Big Bang | Thriving California
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thank you to everyone who supported Thriving California at the Academy's annual gala!

At this year's Big Bang, we celebrated the marvels of our state's diverse ecosystems, from majestic coastlines to breathtaking peaks. Three hundred guests joined us for an incredible evening showcasing the Academy's Thriving California initiative, which harnesses scientific data and mobilizes communities to fight climate change, stop biodiversity loss, and advocate for nature across the state. Leading scientists shared their conservation research in collaboration with local communities, educators, and land stewards, while guests indulged in a sustainably-sourced uniquely California dining experience. And then fun continued with Party After Dark.

Event Co-Chairs: Dan Janney & Noelle Montgomery

Corporate Chair: Carla J. Peterman, PG&E Corporation

Presenting Sponsor: Autodesk

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Big Bang Featured Speaker: 
Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency

Wade Crowfoot serves as California’s Natural Resources Secretary, leading efforts to conserve California’s environment and natural resources, and advises Governor Newsom as a member of his cabinet. Secretary Crowfoot oversees an agency of over 25,000 employees spread across 26 departments, commissions, and conservancies—stewarding California’s forests and natural lands, rivers and water supplies, and coast and ocean. His agency also protects natural places, wildlife and biodiversity, and helps oversee the state’s world-leading clean energy transition.

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Dining experience curated by Indigenous Chef Crystal Wahpepah

The evening’s menu was thoughtfully designed by Indigenous Chef Crystal Wahpepah (Kickapoo Nation of Oklahoma), Owner and Executive Chef of Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland, CA. Crystal understands the deep and powerful role that food has in our lives and uses it as a bridge to connect others with Native issues that are important to her and Wahpepah’s Kitchen. Crystal has been inducted to the Native American Almanac for her work and is a James Beard Award finalist for Emerging Chef.

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Please consult with your tax advisor about directing a donation to the Academy from a donor-advised fund when you may receive something of more than incidental value in return, such as event benefits or museum membership. Additionally, in the unlikely event that the event does not occur, your generous support will be considered an unrestricted contribution to the California Academy of Sciences. Thank you for your support.

For more information, please contact:
Nicha Leaser, Associate Director, Donor Events
(415) 379-5423