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.

The Evolution and Art Interface: New Paltz Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Darwin Day

Humans around the world create visual art, music and dance. None of these activities are particularly helpful at facilitating survival. How did these features come to so strongly embed into our species? Why are humans “artistic apes?”

The New Paltz’s Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program will explore these questions during its 10th Annual Celebration of Darwin Day – a day dedicated to celebrating the advances in our understanding of life that have followed from Charles Darwin’s work.

The event will be held on Thursday, February 12 (what would have been Darwin’s 206th birthday) from 5-8 p.m. in Lecture Center room 108.

Gabrielle Starr

Keynote speaker Dr. Gabrielle Starr (New York University) explores the connection between evolution and the arts.

Dr. Gabrielle Starr (New York University), author of Feeling Beauty: The Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience, will deliver the keynote address. Starr is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at NYU and her work focuses on a scientific/evolutionist account of the arts.

A panel composed of local scholars with interests in the evolution and art interface will follow the keynote address. Panelists include EvoS scholars Glenn Geher (Psychology), Andrew Higgins (English), Paul Kassel (Theatre Arts) and Andrea Varga (Theatre Arts).

The public is invited to attend the talk and free reception.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, Evolutionary Studies Program and School of Fine and Performing Arts.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.