Archive by Author | h. gillespie

Stavana Strutz

The Wild Wild West:

West Nile and Vector-borne Disease in Texas

West Nile virus is spreading across much of Texas causing hundreds of infections! Why is Texas and this year in particular so favorable for West Nile virus? This talk will examine the ecology of local and potentially threatening vector-borne diseases including West Nile virus, Chagas disease, and more!
Stavana Strutz is a graduate student in the Graduate Program in Ecology, Evolution & Behavior at the University of Texas at Austin. Science Under the Stars is a free, outdoor lecture series held at Brackenridge Field Laboratory.

Fall 2012 Speakers

We’re pleased to announce the following dates and speakers for the Science Under The Stars public outreach lecture series.

  • September 13 | Stavana Strutz, West Nile Virus
  • October 11 | Patrick Stinson, How Animals Adapt to Living Around Humans
  • November 8 | Chintan Modi, Vaccine Development and Flourescence
  • December 13 | Michael Gully-Santiago, The Science and Discovery of Stars, Sub-stars, and Planets
All lectures in this series are free, open to the public, and held at 7:30pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703 (map). In the case of inclement weather, lectures will be held indoors. Arrive early for complimentary refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages!

Enjoy Your Summer!

Our 2011-2012 series was Science Under the Stars‘ best achievement yet, with speakers recently interviewed by National Public Radio’s Science Friday, The New York Times, Commander Ben, The Daily Texan, They Blinded Me With Science on KVRX 91.7FM, and we featured a teacher who travelled to the SOUTH POLE for research! We’re on break for the summer, preparing for another exciting lineup this fall. Stay tuned for details!

Michelle Brown

Adventures in Science at the Bottom of the World

Imagine a place where the sun doesn’t set, the ice doesn’t melt and the landscape is so inhospitable that it is an ideal location to simulate life on the moon.  Conducting research in Antarctica can be challenging, but this icy continent is home to many fascinating science investigations. Middle school science teacher Michelle Brown will discuss her adventures working with two science research teams across Antarctica as part of the PolarTREC team.

PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a program in which K-12 teachers spend 2-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. The goal of PolarTREC is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing K-12 educators and polar researchers together. Click here to read Michelle’s PolarTREC journal!


Michelle received her Masters in Science Education at the University of Texas at Austin and currently teaches at O’Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas.