Science & Nature


Black holes are the most feared, fascinating and misunderstood objects in our known universe. Planets and even stars may go into them but nothing, not even light, comes out. And this year we have the first image of a Black Hole. What about its more dangerous cosmic cousins? What happens when these strange objects get too cozy? We get gravity waves and the first validation of a 100-year-old Einstein prediction.
What is the human brain? How does it interpret our senses? How do we process emotion, language and memory? Four introductory lectures present an overview of current neuroscience and how the brain functions in health and disease. We will also consider the enigma of consciousness and free will.
Environmental change is literally at your fingertips! Use simple "apps" to create a better world through recycling, sustainable seafood, citizen science, and more. This hands-on class will show you which apps can help you make simple changes that will have a big impact. Venture outdoors to collect data and learn how you can contribute to scientific data with an app-driven citizen science project. Bring your own mobile device or borrow one of ours!
Come explore the ocean with Dr. Heather Judkins as she takes you on a classroom journey from the coastline all the way to the depths. Discover why different creatures inhabit different zones of the ocean, and what adaptations they possess for optimum survival. Dr. Judkins specializes in deep-sea research. She'll share her field experiences while showcasing unique specimens found on her adventures.

This course contains no sessions

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The Florida Aquarium is home to many fascinating creatures, each with unique adaptations and abilities. This class will focus on three very different types of animals. Jellies are simple animals without brains or bones, but their life cycle is very complex and intriguing. Octopuses are highly intelligent and require lots of mental stimulation in order to thrive in human care. Seahorses have tubular snouts, prehensile tails, and the males give birth! Hear from experts and visit some behind-the-scenes areas.
Learn about accepted, nonpolitical scientific information regarding the relationship of fossil fuel energy utilization to greenhouse gas formation and, by association, to global warming. We will examine and challenge the facts, the data and the models to enable you to arrive at your own conclusions about global warming and climate change. You also will be able to engage confidently in social discussion on the topic. No scientific or technical background is assumed or required.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Learn the best tools and resources needed to help identify birds and what field marks to look for when identifying birds. We will spend three classes in the field practicing our newly learned skills and using those tools. Finally, we will spend our last class at one of the top birding spots in Florida--Fort De Soto--looking for seasonal migrants. We also will learn about "citizen science" projects and conservation issues regarding Florida birds. Note: class meetings are at varied locations and may require long walks. Field trips may be an hour's drive: expect class meetings will run into the afternoons.
How does your body interact with microorganisms or cancer and other types of inflammation when fighting disease? How can microbes suppress your immune system or cause it to overreact? Take a tour in this visual introduction which uses slides, lecture and discussion. Meet your immune system.
Forget theme parks and golf courses! Appreciate Florida's natural wonders. Learn where to go to explore our state's wetlands, uplands and coastal habitats from an avid outdoor enthusiast and experienced Florida Master Naturalist. Identify reptiles, insects, butterflies, birds and common mammals in this classroom based course that focuses on Florida's diverse ecosystems and conservation. Includes a field-trip, destination to be agreed on in class.
Scientific advances effect social change. Those changes in society then impact further scientific advances. Assess the significant impact of the birth control pill on society and on family. What are the dramatic scientific changes in response to societal change? Where do we go from here?
Why 60? Find out in this course about relationships. Think you're too old or might be embarrassed by this subject? Think again. Discover the historic changes that have occurred over the last century and be surprised!
Journey into the realm of sleep. In this lecture series, we will first look at the history of sleep as represented in art and literature. Then we will focus on the neurobiology of sleep stages: how do these affect our circadian rhythms and our over-all health? We will also consider the social effects of sleep disorders and the current treatments available.
HIV, Herpes, Influenza, Ebola, West Nile Fever, Dengue and infections endemic to Florida - all are viruses. What is it about their structure that leads us to label them this way? How do they interact with the body to cause disease? How does the human body combat viruses? How can we use what we have learned to get viruses to work for us? Enlarge your understanding and dispel a few myths.