Evolutionary Studies Program Hosts Summer Institute

The Evolutionary Studies Program at the State University of New York at New Paltz will host a summer institute designed to help current and future teachers master the breadth of content needed to effectively teach evolution in a secondary-education curriculum. The institute will be held from July 20-24 on the New Paltz campus, and includes field trips to area nature sites.

Evolution and its many elements are now included in Common Core standards and are considered essential components of a science curriculum. The institute will provide students with a deep biological understanding of evolution across various disciplines, as well as content specific to the teaching of evolution. Graduates of the institute will be well prepared to teach evolution content in a way that integrates the many issues that surround evolution education.

The 45-hour version of the institute will include eight class periods. Morning and afternoon periods are 3.5 hours and high-impact and relevant films will be screened and discussed during lunch. It also includes an intensive field experience on teaching about evolution in the wilderness. The cost is $450 and includes lunch provided by the institute on four of the five days. Completion of the program leads to three 15-hour Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which are satisfactory for salary advancement in most districts.

The 34-hour institute (leading to two 15-hour CEUs) includes the same periods, but omits the 11-hour Friday field experience. The cost is $400 for four days.

Successful graduates will receive a certificate of completion and have the option to purchase SUNY New Paltz CEUs for $25 per credit.

Although the institute is primarily geared for teachers and/or graduate or undergraduate students who anticipate entering the teaching profession, anyone with a high school degree or equivalent can enroll.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, New Paltz’s Evolutionary Studies program includes more than 10 Ph.D.-level faculty who teach dozens of classes related to evolution across the curriculum. The faculty have published books and articles on evolution topics that have earned national and international acclaim.

For more information on the Evolutionary Studies Institute, click here.

EvoS Program Announces Spring Seminar Series

The New Paltz Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program has assembled an esteemed group of speakers for its spring 2015 seminar series. The speakers represent a diversity of disciplines (anthropology, biology, sociology and psychology) and will continue the EvoS program’s tradition of providing accessible and thought-provoking academic talks that connect evolutionary principles with all areas of knowledge.

The EvoS program, together with its sister program from SUNY Binghamton, is at the center of the international EvoS Consortium, which was launched with funding from the National Science Foundation. The EvoS program celebrates the power of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution across all aspects of the academic curriculum.

Patricia Wright of Stonybrook’s anthropology department will deliver the Darwin Day keynote lecture on Feb. 9 from 6-7 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. Darwin Day commemorates Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday. Wright will speak about her years of work with Madagascar lemurs (currently featured in the IMax film, Island of Lemurs, narrated by Morgan Freeman).

Patricia Wright

Patricia Wright, shouldering a lemur, will deliver the keynote lecture in the EvoS Program’s spring seminar series. Photo by Ben Hider

The full series, which features other luminaries in the field of evolution – including notable rising stars, is free and open to the public.

The series is sponsored by Campus Auxiliary Services, the EvoS Program and the EvoS Club.

For more information about this seminar series, or how to get involved, contact EvoS Director, Glenn Geher, geherg@newpaltz.edu.

2015 Seminar Series Schedule of Events

Feb. 9:  Lemur Evolution and Ecology
Patricia Wright, Ph.D.
Stony Brook University
Department of Anthropology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102

Feb. 23: Songs and the Suburbs: What Birds Can Teach Us About Communication and Conservation
Kara Belinsky, Ph.D.
SUNY New Paltz
Department of Biology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102

Mar. 9: Using Evolution to Improve our Cities
Dan O’Brien, Ph.D.
Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Department of Sociology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102

Mar. 23: Primate Evolution in the Modern Age
Todd Disotell, Ph.D.
New York University
Department of Anthropology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102

Apr. 6: Facebook Frenemies and Selfie-Promotion: Intrasexual Competition in the Digital Age
Mandy Guitar, M.A.
Binghamton University Ph.D. student and Teaching Assistant
Department of Biology, Anthropology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102

Apr. 13: Transcendental Medication: Defraying the Costs of Analysis Paralysis
Christopher Lynn, Ph.D.
The University of Alabama
Department of Anthropology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102

Apr. 20: The Evolutionary Psychology of Breaking up and Making up
Joel Wade, Ph.D.
Bucknell University
Department of Psychology
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Lecture Center 102