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Celebrity Talk, Environmental Forums, Feb.-June

Philadelphia, February 8, 2013

Judy Wicks

Judy Wicks

Judy Wicks, leader in the local-living-economies movement, will launch her new book at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in March. Plus, free panel discussions on the lessons from Hurricane Sandy and new adult field studies with Academy scientists make for an exciting roster of programs this winter and spring at Philadelphia’s natural history museum.

Here are some highlights of the schedule through June. Visit for regular updates.

Urban Sustainability Forum
Learning from Sandy: Is Philadelphia prepared for the next natural disaster?
Thursday, February 21, 6:15 p.m.

The past 10 years were the costliest in U.S. history for natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy left 131 people dead, more than 6 million without power, and $50 billion worth of damages, making it the second most destructive Atlantic hurricane behind Katrina. Extreme weather events are expected to grow in frequency and intensity because of climate change. Panelists will discuss how better planning, engineering and policy can be used to reduce vulnerability and manage the risk of building and living in hazard-prone areas. Reception will follow program. Free. To register, visit naturaldisasterpreparedness.eventbrite.

The panelists are Scott Gabriel Knowles, Drexel University associate and author of The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America; Alex Dews, policy and program manager for the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability; Chris Linn, manager of the Office of Environmental Planning for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission; Howard Kunreuther, co-director of Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center; and MaryAnn Tierney, regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Adult Class
Evolution: What Fossils Tell Us
March 2, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Dr. Ted Daeschler, paleontologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and a Drexel associate professor, will describe how scientists search for, collect and study fossils, such as his major discovery, Tiktaalik roseae. Participants will get to see this 375-million-year-old fossil that has features of both fish and limbed animals. Learn about transitional fossils and their importance to understanding the evolution of major taxonomic groups. This class will be interactive and casual, meant for teachers or those interested in learning more about fossils and evolution. Fee: $15 for Academy members, $20 nonmembers. To register, call 215-299-1060. For more information, visit

Science on Tap
Unexpected Specimens: What’s in the Academy Archives, anyway?
Monday, March 11, 6 p.m.
Location: National Mechanics, 22 South Third Street, Philadelphia

The Archives of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a collection of one-of-a-kind documents, art, artifacts, film, photos, field notes, illustrations, and memorabilia that tells the 200-year story of the institution. The collection is comprised of not only official documents, but also an abundance of scientific and personal unpublished materials from research scientists and others associated with the Academy. At this Science on Tap, Clare Flemming, director of the Academy’s Library and Archives and Brooke Dolan Archivist, will explain why items are kept and how even the oldest treasures contribute to current research. Must be 21 or older, but people under 21 can come with a chaperone who is older than 25. For more information, visit

Good Morning, Beautiful Business: Book Launch with Judy Wicks
Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m.

 Judy Wicks, an international leader in the local-living-economies movement and founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Café, officially will launch her new book at a talk and book signing at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.  The book, Good Morning, Beautiful Business: The Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer, is a memoir about the evolution of an entrepreneur who would not only change her neighborhood but also would change her world—helping communities create local living economies that value people, nature and place more than money. This free event will be followed by a book signing. Seats are limited. To register, visit judywicks.eventbright.

As former co-owner of White Dog Café, Wicks received acclaim for its socially and environmentally responsible business practices. She is cofounder of the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food—both incubated at the White Dog Café Foundation. In her retail career, Wicks was founder and owner of Black Cat in Philadelphia, which featured locally made and fair-trade gifts for 20 years. In 1970, she cofounded the original Free People’s Store, now well known as Urban Outfitters.

Bicentennial Town Square
Green City, Clean Waters: What’s the future of Philadelphia’s waterways?
Thursday, March 21, 6:30 p.m.

Hear an overview of Philadelphia’s nationally recognized watersheds program, Green City, Clean Waters, which takes a groundbreaking approach to transforming the health of the city’s waterways primarily through land-based strategies. View a presentation by the winners of Infill Philadelphia’s Soak It Up competition, which challenged participants to create innovative storm water management solutions for three specific sites in Philadelphia. Eric Sanderson, senior conservation ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, will discuss New York City’s Mannahatta Project, a detailed study that uses the ecological past to envision climate-resistant urban planning for the next 400 years. Reception at 5:30 p.m. Free. For more information, visit Sponsored by Resonate.

Adult Class
Secrets of the Exhibits
Tuesday, March 26, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Have you ever wondered how exhibits are built at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the nation’s oldest natural history museum? Academy Director of Exhibits Jennifer Sontchi will take participants behind the scenes of the bicentennial exhibit, The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery, for the inside scoop. Learn how the exhibit was built and lit, how specimens were chosen for display, what will happen to the 400-pound meteorite and extinct Irish elk, and how the exhibit will get dismantled. The exhibit closes to the public on March 24, but this class provides special access. Fee: $10 for Academy members, $15 nonmembers. To register, call 215-299-1060. For more information, visit

Bicentennial Town Square
David Orr
Thursday, April 18, 6:30 p.m.

Environmental barnstormer and author Dr. David Orr brings his expertise in green building and closed-loop sustainable systems to this Town Square. Orr, the Paul Sears Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College, is the author of numerous books including Hope Is an Imperative: The Essential David Orr (2011), Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (2009), and The Last Refuge: The Corruption of Patriotism in the Age of Terror (2004).  Reception at 6 p.m. Free. For more information, visit

Philadelphia Science Festival
Gaming and Neurodiversity
Friday, April 19, 6–9 p.m.

Games can be fun, games can be competitive, and for some children and adults on the autism spectrum they can also be a pathway to interaction. Local game developer Cipher Prime invites game developers, therapists, and families to play and learn more about gaming for fun and for therapy in this open house event. Short talks will be scheduled throughout the night as well as opportunities to try some games. For more information, visit and 

Adult Field Study
Butterflies, Bugs, and Botany
Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. (rain date: Sunday, May 5)

Explore the New Jersey Pine Barrens in search of butterflies with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Entomologist Steve Mason will guide participants on where to look for butterflies, explain how to safely net them, and assist with identification. Mason hopes to find many butterflies, including Hessel’s hairstreak and hoary elfin, uncommon species found only in the Pine Barrens. Mason will bring specimens from the Academy’s Entomology Collection to enhance the experience. Fee: $25 for Academy members, $30 nonmembers. To register, call 215-299-1060. For more information, visit

Adult Field Study
Cretaceous Fossils
Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m.–3:00 p.m. (rain date Saturday, May 11)

Join Ned Gilmore of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University on a trip to the best site in Delaware for fossil collecting. Gilmore, collection manager for vertebrate zoology, will help participants uncover fossils from life forms that lived in a shallow sea or along the shore, including clams, oysters, belemnites, brachiopods, and sea urchins. Keep what you find. (Scientifically significant specimens may be retained for the Academy’s collection.) Fee: $35 for Academy members, $40 nonmembers. To register, call 215-299-1060. For more information, visit

Adult Field Study
Blooms and Branches
Saturday, June 8, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (rain date Saturday, June 15)

Dr. David Hewitt, research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will use the buds, bark, and blossoms of the historic trees in Bartram’s Garden to explain how to identify trees. Gather tips, find out how to use a dichotomous key, enjoy the garden, and learn a bit of its history. Bartram’s Garden is America’s oldest living botanic garden. Fee: $20 for Academy and Bartram’s Garden members, $25 nonmembers. To register, call 215-299-1060. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Carolyn Belardo

Director of Public Relations
Phone: 215.299.1043