Join us for a special educator evening on Thursday, May 3rd, to talk about what is not often talked about: the biological and social meaning of skin color. Anthropologist and paleobiologist Nina G. Jablonski, author of Skin: Its Natural History will discuss the unique biological and cultural aspects of human skin and its importance as a key element of human evolution.

The evening will provide teachers with opportunities to engage in dialog with colleagues and conversation around the research on the evolution of human skin and color. Dr. Jablonski, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Penn State studies the evolution of adaptations to the environment in nonhuman and human primates.

Dr. Jablonki's research done in collaboration with other scientists, has demonstrated that skin color is the product of natural selection acting to regulate levels of melanin pigment in the skin relative to levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in the environment. Melanin is a natural sunscreen that prevents the breakdown of certain essential biomolecules (in particular, B vitamin and DNA), while permitting enough UVR to enter the skin cells to promote the production of the essential vitamin D.

Following the talk, a reception in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins will provide an opportunity for teachers to engage with Museum staff and network with other educators.

Please download the flyer for more information about this Educator Evening.

Essential Info

When:        Thursday May 3, 2012, 4 pm - 7 pm
Cost:          Free for educators
Register:    The event is free but space is limited. Please reserve by April 27.
Call Central Reservations at (212) 769-5200 Manday-Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or register online through Survey Monkey
For more information, contact:   Cristina Trowbridge ctrowbridge@amnh.org