Welcome

Nerd Nite Miami is a monthly event during which several folks give fun-yet-informative presentations while the audience drinks along.  It’s like the Discovery Channel… with beer!  The drinking is just as important as the learning.

Join us on the 2nd Thursday of each month – Presentations 7:30-9:00pm.
Gramps Bar: 176 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127

Be there AND be square!

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June 9th: Urban Corals, Opera, Sublime Landscapes

Come join us for a beer, learn something new, and meet fellow nerds.
Every second Thursday of the month at Gramps!

This month’s speakers are:

“Opera: What it takes, How is started, How it’s going”
by Amanda Crider

Opera is an art form that encompasses music, acting, costumes, makeup, visual art, orchestra, and even sometimes ballet. Learn what goes into becoming an opera singer, what it’s like to be on the stage, a brief history of the art form from the 1600s through today, and all of the special skills (pole dancing, riding a motorcycle, juggling….) that go into creating the drama.

Bio: Mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider has performed leading roles with Los Angeles Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Florentine Opera and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. She has been a soloist with organizations such as Calgary Philharmonic, Apollo’s Fire, International Contemporary Ensemble, New World Symphony and is a core member of the GRAMMY® nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire. Amanda is also the Artistic Director of the Miami based concert series, IlluminArts.

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“American Sublime: A Partial History of Landscape Images That Define Our Identity”
by Pete Wintersteen

The sublime as an aesthetic and philosophical concept has been studied and debated since ancient times, but its evolution in relation to the American Landscape evolved after the Industrial Revolution. From 19th century oil paint masterpieces to the latest Instagram #sunset, there is more behind every image than you may know.

Bio: From US Marine to wildlife researcher to artist and conservationist, Pete Wintersteen has spent his life traversing many landscapes in many facets. While pursuing his MFA in visual art, he sought (often surreptitiously) to find the aesthetic side of uranium mines and prospects in the American West, which are sprinkled among some of the oldest records of human culture and presence in North America.

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“Living in Miami sucks (a coral’s perspective)”
by Michael Studivan

PortMiami is a highly-dynamic environment, experiencing tidal cycles, riverine inputs, and coastal construction on a daily basis (aka, a terrible place to live if you’re a coral, and a terrible place to dive if you’re a human). In the past decade, there have been several key events impacting Miami’s coral reefs including the port dredging and the appearance of the most deadly coral disease epidemic described to date, named stony coral tissue loss disease. Yet remarkably, many corals within the port appear to be thriving, and researchers at the University of Miami and NOAA are actively conducting research to find out why. Come see why this masochist chooses to dive in dirty garbage water of PortMiami over the crystal clear Biscayne National Park, and learn about the ‘urban corals’ in Miami.

Bio: Dr. Michael Studivan is a coral reef molecular ecologist with the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami. As a pessimist having little faith in humanity, he is trying to better understand coral diseases and treatments, genetic connectivity of coral ecosystems, and adaptation of corals in marginal and extreme environments to help save corals from extinction.

May 12th: Drugs – Micronations – Pelicans

Join us May 12, 2022 *in person* at Gramps Bar, Wynwood.
Be there AND be square.

Check out this line up!
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Caribbean Micronationalism: A Look Into Brazen Failures of the Past & Future
by Jason Katz

Recently, a group of investors purchased a small island off of the coast of Belize and declared it a country called the Principality of Islandia. Your presenter, Jason Katz---the publisher of a periodical called Islandia Journal---clearly took interest. They joke their efforts are tongue-in-cheek but the President of Belize thinks this is no laughing matter. Will they succeed? History says no. Join Jason Katz on a journey to other dubious, hair-brained nationalist schemes. It goes back to a fellow named Gregor Macgregor and even includes a member of the Hemingway family who - drumroll please - lived in Miami. 

Bio: Jason Katz was born and raised in Miami. He's the publisher of Islandia Journal, a quarterly (sub)tropical periodical of myth, folklore, history, ecology, cryptozoology, and the paranormal. He is a contributing editor for Burnaway Magazine. 
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Pelicans, Pesticides and You
by Samantha Martinez

A discussion about the most prevalent chemicals present in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, how they affect the birds in surrounding ecosystem and how we can help mitigate these effects.

Samantha was raised in the Redlands of South Dade and always wondered about the root of the illnesses she saw infecting wildlife in the area. Samantha went on to study Environmental Toxicology and Zoology to hopefully help with the continuing problem. She now helps teach others about the dangers that not only face the local environment but also ourselves as the Environmental Educator with Pelican Harbor Seabird Station.

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Drugs
by Leiona Noah, Shaun Lenihan, and Ashley Lago

Three passionate law students will discuss US drug policies and the different legal areas involved.  Drug-related policies touch on many legal considerations (healthcare, constitutional, patents, land use, product liability, labor, etc.) and shouldn't just be about criminal laws.   Join us as they discuss a comprehensive perspective of effective regulation.

About the speakers:
Leiona Noah, Shaun Lenihan, and Ashley Lago are all second-year law students with various professional backgrounds.  Leiona has worked in the business development aspects of clinical research.  Shaun's experience includes working as a paralegal, with a focus in labor and employment law.  Ashley's experience includes marketing, event planning, and hospitality.   

April 14th: Invasive Species – Equal Rights – Poetry

Join us April 14, 2022 *in person* at Gramps Bar, Wynwood.
Be there AND be square.

Check out this line up!

Crawling and Sprawling: The Future of Florida’s Soil Macrofauna
by Ben Machado

Ben is currently working on 2 research projects tracking the expansion of global invasive species into Florida. iNaturalist, a free and awesome online tool, is an integral part of his research, allowing him to access large data sets from around the world. It also allows the general public to contribute to the scientific community and learn from them as well. So, sit back and be amazed at how scientists and nerds like you are teaming up to solve some major global issues. Then, use iNaturalist for yourself at this year’s City Nature Challenge, between April 29 and May 2.

Bio: Ben is the Programs and Finance Coordinator for Citizens For A Better South Florida, an environmental education nonprofit based in Little Havana. He also does freelance work for nature documentaries, volunteers for field work with UM students and for outreach events like City Nature Challenge. He works to bring educational opportunities to disadvantaged communities across South Florida.

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The Zombie Amendment: A look at how the Equal Rights Amendment could rise from the dead!
by Kristofer Fernandez

The Equal Right Amendment expired over 30 years ago. Or did it? This presentation looks at the ways the ERA could be brought back to life.

Bio: Kristofer B. Hernandez is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a focus on Electoral Politics and self-proclaimed civics nerd. Kristofer is also an attorney, a member of the Board of the ACLU of Greater Miami, a member of the Voter Services Committee of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Date, and the co-founder of the Miami Film Club.

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Poetry 101
by Lissa Batista


Be there AND be square!

March 10: Pokemon Evolution; Eagle Cam; Floriduh Solar Drama

Join us March 10, 2022 *in person* at Gramps Bar, Wynwood.
Be there AND be square.

Check out this line up!

“The Bald Eagle Cam” by Lloyd Brown

Wildlife Rescue of Dade County, in collaboration with Zoo Miami, is giving us all something we didn’t know we needed – the Bald Eagle Cam. Hear from co-creator (and Nerd Nite veteran) Lloyd Brown as he shares the successes and challenges of creating this up-close look at wildlife.

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“The difficult path to a just transition in the Sunshine State” by Natalia Brown

As the 2022 Florida legislative session comes to a close, we’ll dive into one of the most contentious stories about a power company, our political voice, and dirty corporate money. Investor-owned utilities are among the largest contributors to Florida elections, which pressure elected officials to prioritize corporate interests over the constituents that they are supposed to serve. This presentation will cover the money trail between key players obstructing a just transition as well as opportunities to work towards a more sustainable and restorative energy system.

Natalia Brown prioritizes deep democracy for transformation of the energy system in her role as Climate Justice Program Manager at Catalyst Miami. She serves on the Miami Climate Alliance Steering Committee and as a Policy Advisor for the Sunrise Movement and Gulf South for a Green New Deal Regional Assembly.

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“Pokemon: An Imperfect Looking Glass into Evolution” by Damian Popovic

Define evolution. Hard, right? It’s tempting to use analogies or pop culture references to interpret broad-reaching, amorphous concepts like the origin of species. Yet for many of us, our first non-academic exploration into biological evolution began with a holographic Gengar. Though Pokemon introduced a generation of GameBoy playing, Tamagotchi toting, Blockbuster card carrying 90s kids to the term “evolution”, it failed miserably at providing a faithful representation of the consequential theory itself. While science communicators the world over have beat this dead horse into quarks, recent generations of Pokemon however have introduced a newly rejuvenated evolutionary inquiry first investigated a century ago by Swedish botanist Göte Turesson: local adaptation. Come, join me as we explore the ways our favorite pocket monsters might actually be teaching a new generation difficult evolutionary concepts and its relation to real world science.

A trained plant biologist turned science interpreter, Damian’s passion for evolutionary biology and the communication thereof was first sparked by an early introduction to the works of Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan. However, it was a love for the exceptionally diverse wildflower displays of his native California that led him to study the mechanisms behind adaptation and speciation as a graduate student at Michigan State University. Today, freed of his academic bonds, Damian enjoys everyday pursuits including romps among Western subalpine blooms, discussions on the evolution of bird song, and identifying every cactus species he happens upon despite a lack of solicitation.