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Natural History Museum Presents Collecting Evolution: The untold story of the vindication of Charles Darwin by the 1905-06 Galapagos expedition

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The Sierra College Natural History Museum will present an illustrated lecture entitled “Collecting Evolution: The untold story of the vindication of Charles Darwin by the 1905-06 Galapagos expedition of the California Academy of Sciences” by Matthew James on Friday, September 20, at 7:30 PM in Sewell Hall (room 111) on the Sierra College-Rocklin Campus.

For 17 months, from June 1905 to November 1906, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco sent out an expedition of “eight young men” as sailor-scientists on the 89-foot schooner Academy to collect specimens in the Galapagos Islands. Each of the collectors had a scientific specialty: birds, reptiles, plants, insects, fossils, rocks, mammals, and seashells. In total, they collected some 75,000 specimens, all still housed in San Francisco at the California Academy of Sciences. The enduring legacy of the 1905-06 expedition encompasses much of what we know about Galápagos today, including: plant distribution, giant tortoise taxonomy and David Lack’s concept of Darwin’s Finches, which have become the textbook example of evolution in “Darwin’s living outdoor laboratory of evolution.”

Matthew James is a paleontologist and Professor of Geology at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, where he teaches courses on paleontology (including a large-lecture course on dinosaurs), natural history of the Hawaiian Islands, oceanography, general geology, geologic field mapping, and the paleontology of the Burgess Shale fossil deposits in British Columbia, Canada.

This presentation is the first of the Sierra College Natural History Museum’s 2013-2014 lecture series, and will be held on Friday, September 20 at 7:30 pm in Sewell Hall, room 111. Tickets are available at the door. Prices are General $5 / Students and Seniors $2 / Museum members free. All proceeds benefit the Sierra College Natural History Museum.

The Sierra College Rocklin Campus is located at 5000 Rocklin Road in Rocklin. There is a $3 parking fee on campus. Parking permits are available at dispensers located in the parking lots. For more information, call the Sierra College Natural History Museum at 916-660-7926.

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