Donor tidepooling excursion at Pillar Point

Throughout the year, Academy supporters are invited to a suite of exciting, exclusive, curated events, from scientist-led field expeditions to exhibit and planetarium show premieres, guest lectures, and more. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Academy soon!

For more information or to RSVP to these or other events, please contact us at or 415-379-5420. Please note that all events are subject to change.

Past Donor Events and Recordings

California State of Nature illustration

Donor Exhibit Premiere and Reception:
California: State of Nature
Wednesday, May 22 | 6 pm - 8 pm

Academy supporters and partners enjoyed a special premiere of our newest exhibit highlighting the surprising connections between people, places, and species that make our state thrive. The special reception featured a menu curated by Cafe Ohlone, Indigenous welcome by the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, and opening remarks by Executive Director, Scott D. Sampson, PhD.

Plus, a mesmerizing musical piece, Big Sur: The Night Sun by Emmy-Award winning composer, John Wineglass was performed by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Indigenous performers Jayson Fann, Marcie Chapa, Emiliano Campobello, and Kanyon Sayers-Rood. 

Director’s and Leadership Circle families also joined us before the donor premiere for a special Junior Expedition capturing observations through nature journaling and exploring the soil just outside the doors!

Pomo basket

Lilienthal Lecture & Donor Reception:
Two-Eyed Seeing: Integrating Indigenous and Western Science to Heal the World

Enjoy a lecture by Dr. Shannon Tushingham as she discusses historical ecology, the importance of "two-eyed seeing," and current efforts to integrate Native and Western science approaches to transform conservation research and restore healthy ecocultural systems.

Great Barrier Reef

Virtual Event: Resilience & Regeneration
In partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Join us for a conversation with Dr. Luiz Rocha, the Academy’s Curator and Follett Chair of Ichthyology and Hope for Reefs Co-Director, and Dr. Cédric Robillot, Executive Director for the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, as they discuss the findings of a deep reef monitoring dive off the Australian coast during a projected coral bleaching. Hear about the landmark dive and solutions for regenerating the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs globally.
Watch the recording here

Chen Brain and Mind lecture

Our Minds on VR
Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to blur the line between reality and illusion, granting us access to otherwise inaccessible experiences. Dr. Jeremy Bailenson explores the strengths and pitfalls of VR and how it can transcend entertainment and escapism and perhaps deepen empathy and change people’s attitudes toward environmental and social issues.

Thanks to the generosity of the Chen Institute, the Academy is thrilled to offer the Chen Institute Brain & Mind Lecture series, an annual event exclusively for members and donors that explores brain science and mind health in our rapidly changing world. Watch recordings of past lectures here.

Peter Roopnarine with Smilodon saber-toothed tiger specimen

Lilienthal Lecture & Donor Reception
Fossils, Ecosystems, and Ecological Regeneration:

Explaining the Past, Predicting the Future

Dr. Peter Roopnarine, the Academy’s Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, discusses his research studying the rise and fall of ancient ecosystems to understand how ecosystems today may respond to current human-driven crises, such as biodiversity loss and climate change. This lecture is part of the Claire Matzger Lilienthal Distinguished Lecture Series.
Watch the recording here.

Legacy of Hope

Legacy of Hope
In partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Academy offers a special program for our Eastwood Associates to hear directly from our esteemed experts. View our past virtual programs here:

Image of reefs with text "Legacy Symposium Hope for Reefs."


Senior Director of Steinhart Aquarium, Bart Shepherd, dives into Phase II of the Academy’s Hope for Reefs initiative, where the team is creating powerful pathways—biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement—to reverse the rapid decline of Earth’s reefs in this generation. Opening remarks by Scott Sampson, PhD, Executive Director and William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair, California Academy of Sciences. 
Click here to watch the recording.

Image of wildflowers with copy, "Eastwood Associates Symposium: Thriving California."

Eastwood Associates Symposium: Thriving California

The Academy’s Sarah Jacobs, Assistant Curator of Botany and the Howell Chair of Western North American Botany, digs a bit deeper into our Thriving California initiative.

Check out the recording here