Science events abound in the East Bay

Science events abound in the East Bay

Scott Weitze
Nerd Nite East Bay

Photo from the Nerd Nite East Bay website.

With our proximity to the University at California, Berkeley, the Oakland Zoo, state wildlife parks, seminars and citizen science groups throughout the East Bay, Alameda adults and kids who love science have an incredible number of nearby options to fill their brains every month.

In May you can do a squid dissection, scrutinize the science behind the film Interstellar, and learn how to juggle using math (while drinking a beer), to name just a few of the exciting options on the calendar this month.

With a full staff of naturalists and instructors at Alameda’s own Crab Cove, kids and adults will find plenty to learn at the Cove’s Visitor Center in May. Participate in squid dissections from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and stick around after the dissections for the popular fish feedings at 3 p.m. Memorial Day will bring a special afternoon exploration of the cove on foot, with mud boots highly recommended. 1252 McKay Avenue; 544-3187.

If you want to create your own cutting-edge science, join up with Nerds for Nature, a group of passionate volunteers focused on building unique technologies to solve environmental problems. On Tuesday, they’ll hold their monthly meeting at the Hub in Berkeley, with Do It Yourself air quality monitors, drones to study inaccessible places in nature, and a crowdsourcing “Grassroots Bioblitz” using smartphones to gather information on nature in East Bay parks on the agenda. 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley; 649-7700.

From 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, the Oakland Zoo’s popular ZooKids program presents the fittingly titled “Oh Yuck!”, a show that demonstrates how animals’ sometimes disgusting behaviors help them survive. Later that evening, adults can attend the zoo’s Celebrating Elephants evening and silent auction; the starting donation being requested is $40, and doors open at 6 p.m. 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland; 632-9525.

Families interested in elephants can attend the zoo’s special Celebrating Elephants program, a once-a-year opportunity to tour the elephant stables and see elephants up close, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 23.

If you’re interested in science much bigger than elephants, check out astronomer Andrew Fraknoi’s general interest talk, “Black Holes, Space Warps and Time Machines” at the main branch of the Berkeley Public Library at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with a bonus discussion of the science behind the movie Interstellar. 1125 University Avenue; 981-6270.

If you prefer learning your science with a bit of a buzz, check out the very popular Nerd Nite East Bay, a monthly series of three science/history/nerdy talks paired with alcohol. Join them on the last Monday of every month at Club 21 in Oakland, with the May 25 event featuring a SETI scientist discussing the exploration of Mars, a study of bird sex with robots, and using math to teach yourself how to juggle. Admission is $8 in advance and $10 at the door, and the event begins at 8 p.m. 2111 Franklin Street, Oakland; 268-9425.

If you have other science groups and events you would like Alamedans to know about, e-mail


Submitted by adda (not verified) on Thu, May 14, 2015

When you say "on Saturday" do you mean all Saturday's or is there soecific dates not listed?? Thanks!

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Thu, May 14, 2015

Hi Adda: We mean this Saturday (5/16).