By Cadence Russell
On Oct. 27, at 6 p.m. in Schneck Hall, Beta Beta Beta, better known as Tri-Beta, hosted the second of three guest speakers in their Fall Seminar Series. Dr. Joshua Drew, from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, spoke to students on his work with historical ecology and conservation, and how science intersects with the humanities more than one may think.
“It’s super interesting, to be brutally honest, the stuff is just fascinating,” Drew said, “I love looking through old photos. I like looking at archives, kind of imagining what the world used to look like but then also, as I said, if you don’t understand where you came from, it’s hard to figure out where you’re going to go.”
Drew used work mostly done by students in his lab during his presentation, highlighting why understanding what the world used to be like in conservation biology is critically important.
“It’s easy for us as professors to kind of forget that we’ve been doing this for a while. And so if we just present, like, the work that we do, it’s difficult for students to kind of figure out how to get there. And so the work that we’ve done here was done almost exclusively by students, except for the oyster stuff that I did,” Drew said.
Drew is the second of three guest speakers coming to Daemen this fall. The first, Dr. Jeffery Heilveil from SUNY Oneonta, was on Oct. 13, and the last was on Nov. 10, with the speaker being Dr. Malini Suchak from Canisius College.
“I wanted to invite other professors to speak here at Daemen because, with Daemen’s focus on human health, which is great and important, I wanted to really show people or help people realize that there is so much more to science than just being a doctor or just being in the medical profession,” Dr. Sarah Whorley, one of Tri-Beta’s advisors said.
“There’s lots of ways to help people that don’t involve going into a hospital,” Whorley said.
Daemen is known for its focus on human health, but there are plenty of other science-related majors at Daemen, including but not limited to: biology, biochemistry, natural science, and cytotechnology, along with a slew of specializations.
“Tri-Beta is a biological honor society, so it’s kind of a national program that helps people connect with other scientists. In our version of Tri-Beta, it’s kind of just helping students learn where they can go in science,” Tri-Beta president, Marykate Taylor, a senior biology/cytotechnology major said.
The Fall Seminar Series holds several purposes. The main purpose is to share with Daemen students the versatility of a science degree. However, the series also aims to promote membership within Tri-Beta itself.
“So right now, our club is a little small, but in previous years, I’ve used it to find people in my classes, make study groups, find people to talk to,” Taylor said, “So it’s really easy to use that as an opportunity to grow your social circle, and meet scientists.”
Tri-Beta has two different levels of membership. To become a full member, a student needs to have taken a minimum of four science classes, while an associate member has to have taken two science classes. To be registered with the national Tri-Beta Association, a student must have taken at least four science classes and have a GPA of at least 3.0.
“I hope students gain an appreciation for what it is that science can do for the world. How much work and dedication and passion it takes to be a scientist, and that being a scientist is not just taking science classes,” Whorley said.
“I think Dr. Drew’s talk was a really great cross-curricular example bringing in philosophy, bringing in history, bringing in art and folktales, and that to really help the most people you need to have the broadest understanding of the world you possibly can,” Whorley said.