Evolutionary Biology Spring 2015 HonorsConversion

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Evolutionary Biology Honors Conversion
Spring 2015

Honors Conversion Options

There are three options for converting EEB2245/W to honors:

  • Read Darwin's Origin of Species and meet as a group several times to discuss it.
  • Read the science news and submit an "Evolution in the News" write-up once a week
  • Attend EEB seminars and submit a brief write-up about each

    Option 1: The Origin of Species

    We will read Darwin's Origin of Species, and anticipate meeting as a group 4 times over the course of the semester to discuss the text. While reading, each student will record some observations or questions, which will be used as the basis for discussion at the meetings. These can be observations about ways in which our understanding has changed (or not) since Darwin's time, questions about passages that were surprising or confusing, or comments that connect readings to class material or identify additional examples that illustrate Darwin's principles. The reading schedule and meeting times will be arranged once we know which students have selected this option and will accommodate everyone's schedule to the extent possible. If you are considering this option, you are strongly encouraged to read a chapter or two before committing to it, since some people do not enjoy Darwin's writing style. If you select this option, you should purchase or obtain from the library a copy of the 1st edition of the Origin of Species. You may also read it online here.

    Option 2: Evolution in the News

    For "Evolution in the News", Dr. Simon and I would ask that you keep an eye out for evolution stories that are getting attention submit to us a brief write-up about one of these stories once a week for a total of 10 weeks,. Most of the stories could be from the popular press (e.g., the Science section of the NY Times Science section, Science Daily, BBC Science all often report on evolution stories), but we'd like at least 3 to be from the primary literature. (With good science reporting, there's usually a link to the original source, so you can still find these by the same route. Or you can search more directly, for example with PubMed. Note: if you are completing the W portion of this course, you may not use any of the same sources as you are using for your W paper.)

    1) Read each week an article related to evolution, coming from either the popular science press, science journalism aimed at scientists, or the primary literature. The more closely related the article is to the specific focus of the class, the better. But we can't control the news! So as long as it's about evolution (or you make it clear how it's directly relevant), that's good. For the non-primary (popular) sources, the news article should be from the same week. For the primary sources, we'll count any paper published within the last six months as current.

    2) Prepare a short current events report about your source. Summarize it using a simple “who, what, when, where, and how” format. Dr. Jockusch can email you an example. Add to this a statement about the connection to course material, if it's not clear from the content of the summary. Your summary should be roughly 300 to 500 words and single spaced.

    3) Submit the summary as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format by email to Dr. Jockusch during the first half of the semester and Dr. Simon during the second half. Emails are due weekly by Friday at midnight. Emails should have the subject header "EEB2245 Evolution in the News"; include a web link for the source in the email. Name the attached file using the following convention: YourLastName_EvolutionNews_Number.docx (substituting your name, the assignment number and the file format as appropriate).

    Option 3: EEB department seminars

    Attend 10 EEB or Teale seminars. After each one, send a brief email to the instructor with the following information:

  • Name and home institution of the speaker
  • The main conclusion of the seminar
  • The most interesting thing you learned from the seminar
  • One question you were left with or an idea for follow-up work on the topic

    Emails must have the subject header "EEB2245 Seminar Summary" and should be sent within 48 hours of the seminar. EEB seminars generally take place Thursdays at 4 pm in BPP 130. Some seminars are on Tuesdays at 4 pm and one is on Monday at 4 pm. The complete schedule is here