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Virtual SUTS! Planet of the Insects

Welcome to Science Under the Virtual Stars! Bees! Bugs! Beetles! Oh my! This month, we will be learning all about important insects here on Earth. Enjoy the kids (of all ages) activities, a virtual natural history tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory, and a bug hunt! The live lecture and Q&A with Tristan Kubik will be held on November 12th at 7:00 pm CT (UTC -6)–the Zoom link is at the end of this post (and we worked the bugs out this time! haha Sorry, I couldn’t help myself…).

Activity 1 (hands-on): Ant Life Cycle Craft 1 (To print or download to your computer, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 2 (hands-on): Ant Life Cycle Craft 2 (To print or download to your computer, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 3 (hands-on): SUTS Ant Farm (To print or download to your computer, click click the 3 vertical dots on the right-hand side of the screen > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 4 (hands-on): Butterfly Life Cycle Craft (To print or download to your computer, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 5 (hands-on): Complete vs. Incomplete Metamorphosis Activity & Information Sheet (To print or fill out on your computer, click the 3 vertical dots on the right-hand side of the screen > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory (13 min)

Image (c) Alexander Wild

A Backyard Bug Hunt! Courtesy of Austin360

Zoom Information for live lecture and Q&A, November 12th at 7:00 pm CT (UTC -6). Note: You must have a (free) Zoom account in order to access this meeting. The meeting will not be recorded.

Topic: Science Under the Stars: Planet of the Insects
Time: Nov 12, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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November 12th, Tristan Kubik

Planet of the Insects

Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live and NOT recorded.

If you don’t like insects, then you’re living on the wrong planet. Earth is likely home to over ten million species of insects. Compared to the 5,000 or so mammal species and the 20,000 or so plant species, insect biodiversity vastly overshadows all other life on our planet. Furthermore, there are close to 10 quintillion insects estimated to be alive this very second. That’s more than 111 million creepy crawlies for every single one of the 9 billion humans alive today. Insects eat everything, do everything, and without them, life on land could not exist. Insects are important pollinators, they take care of life’s waste and dead organic material, and support every terrestrial ecosystem they occur in. But not all insects are allies. Insect pests are our number one competitor for food, blood-sucking insects have killed more humans than all the wars, famines, and natural disasters combined, and bugs constantly invade our homes and spoil our goods. So why are insects so successful? What has driven their massive diversity? How old are insects? And what are some of the ways we humans have figured out how to coexist with the true overlords of planet Earth? Join me, Tristan Kubik, a zany entomologist, as I introduce you to the marvelous microcosm of insects and show you that, contrary to what we would like to believe, insects truly are the dominant form of life on planet Earth. 

Science Under the Stars has gone virtual! This semester all SUTS activities will be online, but we encourage you to participate outdoors under the stars in your backyard! (If wifi allows for it, of course.) November’s schedule is as follows:

  • November 5th: Links to the kids activities and live online lecture/Q&A will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • November 12th, 7:00pm CST: Live online lecture and Q&A with the speaker!

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series based in Austin, Texas.

October 11, Emma Dietrich

The Social Lives of Arachnids

 

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The arachnid class is comprised of over one hundred thousand described species, many of which live a predominantly solitary life. However, almost all arachnids spend at least some portion of their lives interacting with others of their own species, and a few species have evolved to spend their whole lives living in a group. Territorial disputes, intricate courtship dances, extended maternal care, and cooperative group living are just a few types of social interactions scientists have observed in arachnid species. If you want to learn more about the variety of fascinating social behaviors displayed across this group of animals, come out to Science Under the Stars this October! Emma is a PhD candidate in EEB, and you can read about her work here: https://arachnidlady.wordpress.com/.

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

  • 7:00 pm: Snacks, kids activities, and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 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.