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Evolution Year

Evolution Year a climate focused academy of natural sciences initiative

Evolution is the story of all living things, including us. It is a set of processes that connects all life-forms and ecosystems on Earth — past, present and future.

Embracing evolution’s framework is vitally important in the Academy’s mission to understand the natural world and inspire everyone to care for it. Through our world-class collections and innovative science, we can reconstruct evolutionary patterns that will then help shape ongoing critical conversations about climate change, biodiversity loss and conservation.

The Academy is dedicating 2024 as our Evolution Year. Throughout the year, the Academy will celebrate its new discoveries, research on systematic biology and growing evolutionary knowledge. Evolution Year will also feature abundant programming and engaging exhibits that explore this theme, including Devonian-age fossils, rainforest ecosystems and dinosaurs.

Be the first to know about Evolution Year happenings! Here are three ways to stay connected:

Academy Exhibits

Life Onto Land: The Devonian
November 11, 2023–September 29, 2024

Life Onto Land reveals the diverse marine, freshwater swamp and terrestrial ecosystems of the Devonian Period, as well as the amazing scientific discoveries of the Academy’s team of paleontologists who continue to contribute to our understanding of this transformational time in our planet’s history.

Learn more about Life Onto Land: The Devonian!

Under the Canopy
February 17–September 2, 2024

Under the Canopy is an immersive exhibition introducing you to the fascinating world of rainforests and the animals that inhabit them. Learn about unique plants and rainforest ecology as you encounter a live sloth, boa constrictor and other animals that call these habitats home. Think big about the importance of rainforests to the planet as you explore interactive discovery stations, dynamic displays and engaging programming.

Under the Canopy is coming soon!

Academy Programs

Academy Science Camp

Spend your summer at the Academy with our fun educators, cool exhibits and wild science! Sign up for one week or sign up for them all; each day will feature hands-on activities, creative crafts and untold secrets of the museum. Learn about the naturally awesome science at the Academy, from fossils and dinosaurs to bugs, birds and botanicals! Get outside for lunch and explore the urban environment around the Academy. Meet live animals, see rare specimens and explore the museum as you never have before.

Learn more about Academy Science Camp!

Dinos After Dark
Select Months

Explore the museum with the whole family after hours! Enjoy pay-what-you-wish admission and a festive, fun atmosphere with a lot of science crafts. Be sure to check out the Dino Drafts Beer Garden in Dinosaur Hall.

Learn more about Dinos After Dark!

Night in the Museum
Select Months

Experience the Academy’s towering dinosaurs — including T. rex — after dark! Your action-packed night at the museum barely leaves room for shut eye. Explore every corner of the Academy’s famous exhibits, including The Big Dig and Outside In. Enjoy a fascinating live animal show. Hang out with your fellow explorers and enjoy delicious snacks, breakfast and coffee. Check out awesome specimens, do hands-on experiments and see the museum as you never have before. Then, sleep next to roaring lions, stalking tigers or ancient dinosaurs. What will you discover after dark?

Learn more about Night in the Museum!

Explore Stories From the Academy Blog

Create Your Own Pressed Botanical Specimen

The Botany Department houses about 1.4 million specimens spanning more than 300 years of history. Specimens such as these are foundational to botanical research; they provide scientists with insights into many fields of study, such as evolution, ecology and climate change. In this post, we’ll teach you how to make your own botanical specimen at home.

Changing Water, Changing Climate

Through learning about gradual changes, cycles and transformations that occur over millions of years, a greater knowledge of the abyss can help people grasp both the concept of planetary time and the scope of human influence.

Phenomenal Transformation and Migration of American Eels

Academy scientists have been studying eels for over 15 years to better understand how human infrastructure, such as dams, impact their complex developmental life cycles and long migration journeys.