Summer EXCEL course focuses on dinosaurs

Huntington, Ind.— Dinosaurs have sparked a lot of interest in the minds of men since their bones and tracks were discovered in the early nineteenth century. Now, Huntington College’s EXCEL Program for Adult Professionals will allow students to study the natural history of the dinosaurs through a first-time summer Gateway course, Jurassic Park Revisited: The Real Dinosaurs.

Taught by Dr. Bruce Evans, Associate Professor of Biology at Huntington College, the Gateway course is a two credit/non-credit four-week course, running for three Monday nights starting on July 29 and concluding with a Saturday field trip on August 17. Members of the class will travel to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago to view Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as other dinosaur skeletons and artifacts.

"We are really excited about the opportunity to offer this unique course, written and taught by one of our stellar science faculty," said Kathleen O'Donnell, Director of the EXCEL Program. "In addition, we are making the fieldtrip to the Field Museum available to the families of the participants. We know that children and adults will especially enjoy seeing Sue and those rare dinosaur eggs."

As the last decade of the twentieth century saw a renaissance in popular interest in these fascinating beasts, the class will feature exciting stories of what humans have come to know about them. The class will also learn many species of dinosaurs and discuss current theories about some of the following issues:

How big were they?

When did they live?

How did they live?

What happened to them?

Can we really clone them?

Are birds living descendants of dinosaurs?

Evans earned his Bachelors degree in biology from The University of Charleston, W.V. in 1985, and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Neurobiology in 1991 from Emory University in Atlanta. While in graduate school, he spent time at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, Mass., taking a course on the neural basis of behavior. Since joining the faculty at Huntington in 1991, Evans has spent considerable time learning about dinosaurs in various parts of the U.S. In 2000, he spent a week in central Texas with renowned dinosaur footprint expert Dr. James Farlow, investigating several different dinosaur trackway sites. Prior to that, he studied dinosaurs in Colorado and Utah as well as at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Evans is also interested in the emerging field of Intelligent Design Theory and attended the Nature of Nature conference at Baylor University as well as a major design conference at Yale in 2000. Evans has presented his research findings at Society for Neuroscience and American Society of Zoologists meetings. He has published research articles in Peptides, Cell and Tissue Research, and Journal of Experimental Biology. Evans is a member of the Indiana Academy of Science, Past-president of the Indiana College Biology Teachers Association, and faculty member of the Project Kaleidoscope for the 21st Century. He is married to Marti and is the father of two boys, Brett and Drew.

“Dinosaurs are still fascinating, and we discover new ones all the time,” said Evans. “The Field Museum has a remarkable collection of dinosaur eggs that is one of the best in the world. I have a lot of fun with this subject, and I would hope that students would too.”

Registration deadline for Jurassic Park Revisited: The Real Dinosaurs is July 19. For more information on the EXCEL program, visit or contact by phone at (260) 359-4161 or by e-mail at

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