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 Q&A Recording

We have posted the recorded Q&A with our October speaker, Christina Balentine. Apologies for the technical difficulties we had with this inaugural Q&A session. We have figured out the problem, though, so there should be no issue accessing next month’s Q&A. Thank you for your understanding as we figure out how to transition SUTS to this virtual platform! Please see the link below for the Q&A about Super Humankind, and if your question wasn’t answered (or if you have more questions), feel free to email Christina at cmbalentine@utexas.edu. Thanks y’all, and see you next month! 🙂 

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)

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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)!

October 1st & 8th, Christina Balentine

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

Superheroes like Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and the X-Men spark the imagination: what if we could have super powers like these heroes? In fact, humans all over the world do have certain super powers! Thanks to genetic adaptation by natural selection and through cultural innovations, humans thrive in seemingly intolerable environments: at extremely high altitudes in the Himalayas; the freezing cold Arctic; and in toxic, arsenic-rich regions. In this presentation, we will explore these and other super human abilities, and see that humans really do have super powers! 

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.) October’s schedule is as follows:

  • October 1st: Links to the pre-recorded lecture, video tour of Brackenridge Field Lab, kids activities, and more will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • October 8th, 7:00pm CT: Live Q&A with the speaker! Ask questions ahead of time by filling out the Google Form posted with the event links, or ask your question(s) live during the event.

We can’t wait to “see” y’all again and chat about science!

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