0

“Could you describe the ruckus, sir?”

The Academy may be closed—and quarantine may sometimes feel like detention—but our science never stops! At 10 am on select mornings, Academy experts bring you discoveries, insights, and stories from around the world, spanning a wide range of subjects through live, informal presentations followed by Q&As with the viewing audience. Streamed simultaneously to our YouTube and Facebook pages, these mini-classes are for everyone (because each one of us is a brain). Sincerely yours, the Academy.

Tuesday, August 11, 10 am PT

Librarian Rebekah Kim

A Virtual Tour of the Academy Library Collections 
Rebekah Kim, MLIS Head Librarian

For the first time ever (virtually), take a tour of the Academy's historic library collections, with head librarian Rebekah Kim as your guide! More details on this to come, but here's what we can say—it's far more than just books. (Although books are pretty wonderful.)

0

Thursday, Aug. 20, 10 am PT

Rich Ross handles an octopus

"The 10 Coolest Cephalopods—Period"
Richard Ross, Academy Albright Lab researcher

Rich Ross is a researcher in the Academy's Albright Lab who specializes in cephalopods and coral spawning—a role he moved into after years spent managing our 212,200-gallon Philippines Coral Reef exhibit as an Academy biologist. A winner of the MASNA Aquarist of the Year Award (now the MASNA Award), author of scientific papers on everything from the coconut octopus to the lesser (and larger) Pacific striped octopus to the glorious Wonderpus, he's eminently qualified to deliver the verdict on Earth's top-ten coolest cephalopods ... period.

0

Tuesday, August 25, 10 am PT

Rayna and Lauren in the collections aisle

A Virtual Tour of the Herpetology Collections
Dr. Rayna Bell, Assistant Curator of Herpetology, and Lauren Scheinberg, Herpetology Collections Manager

Even as you read this, herpetology curator Dr. Rayna Bell and collections manager Lauren Scheinberg are busily having the kind of intense debates necessary to choose a 10-specimen lineup from the roughly 315,000 contained in the Academy's 167-year-old herpetology collections—just for Breakfast Club viewers. Tune in for frogs, snakes, lizards, & more straight from one of the largest scientific collections in the world. 

0

Tuesday, September 1, 10 am PT

A plane flies over the islands of Sao Tome and Principe

"Racing the Clock to Document Biodiversity in São Tomé & Príncipe"
Dr. Rayna Bell, Assistant Curator of Herpetology

With a population of fewer than 200,000 and only a few flights each week between this African island nation and Lisbon, much of São Tomé & Príncipe's natural habitat remains intact—and hosts some of the highest levels of endemism (species found nowhere else) on the planet. But as offshore oil companies continue to conduct surveys off its coasts, that may soon change. For the past 18 years, the Academy's Curator Emeritus of Herpetology Dr. Bob Drewes has led a team of biologists in a race to document the diversity of animals, plants, and fungi on the islands in the hopes of fueling future conservation work, an effort that's recorded hundreds of species thus far (many new to science). In this talk, Curator of Herpetology Dr. Rayna Bell will share some of the most exciting scientific discoveries from those nearly two decades of expeditions, and highlight some of the ways those discoveries are making an impact on a local and international scale.

0

Thursday, Sept. 10, 10 am PT

Curator Sarah Jacobs studies wildflowers on a mountain slope

"The Wild World of Parasitic Plants"
Dr. Sarah Jacobs, Assistant Curator of Botany

Meet the Academy's newest curator while being swept into the wild world of parasitic plants, from what it means to be one, to the biology behind parasitism, to the incredible diversity of parasitic plants. Psst: That diversity includes some commonly known parasites that might surprise you, such as Dr. Jacobs' expertise—the beautiful, often fiery-looking paintbrushes (Castilleja). More details to come!

0

Tuesday, September 15, 10 am PT

Dr. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and Academy Fellow

The Science of Where
Dr. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and Academy Fellow

Dr. Dawn Wright was appointed to her post at ESRI—a world-leading geographic information system software and data science company—after 17 years as a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University (OrSt). Her research interests include geospatial data science, seafloor mapping, coastal/ocean informatics, and environmental education, and her fieldwork has taken her to some of the most geologically active regions of the planet: the East Pacific Rise, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Juan de Fuca Ridge, the Tonga Trench, and volcanoes under the Japan Sea and the Indian Ocean. She’s made multiple dives in the deep submergence vehicles Alvin and Pisces V; authored or co-authored more than 150 articles and ten books; holds lifetime achievement awards from the American Association of Geographers, the Geological Society of America, and UC Santa Barbara; and her other interests include (but aren’t limited to) road cycling, 18th-century pirates, her golden retriever puppy Riley, and Spongebob Squarepants. Follow her on Twitter @deepseadawn.

0

Past Breakfast Clubs

Find our 10 most recent Breakfast Club episodes below, or see the full YouTube playlist by clicking here!

0
Christine Wilkinson in the field

Life Finds a Way: Carnivore Movement & Conflict in a Developed Kenyan Landscape
Christine E. Wilkinson, UC Berkeley PhD student & National Geographic Explorer

Breakfast Club viewers, get ready for some terrestrial charismatic megafauna! Christine Wilkinson is a conservation biologist and PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include human-wildlife conflict, carnivore movement ecology, multidisciplinary mapping, and using participatory methods for more effective and inclusive conservation outcomes.

0
Peter Roopnarine in geology collections

Can Ecosystems Teach Us Anything About Pandemics & Economies?
Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Curator of Geology

Details about this particular talk to follow, but the following excerpt (from Dr. Roopnarine's Academy bio) offers a preview: "To understand ecosystems that existed millions of years ago, Roopnarine models them, using information from the fossil record and filling in the blanks with correlating data from modern communities. Running millions of complex models about ancient food webs isn’t just an esoteric academic exercise: 'If models can explain what we know happened in the past,' Roopnarine explains, 'there’s a pretty good chance that they’re going to predict what’s coming in the future.'"

0
Geology Collections Manager Chrissy Garcia holds up a specimen

A Virtual Tour of the Geology Collections
Chrissy Garcia, Collections Manager of Geology

Travel through deep-time by joining Collections Manager Chrissy Garcia for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Academy's Geology Collection, with a special focus on fossils! From what exactly a fossil is to current research that utilizes our fossil collections—including work that's driving our understanding of ongoing climate change and its future effects—it's an hour your brain and eyes won't soon forget.

0
Dr. Nathalie Nagalingum pictured in a cycad grove

Cycads: Prehistoric Plants on the Brink
Dr. Nathalie Nagalingum, Associate Curator of Botany and McAllister Chair of Botany

She’s back! One of Breakfast Club’s most popular guest-speakers returns, and this time she’s talking cycads—iconic, palm-like plants that coexisted with dinosaurs and that are today considered the most endangered organism on Earth. Nathalie will introduce you to these ancient plant wonders—threatened by poaching and land conversion across their native range in Australia, Africa, Asia, Central America, and Mexico—and explain how, though her research, she works to help save them.

0
Dr. Pim Bongaerts in scuba gear

Returning to the Reef: A Virtual Fieldtrip to the Southern Caribbean
Dr. Pim Bongaerts, Assistant Curator and McCosker Chair of Aquatic Biology

Need a tropical escape from lockdown conditions? Just before our March 12 closure, curator Pim Bongaerts returned from his annual fieldwork in Curaçao, a small island off the coast of Venezuela in the Southern Caribbean. There, his team embarked on an ambitious project: imaging and sequencing large sections of coral reef—from close to the surface, down to mesophotic depths. Following thousands of individual corals, the team is hoping to provide important novel insights into the functioning and vulnerability of coral reef ecosystems. Follow along on this visual journey as Pim reflects on his most recent expedition, and takes you through the challenges and excitement of conducting science underwater!

0
Underwater photo of shark silhouettes from below

Oceans Week Panel 3: Sharks!
Dr. David Shiffman (ASU postdoc and @WhySharksMatter), Jaida N. Elcock (incoming UW grad student and @soFISHtication), and Academy Curator of Ichthyology Dr. Luiz Rocha on shark sci-comm, research, and conservation

Join 9 incredible scientists—all working on the frontlines of ocean exploration, conservation, and science-communication—for a 3-panel, wide-ranging discussion about the issues, research, and discoveries impacting marine science today. From coral reefs to sharks to the mysterious deep, celebrate ~70% of our planet by joining us live for a three-part series of 15-minute “mini-talks” from experts, followed by all the questions our viewing audiences can ask.

Photo: Luiz Rocha

0
Underwater photo of diver

Oceans Week Panel 2: Exploration-driving tech!
Natasha Benjamin (Marine Applied Research and Exploration), Emily Darling (Wildlife Conservation Society), and Dr. Kakani Katija (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) on ocean exploration and the technology that drives it

Join 9 incredible scientists—all working on the frontlines of ocean exploration, conservation, and science-communication—for a 3-panel, wide-ranging discussion about the issues, research, and discoveries impacting marine science today. From coral reefs to sharks to the mysterious deep, celebrate ~70% of our planet by joining us live for a three-part series of 15-minute “mini-talks” from experts, followed by all the questions our viewing audiences can ask.

Photo: Luiz Rocha

0
A beautiful coral reef featuring a small fish resting in an anemone

Oceans Week Panel 1: Reefs! (Ep. 23)
Dr. Luiz Rocha (California Academy of Sciences), Dr. David Obura (CORDIO East Africa), Dr. Rebecca Albright (California Academy of Sciences), and more on coral reef threats, research, and conservation

Join 9 incredible scientists—all working on the frontlines of ocean exploration, conservation, and science-communication—for a 3-panel, wide-ranging discussion about the issues, research, and discoveries impacting marine science today. From coral reefs to sharks to the mysterious deep, celebrate ~70% of our planet by joining us live for a three-part series of 15-minute “mini-talks” from experts, followed by all the questions our viewing audiences can ask.

Photo: Luiz Rocha

0
500 Queer Scientists logo

Panel: The Science & People of 500 Queer Scientists (Ep. 22)

What launched in Pride 2018 as a small visibility movement has evolved today into a community of 10,000+ (and a lineup of more than 1,000 individual contributors) doing powerful science, networking, advocacy, and mentoring around the world. In a series of mini-talks from 500QS members Dr. Jessica Ware (American Museum of Natural History), Roberto Diaz (UCSF), Krisha Aghi (UC Berkeley), Rob Ulrich (UCLA), and 500QS founder Dr. Lauren Esposito (California Academy of Sciences), get a better sense of the range of science the queer community drives, how identity and work connect for all human beings, and why visibility and allyship are still so necessary in the year 2020.

0
Dr. Lauren Esposito looks at a specimen in a jar

Making a Movement: The Importance of LGBTQ+ Visibility in STEM (Part 1 of our 2020 Pride Week series, Ep. 21)
Dr. Lauren Esposito, Assistant Curator and Schlinger Chair of Arachnology

I never thought I was a queer activist, until I was. I’m a scientist, I study scorpions, and I spent years being a scorpion scientist, all the while leaving my queer identity at the door to the lab. And I wasn’t the only one—more than 40% of LGBTQ+ people working in STEM fields self-report that they're not “out” to their colleagues. That’s understandable, since even in 2020—until the Supreme Court's recent June 15 ruling—STEM workers in more than half the states in our country could still be fired on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We'll discuss the major issues reported by LGBTQ+ STEM faculty and students, and why these issues are a problem not just for those experiencing them, but for scientific and technological advancement itself. We’ll also discuss the gains being made, and how we can all do more to stand up for science by standing up for our identities.

0

Academy @ Home

Keep your mind open while the Academy is closed with an eclectic array of science content for all ages and all places. 

The Academy's Research Institute

The mission of the Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability is to gather new knowledge about life's diversity and the process of evolution—and to rapidly apply that understanding to our efforts to sustain life on Earth.