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March 9, Rong Ma

Horns and Thorns: Nature’s Ammunition.

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The natural world is filled with weapons. From horns to boiling acid, pincers to neurotoxins, animals (and plants!) have evolved a multitude of weapons with which to wage war. These weapons come in variety of shapes and sizes, and are used in a multitude of different ways and contexts. Yet, they have evolved for a common purpose: they’re useful for securing food, preventing yourself from being food, and, often, reliable with the ladies. At Science Under the Stars this March, come see some of nature’s most awe-inspiring weaponry and find out why they matter.

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!

Nathan LeClear

Photosynthesis: Past, Present, and Future

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Have you hugged a tree today?  Thanked a pond full of algae?
Plants are responsible for the oxygen in the air we breathe, they form the basis of the food web in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and are the sources of many of our fabrics, materials, and medicines. How can plants do so many marvelous things?  Photosynthesis!
Come hear the story of the reaction that has shaped the face of the planet, dictated the path of evolution for life on Earth, and is key for our future.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 8:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

Emily Marie Booth

Plants on Fire! 

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Is wildland fire friend or foe? Can we control it–and should we try to, every time? What do the plants have to say about it? Come to the next SUTS to find out how fire affects plant communities (and some animals!), and how we can use fire as a tool to maintain ecosystems.
Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 8:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

Alejandro Berrío

Science from the Coffee-lands

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After oil, coffee is the most used product in the world, more than a half of adult Americans consume at least one cup a day and it’ has been recently discovered many of its notable health benefits. Aside of many fun facts about coffee, there are several difficulties that coffee growers face to bring you this amazing beverage to your hand. This talk will describe how Colombians have produced the best coffee of the world over a century and will explore how their scientific achievements have improved its quality and production size.

Christina Andruk

Plants On Fire!

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Fire is a natural part of Texas plant and animal communities. Too little fire has altered our savannas and woodlands and put them at risk for catastrophic wildfires. This talk will explore how prescribed fire can be used to restore endangered species, manage invasive species, and reduce extreme wildfire risk.