Science on Tap

Monthly on the last Wednesday of the month.

Come one, come all to the “science café” in Santa Cruz. This event is designed to connect the Santa Cruz community to the latest research happening just up the hill at U.C. Santa Cruz.  It is not an exclusive “club meeting” for scientists and science majors and aims to appeal to all audiences. So come, grab a beer, relax and hear some interesting cutting edge science that’s happening near you! Science on Tap is based on the Nova and Sigma Xi "science café" model and is generally on the last Wednesday of every month.

October Science on Tap: A View From the Antarctic Doomsday Glacier
Oct 27, 7:00 PM
Museum of Art and History - Back Patio

 Après Nous, Le Déluge? A View From the Antarctic Doomsday Glacier


Slawek Tulaczyk

Professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department

UC Santa Cruz


The Antarctic ice sheet formed 34 million years ago when carbon dioxide concentration in Earth's atmosphere dropped below 600 ppm. During ice age cycles of the last million years, carbon dioxide concentrations ranged from as low as 170 ppm during cold glacials to 300 ppm during warm interglacials. At the end of the last glacial period (15,000 years ago), atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by ca. 100 ppm, and the Antarctic ice sheet lost enough ice to contribute ca. 70 feet (20 m) to global sea-level rise. During the last two hundred years, the burning of fossil fuels increased carbon dioxide concentration by an additional 140 ppm (to ca. 420 ppm). The Antarctic glaciological community is in the process of evaluating how much and how fast will the Antarctic ice sheet shrink in response to the anticipated climate warming driven by human emissions of carbon dioxide. Much of this research effort has focused on Thwaites Glacier, the so-called 'doomsday glacier' that is retreating and thinning rapidly and may trigger as much as 10 feet (3 m) of global sea-level rise. The UCSC glaciology research group is leading one of the extensive research projects to understand the current behavior and project the future evolution of Thwaites Glacier.


Who: Everyone! Not just scientists!
When: Last Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm 
Where: Behind the Museum of Art and History (MAH), 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz

Science on Tap at the Catalyst

*This event may return in the future.

      Join us at the "science pub" in Santa Cruz. This event is designed to connect the Santa Cruz community to the latest research happening just up the hill at U.C. Santa Cruz. It also provides an opportunity for graduate students to share their research with the community! 

     The event will be followed by "Sci-Fi Movie Night" at The Catalyst where one of your favorite sci-fi movies will be presented at 8 pm(please visit '' for more movie details). Science on Tap with generally start at 6:45 pm and the Sci-Fi movie will be shown at 8 pm. Science on Tap is generally on the second Monday of every month and is a free event! While this community event is designed for everyone, not just scientist is it 21 and over. We look forward to seeing you there! 

If you are interested in presenting at this event please email "" with the subject line "Science on Tap at the Catalyst". Please include your name, academic year, department, research topic, and availablity. Thank you! 

Science on Tap - November 11, 2019

Return of the dead: How resurrection

plants come back to life

Helen Holmlund

  University of California, Santa Cruz


Most plants die when they dry out, but resurrection plants are an exception to this rule. Resurrection plants can lose almost all their water and then come back to life when they are watered again. We call these plants “desiccation tolerant,” because they can survive near-complete desiccation (drying). In fact, most plants are desiccation tolerant at the seed stage, but only a few plants also have desiccation-tolerant leaves, stems, and roots. Desiccation tolerance might seem like the ultimate plant super power, but there are some challenges associated with being a resurrection plant. Plants have a vascular system, kind of like we do. When resurrection plants resurrect, they need to restore water flow through their vascular system. My collaborators and I used high-resolution CT scans (x-rays) to see inside the plants while they were resurrecting. Our results show that these resurrection plants have several special traits that help them restore water flow through their vascular system.

Who: Everyone! Not just scientists! (21+)
When: Monday, November 11th th at 7:00 pm 
Where: The Catalyst (1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz)