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Sometimes in conservation, we get second chances to save an evolutionary lineage we thought was lost. Meet three so-called “Lazarus species,” aka species that were once presumed extinct (until they’re rediscovered living), and the individuals working to protect them.

  • In 2018, after decades of studying the life along California’s rocky shores, researcher Dr. Jeffrey Goddard found a teeny tiny clam he had never seen before. He’ll share the story of how he and noted bivalve authority Dr. Paul Valentich-Scott identified this clam as a species previously only known from Pleistocene deposits — aka, close to the time and place of the La Brea Tar Pits.
  • For nearly 100 years, Fernandina Island giant tortoises were nowhere to be found in the Galapagos and thus, presumed extinct. But in 2019, evolutionary biologist Dr. Stephen Gaughran discovered an individual tortoise (nicknamed “Fernanda”) on Fernandina Island, and used the collections at the Academy to prove that the story of the Fernandina giant tortoise might not be over.
  • Night parrots are nocturnal, ground-dwelling, and incredibly elusive — so elusive that they disappeared for about 100 years before evidence of live birds was found in 2013. Arid-zone ecologist Dr. Rachel Paltridge will share about the rediscovery of this mysterious Australian bird, from conducting extensive surveys across many years to actively managing key threats so they have a second chance to thrive.

All NightSchool virtual programming is intended for audiences 21+.

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PAST NIGHTSCHOOL EVENTS

Missed the party? Just want to relive the magic? Watch the recorded livestreams on YouTube!

Music

Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Explore the constellations of the winter season in this live planetarium show.

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how a deeper understanding of Earth might help us spot other living worlds light-years away.

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Upcoming ticketed museum events

February 2nd at 6:00 pm

We’re teaming up with the groundbreaking Cafe Ohlone for an immersive night of Ohlone culture.

February 9th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 40,000 live animals.

February 16th at 6:00 pm

Live music + live science is always a win—get your fill of both at the official Noise Pop Music Fest pre-party.

February 23rd at 6:00 pm

Do androids dream of electric penguins? Expand your mind with a night of futuristic art and science.

March 2nd at 6:00 pm

See what’s revealed once the sun goes down and explore the nocturnal side of the Academy.

March 9th at 6:00 pm

They broke rules, stereotypes, & glass ceilings. Meet the fearless scientists who challenged the status quo.

Upcoming free virtual events

February 2nd at 7:00 pm

What do night parrots, giant tortoises, and a teeny tiny clam have in common? Averting presumed extinction.