Calendar of Events, October–December 2012
July 2, 2012
Theater for cool science geeks, special behind-the-scenes tours, and the Philadelphia Shell Show all are coming up this fall during the bicentennial celebration at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
The nation’s oldest natural history museum for the first time will host Theater of the Mega-Rad for three nights of live performances in October featuring “The Giant Squid.” The ocean theme continues in October with the largest shell show in the Northeast and bicentennial behind-the-scenes tours of the Malacology Collection of 10 million shells and mollusks. The major exhibit The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery continues through the year to showcase breathtaking items from the institution’s world-renowned collections and its research of the past, present and future.
The following exhibits and programs are free with museum admission, except where noted. Check ansp.org for updates.
Special Bicentennial Exhibit
THE ACADEMY AT 200: THE NATURE OF DISCOVERY
Through March 24, 2013
See specimens ranging from a toothy Freshwater Vampire Fish skull and a Burmese python to the 215-million-year-old jaw of an ancient crocodile-like reptile in The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery, a one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The Academy’s collections contain more than 18 million items, and the institution has jam-packed the highlights into an 80-foot-long wall that showcases these beautiful, weird, scary and rarely seen marvels. Experience science as you never have before by dressing up like a scientist, assembling a skeleton in the bone lab, and learning about climate change. Step into a scientist’s shoes and experience the nation’s oldest natural history museum in a whole new way. Free with museum admission.
Art of Science Gallery Exhibit
JAMES PROSEK: OCEAN FISHES
October 13–January 27, 2013
Dubbed “the Audubon of the fishing world” by The New York Times, Connecticut artist James Prosek is known for his detailed and arresting watercolor paintings, mostly of fish and other ocean creatures. He showcases his personal impressions of marine beauties, such as a 15-foot-long Blue Marlin, through life-size paintings from his new book, Ocean Fishes (Rizzoli New York, October 2012). Through direct observation and imagination, Prosek reveals the subtle colors and forms of fishes often hidden from view beneath the water’s surface. Free with museum admission.
TINY TOT EXPLORERS
Wednesdays, October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 and November 7 and 14, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Young children and their favorite adults can explore nature through games, crafts, songs and museum explorations at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Tiny Tot Explorers (ages 3–4) meet from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. on Wednesdays. Learn about farm animals (October 3), bugs and butterflies (October 10), life in the sea (October 17), dynamite dinos (October 24), animals in disguise (October 31), arctic animals (November 7) and night creatures (November 14). An appropriate snack is provided. A single session or the entire series may be reserved.
Fee: Members $20 per adult/child pair per session, $130 per adult/child pair for all seven sessions; nonmembers $25 per adult/child pair per session, $170 per adult/child pair for all seven sessions. To register, call 215-299-1060.
MALACOLOGY COLLECTION BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS
Thursdays Through Mondays in October, 11 a.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating its Bicentennial this year and offering limited-time, behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned collections—normally open to researchers by appointment only. The Malacology Collection, which holds 10 million specimens, is the third largest shell collection in the world. See fossils, corals and marine and other invertebrates, including crabs, giant worms and human parasites. Examine beautiful cultured-pearl Buddhas from 1850s China, deadly cone snails, colorful thorny oysters, endangered and extinct tropical snails and a giant octopus. Fee: Purchase tickets at the front desk on day of tour, or register by calling 215-299-1167. Members $5, nonmembers $7.50. Ages 8 and up.
HOMESCHOOL SERIES: ANCIENT ANIMALS
Wednesday, October 3, and Wednesday, October 10, 2–4 p.m.
In this Fascinating Fossils series for homeschooled children ages 4–7, dig into dinosaurs, soar with giant dragonflies and dive deep into prehistoric oceans at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Practice your paleontology skills as you examine real fossils and learn what ancient life was like in prehistoric times. Fee: Members $50 per series per child, nonmembers $65 per series per child. To register, call 215-299-1060.
HOMESCHOOL SERIES: FOSSIL FUNDAMENTALS
Thursday, October 4, and Thursday, October 11, 2-4 p.m.
In this Fascinating Fossils series for homeschooled children ages 8–13, practice the science of paleontology as you examine real fossils and see what it takes to bring fossils from the field to the lab to the museum floor. Use ancient clues to piece together the details of prehistoric life. Fee: Members $50 per series per child, nonmembers $65 per series per child. To register, call 215-299-1060.
THEATER OF THE MEGA-RAD: THE GIANT SQUID
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 4–6, 6:30 p.m.
Visit the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University after hours to watch some live performances! Theater of the Mega-Rad offers everything you love about the Academy’s Mega-Bad Movie Nights, which feature awesomely awful pseudo-science flicks. But Mega-Rad performances are live! Theater of the Mega-Rad also includes beer and food, a special display of Academy research specimens, and the opportunity to see the museum’s exhibits. You must be at least 18 years old to attend and at least 21 years old to drink beer. Members $10, nonmembers $15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; performance at 8 p.m. Register at http://theatermegaradgiantsquid.eventbrite.com/
BIODIVERSITY: FROM EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS TO ECOSYSTEMS FUNCTION
Thursday and Friday, October 11 and 12, all day
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is presenting a symposium to celebrate its 200 years of scientific research. This symposium will explore current and future research on the diversity of life with a focus on evolutionary biology, ecology and environmental quality. The Academy will present its prestigious Joseph Leidy Award to keynote speaker Dr. Douglas Futuyma, distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University. Events will be held at the Academy and Drexel University. Fee includes admission to all presentations, breaks, receptions and poster session. Register by Sept. 21: $90, students $25; after Sept. 21: $110, students $30. Visit ansp.org/symposium for more information. Register at ans2012symposium.eventbrite.com/
Urban Sustainability Forum
IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE BAD FOR THE PLANET?
Thursday, October 18, 6 p.m.
The Center for Environmental Policy of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Urban Sustainability Forum present a panel discussion to examine commonly asked questions about sustainable agriculture. Does eating local really make you a better citizen? Does eating grass fed livestock raise your emissions? Is it worth it to pay extra for organic products? Panelists include sustainable food writers and experts James E. McWilliams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly; Blake Hurst, author of The Omnivore’s Delusion, and Mark “Coach’ Smallwood, executive director of the Rodale Institute. Visit ansp.org/get-involved/cep/ for more information.
PHILADELPHIA SHELL SHOW AND FESTIVAL
Saturday and Sunday, October 20–21, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thousands of shells from North, South and Central America will be on display and for sale at the annual Philadelphia Shell Show and Festival at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The theme this year is Treasures Revealed: Shells of the Americas. The largest show of its kind in the Northeast, the show features competitive displays by collectors and amateur scientists as well as chances to participate in mollusk dissections, make crafts, shop an international shell market, and go behind the scenes to see some of the 10 million specimens in the Academy’s Malacology Collection, the third largest in the world. Free with museum admission.
LIVE ANIMAL CENTER BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS
Thursdays Through Mondays in November, 11 a.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating its Bicentennial this year and offering limited-time, behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned collections—normally open to researchers by appointment only. Go “behind the glass” in the Florence R. Foerderer Live Animal Center and meet some of the 100 animal ambassadors, including hawks, owls, falcons, opossums, skunks, alligators and a variety of turtles, tortoises, snakes and lizards. Step inside for your chance to meet the keepers and ask questions as they provide superior care to the live animals. Fee: Purchase tickets at the front desk on day of tour, or register by calling 215-299-1167. Members $5, nonmembers $7.50. Ages 8 and up.
LIVE ANIMAL DISCOVERY WEEKEND
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 23–25, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
What does it take to keep live animals at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University happy and healthy? Come find out during Live Animal Discovery Weekend. Meet the Academy’s animal keepers and see how they train live animals for educational programs. Make and take a craft that shows what is needed for keeping live animals safe and happy.
ICHTHYOLOGY COLLECTION BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS
Thursdays Through Mondays in December, 11 a.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is celebrating its Bicentennial this year and offering limited-time, behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned collections—normally open to researchers by appointment only. In December, the Academy will showcase its Ichthyology Collection of more than 1.4 million fish specimens. See historic type specimens used to describe new species, as well as fascinating electric eels, alligator gars, blood-sucking catfish, miniature fish monsters from the dark ocean depths, and a specimen named for author Ernest Hemingway. Purchase tickets at the admissions desk on day of tour. Members $5, nonmembers $7.50. Ages 8 and up. For more information, call 215-299-1167.
FISH DISCOVERY WEEKEND
Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Join the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Fish Discovery Weekend to see rare and bizarre fish displays, meet fish scientists, and enjoy hands-on fun. Ichthyology Collection Manager Dr. Mark Sabaj Pérez will share stories about his field research in the Amazon, Mongolia and closer to home. Meet more Academy ichthyologists and ask them about our fish collection representing more than 10,000 species from around the world. Children can make a fish hat and play an adaptation game. Free with museum admission.
Thursday Through Sunday, December 27–30, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University celebrates its most popular attractions with live animal shows, museum specimens, craft making and storytelling during this four-day All-Star Week. Free with museum admission.
Thursday, December 27, Dinosaur Day
Academy naturalists bring dinosaurs to life with special presentations in Dinosaur Hall. Test your knowledge of dinosaurs at science stations. Attend a live animal show at 11 a.m., play Ask the Expert at 2 p.m., and make a dinosaur craft to take home.
Friday, December 28, Animal Day
Academy naturalists will roam the museum with live animals. Watch live animal shows at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and make an animal craft to take home.
Saturday, December 29, Bug Day
Learn about the secret life of bugs, and see an array of specimens from the Academy’s world-renowned Entomology Collection. Make a bug craft to take home.
Sunday, December 30, Weird-Thing-in-a-Jar Day
Get a close look at some of the stranger specimens that Academy scientists have collected over the past 200 years. Learn how scientists prepare specimens for study and storage. Make your own weird-thing-in-a-jar craft to take home.