Top half of Claude's head rising above the water, confetti and party hat added to the image

Join us Thursday, September 15, at 7pm PT for a free NightSchool livestream!

Claude, our beloved American alligator, is celebrating his 27th hatchday, so we’re throwing a party dedicated to the crocodilian icon himself and his swampy home. Tune in to learn about the plants and animals that live in Claude's native habitat, the swamps of the Southeastern United States.

  • The swamps of the Southeastern United States are home to some of the most diverse reptiles and amphibians in the country, from the iconic frogs and alligators, to the oft maligned cottonmouths and crocodiles. Arik Hartmann, PhD student at the University of Florida, will discuss some of the lesser known taxon— what the heck is an Amphiuma anyways?—and take us through his work in the wetlands.
  • Samantha Bock, PhD candidate at the University of Georgia talks about the mighty Alligator mississippiensis: the fact that sex determination in alligators is temperature-dependent, their unique nesting ecology, what ecological factors shape nest temperatures in the wild, and how climate change may affect the conservation of alligators and other species with environmental sex determination.
  • Gars belong to an ancient lineage of fishes whose ancestors swam alongside the dinosaurs. Aquatic ecologist Dr. Solomon R. David will talk about the impressive adaptations that have allowed them to survive relatively unchanged since the late Jurassic (poisonous eggs! armored scales!) and the conservation challenges they face today.


NightSchool is live on the first & third Thursdays of every month.

All NightSchool virtual programming is intended for audiences 21+.



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


Planetarium Shows

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

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

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Explore the immense scale of the known Universe in this live presentation that leaves Earth far behind.

Get NightLife emails

Delightful NightLife news, delivered weekly.

Upcoming ticketed museum events

October 6th at 6:00 pm

Bird is the word! Flock over to NightLife for beers and birds in honor of this Oktoberfest tradition.

October 13th at 6:00 pm

Touch, smell, hear, taste, and feel your way through the museum for a night that just makes sense.

October 20th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different. For adults 21+.

October 27th at 6:00 pm

We’re dying to have you back at our annual Halloween bash for a spine-tingling night dead-icated to science!

Upcoming free virtual events

October 6th at 7:00 pm

What live everywhere there’s water, are invisible to the naked eye, and are essential to life on Earth? Diatoms!

October 20th at 7:00 pm

We’re throwing a mini-festival celebrating the ground beneath your feet.