Archive | Sensory System RSS for this section

September 8th, Emily Lessig

Recognition abilities across animals

We’ve all used recognition at various times in our lives- to spot your friend at school or find you parents in a store. However, humans aren’t the only animals that use recognition in their everyday lives. Come learn about the unique recognition abilities cross animals and how they can help regulate social interactions.

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 being up to date on vaccines and booster shots, and provides further protection.
  • At this time, we will not be providing food or drinks; 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 at 8pm CDT. 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 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:

  • 7:00 pm: Kid’s activities and natural history displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory 
  • 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. Please note that parking permit requirements are not enforced during our events. 

Recording of Animal Brains!

Happy New Year, y’all! Did you miss our awesome December talk about Animal Brains given by Isaac Miller-Crews? Well, fear not! The recorded presentation and Q&A has been posted to our Youtube channel for you to watch at your leisure. Click here or the image above to access the video. Also stay tuned for our Spring schedule of virtual talks, which will be released soon!

Virtual SUTS! Animal Brains!

Welcome to Science Under the Virtual Stars! This month we’ll be learning all about brains! Enjoy the kids (of all ages) activities and a virtual natural history tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory! The live lecture and Q&A with Isaac Miller-Crews will be held on December 10th at 7:00 pm CT (UTC -6)–the Zoom link is at the end of this post.

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

Activity 2 (hands-on): Brains and Neurons Game (To print or download to your computer, click File > Download > Microsoft Word (.docx) or PDF Document (.pdf))

Activity 3 (hands-on): Brain Coloring Book (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 (online): Online Brain games

Tour of Brackenridge Field Laboratory (13 min)

Drawings of brains of human, dog fish, frog, alligator, and ostrich
Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images

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.

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

Topic: Science Under the Virtual Stars: Animal Brains!
Time: Dec 10, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 927 9402 0828
Passcode: 767673
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,92794020828#,,,,,,0#,,767673# US (Washington D.C)
+13126266799,,92794020828#,,,,,,0#,,767673# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 927 9402 0828
Passcode: 767673
Find your local number:

Join by SIP

Join by H.323 (US West) (US East) (India Mumbai) (India Hyderabad) (Amsterdam Netherlands) (Germany) (Australia) (Hong Kong SAR) (Brazil) (Canada) (Japan)
Meeting ID: 927 9402 0828
Passcode: 767673

December 10th, Isaac Miller-Crews

Animal brains!

Drawings of brains of human, dog fish, frog, alligator, and ostrich
Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images

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

How do animal brains evolve? Come take a dive into neuroscience, looking at how animals (including humans!) use their brains. We will examine what is different and what seems to stay the same across a wide range of species.

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.) December’s schedule is as follows:

  • December 3rd: Links to the kids activities and live online lecture/Q&A will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • December 10th, 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.

First Neighborhood Science of the Semester!

Claire Hemingway – Brainy bats: strategies for finding food in the jungle at night

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bats are remarkable in their diversity. Over 1300 species of bats can be found in every continent, except Antarctica. They come in a variety of different sizes, shapes, and colors They also eat many different things such as fruit, nectar, insects, frogs, and fish. Because many bats have to find their food at night, they have evolved a whole suite of different hunting strategies. The brains of these impressive animals have been shaped for a long time to allow bats to find and remember where food is. I will cover just a handful of examples of the ways in which these animals have come up with solutions for finding food at night.

Science Under the Stars has expanded to include the Austin Public Library! At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches around the city a couple times a month. This fun free talk for people of all ages will be held at the Howson Branch Library (2500 Exposition Blvd) on Tuesday, January 28th starting at 7:30pm. Q&A will follow the talk.

**This talk will be held outdoors, so bring a chair and dress warmly!