Fall 2010 Voltaire's Coffee: Professor Draper
Wed, September 1, 2010 • 7:00 PM • Joynes Room, Carothers (CRD) 007, 2501 Whitis Ave. Enter through the east doors of the honors quad
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
A Primate's Memoir by Robert Sapolski, led by Dr. Moon Draper, Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
About the book:
A Primate’s Memoir documents Sapolsky's years in Kenya studying baboons as a graduate student. The chapters alternate between describing observations of a troop of baboons and the wildly different culture in Africa that he is increasingly cognizant of. The book portrays an unconventional way of studying neurophysiology to determine the effects of stress on life expectancy.
The book was nominated for the The Aventis Prizes for Science Books in 2002.
About the professor:
Professor Draper teaches Plan II Biology and a TC357 course during the summer in Costa Rica. The first course explores biology by looking at some of the everyday issues that we encounter from a scientific perspective. Some of these issues include the use of antibiotics, human cloning and eugenics, disease states in humans, and capital punishment. The material of the course spans the spectrum from molecular and cellular biology to physiological systems and ecology. There are several field trips including those to Enchanted Rock and the Marine Science Institute on the coast.
The second course involves both science and public policy, requiring that students consider many aspects of the issue of rain forest conservation including economics, sociology, ecotourism, and agriculture. It is be both a seminar course in the Spring and a 5-week Maymester in the field in Costa Rica. Students travel throughout Costa Rica exploring the diverse habitats that the country hosts, from rain forests along the coats to the cloud forests of the continental divide in the mountains to dry tropical forests of the interior. At the end of the course, the students work in groups and individually to approach a current problem that a specific area faces in managing these rare tropical forests.
For the School of Biological Sciences, Professor Draper teaches Advanced Genetics for the Dean's Scholars honours students, Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics. For the Section of Neurobiology he teaches the gateway course: Vertebrate Neurophysiology. This is an overview of the nervous system and the entry point for neurobiology majors. His background is from many disciplines and he is a strong advocate of the Plan II program. He promotes research and study abroad as often as he can.