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After Dark: College Night

A man and a woman sitting together in a blue-hued room with spectrograms projected onto the wall.
After Dark: College Night

As back to school season is in full effect, tonight we invite anyone with a college ID to join us for free for a night of cinema and science. Don’t miss a special conversation between soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and director Vincent Tricon, whose film Bernie Krause: A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra offers a behind-the-scenes look at Krause’s career tracing ecological changes through sound. Learn about their experience in filmmaking and the power of cinema to tell life-changing stories, then explore other one-night-only exhibits with scientists whose research focuses on human impacts on the environment and how to create a more biome-balanced future. A Life was produced by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 2021.

This event is co-organized with the Exploratorium’s cultural partner for The Great Animal Orchestra

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain


Please note, the installation The Great Animal Orchestra has limited capacity. Entry to the Exploratorium does not guarantee entry to the installation.

The Use Less Car
6:00–8:30 p.m.

Step inside a pedal-powered “car” and truly feel how much power automobiles require. The Use Less Car is crafted from a 1971 VW Bug that has been fitted to operate without fossil fuel or electricity and is powered exclusively by people. The driver and passenger must pedal with all their might to propel the 900-lb. car into motion. In creating this car, which moves “uselessly” slowly, Eric Schmidt invites you to reflect on how much energy it takes to move something so prevalent in our society.

Urban Ecologies
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Gordon and Betty Moore Gallery 4: Living Systems
With Schell Group

Join the Schell Group to learn more about urban ecology, an emerging interdisciplinary field which looks at the human impacts on ecologies in human-made environments. They will share some of the devices they use in their research and, through maps and data, show how they are finding people and wildlife are—or aren’t—thriving in our local urban landscapes.

Staying Local: California Plant Species
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Gordon and Betty Moore Gallery 4: Living Systems
With California Native Plant Society 

California is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Which plants are local to our Bay Area landscapes? And how are these native plants essential to ecological balance? Join the California Native Plant Society to learn more about your plant neighbors. They’ll showcase local species and edible plants, and offer insights into how you can help maintain, nurture, and restore the diversity of Bay Area plant life.

California Native Plant Society (CNPS) celebrates, conserves, and restores California’s 6,500 native plants that are the foundation of our ecosystem and our food web.

Lemurs Like to Move It! Move It!
6:30–9:30 p.m.
Gordon and Betty Moore Gallery 4: Living Systems
With Razafindratsima Lab

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Zoboomafoo on PBS, you know that lemurs love to move! But did you know that the movement of lemurs influences plant movement, and ultimately affects the health of the rainforest ecosystem where they live? Learn more about how the lemurs’ journey around the rainforest disperses seeds and impacts their environment. And then play a game matching fruits to the dispersers who help distribute their seeds!

The Razafindratsima Lab is Dr. Onja Razafindratsima's research group in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. ​A group of ecologists interested in tropical ecology and conservation biology, the Razafindratsima Lab focuses on species interactions, seed dispersal, community ecology, and primatology.

A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra
7:00 p.m.
Kanbar Forum

With Bernie Krause, Katherine Krause, and Vincent Tricon in conversation with Ariane Koek.

Join Bernie Krause, Katherine Krause, and filmmaker Vincent Tricon for a conversation about the power of cinema—and sound—to share transformative and revealing storytelling. The night begins with a screening of Bernie Krause: A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra, a film from  Vincent that traces Bernie’s work as a bioacoustician who has traveled the world recording the sounds of animals in their natural habitats, as well as his partnership with Katherine. Following the screening, Bernie, Katherine, and Vincent will share in a conversation about how visual storytelling has the transformative power of changing our understanding of the people and environments around us. In English with French subtitles.

Bernie Krause: A Life with The Great Animal Orchestra was commissioned by Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 2021.

For over 50 years, Bernie Krause has devoted his life to soundscape ecology. He has traveled the world recording and studying the sounds of natural habitats, from the jungles of the Amazon to the salt ponds of California. He’s been stalked by a jaguar, tossed by a mountain gorilla, and often sat still for 30-hour stretches to capture nature’s symphonic sounds great and small—from groaning glaciers and singing sand dunes to bellowing elk and chirping ants.

Vincent Tricon is a French editor and director. He graduated from the national French national film school La Femis. He also previously wrote and directed two short films produced by Barney Production, Burning Heart, and Glister.

Considering Coral
8:00 p.m.
Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6
With Dr. Cheryl Logan

Coral reefs are essential to support the ecological balance of the oceans, serving as biodiversity hotspots, habitat, and feeding grounds to countless ocean species. In the face of climate change, how are these corals faring, and what does ecological forecasting reveal to us about the possible fates of coral under climate change? Join Dr. Cheryl Logan to learn more about her research into the ways coral is responding to climate change, with a focus on what she has learned through global climate models and extensive research on coral in the Galápagos. She will share how she uses data to model the future state of coral reefs and the surprising ways coral might adapt to a changing climate.

Dr. Cheryl Logan is a professor in the Department of Marine Science at California State University, Monterey Bay where she teaches and leads the Marine Ecological Physiology Lab. Her research group studies how ocean animals adaptively respond to a hot, sour, and breathless ocean under climate change. She was a member of a National Academy of Sciences committee on human interventions to increase the resilience of coral reefs and a 2019 Fulbright Scholar to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase at our Seaglass Restaurant and additional bar locations.