Cycads are older than dinosaurs and more endangered than any other group of organisms on Earth, but for something with those impressive superlatives, their plight is woefully obscure. If you’ve ever looked at dinosaur art, you know what cycads look like: They’re the flora in the background, palm-like but with stout trunks and large cones. Learn all about this fascinating group of plants, their intriguing reproductive cycle, and the cutting-edge DNA techniques researchers are using to help save them, all in this special NightSchool episode in honor of Dr. Nathalie Nagalingum, the Academy’s McAllister Chair and Associate Curator of Botany.

Featuring: Maia Jones, Jian Liu, & Manuel Luján

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

July 18th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different.

July 25th at 6:00 pm

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

August 1st at 6:00 pm

We’re kicking off our music series with homegrown movement maker LaRussell & the surf rock sounds of 3LH.

August 8th at 6:00 pm

Be transported by the grunge punk stylings of Margaritas Podridas and psychedelic rock sounds of opener Fauxes.

August 15th at 6:00 pm

Underground rap pioneer MURS takes center stage, with an opening set from multifaceted hometown artist Z-Man.

August 22nd at 6:00 pm

We’re closing out NightLife Remix with the serene soul vibes of Madison McFerrin and opener Dani Offline.