Catching Up With the Calfornia Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

Things are picking up at the California Academy of Sciences for 2009, to say the least. Sign up for the monthly eNews if you’d like. (They didn’t sell my email address to Ukranian spammers, so that’s a good thing.)

So what do we have this month – the fairly inexpensive every-Thursday Nightlife program (for those 21 and older); Evolve 2009 – the citywide celebration of evolution in honor of Charles Darwin’s bicentennial; a conversation with Paul Ehrlich (President of Stanfoo’s Center for Conservation Biology) on March 30 at the Herbst Theatre; and iconic images from the Hubble Telescope.

Spot the elusive Paradise Tanagerin the Rainforests of the World Dome / exhibit and then quickly make a wish. (Sadly, the pleasuredome is closed for maintenance this week.) Anyway, the tanager(s) the CAS has look(s) just like this one. Click to expand:

via Alumroot

And of course, the CAS is Web 2.0 ready, with the requisite number of blogs, Facebook friends, YouTube channels, Twittertweetings, Yelp reviews (including food), and Flickr Group Photostreams.

See you there! 

NightLife Continues Every Thursday
NightLife got off to a rockin’ start last month with thousands of visitors enjoying music, provocative science, mingling, and cocktails at the Academy after-hours. The March 5 NightLife will feature DJ Malarkey and a sneak preview of clips from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. NightLife takes place every Thursday from 6:00 – 10:00 pm and is for adults 21 and older; a valid ID is required for entry. Tickets cost $10.
Purchase tickets.

Evolve 2009
Evolve 2009 – the citywide celebration of evolution in honor of Charles Darwin’s bicentennial – continues in March with lectures and book discussions. On March 10, the Academy’s adult book group debuts with a focus on The Voyage of the Beagle. On March 21, teens can discuss the book Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature. And on March 24, Kevin Padian of UC Berkeley will share his personal experience during Kitzmiller v. Dover, the 2005 trial about intelligent design.
See the complete schedule of Evolve 2009 events.

Iconic Images from the Hubble Telescope
As part of the Benjamin Dean lecture series in astronomy, Sandra Faber of UC Santa Cruz will give a tour of the Universe with the most beautiful and notable images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Lecture takes place on Monday, March 16 at 7:30 pm. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 seniors.
Visit the Events + Lectures page for details.

Conversations at the Herbst Theatre
The 2009 Herbst series resumes on Monday, March 30 with Paul Ehrlich, President of Stanford’s Center for Conservation Biology, in conversation with Academy scientist Healy Hamilton. Takes place at 8:00 pm at the Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Tickets cost $20.
Visit www.cityboxoffice.com to purchase tickets.

Science Briefs
Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin
Academy scientist Dave Kavanaugh has been studying beetles for more than 40 years. His knowledge of the mountain-dwelling Nebria beetles is so extensive that he even predicted the existence of a new species in California’s Trinity Alps. Did his prediction come true? A new 30-minute episode of KQED’s QUEST series follows Kavanaugh on his journey of discovery, and explores how his work and that of other evolutionary biologists continue the legacy of Charles Darwin today.
Click here to watch the QUEST episode.

Google Earth 5.0 Debuts at Academy
Last month, former Vice President Al Gore, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and others launched “Google Earth 5.0” at the Academy. This new version allows users to dive virtually underwater to see trenches, ridges, and other submerged features. In conjunction with the launch, Academy educators debuted a Google-based quiz on marine habitats, and Academy scientists unveiled an interactive map of the Philippine coral reefs that draws upon 17 years of research.
Notes
Rainforest Dome Closed March 2-8
Note to those planning to visit the Academy in early March: the Rainforests of the World exhibit will be closed for scheduled maintenance from Monday, March 2 through Sunday, March 8. The Academy apologizes for any inconvenience, and recommends that visitors explore the many other exhibits and programs the Academy has to offer during that week.

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