55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Nicole Chaney

Nicole is a Biologist for the Steinhart Aquarium.


Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise. I specialize in caring for reptiles, amphibians, and terrestrial invertebrates.

What got you interested in becoming a biologist? Since as far back as I can remember I was always outside catching bugs, toads, snakes and lizards. They were fascinating to me. As I grew up I found that many of these creatures were misunderstood, which motivated me to want to learn as much about them as possible in order to educate people of their importance in our ecosystem.

What do you like most and least about your job? I like being able to work with animals from around the world and participate in related conservation efforts such as captive breeding programs.

What college did you go to and what degree did you receive? UC Santa Cruz  Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

What influenced your job choice and when? I have been coming to CA Academy of Sciences since I was little. When I found out they were hiring, it was an easy choice to want to work here. As a kid I always marveled at the living collection of the Steinhart Aquarium and now I get to be an active participant in wowing and educating our visitors

Do you have pets at home? What and how many? Yes. 8 tarantulas. 20 geckos.

Advice for someone wanting to go into your field. Volunteer as much as possible with as many types of organisms possible.

More about Nicole


Nicole’s Suggested Reading:

“A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians”  by Robert C. Stebbins    2003 (Peterson Field Guides)

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo   1988 (Harper Collins)

“Rhacodactylus: The Complete Guide to their Selection and Care” by Phillppe DeVosjoli, Allen Repashy, and Frank Fast. 2003  (Bowtie Press)

“Zonata: The CA Mountain Kingsnake” by Mitchell Mulks. 2004  (LM Digital)