Badass lady nerds take over PAMM

Amazing night at the Perez Art Museum Miami with our first ever all female line up.  It was a beautiful night by the water with some really informative talks.

Nerd Nite Miami 2.1.18

Nerd Nite at PAMM
(featuring some badass lady nerds!)

February 1, 2018, 7:00pm
Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

1) “Florida’s Deadliest Hurricane (It’s Not Andrew)” by Ta-Shana Taylor
The Hurricane of 1928 is the hurricane that had Lake Okeechobee breach it’s dikes, flooding the surrounding towns. It’s the 2nd deadliest hurricane in American history. Ta-Shana Taylor discussed the storm and the impacts to the local communities.

Bio: Ta-Shana Taylor is a lecturer with the University of Miami’s Department of Geological Science where her most popular course is Natural Disasters: Hollywood vs Reality. She also volunteers for a national nonprofit organization called Outdoor Afro where she leads trips here in South Florida that celebrate and inspire black leadership in nature. Ta-Shana has recently been awarded Outdoor Afro Leader of the Year for 2018.

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2) “Nature Knows Best” by Danni Washington
Why create something from scratch when you can steal the next great idea from nature? Danni Washington highlighted a few examples of brilliant inventions that were inspired by nature! She dove into the whimsical world of biomimicry and we discovered that some of nature’s best-kept secrets could be right in your own backyard.

Bio: Miami native with Jamaican roots, Danni Washington is deeply passionate about our oceans and science communications. She co-founded the Big Blue & You, has served as a science filmmaker with Untamed Science, and currently, hosts Xploration Nature Knows Best, which is a STEM educational TV show which features the latest advancements in bio-inspired technology and design syndicated nationwide on FOX, HULU and Amazon Prime. A graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in Marine Science & Biology — she is also a scuba diver, proud curly girl and overall lover of the outdoors.

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3) “Florida Man” by Sara Yousuf
A criminal justice nerd walked us through the insane and irrational rules of Florida’s penal system. Did you know that in Florida it’s more serious to attend a cockfight than to commit your second DUI? Did you know that in Florida your driver’s license will be suspended for failing to pay child support (thereby making it harder to pay child support)? Did you know that in Florida it’s more serious to steal copper wire from a house than to commit rape? OMG WTF.

Bio: Sara Yousuf, Esq. is a board-certified criminal defense attorney who has represented Miami’s indigent accused for 12 years. She chairs Engage Miami, a nonprofit that involves young people in local politics. Sara co-founded Emerge Miami, a grassroots community group that makes Miami better through progressive social events, Sara also co-founded Sweat Records, Miami’s premiere independent record store. Sara can beat you at Scrabble and has a lifelong love of origami.

June 2017 – Plastics, Nutrition, Biodiversity

Nerd Nite Miami XXVI 6.8.17

1) One Word: Plastics by Nathan Laxague

The use of plastics in everyday objects has become as American as apple pie. As an example: good luck making apple pie without any plastic tools or implements. Not a problem, right? Plastics are light, cheap, and durable… maybe a bit too durable. I’ll give a brief history of our favorite family of synthetic polymers, talk about how they’ve become a part of our daily life, and do my best to describe what that means for the natural world and its inhabitants.

Nathan Laxague is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). He received his B.S. in physics and his Ph.D. in applied marine physics, both from UM. His research focuses on small-scale fluid mechanical processes which govern physical interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean. He is also a co-founder of Nerd Nite Miami (back for one night only!).

2) Fat or Fiction: Debunking Nutrition Myths by Amanda Gilhool

The world of nutrition has exploded in the past few decades, and there are more opinions circulating than there are calories in a Crunch Wrap Supreme. As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve heard people spread plenty of questionable information about food and the human body. Let’s talk about the inaccuracy of these nutrition fallacies that are popular in our society and the downright nerdy reasons why.

Amanda Gilhool is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) with her M.S. in Human Nutrition from Drexel University in her hometown of Philadelphia. She has worked in customer service, foodservice, private consulting, and clinical nutrition. Her hobbies include (but are thankfully not limited to) eating, napping, and watching animal videos on YouTube.

3) Biodiversity in Miami by Chelle King

Miami-Dade County is home to a great diversity of life, from Biscayne Bay to the Everglades, and all areas in between. You see examples of biodiversity everyday –

February 2017 – Archaeoastronomy, Everglades, Forensic Anthropology

Ancient Aliens and Crystal Skulls: The Stellar Truth About Archaeoastronomy
by Mallory Fenn

Let’s set the record straight: archaeologists have never actually uncovered alien skulls, ancient spacecraft, or found evidence for any extraterrestrial species’ involvement in the construction of monuments or pyramids. However, some archaeologists do study the way human beings interacted with space thousands of years ago. While light pollution has changed the way we see the sky today, celestial bodies were of vast importance to ancient humans. The movement of the sun, moon, stars and planets are thought to have affected architecture, landscaping, and the way people living all over the planet understood the universe. We’ll be talking about real archaeoastronomy, and how scientists figure out what the sky meant to human beings before light pollution.

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Snakes in the (saw)Grass
by Dawn Shirreffs

Pulling back the curtain on the world’s largest ecosystem restoration program reveals conflicts lurking in the shadows of Miami which threaten to derail the worlds largest ecosystem restoration project . Although so much of it seems suitable for a telenovela – the problems and pythons are a very real threat to our lifestyles and livelihoods. Can America’s Everglades survive a landscape of invasive snakes, politics and radical environmentalists?

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I See Dead People and So Can You!: An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
by Tony Morales

This presentation will introduce forensic anthropology with a focus on biological profiling. We’ll talk methods, look at some gory images, and discuss the types of information that can be ascertained through analysis of the human skeleton. By the end of the presentation, attendees will each have had a chance to sex (yes, sex) dead people. Expect to leave feeling disgusted, amused, or both!

Best of @ PAMM

Nerd Nite Miami @ PAMM 2.2.17

“Best of Nerd Nite Miami”
A special event at the Perez Art Museum of Miami 

“Everything I Need To Know In Life I Learned From Sharks” by David Shiffman
Marine biologist and science writer David Shiffman shared a series of life lessons learned from his studies of shark behavior, ecology and conservation. He has seen or interacted with thousands of sharks of more than 50 species on five continents. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpYdBQy_GlU
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“Graphic Classes: Why Graphic Novels should be a Literature Teacher’s Best Friends” by Adam Schachner
From Batman to Bukowski, or from The Far Side to Foucault, graphic novels are amongthe most effective tools for teaching readership, analysis, and inference, but many veteran teachers and old-school curriculums dismiss them as just base “comic books”. There’s a case to be made for graphic narratives and their ability to expand minds, not limit interpretation or reduce the canon to childishness. Open your mind, read between the panels, and go get some graphic action!

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“Sex Underwater: A Slightly Inappropriate Musical Revue” by Gary Bremen
Sex has a purpose. Sex can be violent. Sex can be a solo experience. Sex can be kinky. The really cool, nerdy connection is that all of these are happening RIGHT NOW in the waters off Miami. Marine science educator Gary Bremen gave our audience a humorous (and maybe even inspirational) look at everyone’s favorite “hobby,” with a soundtrack to match.

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