
NATURALIST 101: INSECT BASICS (AGES 10+)
Saturday, July 14 from 10 am–12 pm

Do you enjoy the outdoors? Ever wish you could identify more of the interesting animals you encounter? Join the Naturalist Center this summer to get out and learn basic identification skills in and around the Academy. The program is designed for families with children ages 10 and up. Tickets are $15 ($10 for Acadmy members) and do not include admission to the Academy. Space is limited, so please reserve a space online at www.calacademy.org/tickets/le2.php?t=3, or by calling 415-379-8000. Meet at Business Reception. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
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. Available daily. Tickets are $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.

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN
(May 23 – August 31, 2012)

Special Earthquake Themes
LITTLE NATURALISTS (AGES 3-5)
Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:00 am

These rotating programs for 3-5 year-olds are presented in the Naturalist Center. See below for program topics on specific dates. Adult supervision is required. 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.

  • 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.
    June 4 theme: Ostriches
    June 18 theme: Opossums
    July 2 and 30 theme: Raptors
    July 16 theme: Earthquakes
    August 6 theme: Jungle Animals
    August 20 theme: San Francisco Shakes
  • 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.
    May 28 theme: Houses in an Earthquake
    June 11 theme: Let's Rock (geology and soil)
    June 25 theme: Sandy Beach
    July 9 theme: Ponds & Rivers
    July 23 theme: Volcanoes
    August 13 theme: Bird Migration
    August 27 theme: Hydrothermal Vents
  • 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.
    May 30 theme: Plate Tectonics
    June 6 theme: Volcanoes
    June 20 theme: Surface Tension
    July 4 theme: Liquification
    July 18 theme: Density
    August 1 and 29 theme: Tornados
    August 15 theme: Tsunamis
  • 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.
    May 23 theme: Ready to Roll at Home (earthquake preparedness)
    June 13 theme: Ready to Roll in England
    June 27 theme: Children of England
    July 11 theme: Ready to Roll in France
    July 25 theme: Children of France
    August 8 theme: Ready to Roll in Italy
    August 22 theme: Children of Italy

 
NATURALIST CENTER CRAFT
Fridays from 11:00 am -4:00 pm

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.
 
Special Earthquake Themes
ANIMAL TALES (AGES 2-5)
Saturdays at 11:00 am

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 at 11:00 am.

May 26 theme: Earthquakes
June 2 theme: Earthquakes
June 9 theme: Earthquakes and San Francisco
June 16 theme: Earthquake 101
June 23 theme: All About Bees
June 30 theme: Galapagos
July 7 theme: Animals and Earthquakes
July 14 theme: Earthquake Preparedness
July 21 theme: The Sandy Beach
July 28 theme: All About Butterflies
August 4 theme: Earthquake Preparedness
August 11 theme: Earthquakes
August 18 theme: Baby Animals
August 25 theme: Mighty Ants

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.
 
Special Earthquake Themes
FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS (AGES 5-10)

Sundays* from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, while supplies last
*Note: Family Nature Crafts will not be offered on June 3.
Get creative with nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children aged 5-10. Space is limited.
May 27 theme: Fault Model
June 10 theme: 1906 Earthquake Treasure Box
June 17 theme: National Geek Dad Day
June 24 theme: Pangaea Puzzle
July 1 theme: Wooden Rainforest Animal Model
July 8 theme: Bromeliad with Tree Frog
July 15 theme: Macaw Bag Puppet
July 22 theme: Butterfly Feeder
July 29 theme: Walking Stick Insect
August 5 theme: Clownfish
August 12 theme: Eel Habitat
August 19 theme: Miniature Aquarium
August 26 theme: Fish Pendant
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 4-8)
Sundays 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.
 
TODDLER TREKS (AGES 1-3)
Wednesday, June 6 and 20 at 11:00 am (Theme: Ostrich Trek)
Wednesday, July 4 and 18 at 11:00 am (Theme: Marsupial Trek)
Wednesday, August 1 and 15 at 11:00 am (Theme: Butterfly Trek)

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 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 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.
 
PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (AGES 5-17, with adult chaperones)
Saturday, June 16 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 am
Saturday, July 20 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 am

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 $99 per person ($79 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
CHILDREN'S ADVENTURE TOURS (AGES 5+)
10:00 am 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.

PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
(May 23 – August 31, 2012)

Special Earthquake Event
EARTHQUAKE PREMIERE PARTY (AGES 21+)
Friday, May 25 from 7:00 pm – Midnight

Travel back to a time when San Francisco, the ‘Paris of America,’ was the largest port city in the west—rich in gold, industry and culture, full of excitement, grit, beauty and mischief—and be the first to experience the Academy's brand new Earthquake exhibit and planetarium show. Experience a taste of the seedy Barbary Coast brought to life through variety shows, art installations, roving characters and live music provided by the Vau de Vire Society. Feel the awesome power of the Great Quake in an earthquake simulator, try a Pisco Punch or Martinez cocktail, and then dance the night away to the old–timey sounds of the Sour Mash Hug Band. 7pm; tickets start at $69 ($49 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/earthquake/party/index.php. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
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 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 6:00 – 8:00 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- 8:00pm (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/nightlife, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: Digital Asset Management and Adobe Lightroom 4 (AGES 18+)
Sunday, June 3 from 1:00-4:00 pm

In this workshop you will be taken through the steps of setting up Adobe Lightroom for the first time. Many professional photographers and photo editors identify this as the single most important step in their photographic workflow. It will be presented in a way that is relevant to all photographers, no matter what your level of expertise. We will cover the basic features of the library mode and how to organize your collection, including the use of external drives. There will be an additional presentation about using your photos for conservation and how you can help effect change and protect the natural world through your passion for nature photography. Tickets are $50 ($40 for Academy members). Open to ages 18+. Seating is limited, so please reserve a space at www.calacademy.org/events/photography/ or call 415-379-8000.
 
UNDERSTANDING THE ORIGINS OF SPACE WEATHER
Featuring Dr. Thomas Berger, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory
Monday, June 4 at 7:30 pm

A Benjamin Dean astronomy lecture
In the past five years, solar physics has entered a golden age in which visible light, extreme ultraviolet (EUV), and X-ray solar telescopes are viewing the Sun continuously, and from multiple angles, from space. Dr. Berger will show recent observations from the Japanese/US/UK Hinode mission, and the NASA STEREO and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) missions that reveal strange new flows in solar prominences and coronal cavities, the structures that comprise so-called "coronal mass ejections" or CMEs. CMEs are the drivers of all large particle and magnetic storms in the solar system and understanding, and ultimately predicting, this "space weather" is a major goal of modern space physics. 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.
 
BREASTS: A NATURAL AND UNNATURAL HISTORY (AGES 21+)
Featuring Florence Williams in conversation with Mary Roach
Thursday, June 7 at 7:30 pm

Soon to be released, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History is an engaging exposé about an incredible, life-giving organ and its imperiled modern fate. The breast is an evolutionary masterpiece, but in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier and attracting newfangled chemicals. What makes breasts so mercurial – and so vulnerable? The intrepid science journalist Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest science from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, bringing her from a plastic surgeon’s office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to a lab where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. All this with a splash of Mary Roach to boot! 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, and guests will be permitted to enjoy NightLife after the program. Tickets are $12 ($10 for Academy members). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
WHAT A PLANT KNOWS
Featuring Dr. Daniel Chamovitz, Director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences, Tel Aviv University
Tuesday, June 12 at 7:00 pm

A Pritzker Lecture
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it feel an insect’s spindly legs? How do flowers know when it’s spring? Can they actually remember the weather? And do they care if you play them Led Zeppelin or Bach? From Darwin’s early fascination with stems and vines to Little Shop of Horrors, we have always marveled at plant diversity and form. Now, in What a Plant Knows, renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and refreshing look at how plants experience the world. Highlighting the latest research in plant science, he takes us into the lives of different types of plants, and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. 7:00 pm; Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; free for Academy members. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets, or by calling 415.379.8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY MISSION
Featuring Dr. David Blake, Exobiology Branch, NASA Ames Research Center
Monday, July 9 at 7:30 pm

A Benjamin Dean astronomy lecture
The past 15 years of Mars exploration—by landers, rovers and orbiting spacecraft— has yielded a treasure trove of knowledge about the Red Planet. Each successive mission has carried with it a more capable, refined and nuanced science payload, building on the discoveries of its predecessors. The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is currently en route to Mars, due to arrive at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. Curiosity is the most sophisticated and capable rover yet and will provide us with new knowledge of Mars' present climate and geology, and clues to its early habitability. 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.
 
CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP & FIELD EXCURSION: The Eastern Sierras (AGES 18+)
Sunday – Tuesday, July 15-17

The Sierra Nevada is a photographer's dreamscape. John Muir famously referred to it as "The Range of Light," and Ansel Adams' stunning photos made the beauty of the Sierra Range known around the world. Immerse yourself in the practice of conservation photography in this special field excursion. In 3 days, we will explore the landscape and wildlife diversity of the Eastern Sierra, including Owens Valley, Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park where we will grapple with the area's complicated water and conservation history, and gain invaluable insight into how to capture the landscape through the lens. By the end of the trip, we aim to help each participant complete a photo series that tells a visually-captivating story of the land, its people, its past and future. Early bird tickets are $400 ($350 for Academy members); Tickets purchased after June 21 are $450 ($400 for Academy members). Tickets are non-refundable and food, lodging and transportation not included. Open to ages 18+, minimum 4 people, maximum 18. Please reserve a space at www.calacademy.org/events/photography/ or call 415-379-8000.
 
PLANETS OR STARS? THE DARK UNIVERSE OF BROWN DWARFS
Featuring Professor Adam Burgasser, Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, UC San Diego
Monday, August 6 at 7:30 pm

A Benjamin Dean astronomy lecture
For thousands of years, humans have distinguished two types of bright celestial lights: the firmament of the fixed stars and the clockwork machinations of the wandering planets. With the discovery of a vast population of brown dwarfs— low-mass objects exhibiting both stellar and planetary characteristics— these long-held distinctions have been upended, revealing a continuum of gas giants spanning Jupiter to the Sun. Professor Burgasser will describe the history of brown dwarf science, from their prediction as dark matter candidates in the 1960s to their discovery as the Sun's nearest neighbors in the 1990s. He'll then reveal their many fascinating properties, from interiors of metallic hydrogen to storms of molten iron, and report on the recent discovery of "room-temperature" stars with the WISE infrared satellite mission. 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.