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February 10th, David Ledesma

Fossil reptiles and amphibians from the ice age

What is a fossil? Where can you find fossils? How can we use fossils to learn about the past? Take a dive into the ancient world and learn how we use dead things to understand life on earth.

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. 

December 9th, Julia York

Why birds are (figuratively) cooler than you

Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live and recorded.

Birds are dinosaurs and everyone should be talking about it. If you think about it, dinosaurs are around us all the time yet we don’t often take time to appreciate that fact. Birds are found on every continent, every ocean, every city; they can fly very high, very far, and for long periods of time. Join us at the final Science Under the Stars of 2021 to talk about the evolutionary history of birds, how they breathe and why that matters, fun and interesting bird species, and perhaps even a few new facts about the disdained grackles.

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.) This month’s schedule is as follows:

  • December 8th: Links to the kids activities will be posted here and on our Facebook page.
  • December 9th, 7:00pm CST: Live online lecture and Q&A with the speaker! Please note, you must have a Zoom account to access the talk. You can get a free account on Zoom’s website.

Zoom info: https://utexas.zoom.us/j/99210676268

Meeting ID: 992 1067 6268

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

May 13th, Briana Betke

Urban Mammals

This is a stock photo of a young opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a common-urban dwelling mammal! Photo: Mikell Darling on Unsplash 

Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live and recorded.

As human dominated areas continue to grow, natural wildlife habitat is fragmented. However, some wildlife species survive and even thrive in urban areas. Come join us to find out why some mammals may live well in cities while others do not! We will identify some common urban mammals and how they differ from their rural counterparts. Also, we will discuss what we can do to coexist with Austin’s urban-dwelling furry creatures! 

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.) This month’s schedule is as follows:

  • May 6th: Links to the kids activities and live online lecture/Q&A will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • May 13th, 7:00pm CDT: Live online lecture and Q&A with the speaker!

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

April 8th, Lydia Tressel

What are We Eating?

Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live and recorded.

Did you know that both bananas and tomatoes are berries? Did you know that strawberries and raspberries are not berries? Oh my what a fruity conundrum! We will discuss the difference between the botanical and culinary definition of fruits and vegetables. As well as subtypes of fruits and vegetables! Get ready to learn what you eat! 

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.) This month’s schedule is as follows:

  • April 1st: Links to the kids activities and live online lecture/Q&A will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • April 8th, 7:00pm CDT: Live online lecture and Q&A with the speaker!

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

March 11th, Thom Marshall

Snakes of Central Texas

Please note that for this event, both the lecture and Q&A will be live.

Have you always wondered what kind of snakes you see in your backyard or at the greenbelt? Join us for a discussion about the snakes of Central Texas! We’ll discuss basic facts about snakes, the important roles they play in ecosystems, as well as how to identify common snakes in our area.

We are excited to partner with the Texas Science Festival for this month’s Science Under the Stars virtual lecture! Check out the Texas Science Festival’s website for a ton of other awesome FREE lectures and activities for all ages!

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.) This month’s schedule is as follows:

  • March 4th: Links to the kids activities and live online lecture/Q&A will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • March 11th, 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.