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

June 13th at 6:00 pm

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

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.

July 11th at 6:00 pm

Gear up for the first ever NightLifeCon! Featuring all things anime, comics, and sci-fi.

July 25th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 60,000 live animals.