Science Pub Portland: Stars & Birds

DEC 5, 2019 | 7-9PM

We still have plenty of tickets available for tonight's lecture. Hope to see you soon! Also, as a reminder Theory is not open tonight due to a private event. We will have sandwiches and snacks available at the Empirical Cafe.


Back to the Night: Why Bringing Back the Stars is Not Just for the Birds

With Mary Coolidge, BirdSafe Campaign Coordinator at Portland Audubon

December 5, 2019 | Doors Open @ 6PM 


Please Note: OMSI's restaurant, Theory will not be open for this event.


$5 advance purchase for guaranteed seats; $5 suggested donation at the door. Tickets will be available online or at the OMSI front desk until 2pm the day of the event; see below for details.


For eons, the night was lit only by the moon and stars, and life on this planet evolved under regular cycles of bright days and dark nights. All that has changed in the last 130 years, and the night we know now is liberally colonized with artificial light. Most of us live in cities that are ablaze—from billboards to parking lots to streetlights—even while we sleep. Today, 80% of North Americans live in places from which they cannot see our own home galaxy because of the fog of light pollution. The overabundance of light at night has dire ecological consequences for plants, birds, fish and other wildlife, as well as for human health and culture.

In this talk, biologist Mary Coolidge will delve into the importance of darkness for nocturnal species as well as for the billions of migrating birds which use starry night skies to navigate. On this journey, we will explore the night’s wondrous mysteries and ask the question: Can we restore dark skies while simultaneously crafting vibrant, beautiful, and safe nighttime cityscapes?


Mary Coolidge is Portland Audubon’s BirdSafe Campaign Coordinator, working with architects, planners and designers to reduce hazards for birds in the urban environment while meeting other design, building performance and climate change objectives. Mary is dedicated to improving efforts to make urban environments more hospitable to wildlife and helping connect people to nature and place right here in the city. Mary splits her time between Portland Audubon and the Oregon Zoo’s California Condor breeding program.




OMSI Science Pub at the Empirical Theater is a ticketed event. To guarantee a seat at this event, please buy tickets online or at the OMSI front desk. Advanced tickets will be available for purchase until 2:00pm the day of the event. Please show your ticket at the theater entrance upon arrival.


If the event sells out, we will update the website and Facebook listings accordingly. If the event does not sell out in advance, attendance will be first-come, first-served at the door and at-the-door admission will remain a suggested donation.

Science Pub OMSI is a monthly event that is open to anyone and everyone – no scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks and knowledge! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email:


Sandwiches, hotdogs, snacks and beverages are available from the Empirical Café. Food and drink are welcome in the theater. Parking is free for the event. Doors open at 6pm.


For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email: or call 503.797.4529.