Davis Science Center / Explorit Science Center
1979 - 1999
[More detail about the founding of the Center can be found in
"The Science Center Story"]

1979–1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
1979 - Discussion/Organization

Discussions started about founding a science center under auspices of the “Friends of the Gifted & Talented” (FGT) a local non-profit corporation. The people involved were members of the FGT - Anne Hance (biologist), Judy Moores (biologist), and Maria Ogrydziak (architect), also Cay Pratt (naturalist) and Sherry Venezia (psychologist).

1980 - Organization

Meetings were held for community input. A Science Center prospectus/brochure was drawn up by Maria. The science center founding-committee started discussing building and potential sites under the direction of architect Maria Ogrydziak

1981 - Organization

The Science Center founding-committee requested use of a Davis Joint Unified School District (D.J.U.S.D.) classroom in the administration building at Fifth and C Streets.

1982 - Organization/operation

A formal Davis Science Center Governing Committee was formed with Dr. Mark McNamee(UCD Professor of Biochemistry) & Esther Polito as Co-Chairs. Initial committee members were: Anne Hance, Carole McNamee, Judy Moores. Other people joined the committee over the next few months including Betsy Bencken, Peggy Bowes, Shelley Booth, Evelyn Buddenhagen, Della Haller, Dana Richards, Lois Wolk.
• Artist Jackie Lockwood designed the Science Center's first logo (a semi-circular starry sky with Saturn and a hot air balloon) which reflected a logo used by the FGT for its after-school classes (DEEP) program.
April: Davis Science Center opened sharing the use of a Davis School District room at 525 C Street as an informal, hands-on science center open for public visits on Sunday afternoons and for day-time mini-classes during vacations. DSC had access to the room on weekday afternoons and on weekends.
• Mark McNamee organized a series of monthly Family Science Lectures.
• A Part-time, unpaid, Science Center coordinator was "hired". This was Flo Hayes who had experience in running programs in an Oakland nature center. Flo was unusually creative and energetic; she taught us how to use "found" materials to create hands-on science activities.
• Financial reporting responsibility remained with FGT until DSC incorporated in Dec 1983.
DSC received its first grant: $2,000 from the Security Pacific Foundation.
• About 2,000 people served


1983 Organization/operation

• The Center obtained full time use of the 525 C Street room
• Anne Hance was appointed unpaid Coordinator, replacing Flo Hayes in late Spring.
• Dana Richards set up the professional library with categories, and with policies and procedures for cataloging and borrowing.
Official colors were chosen: forest green, brown and ivory
• Evelyn Buddenhagen became Drop-In Committee Chair. She gradually developed a new, unique format for the Sunday Drop-In Program
• Fridays became staff (i.e. volunteer staff) work and training days.
December: Davis Science Center incorporated as an independent, nonprofit, public benefit corporation.
Initial Directors were: Shelley Booth, Evelyn Buddenhagen, Anne Hance, Judith Moores, Mark McNamee, Kenneth Verosub.
• A small grant ($2,000+) for equipment received from the S.H.Cowell Foundation.
• About 2,500 people served
• Income $13,899 Expenses $12,511

1983 Program

• The science center's public program (Sunday Drop-In) was developed by Evelyn Buddenhagen to have a uniquely interactive and scientific character.
• A Davis Science Center Electronics Club was started by Steve Byars
• Computer Classes (programming in Basic) were organized and supervised by Carole McNamee. They used Texas Instrument computers owned by DSC.
• Computer Workshops for parents and teachers were organised by Evelyn Dale.
• Vacation Classes were organized by Nancy Bruss
• The Family Lecture Series continued.


1984 Organization/operation

The first elected Davis Science Center Board of Directors took office.
Mark McNamee was elected as President of the Corporation and Chairman of the Board; Evelyn Buddenhagen Vice President; Shelley Booth Secretary; Betsy Bencken Treasurer.
Administrative staff positions were designed during this year and some appointments made:
Executive Director and CEO (Anne Hance, Trustee), Program Director (Evelyn Buddenhagen, Trustee) and Business Director (Thomas Leigh, Trustee).
These positions were unpaid at this time.
• Two Osborne computers were obtained for use in the office by the Executive Director and the secretary/bookkeeper.
• Architect Maria Ogrydziak orchestrated an extended group activity which resulted in the development of a written, DSC permanent facility protocol.
• A Development Committee was formed to direct efforts toward long range planning especially in regard to the feasibility of various sites for a permanent building.
• DSC Board arranged a workshop on Capital Campaign (Given by United Way)
Details of a Capital Campaign organization were developed by the Executive Director.
• Dana Richards orchestrated the design and printing of the Davis Science Center's first printed brochure. It used the new encircled "DSC" logo designed by a local calligrapher.
• About 2,500 people served.
• Income $21,182 Expenses $14,579

1984 Events:

January 22, the first wine tasting was held. It was organized by Lois Wolk.
• Several staff and Board members attended the Western Museums Conference in Sacramento.
• Staff and Board started a practice of behind-the-scenes visits to communicate with staff of other science centers and museums.
• An Institute of Museum Services (IMS) Museum Assessment Program (MAP) Evaluation grant was received and DSC was reviewed by Jennifer White, Director of Exhibits from the Lawrence Hall of Science. The review praised DSC highly for its unusually well developed administrative policies and procedures, and its unique programming.

1984 Program:

• Vacation Classes organized by Della Haller
• Six Science Lab Kits to be used as classroom learning stations were designed and made
for Valley Oak School. These were made by Evelyn Buddenhagen, Anne Hance and Judith Moores.
• A series of lecture/workshops for teachers called Science Update, was devised and organized by Anne Hance with Cay Pratt. This project combined UCD professors and DJUSD teachers as partners who presented background information followed by classoom activities. It was cosponsored with Sacramento City College in order to make it possible for the teachers to obtain continuing-education credits.
• The Sunday Drop-In Program more fully developed its unique format under Evelyn Buddenhagen's direction. The Human Body series and History of Science series were initiated this year by Evelyn.
• A program for visiting school classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. This schools program was organized by Peggy Bowes. Topics were those included in the California Science Framework.


1985 Organization/operation

• Feb: Lars Anderson, weed scientist and USDA Research Leader, was elected President of the Corporation and Chair of the Board; Dana Richards Vice President.
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen; Business Director: Thomas Leigh
• DSC participated in the Arden Mayfair Task Force discussions and submitted a floor plan design for a 10,000 square foot science center to be sited in "Discovery Park" on the Arden Mayfair Lot.
• DSC participated in the subsequent activities concerning the Arden Mayfair lot by
a) becoming a part of the Taormino proposal (August)
b) becoming a part of the Terranomics proposal (December)
c) being assured by City Council of a building site footprint on the park
A preliminary Capital Campaign fund raising program of cash donations and pledges from the Davis Community was initiated.
• DSC joined the Davis Area Chamber of Commerce as 'Davis Science Center'.
• A phased, five-year program to gradually increase the number of paid hours of administrative staff (Executive, Program and Business Directors) was approved by the Board to start in January 1986.
A Regional Council was initiated to provide regional representation.
• About 8,000 people served
• Income $16,853 Expenses $18,270

1985 Events

• Feb. 24: Second annual wine tasting - organized by volunteer Shelley Booth. Shelley pulled together an excellent committee including Board President Lars Anderson, of people influential or knowledgeable about wine.

1985 Program

• New programs included the
Assembly Outreach program development of which was funded by a special grant from the West Davis Community. The Assembly Program was devised by newcomers Phelan and Laura Fretz based on their experiences working for the Boston Museum of Science and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science;
Some Teacher workshops were held.
Science In Your World (SIYW) Family Evening program devised by Evelyn Buddenhagen in response to a request from a rural school in Elmira, California.


1986 Organization/operation

• Feb: Lars Anderson was elected to continue for a second year as President of the Corporation and Chairman of the Board; Dana Richards Vice President.
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen; Business Director: Thomas Leigh
• March: DSC Building Committee co-signed the City Council's ballot argument for June's Measure S in support of development on Arden Mayfair.
• When Measure S failed, so did the City's plan for commercial development of Central Park. However, DSC retained its footprint on the land and negotiated a 50 year lease with the City for a footprint on the S.E. corner (Third & C) of the extension of Central Park. The footprint was incorporated into the plans drawn up by the City to extend existing Central Park southward
July: Davis Science Center moved to 1207 Sycamore Lane (West Davis Intermediate -WDI - School) at the request of the School District which required the room at 525 C Street for another program. The District remodeled the WDI room to better suit DSC's needs.
• Evelyn Buddenhagen and Anne Hance voluntarily relinquished their elected Board positions because of the inherent conflict between the dual roles of trustee & staff since some of the hours they worked were now paid hours.
• October: Executive and Business Directors attended a Workshop (by Jude Kaye) on Budgeting for NonProfits including zero-based budgeting and assessment of direct and indirect costs.
• Major support received from: Davis School District ($5,000); the City of Davis ($5,000); Chevron USA Inc. ($2,500); and Pacific Bell ($2,000).
• About 26,500 people served
• Income $62,029 Expenses $49,161
• Capital Campaign - Received $10,000 Pledged $15,000

1986 Events

• Feb. 8, Third annual wine tasting - organized by Shelley Booth
• Appeared for a 15 minute spot on Channel 10 - Mitzi Ayala's early morning show. This was orchestrated by Trustee Judith Moores.

1986 Program

• DSC Received an award (plaque) from the Soil Conservation Society of America for its November 1995 program on Soil.
• "On The Science Beat" was published (2,000 copies). This project, devised and initiated and largely written by Anne Hance, was carried through with help from many people but especially trustees Dana Richards and Judith Moores.
Sand Collection initiated with sand samples from Seychelles and Canary Islands donated by British visitor
• DSC Co-sponsored the DEER Fair (Delta Environmental Education Resources). Anne Hance was the DSC representative on the DEER Committee.
• New programs included the Human Body Project funded by $15,000 from the Sierra Foundation, and the "Summer at the Mansion" Dino-Den (in Mansion Square, Davis)
• DSC judged at the Sacramento and Yolo County Science Fairs.


1987 Organization/operation

• Feb: Lars Anderson was elected to continue for a third year as President of the Corporation and Chairman of the Board; Thomas H. Frankel Vice President.
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen; Business Director: Thomas Leigh
An RFP for a DSC purpose-built building to be sited on Central Park was distributed to area architects. This document was the result of a revision (by Executive Director Anne Hance & Trustee Dana Richards) of the original 1984 thorough review of program and needs orchestrated through group process by architect Maria Ogrydziac.
• Anne Hance was on the Chamber of Commerce First Street Faire Committee and helped to organize the First Davis Street Faire.
• Several staff participated (as the only Yolo County non-profit) in Pacific Bell's three-day Fundraising Workshop with Joe Mixer and Robert Apodaca. An additional benefit for participating organizations was a free (paid for by PacBell) retreat facilitation by either Mixer or Apodaca (see below)
• The Program and Executive Directors visited with exhibit staff at several area museum/science centers including the California Academy of Sciences (Linda Kulik) and the Oakland Museum to learn more about exhibition policies, procedures, ethics, etc.
• The Davis Science Center's Exhibit Policies and Procedures were written and were subsequently approved by the Board.
• DSC was awarded $12,000 from the State Department of Education License Plate fund to purchase a van for the traveling programs which had until now traveled in the Hance's Suburban station wagon and the Buddenhagen's Volkswagen "Rabbit.".
• Sept. 18, 19th, the first Board Retreat was held at Frankel cabin at S. Tahoe and was facilitated by Robert Apodaca. About ten board members attended.
• The prestigious Brinley Award for service to the community through a specific project (the Davis Science center) was awarded jointly to Executive Director Anne Hance and Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen.
• Ceramic tiles donated by Dal Tile of Sacramento & sand-blasted with individually chosen designs by Donna Billick for two purposes:
a. A special (limited) program in 1987 for all those who donated $500 or more
b. A recognition program for all donors who give (cumulative) $10,000 +
• Membership increased to 253 and brought in $6,000.
• Business Sponsor Heroes contributed $3,500 to programs and Super Heroes gave $3,500.
• December: Terry Fries of Fries & Fries of Walnut Creek was hired as fund raising Counsel to assist with the Capital Campaign.
• Trustees Judith Moores and Cherie Porter became co-Capital Campaign Directors.
• About 28,500 people served.

1987 Events

• DSC hosted a breakfast reception in UCD Memorial Union for the new UCD Chancellor, Theodore Hullar. This was arranged by Lars Anderson.
• March 7; "Something Old, Something New" Fourth Annual Wine Tasting was organized by volunteer Shelley Booth
• March 17, & 25: Two Inaugural Meetings of Scientists for the Science Center. One in the Memorial Union and the other in the Medical School on Campus.
September: The first "Tools and Toys of Science - an exposition" was held this month. This challenging, successful event was devised and organized by Cherie Porter. It did not have enough attendance to make much money but was very highly rated by participants and was good PR.
October: A "Chocolate Festival" (a real recipe book produced) fund raiser was great fun but only moderately successful as a fund-raiser.

1987 Program

• DSC Cosponsored the DEER Fair again.
• October: Davis Enterprise published a tabloid produced by the Science Center called the Dinosaur Examiner. This was inserted in the Davis Enterprise and in the Vacaville Daily Republic. Text and layout by Phelan and Laura Fretz. Illustrations by Frank Fretz.
• DSC Judged and gave special DSC award at Sacramento and Yolo County Science Fairs.
• Evelyn Buddenhagen worked with Sigma Xi on "A Day With Women Who Love Science" at Pioneer Elementary.
"On The Science Beat" was serialized in San Francisco Examiner. This increased mail sales considerably.


1988 Organization/operation

• Feb: Thomas H. Frankel, a Davis Attorney, was elected President of the Corporation and Chairman of the Board; Ethel Sassenrath Vice President
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen. (Business Director Thomas Leigh suffered a massive heart attack. It was anticipated that the position would be vacant for a short period.)
The first Board Handbook was developed.
• The maximum number of Board members was increased from 16 to 24
A Personnel Policy Manual was developed.
• February, architect Dean F. Unger selected as DSC's building architect after paper screening of a dozen proposals and interviewing half a dozen with a committee of DSC and community people. He, and his colleague Larry Diminyatz immediately started work on a preliminary design for a two storey building with a 7,000 sq.ft. footprint on Central Park.
DSC's first mission statement was developed with help from Terry Fries:
"To present important concepts of science in a friendly and involving way to children and adults."
• Dana Richards accepted the voluntary position of Building Coordinator.
• Evelyn Buddenhagen, with the Resources Assistant attended a Professional Museum Conservation (accessioning, cataloging and de-accessioning etc) Workshop at the Redding Museum. They brought back an invaluable resource - a Museum Conservation Manual.
• Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen was awarded a grant for minority museum professionals and spent two weeks at a Smithsonian workshop in Washington D.C.
May 14: Capital Campaign Training Workshop given by consultant Terry Fries to teach us how to raise $4 million.
July: DSC is awarded a $100,000 Environmental License Plate Fund Grant. This had involved a great deal of work with legislators and attending hearings at the Capitol. It was a combined effort of many people but the prime mover in the effort was Trustee Judith Moores.
• Linda Liebes, Director of the Coyote Point Museum which had just completed a remodeling of its building, was invited to Davis to review and discuss the building plans.
• July: the first issue of a new format, monthly newsletter now called "Science Centered". This was written, edited and made camera-ready by tthree volunteers, and printed by The Printer.
A new logo was designed by Susam Brewer following the consultant Terry Fries' advice that we needed a logo that conveys a people-friendly image.
• Served 39,900 people
• December 30, end of fiscal calendar year 1988

1988 Events

• Joseph Medeiros, Executive Director of the Great Valley Museum visited Davis (invited by the Executive Director) to give a presentation to the Board about how to market the Center's value. He wrote a letter to the Davis City Council in support of the DSC's building plans.
March 10, world renowned anthropologist Richard Leakey visited the Center and became the founding member of the International Advisory Board. Leakey taught a class at the Center and was honored at a DSC reception at the home of Karen Fox. He later was treated to a private dinner with several DSC people at the home of Cherie Porter.
• March: "Aged In Oak" the fifth annual wine tasting and auction. Again organized by Shelley Booth and the Wine Tasting Committee
• DSC set up an information booth at Yolo County Fair. A professional, table-top booth with lights, a name board and a shelf had been obtained for such situations.
• July 10: DSC had a half hour segment on Jerry Kay's "Science In Action" on San Francisco's KCBS Radio Station. Judith Moores and her husband Eldridge Moores (UCD Geology Professor) were the interviewees.
The second Tools and Toys Science Exposition was held in the Fall. It was again rated highly successful by attendees of whom there was an insufficient number to make it a good fund-raiser.
• An elaborate DSC Haunted House (as a fundraiser) was designed and constructed by John Hance in a store front in the Market Place Shopping Center. Cost was several hundred dollars; underwriting of $4,500 from the merchants and Karen Fox was obtained by Cherie Porter.

1988 Program

• Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen worked with Mary Ann Montague on " A Day With Women Who Love Science" at North Davis Elementary School.
• DSC cosponsored DEER Fair again, with Sacramento Science Center.
• DSC judged Sacramento and Yolo County Science Fairs.
• Participated in 1st Annual Chicanito Science Fair in Sacramento. The fair was held in a park and was well attended.


1989 Organization/operation

• Feb: Thomas H. Frankel was elected to continue for a second year as President of the Corporation & Chairman of the Board; Jim Hilliard Vice President.
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Education Director: Phelan Fretz was hired in January as Education Director (replacing the Program Director position.)
A Board financial expectation was instituted, board meetings were reduced to four times a year, and a stronger committee structure was put into place. The potential Board size was increased to a maximum of 32.
• May 3: opened Building and Campaign Office at 129 C Street courtesy of Ridge Builders.
• Campaign & Building staff now paid positions:
Dana Richards position as Building Officer/Coordinator;
Cherie Porter's position as Campaign/Development Coordinator .
Neither wished to relinquish their elected Board positions.
• The Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) asked DSC to vacate the space at West Davis Intermediate School. This involved an intensive search for affordable, appropriate space elsewhere. Nothing was available within the central area of Davis but a short-term agreement with Printer Doug Galbreath provided space for fifteen to eighteen months which was the time it was estimated that it would take to construct the new building on Central Park. Working drawings had already begun and a 50 year lease had been signed with the City of Davis for the south-east corner of the park (at Third and C Streets.)
June 1: started renting new interim facility at 2810 Chiles Road.
• June: John Brinley donated use of downtown office for two years - transferred Building and Campaign Office to 203 F Street.
• The Osborne computers were supplemented with an IBM for the secretary and bookkeeper and with Macintoshes for the program staff.
• End of fiscal year January 1989 - June 30, 1989 (because of change from calendar FY.)
• July: the DSC moved from 1207 Sycamore Lane (West Davis Elementary School) to the rented space at 2810 Chiles Road in South Davis
• DSC Participated with Yolo County in State Fair at Cal Expo by providing exhibits and staff for the County booth.
• September: The DSC Business Plan (50 pages, spiral bound) was completed
• Negotiations started for donation of 3 acres of land by Mace Ranch Investors (MRI) as an alternative building site.
• Served 46,007

1989 Events

• March 18: The "Vintage Masters" (sixth annual) wine tasting and auction was again organized by volunteer Shelley Booth and her committee.
• April 13: world renowned oceanographer Jean Michel Cousteau visited Center. Cousteau was honored at a DSC breakfast reception at the College Park home of UCD Chancellor Theodore Hullar. He then visited the Center at 1207 Sycamore Lane (WDI)
May 6 and 7: A "Flight of Fantasy Air Faire" was held at Yolo County airport. This was a major event and a great success without being a big money-maker. It was very well organized and managed by Cherie Porter.
A Chocolate Festival fund raiser was also held again this year..
• Phelan Fretz spoke to the Board about the educational philosophies that support the existence of informal education such as that provided by the Davis Science Center.

1989 Program

• April 18,-: DSC judged & gave its own awards at Yolo County and Sacramento Science and Technology Fairs.
• DSC's "Education Programs Brochure" designed by Phelan Fretz was printed by Aerojet. (Previously the 1987 and 1988 brochures had been newsprint tabloids designed and executed by Anne Hance. These had been printed by the Davis Enterprise.)
• DSC participated in the 2nd Annual Chicanito Science Fair in Sacramento.
DSC offered a satellite Summer Program on a Woodland site in addition to its Davis program.
• The Delta Environmental Education Coalition (successor to the DEER Faire) Nature Bowl regional semi-finals were held at DSC.


1990 Organization/operation

1. Feb: Lars Anderson elected again - for a fourth year - as President of Board and Corporation, and Chairman of the Capital Campaign; Jim Hilliard Vice President.
Executive Director Anne Hance; Education Director: Phelan Fretz (paid for all official hours worked)
• February: the City of Davis granted $65,000 to the DSC's Capital Campaign.
March: The first comprehensive Staff Handbook (80 pages, spiral bound) was completed.
• April: Tomas Ancona of Ancona & Associates of San Francisco was hired by trustee Cherie Porter to develop a conceptual Exhibit Master Plan for the new building. Cost was $20,000++. The process involved board members, staff, and community members and was orchestrated by the Executive and Education Directors.
• April: Floor tiles on Sudwerk patio engraved as requested for a $35 donation. Arranged by Dana Richards
May: DSC was awarded a $10,000 Institute of Museum Services Award which was received by Anne Hance at a White House ceremony hosted by First Lady Barbara Bush, on May 18,1990.
August: The Exhibit Master Plan document (spiral bound, color illustrations) for the building designed for the three acres donated by MRI was received.
August: The Capital Campaign Fundraising Brochure (8-pages, 3 colors, and photographs) designed by Cherie Porter was received from the printers.
DSC was visited by a team of consultants from Science Alberta Foundation who were looking for a replicable model science center to build in Alberta Canada. The DSC was chosen as their model of a community science center. This interest in DSC came about through a contact Anne Hance had made with designer Drew Ann Wake of Vancouver.
DSC filed “Davis Regional Science Center” as a fictitious Business name with the County of Yolo.
• May: Anne Hance participated in a Community Campus Coalition meeting in her capacity as Executive Director of the davis Regional Science Center..
• June 30 end of Fiscal 1989 - 1990
October 2: A special dinner was held at Sudwerk to honor Frank Ramos and other Capital Campaign donors and prospective donors.
• October 11-14: Development Coordinator (& trustee) Cherie Porter attended the Alberta Science Conference in Calgary. She took with her two table-top, hands-on activities specially designed and fabricated by Anne Hance ("Tops" and "Chromatography")
• A committee of Board members including Lars Anderson, Tom Frankel, Sharon McLin were encouraged by Anne Hance to started discussions about the formation of a Science Alliance in support of informal science throughout this region of California. This was based on Anne's conversations with staff at the Bristol (UK) Exploratory who described how their board had assembled a large group of influential (some wealthy) people to donate and obtain donations for the inauguration and some ongoing support of the Exploratory.
• November 17, a Board retreat was held in at the Teichert building Sacramento courtesy of Randy Sater and Teichert Aggregates who provided the facility and lunch.
• Education Director Phelan Fretz resigned at the end of the year to take the position of Director of Education at the new England Aquarium in Boston.
• The position of Program Director was advertised, and applicants interviewed by a committee of the Executive Director and two trustees.
• Evelyn Buddenhagen was hired again as Program Director.
• Served 47,600

1990 Events

January 16: We gave a Planned Giving Seminar at Jim Hilliard's. Eight attended including Mark Linder, Executive Director of California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.
• March 3: The Seventh Annual Wine Tasting & Auction was again organized and managed by Shelley Booth and her special committee.
November 6: Dr. Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate, discoverer of the helical nature of the DNA molecule, visited the Center as an honored guest. He was brought to the center by Mark McNamee. Dr. Crick was very interested in the California Indians exhibit and agreed to have his photograph taken while he knelt to grind acorns.
• November 19: Dr. Kenneth Starr interviewed Center staff as part of a feasibility study being conducted by UCD concerning the proposed UCD Natural History Museum. Dr. Starr was surprised, impressed, encouraged and laudatory at the scope and innovation of the Center's programming.

1990 Program

A style and philosophy described as "Third Generation: beyond hands-on to really-doing science" was officially adopted by staff and board. The Third Generation concept was originally expressed in a paper presented at a conference by James Bradburne of Vancouver. The concept was rephrased for the Davis Science Center by Executive Director Anne Hance.
• August: The 1990-91 Education Brochure designed by Phelan Fretz, was again printed -free- by Aerojet of Sacramento.
• The Delta Environmental Education Coalition Nature Bowl regional semi-finals were again held at DSC.
UNOCAL gave a $10,000 grant to underwrite a summer program in West Sacramento.
- Summer programs were offered this year in Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento.
• Fairs:
  April 22: Earth Day fair in downtown Davis.
  April 28: Health Fair at University Mall.
  June 3: Davis Street Fair in downtown Davis.
• August 16: Staff (Education Director Phelan Fretz and Specialist Christine Fogg) were presenters at Sacramento County Staff Development Week's Sciences Day.
• The Davis Science Center authored six of the seven Eco Experiments in the national best seller "50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth" by J. Javna of Berkeley, California.
• October 22 and 23: staff (Phelan Fretz and Christine Fogg) participated in the California State Conference on the new Science Curriculum Framework.
• October 24-25: three staff members (Phelan Fretz and Christine Fogg) attended and were presenters at the Western Museums Conference in San Jose. A grant was obtained to enable a support staff person (secretary) to attend.


1991 Organization/operation

• Feb: Lars Anderson was elected to continue for a fifth year as President of Board and Corporation, and Chairman of Capital Campaign; Randy Sater Vice President.
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen (re-hired as Program Director after almost two-year absence.)
• This fiscal year, all permanent staff are now paid for all official hours worked.
Individual Job Manuals (loose leaf binder style to allow for continuous updating) superceded the Staff Handbook developed last year.
A comprehensive CalOSHA manual was developed in accordance with new regulations.
• A new, very detailed (loose leaf for continual updating) Policies and Procedures Manual was completed.
April 30: the DSC recorded title to the three acres of land on Mace Ranch Park donated by MRI (Mace Ranch Investors) in the name of Frank Ramos..
• The Capital Campaign was put on-hold and the services of consultant Terry Fries discontinued.
• DSC was informed by its landlord that the 2810 Chiles Road space (leased in June 1989 for an expected fifteen to eighteen months) would shortly be needed and the DSC must vacate the premises.
• Through the help of Frank Ramos DSC was able to arrange a $1 per year lease of the Mace Ranch House. Ramos owned the house and deeded it and the land it stood on to the City of Davis specifically to be used by DSC as a science center. (the City was scheduled to take ownership of the surrounding large area for a Mace Ranch Park)
• June: negotiated the transfer of the $100,000 ELP (State Resources Department) grant from the Central Park site to the Mace Ranch House site to be used for renovation and ‘exhibit facilities’. The actual funds cannot be paid to a nonprofit and will be routed to DSC through the City of Davis.
• June 30 end of Fiscal 1990 - 1991
• December: started repairs, renovations and remodeling of Mace Ranch House for occupancy in early spring next year. Monier Tile of Woodland and several roofing companies replaced the entire roof of the house at no cost.
• Executive Director Anne Hance discussed with the Board the possible advantages of replacing her with an individual with more fund raising ability and more finance/accounting experience. The Board agreed that this would be a wise change and agreed to allow Anne to initiate the actual timing of this.

1991 Events

• March 9: Eighth Annual Vintage Master Wine Tasting and Auction underwritten by RAMCO and Mace Ranch for $10,000. It was again organized by Shelley Booth and her committee which still included Lars Anderson.
• May: Staff worked a Double Century rest stop at Middletown in cold and heavy rain. They created rain gear for the frozen cyclists out of black plastic garbage bags and were blessed for their efforts!
• May 21: At the (third or fourth?) staff party given for volunteers the staff rendered a heartwarming "The Volunteer's Song" ...We've been working at the Science Center (to the tune of "We've been working on the Railroad) accompanied by Anne Gurnee on the guitar

1991 Program

• Delta Environmental Ed. Coalition Nature Bowl regional semi-finals held at DSC.
• Aerojet again printed the Education Program brochure which was mailed to 4,000 schools.
Summer ‘camp’ programs were held for eight weeks in Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento.
• The West Sacramento Summer camp program was again underwritten by UNOCAL for $10,000.
• DSC participated in the Davis Farmers' Market with an information and activity table.
August: DSC sold a new (our second) ‘Examiner’ tabloid the “Supermarket Examiner” (conceived and designed by Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen) to Safeway for $25,000. To be distributed in three counties - Yolo, Solano & Sacramento.
• September: initiated a new monthly lecture series co-sponsored by Scientists for the Science Center and Entotech of NovoNordisk; called “On the Cutting Edge of Science” The first lecture titled "Bugs vesus Bugs" was given by trustee Dr Pamela Marrone, President of Novo Nordisk Entotech of Davis.
• Evelyn Buddenhagen and several staff took "Science In Your World" to Tahoe as part of the Sacramento County Schools annual pre-school year teachers' conference.
• October 25-26: Program Director attended the Science Alberta Foundation's Touching the Future Conference in Alberta Canada as a speaker and a workshop presenter .
• November: Evelyn Buddenhagen and Anne Gurnee attended the NSTA conference in Reno, Nevada.
• November 25: A facilitated staff retreat was held at the home of Dana Richards in Winters.


1992 Organization/operation

• Feb: Randy Sater, Manager of Teichert Aggregates in Sacramento, was elected as President of Board and Corporation; Dan Ramos Vice President.
Executive Director: Anne Hance; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen
• Started remodeling Mace Ranch House in the new Mace Ranch Park development; funding included the $100,000 Environmental License Plate grant obtained in 1987 as well as about $128,000 of in-kind contributions of labor, equipment and materials provided by companies throughout the area. Other funds raised in the Capital Campaign were used, with donor approval, to start outfitting the spaces in their new roles as public science center spaces.
• February 29 & Mar 1: Strategic Planning Board Retreat as part of the Charles and Susan Roberts strategic planning process. The outcome was a set of Action Programs and strategies, and a new mission that was largely the brainchild of trustee Dan Ramos, "To involve people in science experiences that touch our lives."
• March: The Board voted to adopt a new fictitious business name - EXPLORIT! The Science Experience
• April is Davis Science Center's 10th Anniversary of its opening in 1992.
June: - DSC moved from 2810 Chiles Road to 3141 5th Street where we had been granted a five year lease for the Mace Ranch House now owned by the City of Davis
• June 30 end of Fiscal 1991 - 1992
• July 28: Executive Director Anne Hance went on unpaid surgical leave for two months leaving written authorizations for the Program Director to act in her stead during that time.
• August: The Board officially appointed Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen as Acting Executive Director for an indefinite period.
• September: the Davis Science Center officially opened its doors to the public at Mace Ranch House - EXPLORIT! The Science Experience
• October 1: The Board officially approved Anne Hance's return to work as Executive Director after her two months leave. She returned on a half-time basis.
• October: the "EXPLORIT! Store" designed and installed by Bob Morgan opened for sales.
• October: DSC staff participated in the Davis Area Chamber of Commerce's "Business day on the Quad" at UCD to inform students about the center and enroll them as volunteers.
• The name EXPLORIT! The Science Experience was abandoned in favor of EXPLORIT! Science Center, a place to discover.
• A new logo, to go with the new name, was designed by a Sacramento graphic artist at the urging of trustee Demar Hooper. This introduced a new color - turquoise green - to the official color scheme of forest green, brown and ivory
• November 11: Hance and Bick attended a United Way Legal Issues Seminar
• December 3: Explorit! was visited by a contingent of staff from Carter House in Redding
December: The Board and Executive Director started a careful search for a new Executive Director who was to have expertise and experience first-and-foremost in fund raising but also in finance/accounting.

1992 Events

January 27: Science Alliance held its Inaugural Dinner chaired by Tom Frankel at Sutter Club. Tom's speech: "Forging Partnerships for science education." Keynote speech was by Gayle Wilson (California First Lady). About 90 civic, business and education leaders attended. Mrs. Wilson vivited the Center (at Chiles Road) before the Dinner.
• March 14: The Ninth Annual Wine Tasting and Auction managed by Bakula & Company was not as successful as previous years.
• May: Staff again worked a Double Century rest stop at Middletown in support of the Davis Bike Club which has donated funds to the Center for bike racks and a Ham Radio Hut.
June 7: the 10-sational Festival with booths, games, pony rides, music and food, was held at the new facility in Mace Ranch Park to celebrate our tenth year.
• October 29: First Annual Corporate Science Challenge - the brain-child of President Randy Sater - held at the Radisson Hotel Sacramento was successfully managed by Mary Sater. The trophy winning team was entered by Hackard and Taylor of Sacramento.

1992 Program

• Participated in Central Valley Science and Engineering Fair by judging and awarding a Davis Science Center prize.
• Participated in the Sutter Davis Health fair held at the University Mall.
• March 23: the DEER Coalition's Nature Bowl semi-final contest for Yolo and Solano Counties was held at the Chiles Road facility.
• May 2: the center is a major 'player' in the running of the Nature Bowl and assisted at the Finals which were held at Sacramento State University
May - June: a most successful drop-in space called "Science In Your Town" was open in Downtown Davis at Mansion Square for six weeks. This was especially important since the move to the Mace Ranch House (MRH) prevented the usual on-site summer program.
• Offered summer programs in Davis and Woodland.
• July 4: science center staff had a booth in Community Park as part of the City celebrations.
• The sand collection now housed in a handsome set of museum-style drawers set into the fireplace in the MRH new exhibit area
August: our Health Booklet "Time for a Checkup" developed by Evelyn Buddenhagen and Cherie Porter in 1989 was sold to Kaiser for publication and distribution through our Science In Your World Program.
• A second printing (100,000) of the Supermarket Examiner was paid for and distributed by Safeway.
• October: the "Discovery Den" designed and installed by Connie Kindsfather opened to the public. The vision and concept for this space had been included, at the persistent urging of Anne Hance, since the first building design by Dean Unger.
• October 5: staff attend California Association of Museums (CAM) Conference.
• October 6: staff participated in the Community Services Fair at UCD.
• October 31: staff participated in the Davis Farmers' Market Harvest Festival with a booth offering some items for sale and demonstrating snake handling and bubble blowing.


1993 Organization/operation

• Feb: Katharine Wagner; an attorney with Downey Brand of Sacramento, elected as President of Board and Corporation, Demar Hooper Vice President.
Executive Director Anne Hance (through June 13th); Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen
• February 10: Explorit Annual General Meeting held at Sudwerk. Business included vote on abolishment of statutory membership and approval of rewritten bylaws.
Several retired or retiring trustees were honored including Tom Frankel (7 years), Ethel Sassenrath (9 years), Bob Matthews (5 six years), and Jane Ronning (3 years and 2 extra as secretary).
• March 5 and 6 Explorit was burglarized. Items were stolen from the store and destroyed and extreme damage to all glass was perpetrated at the adjacent Adobe house where we had much in storage.
• April 1: Anne Hance was awarded one of five annual regional role model awards by the Tierra del Oro Girl Scout Council - the award was based on her work at Explorit and was for The World of Today and Tomorrow. Award ceremony was at Radisson Hotel attended by 400 business people.
• June 5: Staff and board again gave a party for Explorit! volunteers.
June 13: Executive Director Anne Hance retired for both evolutionary (as had been agreed to by the Board a year or more earlier) and, unexpectedly for health reasons, at a garden party arranged by the board at the home of Jim Hilliard.
June 14: Joseph Allan Archer assumed the position of Executive Director and chief Executive Officer of Explorit.
August: The Board established an Anne Hance Endowment Fund as part of the Explorit Endowment. (An Explorit endowment already existed since the Board authorized in 1992 that from that time on, 1% of all income be put aside as an endowment)

1993 Events

January 22: Science Alliance Annual Dinner at the Capitol Club - Keynote Speaker Delaine Eastin; other speakers - Robert Grey, Helen Thomson, Robert Shelton, Katherine Wagner.
• January 30: The Tenth Annual Wine Tasting & Auction again organized by Shelley Booth who was paid for the first time.
• September 12: An Anne Hance Endowment Dinner-Theater event was initiated by Lars Anderson and chaired by Tom Frankel. It was held at the University Club and netted about $20,000. About 100 people attended.
• October 21: Second Annual Corporate Science Challenge was again organized by Mary Sater. The perpetual trophy went to Neumiller & Beardsley of Stockton.

1993 Program

A Video Probe microscope set-up donated by the TB Walker Foundation became a permanent, focal aspect of the exhibit area.
June: ESC's first outdoor theatre program - six performances of "On The Verge" directed by Katy Haun and partially funded by the City of Davis Arts Contract Program.
• October & November; About 250 Brownies of the Tierra del Oro Girl Scout Council participated at Explorit in a badge program devised by Evelyn Buddenhagen for MathMagic and Celestial Celebrations badges.

The following is incomplete. The history needs to be catalogued by staff; this volunteer no longer has access to sufficient information. It is hoped that Explorit will maintain the historical continuity by assigning someone the responsibility for carrying on this project. (RAH)


• The Board year was revised so that the first month of the Board year would be October instead of February
• President Katharine Wagner agreed to extend her presidential term through September 1994
• March 12: The Tenth Anniversary (11th Annual) Wine Tasting and Auction celebrated the occasion with two (red & white) special bottlings from Kenwood Winery - with a special label featuring art donated to Explorit by renowned artist Roland Peterson.
March: Executive Director Joseph Archer resigned.
Evelyn Buddenhagen was named Acting Executive Director (and retained Program Director title)
Cherie Porter was hired as a consultant to the Board to overhaul administrative policies and procedures and to assist the board with a comprehensive search for a new Executive Director.

(New Board year now extends from October AGM until following October AGM)

• October 1994: Demar Hooper Attorney at Taylor & Hooper, Sacramento, was elected President of the Board; Carol Wall Vice President.
• Executive Director Emeritus Anne Hance was the first former staff member to be elected to be a trustee.
• The Board agreed that the name of the Center would officially no longer be in Upper Case with an exclamation mark. The use of all upper case with the exclamation mark is to be allowed except when the name is being used in an official sense.
• October: The Third Annual Corporate Science Challenge was again organized by Mary Sater.


Staff: January, 1995 : Jim Telfer was hired as Executive Director; Program Director: Evelyn Buddenhagen.
Board: Demar Hooper resigned from the Board due to a conflict of interest related to fundraising.
• October: Charles Nash was elected as president and Chair of the Board; Denise Manker Vice President.
• Carol Wall assumed the position of President; Charles Nash Vice president. Carol Wall resigned about six weeks later due to pressures of a new administrative position at UCD
• Charles Nash assumed the presidency to finish the term.
• March: Explorit staff were provided with five free e-mail accounts and a training workshop by a local Internet Service Provider - the Davis Community Network (DCN) - as a result of a proposal submitted to DCN by Anne Hance for Explorit to be accepted as a DCN Mini Project.
• March 25, 1995: The Twelfth Annual Wine Tasting and Auction
• Name - legal change : Science Center's name changed officially (and legally) to Explorit.
• May: Explorit's World Wide Web site was made publicly available on the Internet through its Davis Community Network's Mini Project status.; Webmaster was Anne Hance.
• October: The Fourth Annual Corporate Science Challenge; again organized by Mary Sater.


Staff: Executive Director: Jim Telfer
• January 25, 1996: Program Director Evelyn Buddenhagen resigns
• Evelyn was given an Honorary Board position as Program Director Emerita.
• Suzanne Ullensvang appointed(Exhibits Curator) appointed to position of Program Director
• March 5: An Honoring Event and an Evelyn Buddenhagen SPACE FUND arranged by the Board to show appreciation of Evelyn Buddenghagen's lengthy and significant service to the Center.
• Wine tasting : March 30: The Thirteenth Annual Wine Tasting and Auction was held for the first time at non-Davis location other - at the newly refurbished Hotel Woodland.
• Dinner at the Dump award : Later in this year the proceeds (about $19,000) from Davis' Dinner at the Dump were awarded to Explorit for the purchase of a portable building to provide urgently needed classroom and office space.
Board: At the October 1996 Annual Board Meeting: current president Charles Nash was elected as president and Chair of the Board; Denise Manker Vice President.
• Corporate Science Challenge : October 17: the 5th Annual Corporate Science Challenge .


Staff: Executive Director: Jim Telfer - thru May; Executive Director: Suzanne Ullenvang - from June
Program Director: Suzanne Ullensvang - thru June; Program Director: Laura Bassein - from July
Board : In January President Charles Nash resigned and Lars Anderson agreed to fill out his one-year term.
• Mace Ranch House - Portable building : April 1997 - Following the donation to Explorit of the proceeds from the 1996 Dinner at the Dump funds, A used portable building purchased with the Dinner at the Dump funds was transported in April from the Vacaville Fairgrounds. Costs involved transportation, installation, repairs and renovations, and were considerable but overall, because the space already included several offices, a kitchen and two restrooms, the purchase was deemed more useful and less expensive than if a new unit had been purchased.
Business Alliance for Science: The annual business donor program was re-energized this year under the name Business Alliance for Science and achieved some modest success in its first year.
• Executive Director - Telfer resigns : May 1997 - Executive Director Jim Telfer left Explorit in May to pursue opportunities in the Bay Area.
• Executive Director - Ullensvang : Program Director Suzanne Ullensvang was immediately offered the E.D. position - and she accepted.
Board Brief - now Explorit Express - Suzanne very soon resurrected an useful communication tool - the Board Brief now renamed Explorit Express - a publication for Board members and Advisors to keep everyone up to date with happenings at Explorit.
• Wine Tasting : May 3, 1997 - the 14th Annual Wine Tasting was again a great success netting $10,00
• In October 1997 Suzanne attended the annual ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) conference in St Louis.
• Corporate Science Challenge : October 16, 1997 the 6th Annual Corporate Science Challenge netted approximately $20,000.
• Board : At the October 1997 Annual Board Meeting current president Lars Anderson was elected as president and Chair of the Board;


Staff: Executive Director: Suzanne Ullenvang; Program Director: Laura Bassein
• Wine Tasting: April 24 - The 15th Annual Wine Tasting held again at the Hotel Woodland this year on Friday, April 24 featured a Guenoc Vineyards 1997 Zinfandel and another special label. The Explorit wine label design was the result of a student competition and the winner was a student from CSUS.
• Advisors : The creation this year of Explorit Advisors to replace the defunct Regional and International Advisory Boards/Councils , and Scientists for the Science Center , proceeded smoothly and with significant success.
Creative Product - Book of Science Days : The "Book of Science Days" , a traditional book of days in the form of an everlasting desk-top diary, started looking for a publisher this year. The project was started in 1990 by Anne Hance and has been an on-and-off activity of hers in the intervening years.
• Two Community Science Nights - August 16 and September 20 - were enjoyable events with hands-on activities, games and food. On August 16th the theme was astronomy in celebration of the Astronomy Club 's 10th anniversary. About 100 people attended. The special attraction on the September 20 evening was a combustible chemistry show called "BOOM!" by staff member Talib Huff.
• Corporate Science Challenge : October 22 - The 7th Corporate Science Challenge was held October 22 at the Double-Tree Hotel in Sacramento.
Board : At the October 1998 Annual Board Meeting: Jan Zabriskie was elected as president and Chair of the Board; Robert Chason Vice President.
Scholarship Fund initiated : When long-time trustee Ethel Sassenrath retired a special fund was established in her honor. This fund is to provide for scholarships and fee-reductions for needy families and schools.
• Grants - Cowell, Glide : A $40,000 grant from the Cowell Foundation and $10,000 from the Glide Foundation will make it possible to complete the renovation of the portable building - now known as the West Wing - and to create a tree-enhanced patio and native garden on the west side of the front walkway.


Staff : Executive Director: Suzanne Ullensvang; Program Director: Laura Bassein - thru July; Program Director: Jeanine Robb - from August
Friends of Explorit : A new, volunteer support group founded by retired (for the second time) trustee Ethel Sassenrath, was officially ratified by the Explorit Board in 1999
• Wine Tasting : April 23 - The 16th Wine Tasting and Auction was held again at the Woodland Hotel
Land - sale : A portion of the 3-acres owned by Explorit on the south side of east Fifth Street was sold in the Fall to a local business - Konditorei. The sale followed several years during which there were no acceptable offers and many months of negotiations to complete the sale of just under one third of the lot to Konditorei. Income from the sale allowed Explorit to repay loans that it had made to itself from varous restricted funds, and to pay the back taxes owing on the 3 acres since it had been 'on the market'.
• Corporate Science Challenge : October 21 - the 8th Annual Corporate Science Challenge was held again at the DoubleTree Hotel
Board: At the October 28 1999 Annual Board Meeting - Jan Zabriskie elected for a second presidential term; Mike Rushton was elected Vice President (President-elect), Carl Schwedler, Secretary; and Steve Bick, Treasurer.
• Davis' Explorit Science Center's evolution continues as the City of Davis prepares to develop the surrounding land as the Mace Ranch Community Park and works with Explorit to ensure that there is a good symbiotic relationship between the two entities. This relationship and the efforts of the Board lead by Jan Zabriskie, and the Staff led by Suzanne Ullensvang will enable Explorit to continue improving the way in which its programs enrich the lives of Davis and area residents with their particular brand of informal, hands-on, third-generation-style science learning opportunities.

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Explorit Science Center
P.O. Box 1288, Davis, CA 95617, USA
Phone: (530)756-0191     Fax: (530)756-1227