April 28, 2016
6 pm to midnight

The Gala is the Academy's moment to shine, to bring great minds together in thought-provoking conversation, and to thank friends with one glorious evening. This special evening will celebrate the importance of sustainability and conservation, a topic at the core of the Academy’s mission to explore, explain, and sustain life.

Event Chairs: Susan & Bill Oberndorf and Liebe Patterson
Honorary Chairs: Diana L. Nelson & John C. Atwater, Janice & Matt Barger, Randi & Bob Fisher, and Mary & Jerome Vascellaro
​​Vice Chairs: Jennifer Caldwell & John H.N. Fisher, Kate & Bill Duhamel, and Huifen Chan & Roelof Botha
Corporate Chair: Oliver Jenkyn, Visa Inc.

Event Timeline

6 pm
Cocktail Reception

7 pm
Insightful Conversations

Explore the vital importance of our natural world’s remarkable and dwindling biodiversity with the visionary thinkers who are inspiring and cultivating tomorrow’s scientists and environmental stewards.

8 pm
Seated Dinner

8:30 pm
Big Bang: Party After Dark

Dinner guests merge with Party After Dark revelers to explore the tastes, sounds and creatures of the night. Join us for dancing, dessert, and inspired cocktails all under a spectacular living roof.

Cocktail attire


M. Sanjayan

M. Sanjayan

Dr. M. Sanjayan is a global conservation scientist, writer, and Emmy-nominated news contributor. He co-hosted “Big Blue Live,” a three-part television event produced by PBS and BBC, which showcased marine life on the Pacific Coast and was the first live prime time natural history show on American television. Sanjayan serves as executive vice president and senior scientist at Conservation International, as well as a Clinton Global Initiative Advisor and is on National Geographic Society’s Explorers Council.

Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt

As President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, Wendy Schmidt works to advance the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources. In 2009, she and husband Eric created the Schmidt Ocean Institute to advance ocean exploration, and in 2012, launched the research vessel Falkor. Schmidt is also a founding board member of Climate Central, connecting scientists and journalists to provide accurate, non-advocacy news and analysis on climate change.

Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin

An award-winning journalist covering science and the environment, Andrew Revkin writes the popular New York Times blog, Dot Earth. He has authored acclaimed books on global warming, the changing Arctic, and decline of the Amazon rainforest. A leading science communicator, Revkin has spoken to audiences around the world, including at the United Nations and Vatican, about the role of communication innovation in forging progress on a turbulent planet.

Adam Savage

Adam Savage

As his official MythBusters bio puts it, "Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what's in his brain and make it real." He worked as a special­-effects artist, fabricator, modelmaker and general dreamer-­upper for a decade and a half, working on films such as Galaxy Quest and the Matrix sequels, as well as Episodes I and II of the Star Wars series.

Table and Tickets

Champions (table for ten, $100,000)

  • Premium dinner seating with one featured Big Bang Speaker
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation to join an Academy expedition in 2017

Protectors (table for ten, $50,000)

  • Premium dinner seating with one Academy Innovator
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation to join an Academy expedition in 2017

Guardians (table for ten, $25,000)

  • Preferred dinner seating
  • Preferred seating to an Insightful Conversation
  • Invitation to join an Academy expedition in 2017

Individual Ticket ($5,000 each)

  • Premium dinner seating with one Academy Innovator
  • Premium seats to your preferred Insightful Conversation

Individual Ticket ($2,500 each)

  • Preferred dinner seating and a preferred seat to an Insightful Conversation

All ticket levels include admission to Party After Dark.

Valet parking included for all gala dinner guests.

Reservations will be held at the door.

Value of goods and services for IRS purposes is $300 per seat utilized.

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For additional event information, or to purchase individual tables or tickets by phone, please contact Elizabeth Hundt at (415) 379-5423 or ehundt@calacademy.org.

To learn more about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rebecca Schuett at (415) 379-5409 or rschuett@calacademy.org.

Thanks to our corporate sponsors
PG & E
Carmel Partners
Olympus Capital Asia Environmental Partners
Big Bang Gala logos
Thanks to our in-kind sponsors

Caldwell Vineyard
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Korbel California Champagne
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Tito's Handmade Vodka
Trumer Pils

Party After Dark

Join us for San Francisco’s biggest party of the year on April 28, 2016!