Evolutionary Studies Summer Institute at New Paltz 2018


Do you know that the Next Generation Science Standards underscore a broad approach to the teaching of evolutionary principles? Do you know that the award-winning SUNY New Paltz Evolutionary Studies Program oversees a summer institute for teachers to help advance their breadth and depth in understanding and teaching about evolution?

Here is what alumni of the Institute had to say in an anonymous survey of their experiences:

“This was great! I seriously left every day with a smile and positive, exciting ideas floating round in my head.”

“Really opened my mind to numerous approaches to evolution.”

“This (Institute) has great potential; could be a star attraction for teachers!”

“Loved seeing evolution in a biological sense carried over to other disciplines in a meaningful, comprehensive manner.”



Here are the basics on this program, set to run between 7/23 (M) and 7/25 (W):

* 20-hour program leading to 2 10-hour-based CEUs (satisfactory for salary advancement in most districts!).

* July 23-25, 2018 – to take place at the SUNY New Paltz campus.

* Cost is ONLY $300.

* Successful participants have the option to buy SUNY New Paltz CEUs for $25 per credit

* Participants who would prefer to obtain 2 graduate level credits (for EVO 795; independent study in Evolutionary Studies) may be able to do so (talk with the director; Glenn Geher (geherg@newpaltz.edu)

* Successful graduates of the program will receive a certificate of completion demarcating “Successful Completion of SUNY New Paltz’s Evolutionary Studies Summer Institute.”

* To register, please click HERE. For more information about the program, please contact director of the Institute, Glenn Geher (geherg@newpaltz.edu); priority registration ends July 4.

The Institute is designed as an effort to help current and future teachers master the breadth of content needed to effectively teach about evolution in a secondary-education curriculum. With the new “common core” standards, evolution and its many elements are now considered essential components of the science curriculum. We want to help our teachers be best prepared to effectively teach this material to the next generation of students.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, SUNY New Paltz’s Evolutionary Studies programs includes more than 10 PhD-level faculty who teach dozens of classes related to evolution across the curriculum. These faculty have published articles and books related to evolution that have earned national and international acclaim – and these faculty have a strong reputation on campus and beyond for focusing on cultivating student learning as a primary feature of their work.

In short, the EvoS Faculty at New Paltz are highly qualified evolutionists with international reputations in scholarship and proven dedication and effectiveness in the domain of teaching.

The curriculum includes the following:

  • Basic principles of evolutionary theory
  • Basic biological processes of evolution, including how evolutionary principles dovetail with our understanding of genetics
  • Evolutionary processes related to human origins and behavior
  • Evolution applied to important issues of humanity (such as health and the arts)
  • Studying and Teaching about Evolution in the Field
  • Issues specific to the teaching of evolution at multiple levels

A draft of the curricular plan is found below. The plan to be implemented will be either identical, or very close to, this plan (including times, content, and instructor). This plan will be implemented under the leadership of the Institute Director along with input from the EvoS faculty who are involved in this project.


Monday, July 23

8:45-9:15 Breakfast

9:15-9:30: Introduction by Glenn Geher, Director of EvoS Institute

930-1115: Basics of Evolutionary Theory, Tom Nolen

1115-100: Universal Darwinism, Spencer Mass

1-2: Lunch

200-345: EvoS Institute Alumni Presentations

Tuesday, July 24

900-930 Breakfast

930-1115: Human Origins, Chris Lynn

1115-100: Evolution and Behavior, Glenn Geher

1-2: Lunch

2-345: Evolution and Health, Hamilton Stapell

Wednesday, July 25

845-900 Breakfast

900-1045: Evolution and the Arts, Andrea Varga

1045-1230: Evolution and the Next Generation Science Standards, Rosemary Millham

1230-130: Lunch

130-330: EvoS Participant Presentations and Certificate Ceremony

This program provides students with a deep biological understanding of evolution along with an understanding of evolution applied across various disciplines beyond traditional biological areas. And it will include important content specific to the teaching of evolution. Graduates of this institute are well-prepared to teach about evolution content in a way that integrates many issues that surround evolution education.

For information about the international Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) Consortium that we developed here at New Paltz (in collaboration with faculty at Binghamton), please check out www.evostudies.org. This site includes freely available articles from the peer-reviewed EvoS Journal along with the world’s largest database of free-and-streaming videos related to evolution.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION: This program is primarily geared for teachers and/or graduate or undergraduate students who anticipate going into the teaching profession (particularly in the sciences). There are no exclusion criteria (anyone who can provide evidence of completion of a high school degree (or equivalent) who interested in signing up for the Institute is welcome to do so). This [program is made possible by the New York State Master Teacher Program (with master teachers from this program being included among the participants)

REFUND /CANCELLATION POLICY: Paid individuals must email the Institute director, Glenn Geher (geherg@newpaltz.edu) in writing prior to July 15 to obtain a refund. Refund requests within this timeline will be honored fully. Refund requests submitted after the start of July 15 will not be honored.