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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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Meeting ID: 991 4329 5587
Passcode: 106151

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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 SUTVS Live Q&A Zoom Link

Hello all! We are just two days away from the live Q&A with this month’s speaker, Christina Balentine! It will be on October 8th at 7:00 pm CDT (UTC -5). We will be using the virtual meeting platform, Zoom. You will need to register for a free account with Zoom before joining the meeting (this is a safety precaution implemented by UT Austin). We’re looking forward to it!

Christina Balentine (she/her) is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Science Under the Virtual Stars Q&A w/Christina
Time: Oct 8, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://utexas.zoom.us/j/95497857514?pwd=WmZKU3ptYmxvWU42SmV5UnI3aVlKUT09

Meeting ID: 954 9785 7514
Passcode: 685395
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Meeting ID: 954 9785 7514
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Find your local number: https://utexas.zoom.us/u/aI3WxCwzS

Join by SIP
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213.244.140.110 (Germany)
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207.226.132.110 (Japan)
Meeting ID: 954 9785 7514
Passcode: 685395

Virtual SUTS! Super Humankind: How humans have adapted to thrive all over the world

Welcome to the first ever Science Under the Virtual Stars! We will be exploring human adaptation to extreme environments this month. Enjoy the kids (of all ages) activities, virtual natural history tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory, and the lecture on Super Humankind! A Zoom link to the live Q&A with the speaker, Christina Balentine, will be posted next week. This live Q&A will be held on October 8th at 7:00 pm CDT (UTC -5).

Activity 1 (hands-on): Can you adapt? (To print or fill out on your computer, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 2 (hands-on): Feeling peckish! (To print or fill out on your computer, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 3 (online): Skin color adaptation

Coloring book: Adventures in Archaeological Science (multiple languages available)

Tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory (13 min)

The lecture! Super Humankind: How humans have adapted to thrive all over the world (31 min). Please fill out this form with your questions for the live Q&A on October 8th at 7:00 pm CDT (UTC -5)!

Fall 2020 Virtual SUTS Schedule

Thanks to everyone who responded to our Google poll! You all gave us valuable feedback on how to move forward with SUTS in a socially-distant world. We received overwhelming support for having a Science Under the Virtual Stars this semester. We will host three lectures by UT Austin graduate students in October, November, and December. Pre-recorded lectures, tours of Brackenridge Field Lab, activities and more will be posted to our website and Facebook on the first Thursday of the month. Then on our regular second Thursday of the month, we will have a live Q&A session with the speaker! A form will be provided for you to submit questions ahead of the Q&A, or feel free to ask them during the live event. Below is the schedule of speakers, with more details to come soon. Thank you all for your support!

  • October 1 (lecture posted) & October 8 (live Q&A): Christina Balentine – Super humankind: how humans have adapted to thrive all over the world
  • November 5 (activities and event link posted) & November 12 (live lecture and Q&A): Tristan Kubik – Planet of the Insects
  • December 3 (lecture posted) & December 10 (live Q&A): Isaac Miller-Crews – Animal brains!

Note: We will post the links for the videos/activities/live Q&A for each event in a separate, event-specific post. Follow this blog or our Facebook page to get event notifications.

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