Press Release

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

Human Odyssey programs continue in MARCH 2013
at the California Academy of Sciences


Full schedule of programs, events & lectures below

New! Human Odyssey – 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 dramatic new addition to Tusher 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 across the world, 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.

Coming soon: Built for Speed (May 10 - September 29, 2013) – This summer, join in the excitement leading up to the America’s Cup races by visiting Built for Speed at the California Academy of Sciences. This new exhibit will explore the fascinating adaptations of some of the fastest animals in the sea—from the speedy sailfish and streamlined shark to the spineless squid. Get a close-up look at the assembling of an orca skeleton, examine a high-speed sailboat designed by ORACLE TEAM USA (the America's Cup defending champions), and compare the forms that make these boats and marine animals fast in fluid.

 

GENERAL INTEREST PROGRAMS
(March 2013)

New Human Odyssey Program
LIVE AFRICAN SAFARI

Daily at 1:00 pm
Adventure through Africa and explore the amazing biodiversity of its animals and habitats. How do pythons hunt so masterfully in the dark of night? How does a hissing cockroach attract a mate? And just how fast does a cheetah run? Discover the answers and learn how each animal plays an important role in its diverse ecosystem. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Human Odyssey Program
WHAT MAKES US HUMAN?

Monday – Friday at 11:00 am
Follow the milestones in human evolution—upright walking, tool making, symbolic thinking—while comparing the adaptations of early humans to our modern bodies through fun activities that help reveal the origins of who we are. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Human Odyssey Program
FOSSIL FORENSICS

Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am
Ever wonder how our evolutionary story began? In this lab-based program, you will learn about recent discoveries that scientists have made in uncovering the story of “us.” Touch a hominin skull cast or stone tool replica to better understand what fossil exploration tells us, and how scientists make sense of it all through DNA analysis and modern technology. 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.

CURIOSITY ON MARS
Showing weekends*
*Note: This program will not be offered on March 3

What has the Curiosity rover been up to since its thrilling landing on the Red Planet? NASA’s latest explorer is searching for signs of past (or present) habitability on Martian soil. Discover why Mars captures our imaginations and learn about the latest discoveries from our robotic explorers in this live, 15-minute program hosted by our planetarium presenters in Hohfeld Hall. Visit www.calacademy.org/events for specific dates and times. 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 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.


SWAMP DISCOVERY
Daily at 3:30 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.


THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Monday – Friday at 12:00 pm

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.


POLLINATOR POWER
Monday – Friday 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.


SHARKS TO DINOSAURS: A WALK THROUGH TIME

Friday – Monday & Wednesday at 1:30 pm
Uncover the Earth’s ancient history and learn about the sharks, tortoises, and dinosaurs that first appeared millions of years ago as you explore the Academy’s exhibits. Step back in time and discover the unique adaptations these amazing species developed for thriving and surviving on a planet that was very different from our modern world. 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+)
Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am

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.
March 2: Senior biologist Alison Rusch will discuss the Academy’s animal health program and how the process of keeping animals happy and healthy varies from species to species.
March 3: Aquatic biologist Rich Ross will discuss his work breeding and caring for cephalopods—including squid, cuttlefish and other intelligent mollusks.
March 9: Assistant Curator Vikki McCloskey will discuss what it’s like to care for 38,000 live animals every day, along with fascinating details of a collection trip in Costa Rica.
March 10: Entomologist Masashi Yoshimura will discuss his work studying diverse species of ants and what he’s learned about searching for the elusive males.
March 16: Dive Safety Officer Elliott Jessup will discuss the Academy’s volunteer dive program and what divers must know when taking a plunge into the aquarium’s tanks or out in the field.
March 17: Assistant Curator Charles Delbeek will discuss the importance of keeping coral reef colonies healthy and share stories of his work to restore coral ecosystems around the world.
March 23: Assistant Curator Kristen Natoli will discuss her work in the Academy’s rainforest exhibit, where she and her team care for thousands of free flying birds and butterflies, along with amphibians, fish and plant species from around the world.
March 24: Biologist Tim Wong will discuss what goes into caring for diverse tropical fish in the Academy’s rainforest exhibit and his experience raising native butterflies.
March 30: Entomologist Vic Smith will discuss his work studying arthropods and the specimen imaging performed inside of the Academy’s Project Lab.
March 31: Biologist Margarita Upton cares for the Academy’s Giant Pacific Octopus. Hear what she learns by engaging with, feeding and studying this intelligent cephalopod.
Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 


THE SCIENCE OF EXPLORATION
Saturdays and Sundays 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.

DISCOVERY NATURE WALK

Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 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.


SCIENCE DISCOVERY
Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 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.

OUT OF THE LAB

Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 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 dissecting and documenting the many specimens collected on their global expeditions. Have a burning science question? Ask a real scientist! Free with Academy admission. 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.


SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT: FAMOUS FOSSILS
Thursdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm
Discover the stories behind important anthropological discoveries like “Mrs. Ples,” “Zinj” and more in this twice-weekly program that features specimens from the Naturalist Center collection. 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.


ACADEMY FREE DAY

Sunday, March 3 from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
The Academy is free to the public on selected Sundays throughout the year, thanks to a generous donation by JPMorgan Chase. A schedule is available at 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 5:00 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

 

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN
(March 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
Sundays from 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Visit the Naturalist Center every Sunday 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
March 2 theme: Journey to Africa
March 9 theme: African Cats
March 16 theme: Odd Couples of Africa
March 23 theme: African Animals, Big and Small
March 30 theme: Animal Folktales
All ages are invited to Tusher 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 5-11)
Sundays* at 10:00 am, while supplies last
*Note: This program will not be offered on March 3
March 10 theme: Humans Create - Fabric
March 17 theme: Humans Create - Jewelry
March 24 theme: Humans Create - Crockery
March 31 theme: Humans Create - Gardens
Join us in front of the Swamp and get creative with nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children ages 5-11. 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, March 5 and Thursday, March 21 at 11:00 am (Theme: Macaw Trek)

Join us 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. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.


PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (AGES 5-17, with adult chaperones)
Friday, March 8, 2013 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 am (Boy Scouts exclusive, groups of 10 or more only)

Why count sheep when you can 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. Group rates and ticketing information available online at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.


NANO DAYS AT THE NATURALIST CENTER
March 30-April 7, 2013

Discover nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future during NanoDays, a nationwide festival of educational programs. More information at www.calacademy.org/academy/exhibits/naturalist_center/nnotebook/. Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

 
PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
(March 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); 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:
An Introduction to Your DSLR & Conservation Photography
Sunday, March 10 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Led by Gary Sharlow, Photographer and Academy Education Manager
In this three-hour classroom presentation, you will learn about the inner workings of your DSLR camera. This class is designed as an overview to help better understand your camera, the digital darkroom and opportunities to tell stories and impact conservation with your images. In the first hour, we will touch on basic features of the DSLR camera. Topics will include choosing lenses and filters, ISO, white balance, shutter, aperture and program modes, EV, exposure, bracketing, focusing, resolution, histograms and more. In the second hour, we will explore how to manage all of your digital assets. We will talk about organizing your files and using software like Adobe Lightroom and Nik Software plugins for the digital darkroom. Topics will include managing the digital workflow, post-production, color management, and simple web publishing. Finally, we will talk about what it means to be a conservation photographer and watch a short video that defines conservation photography. We will discuss others way to get involved in conservation photography to join a like-minded community and explore the natural world with good intention. Tickets are $50 for adults, $40 for Academy members. Reserve a space in advance online at www.calacademy.org/photography, or by calling (415) 379-8000.


A Benjamin Dean lecture

WHERE WILL CURIOSITY TAKE US? FOLLOWING THE MARS SCIENCE LABORATORY ROVER AS IT EXPLORES THE RED PLANET
Featuring Dr. Jennifer Blank, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, NASA/Ames Research Center
Monday, March 11 at 7:30 pm

NASA's most recent visitor to Mars, "Curiosity,” touched down last August in Gale Crater. Curiosity is a rolling, robot geologist, carrying high resolution cameras and a suite of sophisticated analytical instruments which make up the Mars Science Laboratory. Dr. Jennifer Blank is a member of the MSL Science Team, whose main goal is to discover clues in the rocks and soils on Mars that will indicate whether Mars once was capable of supporting life. Come hear Dr. Blank talk about Curiosity's first few months on Mars, its first discoveries, and the drive toward Mount Sharp, the rover's ultimate destination. 7:30 pm; Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/lectures, or by calling (415) 379-8000. Seating is limited and tickets are first-come, first-served. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for Academy members. Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.


A Pritzker lecture

TO THE ARCTIC
Wednesday, March 13 at 7:00 pm
Featuring Florian Schulz, International League of Conservation Photographers
After a year and a half spent braving the bone chilling temperatures in the arctic, living among the polar bears and diving beneath icebergs, conservation photographer Florian Schulz came away with a stunning portfolio of images and a detailed look at arctic ecology that captures the imagination and reveals stories of a complex ecological environment rarely seen to this degree. Schulz will take you on a tour of his conservation work by being the first to ever utilize the Academy’s all-digital planetarium dome for a Pritzker member lecture, while discussing how polar bears, walruses, and other marine species depend on the arctic ice for feeding, resting, and denning. Conservation photography is a powerful tool for digital storytelling and this presentation is sure to inform and inspire. We will get a glimpse into the complexity of life in this challenging climate, as well as a better understanding of how life here is inevitably linked to life in the arctic. Schulz is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and one of the world’s most acclaimed nature photographers. The images from this project and his personal accounts are chronicled in the IMAX 3D movie “To The Arctic” and within a book by the same title. A book signing will follow the presentation. 7:00 pm; Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, free for Academy members. Seating is limited and tickets are first-come, first-served. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/lectures or by calling (415) 379-8000.


Conversations on Science
*SOLD OUT*
THE POWER OF LANGUAGE
Wednesday, March 20 at 7:30 pm
Featuring Dr. Lera Boroditsky, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University in conversation with Roy Eisenhardt
Dr. Lera Boroditsky, professor of psychology, neuroscience, and symbolic systems at Stanford University, makes the claim that “different languages invite speakers to develop different cognitive skills.” In other words, the language we speak shapes the very thoughts we have. In contrast to Noam Chomsky and other leaders in the field of linguistics, Dr. Boroditsky is often called a neo-Whorfian for her embrace of Benjamin Whorf’s and Edward Sapir’s theories that language is integral to the formation of ideas and the evolution of culture. The connection between words and thoughts has long captivated poets, philosophers and other thinkers. Dr. Boroditsky applies extensive scientific research to this relationship, supporting the notion that our cognitive process is fundamentally affected by the structure of language. She will be in conversation with Roy Eisenhardt, a Bay Area lawyer who has taught at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and previously served as the executive director of the California Academy of Sciences. His numerous interviews for City Arts & Lectures include Stephen King, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Desmond Tutu and David Remnick. 7:30 pm; Tickets are $22-27 for adults, $20-25 for Academy members. Price dependent on seating area. Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/lectures or by calling City Box Office at (415) 392-4400. This event takes place at the Herbst Theatre.