Tour of the California Academy of Sciences

April 24, 2009 - 8:45am

California Academy of Sciences staff: Brian Simison & Norm Penny

On this day, participants will tour the California Academy of Sciences, considered the “greenest” museum in the world with an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and four-storey rainforest all under one roof. The San Francisco-based Academy is housed in a 400,000 square-foot structure located in Golden Gate Park. It states as its mission: to explore, explain and protect the natural world. In addition to the exhibits, the museum is also home to a team of scientists, an education department and one of the largest collections in the world of science specimens and artifacts. At the Academy, participants will tour the public exhibits and living roof, and then go behind-the-scenes to see some of the ongoing research its scientists are conducting in the fields of evolutionary biology, biodiversity and conservation. Dr. Norm Penny will showcase the Academy’s collection of 14.5 million insects and arachnids and explain how collections such as this are of immense value in studying evolution and the sustainability of life on Earth. Dr. Brian Simison will give a tour of the Academy’s in-house laboratory for DNA sequencing and talk about the importance of sequencing to modern evolutionary biology.

Brian Simison
Norm Penny