The Sky Is Not Falling with the SciSchmooze

SciSchmooze 5.10.21

Hello Science based thinkers!

What a way to end a week. It wasn’t that long ago that we learned that The Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously. But recently it seems there have been a few events that might make people take UFOs more seriously. Consider March 26, 2021 and just a few hours ago… also worth noting I think is Elon Musk on Saturday Night Live about the same time! I think he did far better than most people expected. I suggest you watch the whole Mother’s Day show. Given some of the conspiracy theories that are spreading around the web these days I wonder how long it will be until we get reports of a UFO demonstrating incredible ingenuity on Mars.

I can’t help but comment that vaccination “hesitancy” seems to be making it hard on everyone to one degree or another. It is still a topic of a lot of discussion and there are some interesting resources on line and coming up that are worth checking out. Here’s a few…

Worth A Shot anytime

Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of America’s Response to the Pandemic Thu @ 4:00

Vaccine hesitancy in the era of COVID Thu @ 7:30

Even in S.F. Bay Area, many people refuse to get shots.

 Fake science and the knowledge crisis: ignorance can be fatal

 Vaccines & US: Cultural Organizations for Community Health 

A year ago we were thinking we’d be back to hearing scientists talk in person. Needless to say that has changed. One of the “benefits” is that many organizations have been able to bring in a far greater range of presenters. Several different groups in the bay area focused on local presenters because we are so fortunate to have so many in the area. After we get everything opened up again it will be interesting to see who goes to local venues to see these presentations. Look for some creative ways to engage.

This week we are still going to be watching remotely. Here are few that I think you might find interesting…

Slugs and Steins: A Century of Paradigm Shifts in our Understanding of the Universe - Livestream Mon 6:30

The Science of Change - Livestream Tue @ 3:00 So timely!

After Dark Online: Sustainable Energy Thu @ 7:00

I recommend that you check out From Water to Human Dynamics: Taking a Non-traditional path to make chemistry more inclusive - Livestream Sat @ 10:30 Here’s some related reading… Mary Somerville, Emmy Noether, History of Women in Science and Technology. Science has a long and rich history of unique people who have had to struggle to make a difference and go against the current beliefs, check out Famous Black Scientists in History, Famous Arab & Persian Scientists and their Inventions, Female Scientists Who Slay, Asian Scientists in History. Here’s another interesting story from not that long ago, The Botanist Who Defied Stalin

Are you interested in taking a crack at helping with scientific research? BOINC might be for you!

I’d really prefer rain and snow but that shouldn’t stop you or me from learning cool new stuff. I hope we all do, this week.

herb masters

“The colour of the skin is in no way connected with strength of the mind or intellectual powers.”Benjamin Banneker

Upcoming Events:
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.

Monday, 05/10/2021

Light and Dark. A Story of the Cosmos - Livestream - 05/10/2021 11:00 AM
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

Light is the main observable in cosmology, but most of what we "see" with this light is how the dark universe behaves. We will explore how the light from millions of distant galaxies are used to shed light on the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Speaker: Marika Asgari

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Tracking Moment-by-Moment Changes on Digital Screens to Discover What People Actually See and Do With Technology - Livestream - 05/10/2021 02:30 PM
Stanford Symbolic Systems Forum

There has never been more interest and anxiety about the effects of media - addiction, wellbeing, relationships, politics, finances, work changes, and more. Parents, pediatricians and policy makers are eager for better data about the effects of technology, but it has been a challenge for scientists to accommodate. The major problem that scientists face is that media experiences now defy easy characterization. Researchers need a better microscope, and better theories about how to use it, to see what is now often invisible.  A major opportunity is to use interdisciplinary science to develop a framework that can be used to assess the breadth of life experiences now reflected on screens. We have launched the Stanford Human Screenome Project, a research platform and data repository that facilitates precise mapping of media use via detailed moment-by-moment capture and computational analysis of all the actual content, actions and sequences that appear on personal screens - defining what we call the screenome.  We will demonstrate diverse applications of the screenome in the study of politics, physical and mental health, learning and social relationships.

Speaker: Byron Reeves

See weblink for Zoom link.

Seeing to the Event Horizons of Supermassive Black Holes - Livestream - 05/10/2021 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium

Supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies power some of the brightest objects we see in the Universe; active galactic nuclei (AGN). Much remains unknown, however, about exactly how energy is released from the material falling in through the accretion disk, and from the black hole itself, to power these extreme systems, forming a powerful X-ray emitting corona and launching jets at almost the speed of light.

The X-rays emitted from the corona illuminate the material falling into the black hole and by measuring its reflection, we obtain a unique insight into the processes occurring just outside the event horizon. Most recently, measuring echoes of X-ray flares emitted by the corona, and comparing these measurements to the predictions of general relativistic ray tracing simulations, we have been able to obtain the most detailed map of the structure of the inner accretion disk and corona.

The reverberation of X-ray flares is letting us see the corona evolve in real time and witness the effects of strong gravity and general relativity as the X-rays are bent around the black hole. This gives us important insight into the small-scale processes close to the event horizon that allow black holes to power these extreme objects and play their important feedback role in the formation of structure in the Universe.

Speaker: Dan Wilkins, Kavli Institute

See weblink for Zoom connection information

Meeting the Goals of SB 100 - Livestream - 05/10/2021 04:00 PM
Stanford Energy Seminar

California's Senate Bill (SB) 100 established a landmark policy requiring renewable energy and zero-carbon resources supply 100 percent of electric retail sales to end-use customers by 2045. This seminar will share the results of a recent study on the paths to achieving the goals of SB 100.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Slugs and Steins: A Century of Paradigm Shifts in our Understanding of the Universe - Livestream - 05/10/2021 06:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

The past century has witnessed the birth of our modern view of the large scale universe as well as an astonishing list of startling changes or paradigm shifts in our understanding. The rate of new discoveries seems to be accelerating with time. This talk will take us from the contributions of Einstein and Hubble to the most recent discoveries about the early history of the universe. We will even discuss the discoveries expected from the next generation of scientific instruments as well as the likelihood of the unexpected discovery.

Speaker: George Blumenthal, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Cruz

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Astronomy on Tap: Los Angeles - Livestream - 05/10/2021 07:30 PM
Astronomy on Tap

We’ll hear from Sabrina Pakzad: “SOFIA: NASA’s Flying Infrared Observatory” and from Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay: “The Lunar Crater Radio Telescope on the Far Side of the Moon”. In addition, we will host interactive astronomically-themed pub trivia.

See weblink for YouTube link.

Tuesday, 05/11/2021

Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition and Modern Medicine - Livestream - 05/11/2021 10:00 AM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Food processing isn’t listed on the nutrition facts food label. The label tells you what’s in the food. Critics say this is mostly irrelevant - what you really need to know is what’s been done to the food, and no label tells you that. In this program, Dr. Robert Lustig, UC San Francisco, will expllain nutrition and food science. He says that essentially, all you need to know are two precepts, six words total: 1) protect the liver, 2) feed the gut. Those foods that satisfy both precepts he deems to be healthy; those that do neither are poison, and those that do one or the other are bad (but less bad) - no matter what the USDA and FDA allow to be stated on the package. Only items that meet both of Lustig's criteria qualify as real food - i.e., that hasn’t been stripped of its beneficial properties and sprinkled with toxins that will hasten our demise.

Moderator: Patty James, Nutritionist

Register at weblink to receive connection information.

Assessing readiness for AI projects: Case study with a Skin Cancer Detection System - 05/11/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy

Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly critical to develop innovative, competitive, and differentiated medical businesses and products. However, each such project bears the risk of costly failures, due to lack of proper vision, guidance, and data strategy. Furthermore, deployed AI solutions always contain a degree of human and societal biases that may influence the results and have costly consequences for organisations beyond the project itself.In this meetup, delivered by three AI and data scientists with strong backgrounds, we will explore how to identify the feasibility requirements in building successful AI projects, from identifying problems where AI can readily add value, to getting the right team and resources for your projects. We will take some sample use cases, one being a skin cancer detection project, to demonstrate various details to pay attention in preparation to successful AI projects. We will show how to leverage human-centric design to mitigate risks in AI projects in digital medicine.Agenda:11:40 am - 11:50 am Arrival and socializing11:50 am - 12:00 pm Opening12:00 pm - 1:50 pm Onur Yürüten, Pawel Rosikiewicz and Oksana Riba Grognuz, "Assessing readiness for AI projects: Case study with a Skin Cancer Detection Sys"1:50 pm - 2:00 pm Q&APlease register here.Webinar ID: 864 4081 9063

The Science of Change - Livestream - 05/11/2021 03:00 PM
Commonwealth Club - Online Event

Cycles are hard to break. Once you get into the habit of eating badly, not exercising, or procrastinating, finding purpose and success can seem like an insurmountable goal. No matter how many books you read, podcasts you listen to, or YouTube how-to videos you watch, you're still not where you want to be. But maybe there’s still hope. Award-winning Wharton professor and "Choiceology" podcast host Katy Milkman understands the blockages she says are preventing you from making change. She has spent her career studying behavior change, and she offers a new strategy for breaking bad habits to make personal change.

In her new book How to Change, Milkman suggests new solutions for getting where you want to be. Backed by case studies, personal narratives and innovative research, Milkman encourages readers to focus on timing, turn temptation into assets, and give others advice to help people achieve more and meet success. Turning an uphill battle into a downhill one is the key to success, and Katy Milkman is here to show how it can be done.

Join us as Katy Milkman offers an indispensable, research-based approach for designing your life and achieving your goals, once and for all.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Moderator: Charles Duhig, Author

Whole Earth Seminars - The hidden role of bedrock fractures in regulating water and carbon cycling - Livestream - 05/11/2021 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Many landscapes are mantled with thin soils that overlie meters to tens of meters of weathered bedrock. This transition zone between soil and bedrock can be a vital water supply to vegetation and can control rates of groundwater recharge. This weathered rock may also regulate carbon cycling through the action of deep roots, which enhance chemical weathering. Relative to the overlying soils and underlying groundwater, the hydrologic and geochemical dynamics of weathered bedrock are challenging to observe and consequently poorly understood. In this presentation, I will share results from intensive efforts to directly quantify the complex fluid pathways in weathered bedrock and discuss the implications of our monitoring results for Earth system processes.

Speaker: Daniella Rempe, University of Texas at Austin

Zoom information can be found on the EPS advising Google calendar

Killer Snails from Beach to Lab Bench to Bedside - Livestream - 05/11/2021 06:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

Dr. Mandë Holford will talk about how her research bridges from mollusks to medicine, combining chemistry and biology to discover, characterize, and deliver novel peptides from venomous marine snails for manipulating cellular physiology in pain and cancer. Her laboratory investigates the power of venom to transform organisms and to transform lives when it is adapted to create novel therapeutics for treating human diseases and disorders. Mandë believes we need a new deal with nature, where we appreciate it’s intrinsic value and make a serious effort to conserve, protect and restore as much of what remains and has been lost, and at the same time we understand how nature is essentially tied to our health, agriculture and economy.

Register at weblink to receive connection information.

Wednesday, 05/12/2021

Amazon's Rise as a Global Empire - Livestream - 05/12/2021 11:00 AM
Computer History Museum

Can you imagine life without Amazon? The company has changed the way we shop, invented products like Alexa, and disrupted industries, while its workforce has quintupled in size and its valuation has soared to well over a trillion dollars. Jeff Bezos’s empire, once housed in a garage, now spans the globe. Between services like Whole Foods, Prime Video, and Amazon’s cloud computing unit, AWS, plus Bezos’s ownership of The Washington Post, it’s impossible to go a day without encountering Amazon’s impact. We live in a world run, supplied, and controlled by Amazon.

What's the story behind how an internet retail upstart became one of the most powerful and feared entities in the global economy, with endless ambition for more growth? How have seismic changes inside the company over the past decade led to dramatic innovations, as well as missteps that turned public sentiment against it? And what drives Bezos, a tech geek who transformed himself into one of the wealthiest people in the world who rules Amazon with an iron fist?

Brad Stone, Bloomberg executive editor for global tech, will discuss his new book, Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire, in a lively conversation with Emily Chang, anchor and executive producer of Bloomberg Technology and Studio 1.0. Stone will share insights from interviews with hundreds of current and former Amazon employees, competitors, regulators and critics, exploring the evolution of Bezos himself and major factors in the company’s remarkable rise.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Checking in with Perseverance - Livestream - 05/12/2021 01:00 PM

After the successful February 18th landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars, Exploratorium scientist Isabel Hawkins and host Ron Hipschman catch up with our plucky Martian companion and tell you all about what's happening on the red planet. Where has Perseverance been? What has it found? Where is it going? Tune in and space out.

Speaker: Isabel hawkins, Exploratorium

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook links

The Science Behind Catching Criminals and Cheats: Benford’s Law - Livestream - 05/12/2021 01:00 PM
Science and Entertainment Exchange

What do the IRS, election fraud, great music, Russian bots, deep fakes, and volcanoes have in common? The answer: Benford’s Law. But if you’re like us, you a) didn’t know this and b) don’t understand what this Law is all about. Not to worry because we’ve got you covered. Or more accurately, next week’s Exchange guest does. Computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck will take us through this mind bending mathematical tool that quietly and inexplicably describes our world in a way that’s so consistent, it can be used to catch cheats, thieves, and miscreants online.

Speaker: Jennifer Golbeck, University of Maryland

Ask the Scientist - Maxime Grand - 05/12/2021 02:00 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

How do scientists go from OMG to PhD? How do they turn their passion for science into their profession? What advice do they have for future scientists?

If you are a 5th-12th grade student, undergraduate, teacher or parent, join us to ask these questions and more in a Q&A session with our weekly Seminar speakers.

Parents must give permission for children under 18 to participate.

Speaker: Maxime Grand is a chemical oceanographer and analytical chemist. His research primarily revolves around the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and trace metals, and in the application of novel microfluidic techniques to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of chemical measurements in coastal and open ocean settings. He received his B.S and Ph.D. from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, M.S from the University of Plymouth (UK) and did a postdoc at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (UK). He is now Assistant Professor at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), San José State University.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

The development of autonomous chemical analyzers for ocean observatories and aquaculture in California - Livestream - 05/12/2021 03:30 PM
Estuary & Ocean Science Center

Progress and discovery in marine biogeochemistry is limited by our ability to obtain widespread measurements over a range of appropriate time scales. While several robust sensors are now routinely used for some key variables, the vast majority of nutrient and trace metals measurements still rely on technologies that were developed decades ago and are inherently unsuitable for unattended operation at coastal observatories. In this presentation, I will describe a new commercially available microfluidic technique, which through its small size, minimal reagent use, and minimized maintenance requirements, is well suited for in situ operation while matching the analytical capabilities of traditional analyzers. I will close by discussing our new research at the MLML aquaculture facility, including the need to constrain the emission rates of volatile bromocarbons (e.g., bromoform) from seaweed species that may soon be mass produced to generate feed additives to reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock.

Speaker: Maxime Grand, Assistant Professor, Moss Landing Marine Laboratory

Register at weblink to receive Zoom information

Cocktails & Conservation: Pangolins in Crisis - Livestream - 05/12/2021 06:00 PM
Oakland Zoo

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook links

Thursday, 05/13/2021

Labside Chats: A Conversation with a Scientist, featuring Stephanie Brodie, Ph.D. - Livestream - 05/13/2021 11:00 AM
UC Santa Cruz

Tune in for the next Labside Chat with Stephanie Brodie, project scientist at UC Santa Cruz and researcher with the Fisheries Collaborative Program. Learn why scientists track marine predators in the ocean and how this helps protect endangered species such as whales and sea turtles.

Join the conversation! Submit your questions in advance for Stephanie, then watch the conversation to hear the answers during the live chat. Help us put together questions such as:

How are migratory species defined, and how do we understand where they live in the ocean?What is bycatch, and how are management tools used to reduce its impact?How do marine predators respond to environmental change?

See weblink for YouTube connection information


'Iwígara: American Indian Ethnobotanical Traditions and Science' - Livestream - 05/13/2021 01:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden

Join author Enrique Salmón for a presentation on his recent book "Iwígara: The Kinship of Plants and People". In this book he explores 150 plants of key importance to American Indians. Enrique Salmón reveals how the plants were traditionally used, why they were used that way, what their health and medicinal applications and benefits are, and basic scientific data about each plant.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

SETI LIVE: The End of Everything - Livestream - 05/13/2021 02:00 PM
SETI Institute

Take a look around. Everything you see, from this blue and green planet we live on to the stars and distant fuzzy galaxies in the sky, began with the Big Bang and, over billions of years, found its way to the shapes and forms they have now. But what is the fate of this vast universe filled with galaxies, stars, and planets? Beth Johnson is joined by astrophysicist and science communicator Dr. Katie Mack to discuss her new book, The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). The possibilities include the Big Crunch, Heat Death, Big Rip, Vacuum Decay, and the Bounce.

Speaker: Dr. Katie Mack, North Carolina State University

After Dark Online: Sustainable Energy - 05/13/2021 07:00 PM

Explore technologies designed to harness renewable energy sources and lower the carbon footprint of energy use through building and transportation design. The first week of May, the vessel Energy Observer will be docked next to our Platinum LEED-Certified campus on Pier 15. This high-tech French sailboat is the first self-sufficient, hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vessel. From solar and wind power to efficient hybrid propulsion and closed-loop heating and cooling systems, the Exploratorium building and the vessel both put an array of innovations to use for a cleaner, greener future. Virtually step onboard the ship and inside the Exploratorium to find out more about the science behind the net-zero energy goals of each.

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook links.

NightSchool: Rainforests - Livestream - 05/13/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Explore the tropical rainforests of the world with a session dedicated to these iconic and important ecosystems, which are home to nearly half of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and play a critical role in global weather. Learn how scientists are studying rainforest health - and get a bonus behind-the-scenes look into the Academy's own rainforest dome.

See weblink for YouTube and Facebook Live links.

Vaccine hesitancy in the era of COVID - Livestream - 05/13/2021 07:30 PM
Bay Area Skeptics

The anti-vaccine movement has broadened in scope over the past year, using arguments of “medical freedom” to bring in COVID-19 deniers and anti-maskers into the fold. Concerningly, the movement has also grown more politically polarized, as those who believe COVID is a hoax and masks don’t work tend to lean right politically. With COVID-19 vaccines now becoming increasingly available, this talk will describe what has happened in the past year in anti-vaccine spaces, and what can be done to minimize hesitancy and work toward ending the pandemic.

Speaker: Tara C Smith, Kent State University

See weblink for connection information

Friday, 05/14/2021

From Atomic Scales to Asteroid Surfaces: Understanding Space Weathering of Airless Bodies through Coordinated Analyses - Livestream - 05/14/2021 12:00 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Soil grains on the surfaces of airless planetary bodies such as the Moon and asteroids are continuously being modified by their exposure to interplanetary space. These surface materials experience micrometeorite bombardment and irradiation by energetic particles from the solar wind, a phenomenon collectively known as space weathering. Such interactions change the chemical and microstructural characteristics of soil grains and, as a result, their optical properties which we can measure with remote sensing spacecraft. In order to understand the nature of space weathering processes on airless planetary surfaces, I combine nanoscale analyses of returned samples with experimental simulations of space weathering in the laboratory. I will present my work using various techniques to simulate micrometeorite impacts and solar wind irradiation of both returned samples and analog materials. I will present results from a novel technique to simulate micrometeoroid impacts using in situ heating inside the transmission electron microscope (TEM). I will also describe the results of new laser and ion irradiation experiments of carbonaceous meteorites which simulate space weathering on the surfaces of organic-rich asteroids. I will explore the microstructural and chemical signatures of space weathering in these samples and their relationship to changes in optical properties of the material. Finally, I will put these experimental results in the context of ongoing planetary science sample return missions, including NASA OSIRIS-REx and JAXA Hayabusa2.

Speaker: Michelle Thompson, Purdue University

Zoom information can be found on the EPS advising Google calendar

Saturday, 05/15/2021

Beyond the Great Reset - One-day Systems Change Summit - Livestream - 05/15/2021 12:00 AM
Post Carbon Institute

Join Richard Heinberg, Helena Norberg Hodge, Daniel Christian Wahl, James Quilligan, Sohail Inayatullah, Byron Joel and others on how we can create a world beyond “corporate sustainability” and move toward regenerative cultures and needs-based economies.

See weblink for registration, agenda, and speaker information.

From Water to Human Dynamics: Taking a Non-traditional path to make chemistry more inclusive - Livestream - 05/15/2021 10:30 AM
California Section American Chemical Society

Dr. Chrissy Stachl’s journey to, and through, the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Chemistry contained many unexpected twists and turns. A trained chemist, she started out working in a physical chemistry lab, doing gas-phase research to understand how water molecules interact with each other and the ions they solvate. As one of only a few Latin women in her department of >400 graduate students, she quickly began to feel isolated and had trouble finding individuals that she could relate with. This motivated her to find ways to diversify her department and dedicate time outside of research to start a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiative within Berkeley Chemistry. She eventually fell in love with the work she was doing to help ensure that younger generations of chemistry graduate students would not face the same hardships she had overcome, and switched fields to gain a more rigorous understanding of the issues responsible for the diminishing representation of marginalized individuals at the highest levels of academia. In this presentation, Dr. Stachl will talk about the experiences that ultimately motivated her doctoral research in both physical chemistry and chemistry education, as well as the unique path she paved to pursue a career as both a chemist and an educator.

Register at weblink to attend

Gravitational Lensing: Bends in Spacetime - Livestream - 05/15/2021 07:30 PM
Mount Tamalpias Astronomy Lectures

One hundred years ago, Einstein predicted that light rays would bend in the space near a massive object - much as light rays refract in an optical lens. Today, we use this fact to weigh galaxies, to discover planets of other stars, and to “see” invisible black holes. How did this idea of gravitational lensing come about, and how do we use it today to probe all fields of astrophysics?

Speaker: Fatima Abdurrahamn, UC Berkeley

See weblink for Zoom information

Resolving the Local Universe with the JWST & Hubble - Livestream - 05/15/2021 08:00 PM
San Mateo County Astronomical Society

In his talk, Dr. Weisz highlights the amazing science and images produced by Hubble observations of local galaxies from the past three decades. The pinnacle of these studies is the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program, an 800-hour Hubble survey of our sibling galaxy Andromeda, and one of the largest Hubble programs ever conducted. Dr. Weisz will describe the PHAT survey and its scientific impact and discuss plans for the James Webb Space Telescope, which will succeed Hubble as the most sensitive telescope in existence following its launch in 2021.

Speaker: Dr. Dan Weisz, UC Berkeley

See weblink for Zoom information

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 05/15/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Join our resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening live from Chabot’s Observation deck!

Each week, our astronomers will guide us through spectacular night sky viewing through Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope. Weather permitting we will be able to view objects live through the telescopes and our astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.

Sunday, 05/16/2021

Bringing Back the Natives Virtual Garden Tour - 05/16/2021 10:00 AM
Bringing Back the Natives

In a series of live garden visits passionate garden owners and the talented designers of the Bay Area’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes will show us what’s happening in the garden now, feature their favorite natives, describe their great native plant gardening resources, and more.

Check the weblink for the agenda for each date.

Registration is required for each date.

April 25: Gardening for Wildlife

May 2: Native Plant Garden Design and Plant Selection

May 16: A Potpourri of Inspirational Native Plant Gardens

May 23: A Potpourri of Inspirational Native Plant Gardens



Getting Under a Sea Otter’s Skin: The Anatomy of Sensitive Touch - Livestream - 05/16/2021 01:30 PM
Seymour Science Center

Sea otters are in a race against time. To survive, they hunt for clams, crabs, urchins, snails, mussels, and abalone down to 100 feet deep. Otters must work quickly since they can hold their breath for only 1-3 minutes per dive, and their prey is often found in rocky crevices or buried under the sand. Scientists have discovered that sea otters are fast decision makers with the help of their ultra-sensitive paws and whiskers. As a follow-up to that research, scientists explored what’s happening underneath the skin’s surface to enable sea otters’ impressive abilities.

Join Sarah McKay Strobel to explore how the anatomy of skin influences the sense of touch in a hungry sea otter, as well as how researchers interpret clues from anatomy to learn how animals perceive the world.

Speaker: Sarah McKay Strobel, UC Santa Cruz

See weblink for connection information

Solar Sunday Basics: Spots, Prominences, Filaments and More - Livestream - 05/16/2021 01:30 PM
San Jose Astronomical Society

Join us for this on-line event where we'll look in real time for prominences (often thought of as solar flares) and intricate texture within the Sun’s chromosphere (its atmosphere). We'll also provide an overview of how we observe the Sun in different types of light (such as red, H-alpha light), share details about the structure of the Sun, and show spectacular images taken during prior years. Ordinarily, we'd also share live views of sunspots, but our Sun is currently in its solar-minimum phase, and as a result, sunspots and other dramatic features are rare. Nevertheless, we'll still cover a lot of cool and interesting facts about our hot Sun!

See note at weblink, and to register

Monday, 05/17/2021

Capitalism's Last Frontier: Entrepreneurship on the Navajo Nation - Livestream - 05/17/2021 03:30 PM
SLAC Colloquium

Nearly one century ago, the Navajo Nation government was created in response to the discovery of major oil reserves on Navajoland, a 28,000 square mile landmass that spans Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The newly founded government accepted agreements with multinational companies in the hopes of bringing jobs and economic opportunities to the community. Over the decades, it has become clear these agreements and the policies supporting extractive industries have caused irreparable harm to cultural practices, damaged the Colorado Plateau's air, water, and land, and hindered tribal members living on reservation land from developing businesses that support the local economic base. Drive through any community on the Navajo and Hopi nations today and you'll see the same contingent of businessesâ€"a few fast-food joints, a gas station, a dollar store. Small, local, sustainable, and culturally cognizant businesses are largely absent as a direct effect of the tribal economic-development models initiated in the early 1920s to ensure successful extraction of natural resources held on tribal lands. Creating entrepreneurial pathways is a sincere route to developing a diverse and more sustainable economy, increase household incomes, and improve health outcomes for residents on tribal lands.

Speaker: Heather Fleming, Change Labs

See weblink for Zoom link information

Tuesday, 05/18/2021

Interpreting Data Using Descriptive Statistics with Python Workshop - 05/18/2021 11:50 AM
Magnimind Academy

The Weird and Wonderful World of Parasites - Livestream - 05/18/2021 12:00 PM
Audubon Canyon Ranch

The Garden's Nationally Accredited Magnolia Collection - Livestream - 05/18/2021 01:00 PM
UC Botanical Garden

Whole Earth Seminars - Livestream - 05/18/2021 03:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

The Science of Color and Modern Human Perception - Livestream - 05/18/2021 05:00 PM
Long Now Foundation

Wildfires, Climate Change, and Population - 05/18/2021 06:00 PM
San Mateo Public Library

Mycological Society of San Francisco General Meeting - Livestream - 05/18/2021 07:00 PM
Mycological Society of San Francisco

Wednesday, 05/19/2021

SETI Talks: Why is Earth Still Habitable? - Livestream - 05/19/2021 10:00 AM
SETI Institute

Full-Spectrum Science Online: Big & Small - 05/19/2021 04:00 PM

Bringing research into the clinic for children with cancer - Livestream - 05/19/2021 05:30 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Variable Stars and Their Stories - Livestream - 05/19/2021 07:00 PM
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

COVID-19 Conundrum: Critical Insights on Cloud Security Posture of Enterprises - Livestream - 05/19/2021 07:00 PM
California Section American Chemical Society

Talkin' Trash - Myths and Realities of Recycling and Materials Management - Livestream - 05/19/2021 07:00 PM
City of Sunnyvale Sunnyvale

Wonderfest: Exercise and Aging - 05/19/2021 08:00 PM

Thursday, 05/20/2021

The Dark Side of the Universe - Livestream - 05/20/2021 11:30 AM
Astronomical Society of Edinburgh

Midday Science Cafe - Harnessing Machine Learning for Science - Livestream - 05/20/2021 12:00 PM
UC Berkeley

Now, More Than Ever: Movement Building for Climate, Racial, and Health Justice - Livestream - 05/20/2021 02:30 PM
UC San Francisco

Blackbirds - A Journey Through the Americas - Livestream - 05/20/2021 05:00 PM
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory

Where Did it All Come From? Where is it All Going? - Livestream - 05/20/2021 05:00 PM
Cafe Scientifique Silicon Valley

The Breeding Seabirds of Alcatraz Island and Climate Change - Livestream - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM
Golden Gate Audubon Society

NightSchool: Songbirds in Spring - Livestream - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences

Micromitigation: Fighting Air Pollution with Activated Carbon - Livestream - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM
Counter Culture Labs

After Dark Online: An Evening with Manual Cinema - 05/20/2021 07:00 PM

Friday, 05/21/2021

What’s that wiggle? The challenges (and solutions) of using fibre-optic cables as seismological antennas - Livestream - 05/21/2021 12:00 PM
UC Santa Cruz

Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2021 - Virtual - 05/21/2021 07:00 PM
Wild and Scenic Film Festival

A Walking Tour of Optical History -- Artifacts and Anecdotes from the Astronomical Lyceum - Livestream - 05/21/2021 07:30 PM
Tri-Valley Stargazers

Saturday, 05/22/2021

Virtual Telescope Viewing - Livestream - 05/22/2021 09:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center

Sunday, 05/23/2021

Bringing Back the Natives Virtual Garden Tour - 05/23/2021 10:00 AM
Bringing Back the Natives