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February 9, Alejandro Santillana

Insects Unlocked: Entomology for Everyone

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Insects Unlocked is a public domain project from The University of Texas at Austin’s Insect Collection. In 2015, our team of student and community volunteers crowd-funded a campaign to create thousands of open, copyright-free images. From more than 200 small contributions, we built an insect photography field kit and photo studio. Come join us to learn about this exciting project and how you can get involved with the UTIC!

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:

  • 6:15pm – Snacks, natural history displays, and activities designed for kids of all ages will be available!
  • 6:30-6:50pm – Guided tours of BFL will be offered, dependent on weather and light conditions (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 7:00pm-7:45pm – Settle in to hear the talk!

Dr. Mark Moffett

Life Among the Ants

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Dr. Mark W. Moffett, research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, author of the book Adventures Among Ants, and protégé of E.O. Wilson, talks about the ways that modern humans are much more like ants than we are like chimpanzees. With our societies of millions, only certain social insects and humans need to deal with issues of roadways and traffic rules, public health and environmental safety, assembly lines and teamwork, market economics and voting, slavery and mass warfare. The talk will be illustrated with a few of the hundreds of images from Mark’s National Geographic Magazine stories, many of subject never seen before. The lecture will transport the audience around the world, to experience the fierce driver ants of the Congo, deadly bulldog ants of Australia, marauder ants of Asia, leafcutter ants of South America, and slavery ants of the USA.

Science Under the Stars is a free, monthly public outreach lecture series founded and organized by graduate students in the Section of Integrative Biology at University of Texas at Austin. Our goals are to host fun, informal science outreach events for Austin citizens of all ages, and give scientists a venue to share their work with the general public.

John Abbott

The Art and Science of High-speed Flash Photography

Have you ever wondered what you could see in nature by stopping the motion of a fast moving event? With high-speed flash photography, you can achieve exposures as fast as 1/50,000 sec and see exactly how a wing might be used in flight or a beetle might dive into the water. I will talk about what high-speed flash photography is and the techniques involved in carrying it out along with the implications for scientific inquiry.

Dr. John Abbott is curator of insects at the Texas Natural Science Center and is owner of John C. Abbott Nature Photography