Talk on evolution set for noon on Oct. 14

Nina Jablonski, professor of biological anthropology at Penn State, highlights Penn State New Kensington's October celebration of Kenya and Tanzania at noon Friday, Oct. 14, in the Forum Theatre.

Jablonski's lecture, “Human Origins Research at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania,” explores one of the oldest prehistoric sites in the world. The gorge is located on the Serengeti plains in northern Tanzania, and is considered by many scientists to be the cradle of mankind. Excavation of the site has uncovered tools that are believed to be more than 2.6 million years old. The inhabitants were not modern humans but a primitive hominids, a group comprising chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans. The talk is free to the public.

A world-renowned authority in primate evolution, the evolution of human skin color, the evolution of hominid bipedalism, and the mammalian paleoecology,  Jablonski is the author of "Skin: A Natural History," an overview of the most visible feature of the human anatomy and the human obsession with the skin's age-related changes.

The book prompted an appearance on the cable TV show, "The Colbert Report," on the Comedy Central Network in 2007. A parody of a news show, "The Colbert Report" features Stephen Colbert as a fake right-wing political pundit. He features a wide variety of guests on his show, which has included well-known actors, authors, political personalities and others.

Sponsored by the Honors program and International Committee at Penn State New Kensington, the lecture is a part of "Countries of Focus: Kenya and Tanzania," the year-long, campus celebration of international cultures.

For the past five years, the campus has embarked on the promotion of greater awareness and understanding of world issues, international trends and global policy debates. Each year, the campus adopts a country or region of the world to inspire teaching and scholarship. Students, faculty and staff will explore and reflect on various aspects of India's history, culture and economic, social and political reality.

The next guest lecturer is Robin Wiszowaty, author of "My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah," at noon Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the campus Forum Theatre. Wiszowaty lives in her adoptive country of Kenya where she serves as program director with Free the Children, a non-profit organization that helps children to make a difference in their worlds.  As director, she implements long-term development projects in partnership with local communities.

For more information contact Bill Hamilton at 724-334-6717 or hw7@psu.edu via email.

For more on the "Country of Focus" program, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Academics/InternationalPrograms/43845.htm online.

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Last Updated October 06, 2011