Darwin Day Road Show

The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center is trying an experiment this year for Darwin Day.  In 2011 we are taking Darwin Day on the road.  We will be sending our scientists to small towns and communities (i.e., places that wouldn’t otherwise have Darwin Day celebrations) around the United States to share their research and talk to students about what evolution is and what it means to be an evolutionary biologist.

To initiate this process we asked school teachers to serve as our hosts. We received over two dozen requests from all over the country.  We settled on five schools in four states outside of our home state of North Carolina with five terrific, motivated, enthusiastic host teachers. We will be visiting Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, and Virginia,

Yours truly will be part of Team Nebraska/Montana.  My traveling companion will be Gregor Yanega, an expert on biomechanics and everything bird.  While Gregor talks about the evolutionary processes behind hummingbird and pelican beaks, I will be discussing the evolutionary processes behind gigantism in Giant Isopods and Giant Squids.

Wish Team Iowa, Team Virginia, and Gregor and I luck as we embark on our collective journeys.

Stay tuned for more on our collective trips.  You can follow along with Gregor and I on our trip through America’s heartland on Twitter through the hashtag #DarwinRoadShow

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (http://www.scienceofthesouth.com/), connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

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