Thank you to all of our supporters for joining us. Your generous contributions helped us reach our $400,000 fundraising goal!

In response to the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines from local and state public health authorities, the California Academy of Sciences is temporarily closed and this year’s Big Bang Gala on April 23 has moved to an online format.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause, but the well-being of our Academy community will remain our most important priority during this uncertain time. We look forward to sharing the insights and ideas of our esteemed speakers and special programming with you virtually—please join us!

A huge thank you to the Big Bang Gala host committee, supporters, corporate sponsors, ticket purchasers, and event partners for your vital support of the Academy during this critical time.

Rewilding: A Thriving Future for People and Nature

Thursday, April 23, 2020
7–8:30 pm

Event Co-Chairs: Ron Zeff and Kendal Friedman
Corporate Chair: John C. Adams, Wells Fargo Bank

  • Hear expert insights from Scott Sampson, PhD, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences, who will talk about "The Rewilding Revolution" and why it's so relevant and important to our planet’s future, and Nicole Ardoin, PhD and Rue Mapp, who will discuss "The Transformative Power of Connecting Humans with the Natural World."
  • Share your own thoughts about and experiences with nature and interact with our speakers via live chat, Q & A, and polling features.
  • Learn the latest about what’s happening at the Academy, including how we’re taking care of our animals during the museum closure.
  • Help us name one of our animals!
  • Get creative with fun household items and dress up as your favorite animal(s) and snap a picture. Share via social media with the hashtag #bigbangliveonline and look for your snapshot during our live programming. All featured photos will receive a signed copy of Dr. Scott's book, How to Raise a Wild Child.
  • And discover ways you can support us during this critical time.

Need help or more information? Contact us at events@calacademy.org or call (415) 379-5415 for any issues logging in during the broadcast.


Inspiring Conversation: The Rewilding Revolution

Portrait of the Academy's Executive Director, Scott D. Sampson, PhD

Scott D. Sampson, PhD, Executive Director and William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair of the Academy, is a paleontologist, science communicator, and passionate advocate for connecting people with nature. He has authored multiple books but is perhaps best known as “Dr. Scott” of the Emmy-nominated series Dinosaur Train.


Inspiring Conversation: The Transformative Power of Connecting Humans with the Natural World

Portrait of Rue Mapp

Rue Mapp is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, the nation's leading nonprofit organization and network that celebrates and inspires African-American connections and leadership in nature. Outdoor Afro's work has been championed by Oprah Winfrey, the Obama administration, Governor Gavin Newsom, and the National Wildlife Federation. In 2014, Mapp was appointed to the California State Parks Commission by Former Governor Jerry Brown and was named a National Geographic Fellow in 2019.

Nicole Ardoin, PhD

Nicole Ardoin, PhD, is the Sykes Family Director of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program on Environment and Resources at Stanford University. Professor Ardoin researches the influence of place-based connections and environmental learning on individual and collective behaviors. As founder of the Social Ecology Lab, she and her team of social science scholars collaborate with community organizations to address pressing sustainability questions.

  • Sponsor logos for Big Bang: Live Online

The California Academy of Sciences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution (EIN 94-1156258). Thank you for supporting our work with your ticket purchase. Your generous support will be considered an unrestricted contribution to the California Academy of Sciences.


For more information, please contact:
Nicha Leaser, Associate Director, Donor Events
(415) 379-5423