UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Cal Day to pulsate with extra energy

– Blue and gold will equal green on Cal Day (Saturday, April 21) as the University of California, Berkeley's annual open house spotlights research into clean, sustainable energy.

Cal Day
Plan your Cal Day with the online program guide, tips for your visit, tours, maps and more

Among the dozens of creative, athletic and scientific Cal Day activities and events being offered is an extensive program on UC Berkeley energy research. There will be lectures and demonstrations on synthetic biology, low-carbon transportation fuels, sustainable "green" lifestyles and environmentally-friendly nuclear power. And showcasing the campus's diverse energy-related activities under one tent will be the Energy@Berkeley Expo, held next to the Campanile

More than 30,000 visitors, including prospective students and their families, are expected to flock to UC Berkeley for a rare glimpse of all the campus has to offer, from dynamic lectures and scientific breakthroughs, to cutting-edge art exhibitions and live performances, to student organizations of every persuasion. There will be something for everyone.

Events will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and span the campus from the Lawrence Hall of Science high in the Berkeley hills to Sproul Plaza to the southside's Recreational Sports Facility, and are all open to the public.

New this year is OskiLand, a games area in Memorial Glade for families with young children. Cal's bear mascot, Oski, will greet visitors, as will his 20-foot-high inflatable likeness.

Seven pages of this year's Cal Day program target newly admitted and prospective UC Berkeley students. As many as 6,000 students and their family members are expected to attend Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's 8:30 a.m. welcome event for them in Haas Pavilion. Other activities designed for these students include the Cal Rally Committee's traditional Spirit Rally at Sproul Plaza and tours of the campus's residence halls.

Dance and theater performances will be held throughout the day and include "Downstage Left," original comedy sketches by students; "The Reception," a multi-media piece that uses choreography and 3-D tele-immersion technology; and "Cabaret: The Musical," by BareStage Productions, a student group. Meanwhile, concerts will include everything from chamber music to Javanese gamelan to the Cal Marching Band.

Faculty experts will be on hand to discuss black holes, climate change and nanotechnology. Plus, they will give public lectures on how to eat right, how to brace for the next big quake and even on whether men overcompensate when their masculinity is threatened.

And back again by popular demand will be the "dig" at the Archaeological Research Facility, robotic demonstrations, a tour of the three-story-high Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, the bug doctor booth, and Fun with Fossils.

At the Archeological Research Facility at 2251 College Ave., visitors can try their hand at writing their names in ancient Sumerian and witness "flintknapping," in which stones are turned into tools. And at the Valley Life Sciences Building, children can enjoy a puppet show called "What Can Animals Teach Us?," interact with animal experts and observe live insects and reptiles.

As in previous years, kids can look forward to the "Celebration of Children's Literature," a popular book fair that includes professional storytellers, book signings and art activities on the 2nd floor of Tolman Hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Archive are among the many campus galleries and museums open and free to the public on Cal Day. Exhibitions will include ancient Chinese paintings, multimedia presentations, and "Measure of Time," which features works by 20th century American artists that explore the "fourth dimension."

Intercollegiate sports competitions on campus will include Cal vs. Stanford women's tennis; Cal vs. Stanford baseball and Cal vs. UCLA softball. The campus will also host the Cal Rugby National Championship Round of 16.

Highlights of lectures include:

  • "Synthetic Biology: From Bugs to Drugs and Fuels." Jay Keasling, professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, will talk about how pioneering UC Berkeley researchers are using simple biological components to build drugs to combat malaria and biofuels for transportation. 9-10 a.m., 390 Hearst Memorial Mining Building.
  • "Stress and Your Brain." Daniela Kaufer, an assistant professor of integrative biology, will talk about how groundbreaking research is revealing the effects of stress on the brain. 9-10 a.m., 2040 Valley Life Science Building.
  • "Do Men Overcompensate?" Robb Willer, assistant professor of sociology, will talk about how men react when their masculinity is threatened and will share the results of his eye-opening gender identity study on this issue. 1-2 p.m., 402 Barrows Hall.
  • "America and Torture." Military tactics, including the practices at Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay detainment camp, will be discussed by journalism professor Mark Danner; law professor Laurel Fletcher; Eric Stover, director of UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center; and Michael H. Posner of the New York City-based association Human Rights First. 1-2:30 p.m., 105 North Gate Hall.
  • "Food in the Bay Area: Indulgence or Innovation?" Sally Fairfax, professor of environmental science and policy management, will talk about the production, distribution and marketing of the Bay Area's cornucopia of "yuppie" food. She asks: "Are we learning anything about sustainable agriculture, and are we achieving equitable access to nutritious, culturally relevant foods?" 11 a.m.- noon, 182 Dwinelle Hall.

Campus parking is free on Cal Day in designated areas, but it usually fills up early. Public transportation is the most convenient way to get to Cal Day. Shuttle buses will take visitors to campus from the Downtown Berkeley BART station, and motorized cable cars will be available for campus tours.