|Location|| Golden Gate Park |
San Francisco, California, United States
|Accreditation|| AAM |
|Visitors||1.34 million (2016)|
|Director||Scott D. Sampson (2020)|
|Employees||504 (May 2020)|
The California Academy of Sciences is a research institute and natural history museum in San Francisco, California, that is among the largest museums of natural history in the world, housing over 46 million specimens.The Academy began in 1853 as a learned society and still carries out a large amount of original research. The institution is located at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Completely rebuilt in 2008, the Academy's primary building in Golden Gate Park covers 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2). In early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Academy of Sciences had around 500 employees and an annual revenue of about $33 million.
The California Academy of Sciences, California's oldest operating museum and research institution for the natural sciences, is governed by a forty-one member Board of Trusteeswho are nominated and chosen by the California Academy of Sciences Fellows. The Academy Fellows are, in turn, "[n]ominated by their colleagues and appointed by the Board of Trustees...the Fellows remain members of the Fellowship for life." The Board of Trustees are then responsible for appointing the executive management of the Academy, who in turn are responsible for overseeing the Academy's overall operation and the hiring of its other managers and employees.
Besides its function as source of public science education through its museum, the California Academy of Sciences also operates the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS) [ citation needed ]as its research arm, conducting research in the fields of taxonomy, phylogenetics, and biodiversity studies. Although one aspect of the IBSS is available for view by museum patrons at the science "project lab" exhibit, most of the research happens in laboratories and facilities "behind the scenes" and not observable by the public. In fact, unbeknownst to most patrons, research and administrative facilities occupy nearly 50% of the Academy's physical structure.
The main thrust of the exhibits is natural history. The venues of the museum include the following:
Besides its museum programs, the California Academy of Sciences offers many educational and community outreach programsto members of the public at large.
Academy scientists, under the Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability,conduct systematic and conservation research in several different fields, including anthropology, marine biology, botany, entomology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, mammalogy, ornithology, geology, and paleontology. There also is a strong emphasis on environmental concerns, with all the various departments collaborating closely to focus on systematic biology and biodiversity. Academy researchers study life around the world: a 2011 expedition to the Philippines discovered an estimated 300 species new to science. The Academy publishes the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences , as well as Occasional Papers, Memoirs, and Special Publications.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(May 2012)
The California Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1853, only three years after California joined the United States, becoming the first society of its kind in the Western US. Its stated aim was to undertake "a thorough systematic survey of every portion of the State and the collection of a cabinet of her rare and rich productions."[ citation needed ] It was renamed as the more inclusive California Academy of Sciences in 1868.
The Academy had a forward-thinking view towards women in science, passing a resolution in its first year of existence that the members "highly approve of the aid of females in every department of natural science, and invite their cooperation."[ citation needed ] This policy led to several women being hired into professional positions as botanists, entomologists, and other occupations during the 19th century, when opportunities for women in the sciences were limited, and often, those that existed were restricted to menial cataloging and calculation work. In 1892, Alice Eastwood, a botanist, was hired by the Academy and worked there until she retired in 1949. She created the collection of rare plants, which was saved when the Academy was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
The Academy's first official museum opened in 1874 at the corner of California and Dupont Streets (now Grant Avenue) in what is now Chinatown, and drew up to 80,000 visitors a year.[ citation needed ] To accommodate its increasing popularity, the Academy moved to a new and larger building on Market Street in 1891, funded by the legacy of James Lick, a 19th-century San Francisco real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.[ citation needed ]
However, only fifteen years later, the Market Street facility fell victim to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and three days of fire, which also wiped out all but a wheelbarrow full of the Academy's library and specimen collections.[ citation needed ] In the widespread destruction occurring in the aftermath of the quake, Academy curators and staffers only were able to retrieve a single cart of materials, including Academy minute books, membership records, and 2,000 type specimens.[ citation needed ] The 1905-1906 scientific collecting expedition to the Galápagos Islands (the first of several sponsored by the academy to the archipelago) already was underway, and it returned seven months later, providing replacement collections for those lost.
In 1916, the Academy moved to the North American Hall of Birds and Mammals in Golden Gate Park, the first building on the site that was to become its permanent home.[ citation needed ] In 1923, the Steinhart Aquarium was added, followed in 1934 by the Simson African Hall.[ citation needed ]
During World War II, the Academy contributed to the American war effort by using its workshop facilities to repair optical and navigational equipment for United States Navy ships; San Francisco was a major port for the Pacific War arena.
The post-war years saw a flurry of new construction on the site; the Science Hall was added in 1951, followed by the Morrison Planetarium in 1952. The Morrison Planetarium was the seventh major planetarium to open in the United States and featured a one-of-a-kind star projector, built by Academy staff members (in part using the expertise gained doing the optical work for the US Navy during World War II). The Academy Projector projected irregularly shaped stars, rather than the circular stars projected by many optical star projectors. The irregular shapes were created by placing variously sized grains of silicon carbide onto the glass star plates by hand, then aluminizing the plates, and brushing away the silicon carbide grains.[ citation needed ]
In 1959, the Malliard Library, Eastwood Hall of Botany, and Livermore Room all were added. Throughout the 1960s, universities concentrating on the new field of molecular biology divested themselves of their traditional specimen collections, entrusting them to the Academy and leading to a rapid growth of the Academy's holdings.
In 1969, another new building, Cowell Hall, was added to the site. In 1976, several new galleries were opened, and the following year, in 1977, the "fish roundabout" was constructed.[ citation needed ]
Prior to the old building being torn down in 2005, there was a Life through Time gallery, housing a large display on evolution and paleontology. There was a Gem and Mineral Hall, a section on Earthquakes, and a Gary Larson exhibit.
The Academy buildings were damaged significantly in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Subsequently, the Bird Hall building was closed to ensure public safety. The inadequately engineered Steinhart Aquarium suffered dramatic seismic damage from the 1989 earthquake, as well.
As plans were made to repair the damage and make the buildings seismically stable, it was realized that a considerable amount of work would be needed to bring the buildings up to modern standards. This led to the idea of giving the Academy a complete overhaul, thus motivating the closing of the main site.[ citation needed ]
Construction began on the new $500 million building on September 12, 2005, while the exhibits were moved to 875 Howard Street for a temporary museum.
The Academy reopened with a free day on September 27, 2008. For most of the day the line for admittance was over a mile (nearly two kilometers) long, and although over 15,000 people were admitted, several thousands more had to be turned away.
In May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy announced that it would lay off 105 of its then 504 employees, furlough 96 others, and enact pay cuts among part of the rest.Due to the COVID-19 lockdown's effect on ticket sales, the organization was expecting its revenue to decrease by around $12 million (36%), in the next fiscal year.
The design architect for the museum replacement project was Renzo Piano. His design was awarded the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award for Excellence for the Americas region in 2008,as well as the Holcim Award Silver for sustainable construction projects in the North America region in 2005. One critic praised the building as a "blazingly uncynical embrace of the Enlightenment values of truth and reason", and a "comforting reminder of the civilizing function of great art in a barbaric age".
The new building emphasizes environmentally friendly design, in keeping with the Academy's focus on ecological concerns and environmental sustainability. It received Platinum certification under the LEED program.This project was featured on the Discovery Channel Extreme Engineering series in 2006 and on the National Geographic Channel Man-Made series in July 2008.
The new building includes an array of environmentally friendly features:
The California Academy of Science green roof has several environmentally friendly features, as well as sustainable design. Renzo Piano was inspired by seven major hills of San Francisco, which typically refers to: Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Mount Sutro, Twin Peaks and Mount Davidson. The living green roof was planted with 1.7 million California native plants. The museum's central piazza lies beneath a massive glass ceiling in the roof, which opens to allow cool night air to flow into the building below; by using this kind of natural ventilation instead of air conditioning to regulate interior temperature, the building becomes more energy efficient. Renzo Piano and SWA Group won the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Award in design in 2009.[ citation needed ]
Monterey Bay Aquarium is a nonprofit public aquarium in Monterey, California. Known for its regional focus on the marine habitats of Monterey Bay, it was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest when it opened in October 1984. Its biologists have pioneered the animal husbandry of jellyfish and it was the first to successfully care for and display a great white shark. The organization's research and conservation efforts also focus on sea otters, various birds, and tunas. Seafood Watch, a sustainable seafood advisory list published by the aquarium beginning in 1999, has influenced the discussion surrounding sustainable seafood.
De Anza College is a public community college in Cupertino, California. It is part of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which also administers Foothill College in nearby Los Altos Hills, California. The college is named after the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.
Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, United States, is a large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres (412 ha) of public grounds. It is administered by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, which began in 1871 to oversee the development of Golden Gate Park. Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape to but 20 percent larger than Central Park in New York City, to which it is often compared. It is over three miles (4.8 km) long east to west, and about half a mile (0.8 km) north to south. With 24 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is the third most-visited city park in the United States after Central Park and the Lincoln Memorial.
The University of Nebraska State Museum, also known as Morrill Hall, founded in 1871, is a natural history museum featuring Nebraska biodiversity, paleontology, and cultural diversity, located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln City Campus near the corner of 14th and Vine Streets in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. The museum houses Mueller Planetarium, a hands-on science discovery center, and the Elephant Hall, where visitors can see the world's largest articulated fossil mammoth among the collection of fossil elephants. Also featured are interactive paleontology exhibits, a dinosaur gallery, ancient life and evolution exhibits, wildlife dioramas, gems and minerals, American Indian and African exhibits, and a temporary exhibit gallery featuring rotating displays on diverse topics including photography, quilts and fine arts.
We The Curious is a science and arts centre and educational charity in Bristol, England. It features over 250 interactive exhibits over two floors, and members of the public and school groups can also engage with the Live Science Team over programming in the kitchen, studio and on live lab. We The Curious is also home of the United Kingdom's first 3D planetarium. The centre describes its aim as being "to create a culture of curiosity".
The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) is a not-for-profit science museum located in Tampa, Florida.
The Museum of Science (MoS) is a science museum and indoor zoo in Boston, Massachusetts, located in Science Park, a plot of land spanning the Charles River. Along with over 700 interactive exhibits, the museum features a number of live presentations throughout the building every day, along with shows at the Charles Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni Theater, the only domed IMAX screen in New England. The museum is also an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is home to over 100 animals, many of which have been rescued and rehabilitated.
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh are four museums that are operated by the Carnegie Institute headquartered in the Carnegie Institute complex in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Carnegie Institute complex, which includes the original museum, recital hall, and library, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 30, 1979.
The Fleet Science Center is a science museum and planetarium in Balboa Park, located in San Diego, California. It is at the east end of the El Prado Drive walkway, next to the Bea Evenson Fountain and plaza in central Balboa Park.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a natural history museum located on the northern border of Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, United States. The museum was established in 1909 by the Houston Museum and Scientific Society, an organization whose goals were to provide a free institution for the people of Houston focusing on education and science. Museum attendance totals over two million visitors each year. The museum complex consists of a central facility with four floors of natural science halls and exhibits, the Burke Baker Planetarium, the Cockrell Butterfly Center, and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. The museum is one of the most popular in the United States and ranks just below New York City's American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art and the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco in most attendance amongst non-Smithsonian museums. Much of the museum's popularity is attributed to its large number of special or guest exhibits.
The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a science museum, planetarium, and aquarium located in Miami, Florida, United States. The museum originally opened it's Coconut Grove location in 1960 then the museum relocated to Museum Park in the downtown area adjacent to the Perez Art Museum Miami in 2017 after the closing of the Coconut Grove location in 2015.
The San Diego Natural History Museum is a museum located in Balboa Park in San Diego, California. It was founded in 1874 as the San Diego Society of Natural History. It is the second oldest scientific institution west of the Mississippi and the oldest in Southern California. The present location of the museum was dedicated on January 14, 1933. A major addition to the museum was dedicated in April 2001, doubling exhibit space.
Aquarium of the Bay is a public aquarium located at The Embarcadero and Beach Street, at the edge of Pier 39 in San Francisco, California. The aquarium is focused on local aquatic animals from the San Francisco Bay and neighboring rivers and watersheds as far as the Sierra Mountains. Since 2005 the Aquarium has focused its mission on enabling ocean conservation and climate action both locally and globally. It is one of seven institutions under parent company Bay Ecotarium, the largest watershed conservation organization in the Bay Area
Rutherford + Chekene is a structural and geotechnical engineering firm in California specializing in new design and retrofit of structures for clients in sectors that include healthcare, higher education, corporate, research and development, art and education, and technology.
A green museum is a museum that incorporates concepts of sustainability into its operations, programming, and facility. Many green museums use their collections to produce exhibitions, events, classes, and other programming to educate the public about the natural environment. Many, but not all, green museums reside in a building featuring sustainable architecture and technology. Green museums interpret their own sustainable practices and green design to present a model of behavior.
The Exploratorium is a museum of science, technology, and arts in San Francisco, California. Characterized as "a mad scientist's penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one", the participatory nature of its exhibits and its self-identification as a center for informal learning has led to it being cited as the prototype for participatory museums around the world.
Cristián Samper is a Colombian-American tropical biologist specializing in conservation biology and environmental policy. Since 2012, he has served as President and CEO of WCS. He was acting secretary of the Smithsonian from 2007 to 2008, the first Latin American to hold the position. From 2003 to 2012, he was the Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, the world's largest natural history collection. In April 2015, Dr. Samper was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Parque de las Ciencias is a science centre and museum, part of the European Network of Science Centers and Museums (ECSITE), located in the city of Granada, Andalusia, Spain. Under the motto "A new kind of Museum", Parque de las Ciencias was founded in 1990 and opened in 1995. The museum has been solely directed by Ernesto Páramo Sureda since its establishment and its successive expansions. It occupies 70,000 m2 and holds permanent and temporary exhibitions including: a planetarium, educational facilities, café, restaurant, bookshop, library, cinemas, etc. It also has a cultural gallery ranging from 50 to 550 in number. Some of the museum’s highlights are its Plastination Lab and Restoration and Production Workshops.
Terry Maple is an American behavioral research scientist, wildlife conservationist, Professor Emeritus and zoo director emeritus.
Earl Stannard Herald was an American zoologist, Ichthyologist and television presenter. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and got his PH.D. in 1943. In 1948, he became the director of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco, California, and from 1952 to 1966, he presented the popular science television programme Science in Action. Throughout his life, he studied a variety of aquatic organisms, especially pipefishes, and described many new taxa. He died in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, in a scuba diving accident.