Let the wonder begin

Where can one visit an earthquake site, a four-story rainforest, the California coast, an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, a room full of skulls and over 40,000 different animal species including an albino alligator all under one roof? The Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

The RSA or Residential Student Association treated students with a trip to the Academy of Science on Saturday. The charge was only $20 and included admission to the museum as well as transportation. 

The Academy of Science is less than an hour drive away from the SSU campus, located in San Francisco. The Academy is a quick day trip away for SSU students to discover another amazing world.  

The Steinhart Aquarium located at the Academy alone has 38,000 living animals from all around the world. You can see penguins, sharks and watch sting rays soar and zoom under people’s feet. 

One of the many tanks in the aquarium holds a Philippine Coral Reef. The coral reef is one of the deepest exhibits in the world. 

Another tank holds the underwater life of what can be found in the California Coast. A touchable tide pool, a swamp, a rainforest and African penguin exhibit can all be found in the aquarium.

If underwater life and penguins are not on the agenda, bone cleaning Dermestid Beetles will be demonstrating the skill of cleaning a skull to prepare its display in the museum. Not only will animal skulls such as deer and sea lion skulls be out on display, but a comparison between the chimpanzee to Australopithecus afarensis, a skull who is believed to be an ancestor to the Homo Sapien. 

The Shake House is a great exhibit for anyone who may have slept though this last local earthquake. The Shake House simulates the two biggest earthquakes in this area, the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta and the 7.9 magnitude San Francisco of 1906. 

The Morrison Planetarium has the largest digital dome in the world. It has a 75-foot diameter projection screen that can show anything from the every night starts to a tour throughout the universe.

 The Dark Force exhibit teaches how the universe and planets are all held together in their places. The exhibit also explores dark matter and dark energy, which are some of today’s biggest mysteries.

The four-story living rainforest is unforgettable. Walking into the Rain Forrest, the air is humid and temperature promptly rises. 

Taking a trip down the elevator will take you to the bottom of the Amazonian forest where the creatures will be swimming above. 

Birds, frogs, lizards and tropical fish all call the rainforest at the academy home. 

These are just some of the exhibits that can be found at the Academy of Science, along with a Natural History Museum, The Big Picture exhibit, many animal attractions, a project lab and an evolving tradition museum. 

The building itself sets an example of sustainable living, and has been designed to be energy efficient and reduce the carbon footprint. 

The RSA club will have more get away trips this semester. The next get away trip is September 20th and students will be heading to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. 

The RSA Six Flags get away trip is just $30, tickets are normally $66 at the gate. More of the upcoming trips can be found sonoma.edu/welcomeweek/index.html. The tickets can be purchased at tickets.sonoma.edu/Online or at the box office in the Student Center.