Campus will celebrate Darwin Day with activities

President Thomas J. Haas celebrates the upcoming events with a Charles Darwin toy. Activities will run February 11-12.
President Thomas J. Haas celebrates the upcoming events with a Charles Darwin toy. Activities will run February 11-12.

Grand Valley will celebrate its first Darwin Day February 11-12 with two days of events, including a keynote presentation, art exhibit, faculty and student presentations.

The event is interdisciplinary in nature. Cara Ocobock, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, was among the organizers and said Darwin's theory of evolution touches everyday life in many ways, through language, art and health.

"I'm an anthropologist so evolution is constantly in my studies," Ocobock said. "Internationally, Darwin Day events have been held for years, and I thought, 'Why not here, too?'"

The keynote speaker is Wenda Trevathan, professor emerita of anthropology at New Mexico State University. She is a co-editor of two collections of works on evolutionary medicine and wrote "Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives: How Evolution Has Shaped Women's Health."

Trevathan will give a presentation at 1 p.m. on Friday, February 12, in the Mary Idema Pew Library, multipurpose room. "Flash Talks," quick presentations similar to TED Talks, will follow Trevathan's address from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

February 11 events are at Wealthy Street Theatre; a comedy show will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a screening of "Jurassic Park," with a panel discussion.

The Science on Tap monthly event closes Darwin Day activities. Laura Stroik, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, will give a presentation, "Amazing Adaptations and Other Evolutionary Eccentricities," at the SpeakEZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Ave. NW in Grand Rapids, at 8 p.m.

The art exhibition, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful," will run through February 25 in Mary Idema Pew Library.