Spring 2022 Schedule

Happy New Year 2022! Please mark your calendars for our four splendid speakers scheduled for the semester of talks, on the second Thursday of every month:

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events are held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Due to the pandemic we may change to a virtual venue to keep our attendees and organizers safe, depending on advice from our epidemiologist colleagues. Please keep an eye on the specific event announcements to determine if they will be held in person or on zoom!

Note: We will post the precise schedules and links for each event in a separate, event-specific post. Subscribe to our emails, this blog, our YouTube channel, or our Facebook page to get event notifications.

May Neighborhood Science

We have one more Neighborhood Science event for the month of May! See details below. At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches in the Austin area.

Howson Branch Library, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

Bleached coral. Credit: National Marine Sanctuaries

Tuesday, May 31st 6:00-7:00pm CDT: Carly Scott – “Coral Bleaching: An On-Again-Off-Again Relationship

You’ve probably seen photos of completely white – or bleached – coral reefs. This bleaching happens as sea temperatures rise and can be deadly for corals. However, coral bleaching is really the “break-up” between the coral animal and tiny algae partners that live within their cells. Who are these partners? What causes this relationship breakdown? Why are some corals more resistant to warming seas than others? 

Through this talk, we’ll explore the relationship between corals and their algae and how scientists assess which reefs are most at risk.

May 12th, Carley Scott

Coral Bleaching: An On-Again-Off-Again Relationship

You’ve probably seen photos of completely white – or bleached – coral reefs. This bleaching happens as sea temperatures rise and can be deadly for corals. However, coral bleaching is really the “break-up” between the coral animal and tiny algae partners that live within their cells. Who are these partners? What causes this relationship breakdown? Why are some corals more resistant to warming seas than others? 

Through this talk, we’ll explore the relationship between corals and their algae and how scientists assess which reefs are most at risk.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we request that visitors follow CDC and UT Austin-recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of all in attendance:

  • Before attending the event, take the CDC’s online Coronavirus Self-Checker to ensure you are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, please get tested and stay home.
  • We highly recommend masking for all attendees.
  • At this time, we will not be providing food or drinks to reduce the need to remove masks, please plan accordingly.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others, seating will be spaced appropriately.
  • Use the provided hand sanitizer and wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) frequently.

For those who still prefer to attend virtually, we will be streaming the talk live on our YouTube channelPlease tune in at 8pm CDT. We ask for your patience in case of technological difficulties as we try out this new hybrid format. Feel free to post questions for the speaker in the comments and email scienceunderthestars@gmail.com with any issues.

Though we currently plan to have in-person presentations, we may be forced to return to an online zoom format at any time, including for inclement weather. **Please subscribe to our emailsour blogour YouTube channel, or our Facebook page for the most up-to-day event notifications.**

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 7:00 pm: Kid’s activities and natural history displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory 
  • 7:15 pm-7:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 8:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here. Please note that parking permit requirements are not enforced during our events. 

Neighborhood Science is Back!

After a long COVID hiatus, Neighborhood Science is returning to a library near you! At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches in the Austin area. Below are the dates and descriptions for this spring’s talks at the Howson Branch and Twin Oaks Branch libraries.

Howson Branch Library, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

Screenshot of an iNaturalist observation of Texas Thistle, Whitney Behr 6/2/2020 at Pedernales Falls State Park

Tuesday, April 26th 6:00-7:00pm CDT: Whitney Behr – “Plant identification for everybody”

What is that plant that just popped up in your backyard? How do you find out? We will learn how to be plant detectives and figure out the name of any plant with the help of books, pictures, and asking the botanist friends you didn’t know you had. 


Twin Oaks Branch Library, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704

Bleached coral. Credit: National Marine Sanctuaries

Thursday, May 19th 6:30-7:30pm CDT: Carly Scott – “Coral Bleaching: An On-Again-Off-Again Relationship

You’ve probably seen photos of completely white – or bleached – coral reefs. This bleaching happens as sea temperatures rise and can be deadly for corals. However, coral bleaching is really the “break-up” between the coral animal and tiny algae partners that live within their cells. Who are these partners? What causes this relationship breakdown? Why are some corals more resistant to warming seas than others? 

Through this talk, we’ll explore the relationship between corals and their algae and how scientists assess which reefs are most at risk.

April 14th, Whitney Behr

Plant identification for everybody

What is that plant that just popped up in your backyard? How do you find out? We will learn how to be plant detectives and figure out the name of any plant with the help of books, pictures, and asking the botanist friends you didn’t know you had. 

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we request that visitors follow CDC and UT Austin-recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of all in attendance:

  • Before attending the event, take the CDC’s online Coronavirus Self-Checker to ensure you are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, please get tested and stay home.
  • We highly recommend masking for all attendees.
  • At this time, we will not be providing food or drinks to reduce the need to remove masks, please plan accordingly.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others, seating will be spaced appropriately.
  • Use the provided hand sanitizer and wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) frequently.

For those who still prefer to attend virtually, we will be streaming the talk live on our YouTube channelPlease tune in here at 8pm CDT. We ask for your patience in case of technological difficulties as we try out this new hybrid format. Feel free to post questions for the speaker in the comments and email scienceunderthestars@gmail.com with any issues.

Though we currently plan to have in-person presentations, we may be forced to return to an online zoom format at any time, including for inclement weather. **Please subscribe to our emailsour blogour YouTube channel, or our Facebook page for the most up-to-day event notifications.**

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event (Please note time change due to Daylight Savings):

  • 7:00 pm: Kid’s activities and natural history displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory 
  • 7:15 pm-7:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 8:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here. Please note that parking permit requirements are not enforced during our events. 

March 10th, Sam Smith

What to expect when you are an animal expecting

We know that chickens lay eggs and humans give birth, but what about kangaroos, sand tiger sharks, and aphids? Come learn about all the wacky ways that animals produce young. We will talk about the challenges of making a whole animal from a single cell (it takes a lot of energy!) and touch on how human pregnancy differs from that of other animals. 

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we request that visitors follow CDC and UT Austin-recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of all in attendance:

  • Before attending the event, take the CDC’s online Coronavirus Self-Checker to ensure you are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, please get tested and stay home.
  • We highly recommend masking for all attendees.
  • At this time, we will not be providing food or drinks to reduce the need to remove masks, please plan accordingly.
  • Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others, seating will be spaced appropriately.
  • Use the provided hand sanitizer and wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) frequently.

For those who still prefer to attend virtually, we will be streaming the talk live on our YouTube channelPlease tune in here at 7pm CST. We ask for your patience in case of technological difficulties as we try out this new hybrid format. Feel free to post questions for the speaker in the comments and email scienceunderthestars@gmail.com with any issues.

Though we currently plan to have in-person presentations, we may be forced to return to an online zoom format at any time, including for inclement weather. **Please subscribe to our emailsour blogour YouTube channel, or our Facebook page for the most up-to-day event notifications.**

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 6:00 pm: Kid’s activities and natural history displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory 
  • 6:15 pm-6:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 7:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 7:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here. Please note that parking permit requirements are not enforced during our events.