Boyd Science Center Colloquium, Boyd Room 001

November 16th, 2005 by Adam

Dr. Warren Tomkiewicz is presenting “Visitors’ Understanding of Geothermal Features and Associated Thermophilic Microorganisms at Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park” at the Boyd Science Center November 16th Colloquium.

This study investigates people’s understanding of a recent scientific theory concerning the evolution of life based on thermophilic bacteria and Archaea found below the surface of the Earth and the relevant correct concepts, missing concepts and misunderstandings that people hold in relation to this new theory. Science educators are presently faced with a new and revolutionary theory which holds that life originated on Earth as a group of organisms preliminary to bacteria, plants and animals. Yellowstone National Park contains more of the geothermal features, which provides the environment for these organisms, than all the rest of the world combined. YNP is the site where the first organisms were identified, isolated and then cultivated for technological and biological applications. Researchers interviewed 200 visitors at YNP’s Midway Geyser Basin concerning these geological features, the associated organisms, biological diversity, and the value of these ancient life forms. Results are discussed.

Warren is currently Chair of the CEAPS Department and teaches Earth science, oceanography, environmental science, and science education courses. He is involved with professional development with science teachers throughout the state of NH. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State College in biology education, a master’s degree in marine biology from Northeastern University, and a doctorate in biology and environmental education from Boston University. He is leading the charge for the Master of Science in Science Education and Master of Arts in Teaching in Science programs.

Please join us. Light refreshments will be served.