Credit: Cal Academy
The schooner Academy that crossed the seas to the Galapagos is a strong icon at the California Academy of Sciences. Its story embodies the mission of the museum to explore, explain and protect the natural world.
The schooner Academy set out for the Galapagos in 1905 and sailed home to find the devastation of the 1906 earthquake and the collapse of all the collections in the museum on Market Street except those Alice Eastwood heroically managed to save. The specimens bundled in the hold of the Schooner Academy became the center and rebirth of the Academy museum and its collections. The Galapagos collection is one of the best and most complete in the world, so it is no wonder that expeditions are a fond and respected part of Academy history.
Once again the Academy is making history with another expedition. On April 26th, Academy researchers and educators started the trek to the Philippines to get the Philippine Biodiversity Expedition underway. Funded by the Hearst family, it is the largest expedition in the Academy’s history. Thirty scientists are investigating shallow-water reefs, the deep sea, and terrestrial and freshwater areas for undiscovered life. Within the first two weeks of this six-week expedition 28 new species have already been discovered!