Individuals and families who give over $10,000 to the California Academy of Sciences enjoy special programming exclusive to members of the Platinum Circle. Some of the most popular events are the bi-annual “Local Expeditions,” where donors and Academy scientists visit areas of ecological importance near the Bay Area to learn about what makes them so fascinating and irreplaceable.
On Saturday, November 7, members of the Academy’s Platinum Circle joined Academy entomologists for a Local Expedition to view thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies in Santa Cruz. Natural Bridges State Park, with its mild seaside climate and sheltered eucalyptus grove, provides a temporary home for these precious insects, who have traveled from as far as the Rocky Mountains to be there.
Guests learned about the global threats facing Monarch butterflies and other insects, which point to dramatic changes in land use and the economics of our country. They also learned how to use the Academy’s smartphone app, iNaturalist, which helps track large-scale changes in natural environments.
Lunch was served on picnic tables overlooking the ocean.
(Photo: Academy Senior Research Fellow Durrell Kapan gets close to the butterflies.)