Nat Talks and Films

In the state-of-the-art Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater you can enjoy talks, unique film festivals, film premieres, and more.

Nat Talks are given by Museum scientists and outside experts from around the country who speak on a wide array of topics including the latest in scientific research, history, art, conservation, and the natural world. Lecture topics often coincide with the latest exhibitions at the Museum. The 2017-2018 season of Nat Talks is made possible with support from media partner KPBS.



Upcoming Events


Nat Talk: Amazing Arachnids

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 7 PM

Arachnids are full of surprises. Scorpions kiss and dance, spitting spiders squirt silk and glue, and vinegaroons spray almost pure acetic acid from their rear ends. At this Nat Talk, Jillian Cowles, author of Amazing Arachnids, will use stunning photographs to show the staggering array of survival strategies that her favorite creatures have developed as they have evolved over the past 400 million years.

The southwestern United States is home to a rich diversity of amazing arachnids. Among their ranks are the tough, the resourceful, the beautiful, and the dangerous. Getting to know these small neighbors which share our planet (and sometimes our homes) is immensely rewarding and never dull. Welcome to the world of arachnids!

The talk begins at 7 PM, but Museum doors will open at 5:30 PM. Food, beer, and wine are available in The Flying Squirrel Café before the event.

After the talk, join Jillian for a book signing in the Museum store, where her book will be available for sale.

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Nat Talk: Surprising Connections

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7 PM

Individual habitats, natural populations, and even people are “connected.” What affects one may have profound and often unexpected implications in others. Drew Talley, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental and ocean sciences at the University of San Diego, has been studying these connections in habitats ranging from salt marshes to desert islands and will defend these assertions at this Nat Talk.

Talley will present examples of these connections, focusing on 30 years of research in Bahía de los Ángeles, Mexico. He’ll also explain how his journey to understand these ecosystems has led to insights about critical connections not just between seemingly disparate habitats, but also between different fields of science, countries, and even between academic, public, and education sectors.

The talk begins at 7 PM, but Museum doors will open at 5:30 PM allowing attendees to purchase food and beverages in The Flying Squirrel Café before the event, if they so choose.  

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