Press Release

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

Steinhart Aquarium Celebrates 90th Anniversary;
Last chance to catch Built for Speed Programs in SEPTEMBER 2013
at the California Academy of Sciences


Full schedule of programs, events & lectures below

New! The Last Reef 3D – Don a pair of 3D glasses and fly across iridescent tropical reefs, brush through a cloud of a thousand jellyfish, visit an alien world where the tiniest creatures support the greatest predators…The Last Reef will take you on a breathtaking journey to these cities beneath the sea, which are as vital to life on Earth as the rainforests.

This month! Steinhart Aquarium Celebrates 90 Years– On September 29, 1923, Steinhart Aquarium opened its doors to the public. In the 90 years since, the aquarium has inspired, engaged, and intrigued some 150 million visitors with such exotic sights as the Alligator Swamp, a two-headed snake, Butterball the Amazonian manatee, a living great white shark, and the Fish Roundabout. Steinhart Aquarium was rebuilt twice: once in 1963 and again in 2008 and is truly San Francisco’s aquarium. Celebrate with special programs, events and displays all month long!

Coming soon! Hidden Treasures Revealed – Did you know that more than 28 million specimens are housed within the Academy’s walls? Get an unprecedented look at our research collections and discover how beetles, bones, and the many things in between help us study and sustain the diversity of life on Earth. Special programs and activities will help navigate your exploration of the Academy’s hidden treasures.


GENERAL INTEREST PROGRAMS
(September 2013)


FIN-TASTIC FISH

Daily at 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm
Fish are the ultimate swimmers, but how do they do it? Explore the fascinating physical adaptations that allow fish to swim and survive. Get up and moving to experience what it would feel like to have fins, and learn how fish use their bodies to move in different ways in diverse habitats. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


WONDERS OF THE CALIFORNIA COAST

Daily at 2 pm
Under the waves and beyond the beaches of California lies one of the world’s richest marine communities. Learn why a rockfish rests motionless on the ocean floor, what sea urchins and leopard sharks find delicious, and how these diverse ocean inhabitants are connected to each other—and to us! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


THE LAST REEF

Playing daily; proceed to Forum Theater for entry and show times
Don a pair of 3D glasses and fly across iridescent tropical reefs, brush through a cloud of a thousand jellyfish, visit an alien world where the tiniest creatures support the greatest predators…The Last Reef will take you on a breathtaking journey to these cities beneath the sea, which are as vital to life on Earth as the rainforests. Free with Academy admission. Forum Theater at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Planetarium Show!
COSMIC COLLISIONS

Playing daily (starting September 6); proceed to planetarium entrance upon arrival for passes and show times
Creative and destructive, dynamic and dazzling, collisions are a key mechanism in the evolution of the Universe. Celestial smash-ups have changed the course of life on Earth and are responsible for many things we take for granted—the Sun’s warmth and light, our changing seasons, the tides…Narrated by Robert Redford, this immersive 20-minute show explores the full range of collisions, from subatomic particles to the largest galaxies. Travel to the past, present, and future to witness the creation of our Moon, the meteorite impact that ended the Age of Dinosaurs, and the titanic merging of our galaxy with another billions of years from now. You’ll discover how these explosive encounters have shaped our planet and continue to transform the cosmos. 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!
FRAGILE PLANET

Playing weekdays (through September 5); proceed to planetarium entrance upon arrival for passes and show times
Leave Planet Earth behind as you fly to the farthest reaches of the Universe in this 25-minute show. Zoom through the roof of the Academy’s building, float up through Earth’s atmosphere, and gain an astronaut’s view of your home—the only planet currently known to support life. Then travel to the Moon, Mars, and even beyond the Milky Way to search for habitats that might support extraterrestrial life. 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.

EARTHQUAKE: EVIDENCE OF A RESTLESS PLANET
Shows daily; proceed to planetarium entrance upon arrival for passes and show times
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!
SPEED IN SPACE

Playing weekdays (through September 2, 2013)
Learn about the fastest things in the Universe—human-made or otherwise! From Apollo to asteroids, subatomic particles to light itself, things in space move quicker than we can imagine here on Earth. Come join us and explore the farthest, fastest frontiers 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.


SSSSNAKE ENCOUNTER
Daily at 3:30 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. 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
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.

POLLINATOR POWER
Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 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.

SCIENCE DISCOVERY
Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am

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.

SWAMP DISCOVERY

Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 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.

OUT OF THE LAB
Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 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.

Meet Real Scientists!
CHAT WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST (AGES 10+)
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm

Join us for an interactive interview program where Academy experts and allies give you a glimpse into their work and its role in our mission to explore, explain, and sustain life.
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 2:30 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.

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 Program!
SOLAR SYSTEM WALK

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm
Follow a planetarium presenter on a journey through space and time to explore Earth’s place in the Solar System and how our world has become a cradle for life in this 15-minute walk that meets at the Pendulum and travels across the museum floor. 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 Program!
NATURALIST KNOW-HOW (AGES 8-11, with adult chaperone)

Sundays at 2:00 pm (starting June 30, 2013)
Hone your expertise as a naturalist! A unique skill will be highlighted each month. In September, we will focus on flower and plant pressing as we learn how to preserve fresh specimens just like botanists do! Space is limited; please register in the Naturalist Center a half hour before program begins. 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.


SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT: SPEEDY SPECIES
Saturdays at 2:00 pm
The maneuverability of marine mammals is crucial to how they catch their prey. Discover what makes toothed whales, sea otters and sea lions swiftly swim, twist and turn and learn about what humans have borrowed from their adaptations. 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.

Go Behind-the-Scenes!
BEHIND-THE-SCENES ACADEMY TOUR (AGES 8+)

Available daily at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm
Explore the Academy from an insider's perspective and spend an hour behind the scenes learning more about the institution's 159-year history and how its scientists are tackling critical questions about life on Earth.  Visit the research collections and a working laboratory, get closer to the living roof, and see breathtaking geology specimens in the vault. $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. 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.

Go Behind-the-Scenes!
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.  $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. 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.

Steinhart’s 90th!
A VERY FISHY TALE: STEINHART AQUARIUM CELEBRATES 90 YEARS

September 1 – November 30, 2013 in the Naturalist Center
On September 29, 1923, the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium first opened its doors to the public. Over the past 90 years—and in three different buildings—many animals have swam, slithered, crawled and hopped in its enclosures. Celebrate the highlights and memories throughout its long, successful history with a display featuring historical memorabilia and behind-the-scenes photos. Free with Academy admission. Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. www.calacademy.org.


BUILT FOR SPEED SURFBOARD CONTEST

Now through September 29
Enter now for a chance to win the custom-made Channel Islands "ECOBOARD" surfboard featured in Built for Speed! The Academy has partnered with the Waste to Waves program, a "styrofoam" recycling initiative created by Sustainable Surf to create a unique surfboard from recycled and plant-based materials for the Built for Speed exhibit. Hurry! Both the contest and exhibit close on September 29. Enter here for your chance to win!

 

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN
(September 2013)


LITTLE NATURALISTS (AGES 3-5)

Wednesdays at 9:45 am
These rotating programs for 3 to 5-year-olds are presented in the Naturalist Center.
  • Little Learners' Lab (1st Wednesday of the month)
    Become a scientist-in-training and join us for a fun hands-on experiment.
  • Children of the World (2nd Wednesday of the month)
    A special program highlighting children from around the world through folktales, art, music and movement.
  • Wild & Crafty (3rd Wednesday of the month)
    Get creative and learn about animals during this program that pairs children's literature with a take-home craft.
  • Sprouts (4th Wednesday of the month)
    Explore the plants and animals of nature's gardens through hands-on investigation and activities.
  • I'm a Little Naturalist (5th Wednesday of the month)
    Participate in hands-on activities that allow children to learn and practice the skills of a real naturalist.
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.

 

SATURDAY SAFARI
Saturdays at 11:00 am
September 7 theme: Speedy Spaceships
September 14 theme: Happy Hatch-Day, Claude!
September 21 theme: Fish Tales
September 28 theme: Sea Otter Celebration
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
*Please note: Family Nature Crafts will not be offered on September 29
September 1 theme: Schools are Cool
September 8 theme: Speedy Wooden Fish
September 15 theme: Happy Hatch-Day, Claude!
September 22 theme: Academy Anniversary Picture Frame
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.


PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
(September 2013)


SALUTE TO STEINHART NIGHTLIFE (AGES 21+)

Music by DJ Tanoa
Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm

This week, NightLife travels back in time to the roaring 1920s in honor of Steinhart Aquarium’s 90th anniversary. See how much has changed and what remains timeless after all these years during a talk by Aquarium Director Bart Shepherd and Chair of Aquatic Biology (and former Aquarium Director) John McCosker. Old-timey cocktails and tunes set the mood, and artifacts from the Academy’s archives celebrate a legacy of sharing the world of fish, frogs, and feathered friends with the world. Every Thursday evening, NightLife features music, cocktails, and cutting-edge science for adults ages 21 and up. 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.


A Benjamin Dean lecture

THE CHELYABINSK METEOR: A COSMIC WAKE-UP CALL?
Featuring David Morrison, Senior Scientist at NASA Lunar Science Institute
Monday, September 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm

What would happen if a large sized asteroid or space object collided with the Earth? On February 15, 2013, a rocky projectile entered the Earth’s atmosphere traveling at more than 11 miles per second. It was about 65 feet in diameter, or half the diameter of the famous Tunguska impact of 1908, which flattened a thousand square miles of Siberian forest. Its terminal explosion, at an altitude of 14 miles, released energy of about half a megaton, the equivalent to a couple dozen Hiroshima-sized atom bombs. About two minutes later, the shock wave reached the ground in Chelyabinsk, Russia, breaking windows and injuring about 1,500 people from flying glass. The Chelyabinsk impactor was smaller than most asteroids that have been detected by the telescopes of the NASA Spaceguard Survey, which focuses on finding asteroids of about 100 m or larger. Since it approached the Earth from very near the direction of the Sun, it could not have been seen by any ground-based optical telescope of any size. It therefore struck without warning. Has this event served as a sort of cosmic wake-up call for planetary defense? NASA scientist David Morrison will speak to us about how we survey space to try to determine when Earth will be impacted by a large space object, and what the potential implications could be for life on Earth. 7:30 pm; Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/lectures, or by calling (877) 227-1831. 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.


CONSERVATION OVERNIGHT EXCURSION (AGES 18+):
Mono Lake, Ancient Bristlecone Pines and Bodie (Ghost Town)
Friday, September 13 at 9:00 am - Sunday, September 15 at 9:00 pm

Join photographer and Academy education manager Gary Sharlow and photographer Jennifer Wilson of Calumet Photographic as you explore the Eastern Sierras with an eye on conservation. 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 known around the world. Immerse yourself in the practice of conservation photography in this special field excursion. In three days, you will explore the landscape of the Eastern Sierra in the Mammoth Lakes Regions and gain invaluable insight into how to capture the landscape through your lens. At 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. A conservation photographer’s work begins the moment he or she clicks the shutter. It’s what you do with these images that matters as it takes you into the active role of effecting conservation for the natural world. Tickets are $450 per person, $400 for Academy members. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. Deadline to register is September 1. To reserve a space, visit www.calacademy.org/photography, or call (877) 227-1831.


A Pritzker lecture

THE RACE IS ON: HOW THE NEED FOR SPEED DRIVES EVOLUTION OF FISH, ROBOTS AND SAILBOATS
Featuring Dr. John Long, Director of the Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Lab, Vassar College
Wednesday, September 18 at 7:00 pm

Why go fast? Compared to moving slowly, the advantages seem obvious: find food first, forage more widely, and escape more rapidly! But, in the water, being speedier incurs huge energetic costs, with moving a little bit faster skyrocketing the amount of fuel you need. This trade-off between speed and energy propels the evolutionary race for fish, robots, or sailboats—you have to find ways to go faster with ever-greater efficiency. Over generations, the evolutionary race can produce biological and engineering surprises: distantly related fish and boat hulls that have similar streamlined shapes, materials and construction techniques that manage to both stiffen and lighten bodies and hulls, specialization of propulsive systems, and constraints on making turns and tight maneuvers. While the evolutionary processes employed by nature and engineers are similar, there are important differences in how fish or boats are built. For both kinds of designers, the laws of evolution and physics interact to create and constrain the drive for speed. Dr. Long will discuss how the Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Lab studies fast fish! A book signing will follow the talk for Dr. Long’s latest book entitled Darwin's Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology. 7:00 pm; Purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/lectures, or by calling (877) 227-1831. Seating is limited and tickets are first-come, first-served. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, free for Academy members. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

Eye-Opening Science: Conversation and Controversy
Earth 2.0: Where Is It? Can We Visit? Earth: A Single Point Failure
Featuring Rusty Schweickart, Chair Emeritus of the B612 Foundation and Academy Fellow
Saturday, September 28 from 9:00 – 10:30 am

Is our search for Earth 2.0 and other exoplanets an absolute requirement for humanity’s survival? Are there alternatives to moving out? What can the climate changes we study on other worlds tell us about the potential for husbanding our world successfully? Scientists from NASA will discuss their latest research with Academy Fellows and researchers over coffee and pastries in this lively morning discussion. Tickets are $35 per person ($25 for seniors and Academy members). Series passes are $90 per person ($70 for seniors and Academy members). Tickets do not include Academy admission. To purchase, visit www.calacademy.org/lectures, or call (877) 227-1831.