Press Release

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

Programs, Events and Lectures in March 2014
from the California Academy of Sciences


Full schedule of programs, events & lectures below

PROGRAMS FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES
(March 2014)

    
DARK UNIVERSE
Playing daily; see planetarium entrance for show times and passes
An exhilarating voyage through the known and unknown, Dark Universe plunges audiences into two of today’s biggest cosmic mysteries—dark matter and dark energy—and the scientific discoveries that preceded them. Narrated by famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, this immersive planetarium show features exquisite renderings of enigmatic cosmic phenomena, seminal scientific instruments, and spectacular scenes in deep space. Hurtle through Jupiter’s atmosphere, sail out to the far reaches of space, and be there for the birth of our own galaxy while exploring how our understanding of the Universe has evolved over time. Celebrate what we don’t yet know by confronting the invisible, 95% of the cosmos that scientists continue to grapple with, but which may in fact govern how the Universe behaves. Planetarium shows recommended for ages 7 and above.   


ANCIENT LIGHT
Weekends, every 45 minutes starting 10:40 am
Weekdays at 12:40 pm only

Echoes from the beginnings of the Universe still surround us in the form of light. Explore how this ancient light has helped to uncover the mysteries of the formation of our Universe in this live, 15-minute program hosted by our planetarium presenters in Hohfeld Hall. Proceed to entrance of planetarium for show times and passes.


OUR INCREDIBLE, EXPANDING UNIVERSE
Daily at 12:00 pm

Did you know that our Universe never stops expanding? Or that space is constantly stretching? Join us for this interactive activity where we’ll learn how sound and light waves work and how they help us solve the mysteries of our ever-expanding Universe. Perfect for all ages!


MEET A NASA SCIENTIST
Saturdays March 1, 8, 15 from 12:00-2:00 pm
Every day, scientists at NASA Ames Research Center explore the Universe in a quest for new information about life beyond our planet Earth. Meet these brilliant minds and engage in fun, hands on activities that provide a closer look at this fascinating research. Then, dive deeper during the Connect with a Scientist! program, where these special guests will hold candid, interactive conversations about their latest projects.


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!


JUNIOR ACADEMY: FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS (AGES 5-11)
Sundays at 10:00 am, while supplies last

March 2 theme: Starry Night Bag Bangle
March 9 theme: Dark Universe Puzzle
March 16 theme: White Clover
March 23 theme: Incredible Oceans Button
March 30 theme: Sea Fan Pictures
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.


OCEAN ACTION – THE POWER OF pH!
Daily at 11:30 am

Have you ever wondered what sea shells, the ocean, and our atmosphere have in common? Come find out at this fun, experiment-based program as we explore the ocean and its special chemistry. Learn about the simple steps you can take to help keep oceans and the marine animals that live in them healthy.


SATURDAY SAFARI
Saturdays at 11:00 am
All ages are invited to Tusher African Hall for an imaginary expedition around the corner or around the world. In March, explore the rhythm of our changing seasons. We will navigate with maps to chart our exploration and use props, specimens, storytelling, and songs to set the scene for our travels.


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.


SCIENCE DISCOVERY
Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00 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!


SSSSNAKE ENCOUNTER
Daily at 12:30 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.


JUNIOR SCIENTIST ADVENTURE
Daily at 1:00 pm

Become a scientist for a day by checking out a field science backpack full of tools and activities to guide your exploration. Navigate the museum floor in search of hidden treasures and track your progress in a fun field guide! Make your way to the Piazza at 1:00 pm daily for a scientific wrap up, sharing your discoveries with an Academy presenter. Questions are encouraged! Backpacks can be picked up at coat check in the lobby upon arrival; availability is limited and backpacks are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


OUT OF THE LAB
Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 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!


SHARKS AND RAYS
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm

Learn more about the Reef Lagoon’s shallow reef residents, including sharks and rays, and watch a feeding on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


THE SWEET SIDE OF DNA
Monday-Friday at 2:00 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.


CONNECT WITH A SCIENTIST! (AGES 10+)
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm

Join us for fun interviews with Academy scientists as they share their cutting edge work and exciting discoveries. Learn the tricks of their trade through dynamic demonstrations and get answers to the science questions you’ve always wanted to know. Meet a new guest scientist every week! For a complete list of upcoming guests, visit www.calacademy.org/events.


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.


TODDLER TREKS (ages 18-36 months)
Thursday, March 6 and 20 and Tuesday, March 11 at 11:00 am (Theme: Sea Star Trek)

Join us for a caregiver/child participatory program designed especially for children ages 18-36 months, each month will feature a different animal. Participants will use props and their imaginations to “trek” together to the place each animal calls home. Please note that all programs each month are about the same topic, so participants should register for only one date per month. Tickets are $7 per child, $5 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 http://www.calacademy.org/science/early_explorers_cove/, or over the phone at (415) 379-8000.



PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (AGES 5-17, with adult chaperones)
Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 am (exclusively for Boy Scouts)

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. Tickets: $99 per person ($79 for Academy members). Group rates and ticketing information available at http://www.calacademy.org/events/sleepovers/ or call (415) 379-8000.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES ACADEMY TOUR (AGES 8+)
Available daily at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm

Discover fascinating specimens in our fish collection and view breathtaking geology specimens in the Gem and Mineral vault. Visit a working laboratory and get closer to the living roof, all while exploring the Academy from an insider’s perspective. During this one hour behind the scenes tour, you will learn more about the institution’s 160-year history and how its scientists are tackling critical questions about life on Earth. Tickets: $24.95 per person/$19.95 per person for Academy members; group rates available. Includes express rainforest entry and reserved planetarium seats. Tour price does not include general admission to the Academy. To purchase tickets: www.calacademy.org/tours or (415) 379-8000.


BEHIND-THE-SCENES AQUARIUM TOUR (AGES 8+)
Available daily at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

Go behind the scenes to learn about the history of Steinhart Aquarium and how biologists care for the 38,000 animals—butterflies, fish, penguins, even an albino alligator—that live in the building. Visit the food prep kitchen, see the complex water filtration system, and much more on an hour-long exclusive aquarium tour. Tickets: $24.95 per person/ $19.95 per person for Academy members; group rates available. Includes express rainforest entry and reserved planetarium seats. Tour price does not include general admission to the Academy. To purchase tickets: www.calacademy.org/tours or (415) 379-8000.


QUEST FOR CURIOSITIES
Daily at 1:15 pm

Join a Naturalist Center guide daily and embark on a quest for curiosities. Explore this hands-on space full of nature’s wonders—from a real dinosaur leg bone to great white shark jaws to many of the Naturalist Center’s thousands of natural history specimens.


JUNIOR ACADEMY: NATURALIST KNOW-HOW (AGES 8-11, with adult chaperone)
Sundays at 2:00 pm

Hone your expertise as a naturalist! A unique skill will be highlighted each month. In March, learn how to observe and record nature in transition. Space is limited; please register in the Naturalist Center on Level 3 a half hour before program begins.


LECTURES AND PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
(March 2014)

Benjamin Dean lecture
GOING ROGUE: PLANETS WITHOUT PARENT STARS IN THE GALAXY
Jacqueline Faherty, Hubble Fellow, Carnegie Institute of Washington
Monday, March 3 at 7:30 pm | Morrison Planetarium

At the close of 2013, the tally of stars with planets orbiting them toppled more than 1,000. The majority of these so-called exoplanets have not actually been "seen" but rather inferred from their effect on the host star. Through painstaking technical methods and tremendous telescope time, a handful can be directly imaged and these giant planets show fascinating diversity in their sizes, temperatures, weather, and relationships to their parent Suns. Over the past several years—and rather serendipitously—an entirely new and mysterious breed of "planets" has emerged. Astronomers have discovered a collection of orphans: planets that are moving through the Galaxy seemingly unattached to a star. These so-called free-floating planets are abundant in the Galaxy and vastly easier to study since we do not need to block the light of the exponentially brighter companion in order to get to the precious exoplanet data. In this talk, Faherty will highlight how we discovered these seemingly impossible objects and review how these strange, exotic planets may be key players in our understanding of planet formation and evolution.
Tickets: $12 per person, $10 for seniors, $8 for Academy members. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To purchase tickets: www.calacademy.org/lectures or (877) 227-1831. This event takes place at Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. 

 

Conversations on Science
PANDEMIC! A PLAN FOR THE PLANET
Nathan Wolfe in Conversation with Shannon Bennett
Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 pm | Nourse Theatre

Armed with high-tech tools and a small army of fieldworkers, Nathan Wolfe hopes to re-invent pandemic control and reveal hidden secrets of the planet's dominant lifeform: the virus. Wolfe has spent his life studying deadly viruses to detect worldwide disease pandemics before they kill millions. He is founder and executive chairman of Global Viral, a non-profit organization promoting the understanding, exploration and stewardship of the microbial world. Wolfe’s endeavors coordinate over one hundred scientists and staff around the planet by spotting viruses as soon as they surface through collecting and cataloguing blood samples, surveying wild animals, scanning urban blood banks and documenting the transfer and distribution of disease. Wolfe will be in conversation with Shannon Bennett, who is the Academy’s first ever Associate Curator of Microbiology. In this new position, she broadens the Academy’s research scope to include a dedicated focus on viruses and bacteria. Her specialty lies in infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Tickets: $27 per person, $25 for Academy members. Series tickets for Conversations on Science are $170 per person, $155 for Academy members. To purchase tickets: www.cityarts.net/science or (415) 392-4400. This event takes place at the Nourse Theatre, 275 Hayes Street, San Francisco. 

 

Eye-Opening Science: The Changing Oceans
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
Dr. Geerat Vermeij, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz
Dr. Jonathon Stillman, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University
Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator of Geology, California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science & Research Collections, California Academy of Sciences
Saturday, March 15 from 9:00-11:00 am | Academy Boardroom

In addition to the global climate change, one of the consequences of increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the concern that this gas will dissolve in the world’s oceans and create more acidic conditions. The consequences of this are that organisms that produce a calcium carbonate skeleton are potentially highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of acidification. What is the current state of the world’s oceans? Currently, how serious a problem is ocean acidification? How serious is this likely to become? What can we do to change the current direction of change?
Tickets: $35 per person, $25 for Academy members and seniors. Series tickets (3 events) available for $90 per person, $70 for Academy members and seniors.  Tickets include coffee, tea and pastries; not museum admission.

 

Pritzker lecture
GEOLOGY AFFECTS BIOLOGY
Dr. Jean DeMouthe, Senior Collections Manager for Geology, California Academy of Sciences
Wednesday, March 19 at 7:00 pm

Ever wonder how Earth materials and processes directly impact the distribution and health of living organisms? Academy geologist Jean DeMouthe will present a richly illustrated lecture on the nature of geologic materials and how they affect living things. She will provide examples of how geologic processes affect ecosystems, from a tiny spring on a hillside to a big explosive volcanic eruption. We will explore the minerals, rocks, and soil that provide nutrients as well as substrate on and in which plants and animals live. We will learn about how geological factors can produce chemical or physical barriers that affect what can and cannot live in a particular area. The talk will wind up with a discussion of how the Academy’s geologic collections provide insight into and history of biodiversity and evolution.
Tickets: $12 per person, $10 for seniors, free for Academy members. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To purchase tickets: www.calacademy.org/lectures or (877) 227-1831. This event takes place in Tusher African Hall at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. 

 

UNDER THE SEA NIGHTLIFE (Ages 21+)
Thursday, March 20 from 6:00-10:00 pm

Every Thursday night a new adventure unfolds. This week, go below the surface with Academy scuba diving experts and stunning underwater photography. Set out with friends on a journey to the stars and to the depths of the sea with a cocktail in your hand and wonder in your eye.
Tickets: $12 per person, $10 for Academy members. Valid ID required for entry. Tickets available online at www.calacademy.org/nightlife or at the door.


Eye-Opening Science: The Changing Oceans
CALIFORNIA’S MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
Dr. Peter Raimondi, Professor of Geology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Citizen Science Research Coordinator, California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator of Geology, California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections, California Academy of Sciences
Saturday, March 22 from 9:00-11:00 am | Academy Boardroom

California’s coastal waters are home to one of the four richest temperate marine biotas in the world. As impacts of human activity have placed increasing pressure on local marine ecosystems, California has pioneered the establishment of marine protected areas. California’s protected areas have recently been greatly expanded to further insure the preservation of marine biodiversity. How was that process developed? What successes have we seen from the establishment of protected areas along our coast? How are we monitoring California’s marine biodiversity? What are the future threats, about which we most need to be concerned?  
Tickets: $35 per person, $25 for Academy members and seniors. Series tickets (3 events) available for $90 per person, $70 for Academy members and seniors.  Tickets include coffee, tea and pastries; not museum admission.

 

Brilliant!Science: Incredible Ocean
AN OCEAN GARDEN: THE SECRET LIFE OF SEAWEED
Josie Iselin, Photographer and Author
Monday, March 24 at 7:00 pm

Josie Iselin celebrates the unexpected beauty of seaweed, an often overlooked but fundamental aspect of ocean life. Produced on a flatbed scanner, Iselin's vibrant portraits of ocean flora reveal the exquisite color and extraordinary forms of more than two hundred specimens gathered from tidal pools along the California and Maine coasts. Her engaging text, which accompanies the images, blends personal observation and philosophical musings with scientific fact. Like her previous books, An Ocean Garden, The Secret Life of Seaweed is a poetic and compelling tribute to the natural world and the wonder it evokes. This event is held in partnership with Book Passage in Marin.
Tickets: This is a free program taking place at Book Passage in Marin, located at 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera.

 

Brilliant!Science: Incredible Ocean
A WORLD IN ONE CUBIC FOOT: PORTRAITS OF BIODIVERSITY
David Liittschwager, National Geographic Photographer
In Partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Tuesday, March 25 at 7:00 pm

One cubic foot may seem a minuscule patch of the globe, yet a cubic foot can throb with life, from eye-catching flora and fauna to tiny creatures prolific and beautiful beyond imagining. In this compelling look at the natural world, National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager has traveled to different habitats across the planet, all of them rich with a diversity of plants and animals, to take a look at the riotous life contained in one cubic foot. In each location, Liittschwager sets down a metal cube that frames the space then, working with local scientists, he records what moves through the cube’s habitat over the course of a normal day and night. Next, he photographs the cube setting and begins individual portraits of its plant life and its flying, creeping, crawling creatures…anything visible to the naked eye, no matter how small. From the tropical waters off Moorea, French Polynesia to the coastal belt of the South African cape, Liittschwager captures the stunning diversity of life on Earth. In all, he covers six habitats, each introduced by an eyewitness essay that celebrates and explains its uniqueness. Book signing to follow.
Tickets: $12 per person, $10 seniors, free for Academy members. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To purchase tickets: www.calacademy.org/lectures or (877) 227-1831. This event takes place at Tusher African Hall at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

 

Brilliant!Science: Incredible Ocean
Conservation Photography Class and Excursion
WHALE WATCHING IN THE GULF OF THE FARALLONES NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
Saturday, March 29 from 1:00-4:00 pm & Sunday, March 30 from 8:30 am-12:00 pm
Gary Sharlow, Photographer & Academy Education Manager
Isidore Szczepaniak, Marine Biologist, Oceanic Society

The annual gray whale migration is one of the most magnificent and accessible wildlife spectacles on Earth. Each fall, thousands of gray whales migrate from their summer feeding grounds around Alaska down to the waters of Baja California where they breed and calf. In the spring, the whales and their calves migrate back up North for the Summer. Their migration pathway follows closely along the California coast, providing us with outstanding opportunities for coastal whale watching as they pass through the waters of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Each year approximately 15,000 of an estimated total population of 17,500 gray whales swim south along this migration path as they travel from Arctic feeding grounds in the north, en route to their Baja California breeding and calving grounds. Gray whales can be observed just a few miles off California's shore, providing us a perfect viewing opportunity for this incredible "parade." Day 2 boat trip departs from Half Moon Bay.
Tickets: $175 per person, $150 for Academy members. Ages 18+ unless chaperoned by an adult; no children under 12. Space is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To purchase tickets: www.calacademy.org/photography/ or (877) 227-1831. This event takes place at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.


GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARKS BIOBLITZ
Friday, March 28-Saturday, March 29

The Academy is pleased to partner with the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy and National Geographic on a special bioblitz effort in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including a biodiversity festival at Crissy Field. Click here for details and to sign up. 

 

Eye-Opening Science: The Changing Oceans
CALIFORNIA’S CHANGING OCEANS
Dr. David Lindberg, Professor of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
Dr. John Pearse, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Cruz
Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator of Geology, California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Terry Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections, California Academy of Sciences
Saturday, March 29 from 9:00-11:00 am | Academy Boardroom

Throughout evolutionary history, California’s oceans have undergone tremendous changes in temperature and in the biotas they support. With increasing density of human populations, additional changes have occurred that impact the entire dynamic of our local ecosystems. What changes have we seen historically? What are the biggest changes brought about by humans? What changes do we expect to see during climate change? What can Californians do to moderate the human caused changes we are witnessing?
Tickets: $35 per person, $25 for Academy members and seniors. Series tickets (3 events) available for $90 per person, $70 for Academy members and seniors.  Tickets include coffee, tea and pastries; not museum admission.