sea star

From the lowland forests of Madagascar to Easter Island’s coral reefs, Academy scientists described 70 new-to-science planet and animal species this year! Join us and hear from the researchers themselves as they teach us about their unique discoveries, as well as the importance of new species research and its role in regenerating our natural world.

  • They say it takes a village, and when it comes to new species, Center for Biodiversity and Community Science Co-Director Alison Young is here to share the importance of citizen science—and how to get involved! From iNaturalist to local bioblitzes, community involvement is an integral part of species identification research. With ninety percent of our planet’s species unknown to science, this collaborative effort fills in the ever-changing mosaic of Earth’s biodiversity.
  • Christopher Mah from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History will lead us in a deep dive into the world of “deep-reef” sea stars! These include previously undescribed species discovered by Hope for Reefs initiative co-leaders Luiz Rocha, PhD, and Bart Shepherd from a recent expedition to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and New Caledonia. Join us for a glimpse at a stunning collection of sea stars, and learn more about their role in maintaining the health of coral reef ecosystems.
  • Ever wonder why some insects are so brightly colored? Entomology Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Van Dam is joining us to share his research on the newly described Pachyrhynchus obumanuvu, an Easter egg weevil from a Philippine cloud forest that boasts complex patterns of green, yellow, and black. We’ll learn about this dramatic color display and how these beetles use it to their advantage.

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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Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

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