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Cal Day 2013

Thanks to Taylor Devarie for creating this beautiful slideshow! Photos courtesy of Jackie Childers and Ben Karin.

A Very Special Day:

I have been helping with MVZ Cal Days since 2001, and I have to say that this year ranks among the best of the best. This year was, more than ever before, magical (even with scheduling confusion, building alarms and evacuations, volunteer no-shows, and all the other craziness of putting on an event involving thousands of visitors). Everywhere I turned, people were having fun and were delighted by their interactions. It was a reciprocal feeling -- the public enjoyed learning about the science we do, and our students and scientists were delighted by the public!  

I know it sounds corny, but I can't remember the last time the spirit of the MVZ shined so brightly. We love the opportunity to connect with new friends every year, and to meet new Berkeley students that may get involved in our programs. And I can't tell you how much it means to all of us that we have fans that come back to Cal Day every year! To see a smile grow on a person's face the first time they touch a live snake, or the first time they discover something new, that's true fuel for the soul.

--Monica Albe
MVZ Education and Outreach Coordinator


coloring book

MVZ activity & coloring book

(PDF 3MB to download)

baby tortoise
An adorable baby Sulcata tortoise (African Spurred Tortoise) that was in the MVZ Kid's Room on Cal Day. Photo courtesy of Jackie Childers.

Highlights and Thank Yous:

  • Over 2900 visitors to the MVZ gallery.

  • Events on the South Lawn of the VLSB, in the VLSB courtyard, in two lab rooms in the VLSB, in the MVZ gallery, and in the Grinnell Miller Library -- amounting to over 25 separate games, displays, seminars, and activities!

  • Overwhelming participation from our faculty, staff, post-docs, grad students, interns, and undergraduates with over 130 MVZ volunteers on the day.

  • Offered another beautiful and updated version of our MVZ Kids Activity Book this year.

  • The MVZ's Grinnel Miller Library had some awesome hands-on activities and seminars going on during the day -- antler art sessions, DNA extraction activity, a snake dissection, a seminar on Amazing Amphibians, and a hands-on origami demonstration.

  • The VLSB South Lawn had a multitude of fun MVZ activities and events -- animal yoga session, interactive puppet shows, lizard noosing, digestion racing game, and arts and crafts.

  • Dr. Bernie Peyton, an MVZ alum, conservation biologist, and origami master, brought in some of his beautiful art pieces and taught folks how to fold origami all day!

  • Katie Bertsche, a professional artist, displayed her study of the natural history of a Fort Ord Vernal Pool, demonstrated scientific illustration, and provided supplies for the public to try their hand at art.

  • Katie also led a group of student illustrators all semester long, who created the art that was up on the museum cases in the gallery. She also had them all help create the California diorama display.

  • Frances Zitano, the Bat Whisperer, and her team, brought their live bats (and safety equipment and shields) so that the public could see live bats up close. They volunteered all day in the hopes that they can inspire a little batty love out there.

  • The East Bay Vivarium provided a multitude of live animals for our Kid's Room -- thank you for bringing Cal Day to life (or vice versa)!

  • Tree Frog Treks was once again very generous and brought their fun science activities and animals to the VLSB South Lawn to get people outdoors, enjoy a "green 15" and spark scientific inquiry.

  • Berkeley Artist & Craftsman Supplies generously came up to campus and provided an awesome science & art activity for the VLSB south lawn.

  • For the MVZ Gallery, VLSB Courtyard, and Kid's Science Rooms, we had 29 display developers that worked tirelessly for months to create beautiful gallery displays (in no particular order: Ann Chang, Katharine Baldwin-Corriveau, Katie Bertsche, Alejandra Cabrera, Kendall Calhoun, Amy Cao, Heather Chen, Rain Dunaway, Jonathan Ly, Jackie Childers, Anna Hiller, Neetha Iyer, Casey Chowdhary, Taylor Devarie, Christina Fidler, Sarah Hinman, Kristina Hoh, Silvia Lopez, Perry Pearson, Monique Picon, Alma Schrage, Carol Spencer, Skyler Valle, Vish Venkataraman, Sarah Alessi, Natalia Rossi, Kris Harmon, Kristina Fialko, and Sima Bouzid). 

  • Kevin Wiseman, a wildlife biologist, donated some of his scientific illustrations for our displays.

  • Dan Wait, my co-coordinator, put in endless hours, enthusiasm, and energy to make this event run more smoothly than ever before. He now has a job as a camp counselor with Tree Frog Treks -- I'm so excited that he'll be able to continue his passion for science education!

  • Luanne Wilson and Katharine Baldwin-Corriveau committed to assisting with display and activity development forCal Day for this entire semester and put in a huge amount of unpaid time to create: the courtyard extinction display, the antler art activity, the footprint game, the coloring book, the desert vole display, and major help with the California diorama.

  • We had a couple of folks that swooped in the last two weeks to help coordinate all display/activity development and keep preparations running smoothly: Ann Chang, Terri Wong, Philip Kahn, and Carol Spencer.

  • Special thanks to IB and our partners in BNHM (specifically Tim Herrlinger, David Smith, Christine Manoux, Andrew Doran, and Deanna Jackson) for collaborating with us to create the fantastic Extinction Display in the VLSB courtyard.

  • Thank you to Jackie Childers, Ben Karin, Jeremy Crawford, and Chris Conroy for taking photos on Cal Day.

  • Thank YOU to Sandy Richmond for feeding our display development volunteers on several occasions, including a homemade spaghetti dinner!

We can't wait for 2014!

VLSB Atrium
Cal Day Morning in the VLSB atrium.
(photo by J. Childers)

Bowie and Family
Dr. Rauri Bowie and family.
(photo by J. Childers)

Monitor Lizard
"Tiny" the monitor lizard
(photo by J. Childers)

giraffe skull
Up close with a bobcat skeleton.
(photo by J. Childers)

Peyton art
Red Tail Hawk by Dr. Bernie Peyton.
(photo by J. Childers)

California Diorama
Close up of our California diorama.
(photo by B. Karin)

Katharine Corriveau
MVZ Intern Katharine Corriveau
with a gopher snake. (photo by B. Karin)

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