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Adult Education

Current Course Schedule - Fall 2018

Entomological Musings: The Wondrous World of Insects

Professor Greg Cowper

6 Mondays, September 24 to November 5, 2018 (no class on October 8 -- Columbus Day), 6:15 - 7:45 PM. Fishtown Community Branch of the Free Library, 1217 E. Montgomery Ave (just north of Girard Ave.)

This new course will introduce Entomology, the study of insects, and discuss specific Insect Orders, ranging from Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) to Siphonaptera (fleas). Students will learn about the evolution of insect groups across, geologic time, classification, morphology, diversity and behavior.

No pre-registration necessary.  Register by completing a registration form at the class.

A History of Cartography: From Antiquity to Longitude

Professor Darin Hayton

6 Wednesdays, September 26 - November 7, 2018, 6:15 - 7:45 PM. Independence Branch of the Free Library, 18th S. 7th St. (between Market and Chestnut)

The class will look at some of the narrative, political and religious aspects of maps. It will also work through the often sophisticated mathematics and geographic knowledge that undergirded cartographic projects from antiquity through the 18th century, when people finally solved the longitude problem.

No pre-registration necessary.  Register by completing a registration form at the class.

Wild City Plants - Field Course

Professor Alfred E. Schuyler

First class: Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 6:30 - 7:45 PM at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th St. Philadelphia

Five field classes, October 6 - November 3, 10 AM - 1 PM in various locations around Philadelphia, all accessible via public transportation

This field class will take five Saturday walks to different sites in Philadelphia. The primary focus will be on the remarkable diversity of plants that grow wild in urban habitats such as vacant lots, sidewalk cracks, railroad corridors, yards, and parks. We will use field guides to identify the plants and discuss their ecological importance.

This course requires pre-registration and is limited to 25 students. Pre-registration opens Monday, September 17. Pre-register online or by calling 215-763-6529 x23.

Past Courses

Splendor in the Grasses: A Natural History of the Plant Family Poaceae, Professor Jordan Teisher

6 Tuesdays, March 27 - May 1, 2018, 6:30 - 7:30 PM. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th St. (20th and Arch Sts.)

The grass family, Poaceae, contains over 11,000 species distributed across the globe in virtually all habitats. It is arguably the most valuable plant family to humans, providing over half of the daily caloric intake of the world’s people. This course is a broad survey of some of the basic biology of grasses including taxonomy, morphology, ecology, evolution, and domestication.

This course requires preregistration. Click here or call 215-763-6529 x23.

Sex in the Wild: Strategies of Sexual Reproduction in the Animal Kingdom, Professor Patrick Slavin

6 Wednesdays, March 28 - May 9, 2018, 6:15 - 7:30 PM., Independence Branch of the Free Library, 18 S. 7th Street (between Market and Chestnut) 

This course explores the myriad ways that animal evolution has devised to reproduce sexually from meiosis to fertilization.

No preregistration necessary. Register by attending the first class.

The Real Dirt: The Science Behind Soil, Professor Karen Snetselaar

6 Tuesdays, January 16 - February 20, 2018, 6:30 - 7:30 PM; Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th St. (20th and Arch)

This course will investigate several aspects of soil, with a focus on their relevance to plant growth. Topics will include the physical nature of soil and a discussion of soil chemistry.  The focus will be on nutrient cycling and soil ecology, including how to promote plant growth by appropriate management of soil conditions.

This course requires preregistration. Click here or call 215-763-6529 x23.

New Topics in Contemporary Physics, Professor Paul J. Angiolillo

6 Mondays, January 22 - March 5, 2018, 6:30 - 7:45 PM; Falls of Schuylkill Neighborhood Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 3501 Midvale Avenue (at Warden Drive)

This course will explore the latest developments in physics, including the very recent discoveries of gravity waves, the advancing field of exoplanet hunting, and the science of biophysics. The course will also consider the history leading to these discoveries and their Philadelphia connections.

No preregistration necessary. Register by attending the first class.

The Biochemistry of your Medicine Cabinet - and Beyond, Professor Joseph B. Rucker

6 Wednesdays, January 24 – February 28, 2018, 6:15 - 7:30 PM; Independence Branch of the Free Library, 18 S. 7th Street (between Market and Chestnut) 

A biochemist provides insight into how common (and not so common) medicines work.

No preregistration necessary. Register by attending the first class.

Macroevolution and the History of Life, Professor Jason Downs

8 Saturdays, January 27 - March 17, 2018, 10:30 AM to Noon; University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (33rd and Spruce)

This course will examine macroevolutionary processes and patterns in the history of life on earth, providing a view of evolution from the broadest perspectives.

This course requires preregistration. Click here or call 215-763-6529 x23.

The Cosmos: A History of Modern Astronomy, Professor Darin Hayton.

6 Wednesdays, September 27 - November 1, 2017, 6:15 - 7:30 PM. Independence Branch of the  Free Library, 18 S. 7th Street (between Market and Chestnut).  The invention of the telescope in the early 17th century made it possible for astronomers to see things that had never been seen before.  This course will look at how new observations —from Galileo’s discovery of the moons of Jupiter to Hubble’s discovery of the expanding universe—challenged accepted ideas about the size, age and the very nature of the universe. 

No preregistration necessary. Register by attending the first class.

A Selective History of 19th Century American Entomology, Professor Greg Cowper.

6 Wednesdays, October 4 - November 8, 2017, 6:15 - 7:45 PM. Fishtown Community Branch of the Free Library, 1217 East Montgomery Ave.  This class will examine the field of Entomology, the study of insects, through the lens of 19th Century America, and chronologically explore the entomologists, their work, the science, and the insects that were influential in this important era of discovery.

No preregistration necessary. Register by attending the first class.

The Science Behind Global Warming, Professor Kevin Cannon.

6 Mondays, October 16 – November 27, 2017 , 6:30 - 7:45 PM. Falls of Schuylkill Neighborhood Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 3501 Midvale Avenue (at Warden Drive).   This course explores the science that is associated with global warming, and examines the evidence pointing to ongoing global warming and the modeling techniques used to predict the warming trend.  The course will present relevant scientific information to help participants make informed public policy choices.

No preregistration necessary. Register by attending the first class.

 

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