This week, NightSchool travels from coast to coast, learning about the fascinating ecosystems that exist where water meets land. Join us on this (virtual) journey, trekking from California tidepools to Florida’s Gulf Coast.
- Celebrate California Biodiversity Day with tales from the tidepools and the role of citizen science in documenting our state’s biodiversity with Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young, co-directors of the Academy’s Citizen Science programs.
- Learn how marine organisms communicate, unseen, via chemical cues and signaling with Dr. Aileen Maldonado, who studies marine ecotoxicology and the impacts of red tide toxins on marine organisms on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Ecologists have been studying how organisms interact for centurie, but only recently have they begun to understand the chemical signaling that is often responsible for these interactions, which influence if an organism will eat, fight with, run from, or mate with the organism next to them. These cues can be so powerful that male crustaceans will guard, carry, and attempt to mate with golf balls if these have been treated with the correct pheromone (Asai et al. 2000, Hardege et al. 2002, Breithaupt & Thiel 2008).
- The Kemp’s ridley turtle is the smallest—and most endangered—sea turtle in the world. Wildlife biologist, science communicator, and grad student Alex Troutman (aka N8TURE AL) will share stories from his work in the field with the conservation and management of this species.