Back to school, back to school…

4 09 2007

Today kicks off the fall semester here at Rutgers, and I just don’t know if I’m prepared for the overwhelming excitement that will be Soils and Society later this afternoon. As my friend John suggested, I could definitely get Darwin involved in the course by using his The Formation of Vegetable Mould Thhrough the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits as the basis for a paper if I must write one (I think there are just 3 exams, unfortunately), but geophagy is interesting and I’m sure I’ll get something from the course.

I also have recently received some more good news; I am not going to mention the details as yet, but it looks like I’ll once again have the opportunity to teach other students about evolution this semester. I’m also going to try and organize some Darwin Day lectures for February (it’s never too early to start), so I definitely have a lot to do at Rutgers in terms of evolution this year. I might give Darwin’s Beagles another shot, although it seems that there just isn’t enough of an undergraduate interest at this particular university. Even if most students don’t care, however, I’m still having fun with it, and so don’t expect the science writing to stop anytime soon.


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5 responses

4 09 2007
RedMolly

“Soils and Society?”

“Dirt and Demography?”

“Humus and Humanity?”

The mind boggles. Have fun; happy studying.

4 09 2007
laelaps

Compost and Culture?

I like your titles better, Molly. At least this course seems better than the incredibly difficult “Soils and Water” (sounds pretty straightforward, no?) I had to take last semester.

4 09 2007
Oldfart

Rutgers – in New Brunswick, NJ. I lived in NB when I was 8 or 9 for awhile. Long enough to wander around the school. They left their buildings wide open and I remember seeing a skeleton in a case in one of them. I contemplated stealing it for a long long time. Thought it would look good in my room………………………….that was a long time ago.

4 09 2007
laelaps

I know some of the buildings have shells or skulls here and there (mostly replicas and old catalog-order specimens), but there is a geology museum that’s open to the public and has plenty of fossil replicas. You’re right about everything being pretty open, however; I’m surprised that a modern day O.C. Marsh hasn’t crept in and swiped some specimens here and there.

I definitely want to collect some more skeletons and skulls so I can work on my anatomy, although where to put them is problematic (and the replicas are often prohibitively expensive). One of these days I’ll have a row of saber-tooth cat skull replicas lining my shelves, but not any day soon.

4 09 2007
Oldfart

3D printing technology should help you there. I read somewhere recently that someone had developed a cheap 3D “printer”. I don’t know how cheap they are talking about but someday it will be possible to create replicas in your own home.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

It is actually called rapid prototyping technology. I see a problem in getting the “print instructions” in the right format for your printer……but it is a relatively new technology probably with few standards.

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