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!


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Upcoming events

April 25th at 6:00 pm

Attention Earthlings: our planet's calling & it's time to answer. Join us for a night of community & activism.

May 2nd at 6:00 pm

Feel the beat of connection through the power of musical instruments.

May 9th at 6:00 pm

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

May 16th at 6:00 pm

Carnaval is taking over! Join the party and celebrate Latin American, Caribbean & Afrodiasporic cultures.

May 23rd at 6:00 pm

Why is California so special? Find out at the grand opening of our newest exhibit, California: State of Nature.

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night: explore the nocturnal side of the Academy at NightLife and see what's rev