Posts Tagged ‘academy’

Our California Academy of Sciences Goes Double Platinum – Largest Such LEED-Certified Building in the World

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The California Academy of Sciences just got another award – deets below.

Per Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy:

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago. However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage—one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.” 

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That’s right, baby – double platinum:

All the deets:

THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES RECEIVES SECOND LEED PLATINUM RATING FROM U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL

Awarded for its sustainable operations and maintenance, the Academy is now the world’s largest “Double Platinum” building

SAN FRANCISCO – On September 27, 2008, the California Academy of Sciences unveiled the world’s greenest museum—an eco-friendly new home featuring a hilly living roof, recycled denim insulation, and many other green innovations. Three years and more than five million visitors later, the museum celebrates another symbolic color: platinum. Today, the U.S. Green Building Council presented the Academy with its second LEED Platinum award, making the California Academy of Sciences the world’s first “Double Platinum” museum and the world’s largest Double Platinum building. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Academy building houses an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and world-class research and education programs under one living roof, standing as an embodiment of its 158-year-old mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the Academy for its commitment to high levels of environmental performance, and for setting the example as a leader in the San Francisco green building community and around the world,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. “Their Double Platinum rating is truly a remarkable achievement for our City.”

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based standard for evaluating high-performance, sustainable buildings. By earning points across a variety of sustainability categories, buildings can earn a basic certification, Silver, Gold, or Platinum rating. In October 2008, the Academy received its first LEED Platinum rating under the “New Construction” category, which focused on the building’s design and construction process. In August 2011, the Academy received its second LEED Platinum rating under the “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance” category, which certifies that its day-to-day operations and business practices also meet the highest standards of sustainability.

The Academy’s operations and maintenance practices were evaluated and earned points across six different categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Based on a wide range of green practices and performance metrics, including transportation, purchasing decisions, and waste disposal, it was awarded a total of 82 points, exceeding the threshold for a Platinum certification (80 points).

Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s preeminent natural history museums and is an international leader in scientific research about the natural world. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the Academy’s original home in Golden Gate Park, but also provided a silver lining: the opportunity to reinvent the facility from the ground up. After nearly a decade of planning and the largest cultural fundraising effort in San Francisco history, the new Academy opened to the public in 2008. This major new initiative built on the Academy’s distinguished history and deepened its commitment to advancing scientific literacy, engaging the public, and documenting and conserving Earth’s natural resources.

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago,” said Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy. “However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage—one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.”

Ever more deets, after the jump.

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The Expectant Albino Alligators of Our California Academy of Sciences – Claude Knows Where His Next Meal Is

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Alligators have cat-like eyes? Did not know that. No sir, did not know that.

Claude waiting for ever more fish parts from above – as seen at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park:

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All the deets

 

Chocolate-Themed CalAcademy NightLife! Carolers, Indoor Snow Flurries, Chocolate Martinis, and Reindeer on Dec. 16th

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Our California Academy of Sciences will go all out with its choco-themed NightLife starting at 6:00 PM on Thursday, December 16th, 2010.

Truly, it will be the Land of Chocolate, if only for one night. All the deets below.

Und, leave us not forget Indie Mart Nightlife on December 9th:

“NightLife and Indie-Mart are teaming up for a Holiday DIY & designer show extravaganza, featuring the best in San Francisco’s local fashion designers, makers, crafts, artists, live screenprinting.  Workshop SF will be providing free fun things to make & demos on how to screenprint, stencil & more.  Come out and buy some truly unique gifts for your friends and love ones while supporting local small businesses and artists.  This week NightLife also features the return of our live music series, with sets by AB and the Sea and Boy in the Bubble.  Life/Style DJs Ts and Roll will provide music on the main floor. Buy Tickets to NightLife on December 9th

Chocolate takes center stage at the California Academy of Sciences during NightLife on December 16th

The event will feature chocolate tastings, fun facts, and a cooking demonstration on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 6-10 pm

WHAT: In the spirit of holiday decadence, NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences celebrates chocolate on December 16, with tastings, chocolate experts, and even a truffle and ganache cooking demonstration.   Attendees will be able to sample the wares of chocolatiers from around the globe, and discover the nuances and variations in chocolate’s aroma, texture, flavor and finish.  Acapella carolers, indoor snow flurries, chocolate martinis, and live reindeer will complete the festive atmosphere. NightLife is a weekly event which gives adults the chance to explore the Academy in a whole new light, with music, cocktails, and special programs. Tickets available at www.calacademy.org/events/nightlife/.

WHO:

Madecasse: A tour of the chocolate of Madagascar, with a guided chocolate tasting

LaBonne Cuisine: Truffle and ganache cooking demonstration with Christophe Kubiak

TCHO: Tastings (6:30-9:30 pm)

The Tea Room: Tastings (6:30-9:30 pm)

Divine Chocolate: Tastings (6:30-9:30 pm)

On a Rainbow Acappella Group: performing holiday carols at 7:30pm & 8:30pm

WHEN: 6-10pm on Thursday, December 16, 2010

WHERE: California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

WHY: Who doesn’t love chocolate!? Whether you’re a connoisseur or a novice choco-holic, this is your chance to satisfy those cravings, and fine-tune your palate at the same time.

At Our CalAcademy:”A Taste of NightLife” a Huge Success Last Night – Science of Surfing and Indie Mart Coming in December

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Here’s your sked for NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences:

11/25 – No NightLife due to Thanksgiving

12/2 – “Surf’s Up NightLife” – The Science, Art and Culture of Surfing

12/9 – “Indie-Mart NightLife” – An Indie-mart trunk show, plus live music from A B and the Sea and Boy in the Bubble

And here’s what it was like last night.

It’s like walking into the future, or something:

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And, as always, Scientists on Duty, presented for your inspection:

Now, it was food night last night, so you needed to get there early to get the necessary show pass to see what you want to see. Here’s just a part of it:

Food Demonstrations
NightLife, KQED and a variety of expert organizations have a treat for all of you foodies this week: food demonstrations that with stimulate both your taste buds and your mind.  A select few attendees of each talk will get to sample the outcome.  Topics include:

The Science of Taste – Presented by Bill Briwa, Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America and 18 Reasons, including Flavor Bar and Miracle Fruit demonstrations

The Science of Chocolate – Presented by Tcho andMadecasse

Beer and other Sundry topics – Presented by Roadtrip Nation
Including clips from their popular series.

And there was some big tasting having to do with taste buds and whatnot – we got there a bit late so I don’t know what that was like.

But there’s always something else going on at NightLife.

See you there (after Thanksgiving)!

24th Annual SPCA Macy’s Holiday Windows Pet Display Starts November 19th – Volunteers Still Wanted

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Macy’s Holiday Windows will fire up once again in Union Square come November 19th, 2010.

Volunteer, won’t you?

“The SF SPCA is also seeking volunteers to interact with jolly holiday shoppers and the many visitors to the Windows. Volunteers representing the SF SPCA answer questions about the animals and collect donations in front of the Windows on Stockton and O’Farrell streets. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to sign up online at www.sfspca.org/support/volunteer.”

And the old-school displays are based upon the Yes, Virginia animated movie? Apparently.

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All the deets:

The San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Team Up for 24th Annual Macy’s Holiday Windows Pet Adoption Campaign

The San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Unveil Adoptable Pets on Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. in Annual Union Square Event to Help Homeless Cats and Dogs Find Loving New Homes

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 11, 2010  — The San Francisco SPCA is teaming up with Macy’s for the 24th annual Macy’s Holiday Windows featuring adoptable animals from the SF SPCA. The Windows will be unveiled on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010 and last through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011. Shoppers and pet-lovers alike are encouraged to visit and adopt some of San Francisco’s cutest cats and dogs from the Windows located at Stockton and O’Farrell streets in Union Square. The SF SPCA has a goal of 320 adoptions by Jan. 2, 2011.

KNTV’s (NBC, Bay Area) Emmy Award winning meteorologist Craig Herrera joins the festivities again this year and will host the unveiling ceremony at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19 with students from San Francisco’s De Marillac Academy.

“The Macy’s Holiday Windows featuring adoptable animals from the SF SPCA has become synonymous with the holidays among San Franciscans and has been an enormous boon to our efforts to bring comfort to the many adorable animals we care for through donations and adoptions,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA interim co-president. “Through this wonderful partnership with Macy’s, I hope we inspire visitors to open their hearts and their homes to these precious cats and dogs.”

Ever more deets, after the jump

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The SF Flex Academy, a Quasi-Online Public Charter School, Opens – It’s “Bricks and Clicks”

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

If you don’t like the public high school your kids are assigned to, is it too late to get them signed up for the brand-new San Francisco Flex Academy? I don’t know.

In fact, there’s a lot I don’t know about San Francisco’s newest public charter school, the one at 555 Post, the one that’s “expecting to” start classes on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. Appears as if you send your kids to Union Square five days a week and then they’ll get learning from a mix of real live teachers and online instruction. It’s called “bricks and clicks,” baby, and it’s ably explained right here.

(And you parents Down South won’t be left out – Flex Academy Silicon Valley is coming online in in San Joser next year.)

All the deets:

San Francisco Flex Academy to Open Downtown This Fall. New Public Charter School Now Accepting Enrollments for Students in Grades 9-12

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23  — San Francisco Flex Academy  (SF FLEX),  an exciting new public charter high school and one of the state’s first full-time “hybrid” schools, will open this fall in downtown San Francisco.  SF Flex is currently accepting enrollments for students in grades 9-12 and is expecting to start classes on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.

The school is conveniently located in downtown San Francisco at 555 Post Street, easily accessible by MUNI and BART.

The school will offer both onsite classroom instruction with highly qualified, credentialed teachers and state-of-the-art online learning provided by K12 Inc., America’s largest provider of online school programs for students in kindergarten through high school. There is no tuition to attend this public charter school.

The school:

So far, they’d been advertising with stuff like this at Alice 97.3 FM and a poster campaign – I saw something on a light pole at McAllister and Van Ness a couple months back.

Anyway, all the deets, after the jump

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“Pierre the Penguin: A True Story” Launches at CalAcademy – The Best Book Reading Ever

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Wetsuits and and live animals – that’s what all book readings should have. And that’s the way it was this morning at our California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park when the new book Pierre the Penguin: A True Story made its debut.

And the reviews are in.

The bird himself, back when he needed a jacket:

After a thumbs up from the kids…

..it was time for a penguin feeding:

And there he is, famous Pierre, in the middle. His feathers growed back…

…so he no longer has a need for his wetsuit:

Here are the deets:

“When Pierre – an elderly penguin at the California Academy of Sciences – begins to go bald, the staff is worried. Without his feathers, Pierre is too cold to swim. He also looks different from the rest of the colony, so the other penguins begin to pick on him. Academy biologists try every treatment in the books to prompt new feather growth, but none of the traditional strategies work. Finally, aquatic biologist Pam Schaller has an idea: why not fit the shivering bird with a neoprene wetsuit to keep him warm? She designs a tiny wetsuit especially for Pierre, but will it work? Told in rhyme by noted I SPY author Jean Marzollo, and paired with gorgeous paintings from acclaimed wildlife artist Laura Regan, this inspirational true story comes to life.”

This tome will be on sale at the CalAcademy.

Your next chance to get in on the fun will be at one of the upcoming Penguins and Pajamas.

Penguins and Pajamas – Stay Overnight With Your Kid at the California Academy of Sciences!

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Oh it’s on! Grab a slot on one of these upcoming Friday nights, June 18, July 16, or August 13, 2010, and then head over to our fantastic California Academy of Sciences with your kid for an overnighter.

It’s a Night at the Museum, baby! Check it:

“Participants can take in the evening songs of the rainforest birds, sing “twinkle twinkle” to a sea star at the Discovery Tidepool, and watch the fish cruise under the moonlight in the Philippine Coral Reef tank. Then, guests can catch a special penguin talk, and become stargazing gurus during an after-hours planetarium show.

“Before bedtime, sleepover guests can grab a snack of cookies and milk and settle in for story time, featuring “Pierre the Penguin,” the true story of the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin. When the lights go out, participants can unroll their sleeping bags in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, it’s time to rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for breakfast before the sleepover event ends at 8:30 am.”

If you’re an Academy Member, then all this is just $99 per kid aged six and up.

Be sure to take along your pigiami del pinguino, you know, something like this:

via amanky

This is going to be mega. All the deets:

“PENGUINS AND PAJAMAS” SLEEPOVER PROGRAM AT THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES LAUNCHES IN JUNE

Tickets for new summer sleepover events go on sale at www.calacademy.org May 1st

SAN FRANCISCO (April 15, 2010) — Why count sheep when you could count geckos, butterflies, sharks, and penguins? Starting this summer, kids can camp out for a night at the California Academy of Sciences—and see the museum in a whole new light. The “Penguins and Pajamas” sleepover program, for children ages 6 and over and their adult chaperones, will launch with three summer events on Friday, June 18, July 16, and August 13. Tickets will be available at www.calacademy.org beginning on May 1.

Doors will open at 6:30 pm, when sleepover guests are invited to come in and explore the Academy after it’s closed to the public. Participants can take in the evening songs of the rainforest birds, sing “twinkle twinkle” to a sea star at the Discovery Tidepool, and watch the fish cruise under the moonlight in the Philippine Coral Reef tank. Then, guests can catch a special penguin talk, and become stargazing gurus during an after-hours planetarium show.

Before bedtime, sleepover guests can grab a snack of cookies and milk and settle in for story time, featuring “Pierre the Penguin,” the true story of the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin. When the lights go out, participants can unroll their sleeping bags in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, it’s time to rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for breakfast before the sleepover event ends at 8:30 am.

The “Penguins and Pajamas” Academy sleepover package includes overnight parking in the Music Concourse parking garage as well as next-day museum admission, breakfast, snacks, and a special commemorative gift. Dinner is available for purchase at the Academy Café or the Moss Room.

What: “Penguins and Pajamas” sleepover program

Who: Open to children ages 6 and over; an adult chaperone must accompany every group of up to five children.

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, 94118

When: 6:30pm – 8:30am on Friday, June 18, July 16, and August 13

Tickets: $119 ($99 for Academy members), tickets available starting May 1, 2010 at www.calacademy.org.

Extreme Mammals, a Major Exhibit, Opens April 3rd at the California Academy of Sciences

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

The Cal Academy, our California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, has a new exhibit opening Saturday, April 3 – it’s called Extreme Mammals: the Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time and it’ll run all the way through September 12, 2010.

Don Sanchez has all the deets – take the tour. See? There’s lots of stuff to look at.

And here’s a live one on display – this little treeshrew loves to screech and jump around, that’s all it did when I was there. Is it a dead ringer for Scrat from the Ice Age series? Through the glass with the tail on the right side:

A lot of the critters portrayed are no longer with us. Like this Ambulocetus, a sacrilegious, walking half-whale:

And of course, a huge diorama:

That’s the show, but I also got a chance to check out the climate-controlled catacombs of the Cal Academy today – here’s Research Associate Dr. Galen Rathbun showing off his collection of elephant shrews. He’ll soon be trekking to Africa for more research:

Your kids will love Extreme Mammals.

And for you non-kids out there aged 21 and up, I’ll remind you that popular NightLife picks up steam this month. They’re going to get extreme ‘n stuff, starting tonight. And don’t miss out on the real live cheetah they’ll have on Arpil 15. Check it: 

“NightLife gets “Extreme” during April (Ages 21+) Thursdays from 6:00 to 10:00 pm
In April, NightLife gets “extreme” in celebration of the opening of Extreme Mammals. Highlights include a Yuri’s Night party with extreme robots (4/8); a celebration of our extreme home, Earth – the only planet known to support life (Earth Day, 4/22); and tales about white sharks, of one of the ocean’s most extreme predators (4/29).  Every Thursday night, the Academy opens its doors from 6-10 pm for NightLife, a chance for adults ages 21+ to explore the museum in a whole new light, with DJs, bars, and provocative science programming.  A valid ID is required for entry.  Admission is $12 per person ($10 Academy members). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.  (415) 379-8000.
www.calacademy.org/nightlife.

4-1 – “Extremely Jurassic” with Paleontologist Scott Sampson and Miles the DJ
4-8 – “Extremely Cosmic” – Yuri’s Night, Extreme Robots, and the SpaceCowboys
4-15 – “Extremely Warm-Blooded” – All about mammals including a big cat show, with music by Aaron Pope
4-22 – “Extremely Green” – An Earth Day celebration with green games, interactive displays and DJ Michael Anthony

All the deets of the new mammals exhibit after the jump.

See you there!

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Our California Academy of Sciences Says Recession, What Recession

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Not literally or anything, but it appeared to be packed this past weekend. And I asked them, I says, “Is this a free day or something?” And they’re all like, no, it’s just a regular old three-day weekend, just business as usual.

Now, I’ve heard all the complaints. Let’s deal with them, below.

Become a member or get your tickets online ahead of time, and then you avoid this line around the building.

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“The CalAcademy is too small.”

All right, I’ll tell you I was never in there at the old building – I understand it had cool stuff that you miss. But some people, especially the NIMBY neighbors in the nearby Inner Sunset area, think the new building is too big, too popular. The Academy couldn’t continue with the old building due to earthquake concerns – what was considered a safe enough building before in the last century is no longer considered safe enough now. Sorry. (Damn you, San Andreas Fault, damn you.)

 “The CalAcademy is too crowded.”

So they must be doing something right, right? What you’re saying, in a way, is that the CalAcademy is too cheap.

 “The CalAcademy is too crowded with kids.”

Yep, especially when those school buses roll up. Oh well. The Academy has a mission of public education, does it not? That’s for the benefit of California’s kids. Does that directly benefit you today right now? Maybe not. Sorry.

 “The CalAcademy is too expensive.”

Well, this ties in with the first complaint. How can it too expensive if it’s packed all the time? You know how much the Monterey Bay Aquarium is these days? $30. If you live in San Francisco, you’re entitled to something like 20 days of free admission per year plus a free NightLife entry on your birfday (assuming the stars align and they’re having a NightLife around the time of your birthday.)

“Them free days, they’re even more crowded.”

Well, yeah. Get there early, why don’t you? (Or get there late in the day, when there’s less of a line (tho your chances of getting into the Planetarium and/or rainforest dome will be lower). The Bernard Osher Foundation Third Wednesday of the Month Free program is open to all, so of course it gets crowded those days. But the zip-code based free days are less crowded, so San Franciscans, including you born-and-raised-San Franciscans, you old goats, get six of those not-so-crowded days a year.

“The food’s too expensive.”

Check out the nearby Inner Sunset area for food if you want. It’s walkable. Get yourselves a perfectly cromulent  fat burrito at Gordo’s at 1239 9th Avenue near Lincoln. Get it to-go and have an outdoor picnic.

“The rainforest was closed when I was there.”

Yep, sometimes. Life’s like that. They don’t keep this kind of info a big secret, however.

“There’s no place to park.”

Maybe – that’s by design, in a way. Actually, you’re lucky to have that underground parking garage whether you use it or not, so count your blessings. Whatever you do, don’t drive into Golden Gate Park, big mistake on busier days. Think Fulton, think Lincoln, think about spending ten minutes walking through the park to get the CalAcademy. That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. And on Sundays, all parking is free in the surrounding Inner Sunset and Inner Richmond areas – it’s totally wide open. Might not be as easy to park as you’re used to, but you can deal. And there’s plenty of bike parking since they added in a bunch of new spaces.

Here’s the thing – you gotta work the system, baby. Plan ahead, try to figure out when the place has fewer patrons, check the schedule,  make a beeline to the Planetarium to get your free show passes as soon as you get in, monitor the rainforest line to see when it’s shorter.

So, if you’re unhappy customer, you gotta think:

1. Maybe your expectations were too high because you didn’t plan ahead (which isn’t the CalAcademy’s fault), or;

2. Maybe the CalAcademy isn’t for you (which isn’t the CalAcademy’s fault)

And all you NIMBY neighbors, please realize that the CalAcademy was here even before you.

Let’s thank Gaia we’re not saddled with some big hulking wreck that nobody wants to go to.

See you there!