Scientific Publications Highlights

The Scientific Publications Department at the California Academy of Sciences has published a vast amount of scientific literature since 1854 representing an array of natural history disciplines. The Academy’s original focus of exploring and explaining the fauna and flora of the western United States quickly expanded to include discoveries from all over the world: most notably the Galapagos Islands, the Pacific Islands, western North America and Mexico, China, Madagascar, Myanmar, the Philippines, New Guinea, southwest Asia, Africa and the islands of the Gulf of Guinea.

Scientific Publications offers a window into the exciting discoveries of our scientists whose research forms the basis of knowledge regarding the evolution and dispersal of many different species of plants and animals. At the same time, our scientists are creating integral global relationships with their foreign counterparts and several communities. These collaborations often lead to a cross-exchange of ideas and information, new educational programs and opportunities, the establishment of museums or naturalist centers, and unique conservation projects dedicated to saving a myriad of species that are under threat.


natural history collection

The Importance of Natural History Collections


Front Cover Hearst Publication

CAS Special Publication: The Coral Triangle - The 2011 Hearst Philippine Biodiversity Expedition



The Herpetological Literature of Southwestern Asia, Second Edition

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Supplement II. 15 September 2010. Order Now.

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Nos. 7-18. 15 September 2010. Order Now.

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Nos. 1-6. 31 March 2010. Order Now.

PCAS V61, Supplement I

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 61, Supplement 1. 31 March 2010. Order Now.

Occasional Paper #157. The Herpetological Literature for Southwestern Asia

The Herpetological Literature for Southwestern Asia: An Indexed Bibliography.

PCAS Volume 60, Nos. 15-20

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 60, Nos. 15-20. 30 December 2009.

Ideas about evolution are brought to life through stunning photographs of live aquarium animals and research specimens, alongside essays and case studies by Academy scientists....


Found what you want in our catalogues?  Click below for information on how to order from us. 

Free Publication Downloads

Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volumes 54-61 as well as Occasional Papers 155, 156 (Parts I and II), and 157are available as separate downloadable articles!  Seeking older titles?  Some of our earlier publications are available on the Biodiversity Heritage Library site.

California Academy of Sciences Opening Day Poster

Opening Day Poster

The new California Academy of Sciences, designed by architect Renzo Piano, opened on September 27, 2008, to tremendous acclaim. This limited-edition poster, featuring a photograph by renowned architectural photographer Tim Griffith, was produced to celebrate the occasion, and is now available for sale in two sizes. Printed with UV inks on extra-thick, acid-free paper.


Large size: 24” x 36” - $20.00

Small size: 16” x 24” - $10.00
Order Now

Featured Classics

Trees of the Panhandle: Golden Gate Park - San Francisco, by Elizabeth McClintock and Virginia Moore, 4th edition, 1973. 56 pages. $5.00.

Would you like to know something about the park's trees and shrubs, their names, where they came from and how they came to be here? This wonderful little guidebook includes a history of the Panhandle, a list of trees with basic descriptions accompanied by beautiful black and white photographs, and tree location lists by street with minature maps.  A perfect little book for the urban explorer.



A Flora of the Tahoe Basin and Neighboring Areas and Supplement, by Gladys L. Smith, 1984, University of San Francisco, 46 pages. $12.00

"From the beginning, Lake Tahoe with its great beauty and superb surroundings drew botanists...Collectively, these specialists combed virtually every corner of the area." This guide discusses the history of botanical exploration in the Tahoe Basin, contains maps of the area, and a thorough catalogue of its vascular plants.

History of Science Publications











Glance through our amazing collection of books on the history of science and natural history museums.


  • What are your policies for book distributors?

    Please download our information sheet for distributors for 2010.

  • Who are your authors?

    Typically, our authors are Academy Curators, Collections Managers, Research Associates, and collaborators from all over the world.

  • What is your publication schedule?

    The Proceedings are published in three volumes per year (spring, summer/fall, and winter.)  In addition, we sometimes publish one to two supplements.  Our other publication series do not have release schedules.  Therefore, we only offer subscriptions to the Proceedings.

  • Can I download your publications online?

    The Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences Volume 54 – Volume 60 as well as Occasional Papers 155 and 156 (Parts I and II) are available as individual FREE downloadable pdfs.  Other publications can be found on Google Scholar or on Biodiversity Heritage Library.  Copyright law applies.

  • Can I buy your publications at the museum?

    Absolutely.  Please email to place your order, arrange for payment, and schedule a day and time to pick up your order.

  • How do I obtain permission to use material from your publications?

    Please send a formal request for permission of use, thoroughly describing your project and what item(s) you're interested in using, to


The Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences accepts manuscripts for publication in the Natural Sciences that stress systematics, evolutionary biology and paleontology, biogeography and biodiversity, also related areas in the Earth Sciences, such as biostratigraphy, regional and global tectonics as they relate to biogeography and paleoclimatology, and topics in astrobiology, anthropology, as well as the history of science as they relate to institutions of natural history, to individuals, and to activities, such as expeditions and explorations, in the natural sciences.

Featured Anthropology Publications

From Turkish village carpets to the origin and diversification of language, our amazing array of physical and cultural anthropology publications are fascinating and educational. Browse our books and collections catalogs below.

Featured Evolution Book

Memoir 8. The Origin of Birds and the Evolution of Flight, edited by Kevin Padian. 1986. $30.00


Contains papers by Dr. Jacques Gauthier, Dr. Walter J. Bock, Dr. John H. Ostrom, and Dr. C.J. Pennycuick given at a symposium convened by the late Dr. Luis Baptista on the origin of flight in birds. The papers given here represent a fair cross-section of the approaches and opinions current in modern biology that have been applied to this question.