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November 2012 Archives

Watch Noah Wilson-Rich: Every city needs honey bees

Meet Noah Wilson-Rich, one of Simmons College's newest faculty members in the Department of Biology. If there's one thing you need to know about Noah Wilson-Rich, it's that he's an expert on urban beekeeping. He recently gave an extremely popular TED Talk about the importance of honey bees in cities, and the key role they play in creating a sustainable ecosystem. In this edition of Know Your Professor, we chatted with Noah Wilson-Rich to find out more about his passion for bees, what he does when he's not teaching, and why he loves Simmons.

Any plans for a beehive at Simmons?
I am willing and ready to set up a (non-aggressive!) honey bee hive at Simmons anytime. I am a relentless proponent of urban beekeeping, urban agriculture, and sustainability as a whole. Anyone who eats food needs to understand that honey bees are of vital importance because of their role as pollinators.The Simmons Sustainability Club is working hard at getting a honey bee hive on campus. These Simmons honey bees would reflect the Simmons community in many ways.
How so?
Because bees are a female-dominated society that does extremely good work for the betterment of this world. The educational value of honey bees is endless. There are opportunities for hands-on agricultural and sustainability training; we can study systems to test theories relating to economics, sociology, biology, and chemistry; and the sale of honey and beeswax products can be a source of fundraising revenue for student groups. I strongly encourage everyone at Simmons to join the effort to bring honey bees to campus!
What's your favorite class to teach? Why?
Biology 342 - Topics in Behavioral Biology is my baby! I enjoy teaching this class for so many reasons. Animal behavior is so fascinating because we have been studying it our entire lives, whether consciously or not. Beyond studying the human animal, we take a lot of "virtual field trips" to become intimately familiar with all sorts of animals. So far this semester, we have learned interior decorating techniques from bowerbird nests in the dense forests of Papua New Guinea; dating and mate choice advice from seahorses; food selection techniques from platypuses and sharks; navigation techniques from sea turtles, sibling rivalry dynamics from African hyenas; and many, many more! Teaching this behavior course really is a dream come true for me.
What book are you currently reading?
Inferno by Max Hastings and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Noah Wilson-Rich, urban beekeeper.

Each year, Simmons College celebrates its history by holding a Founder's Day ceremony in memory of John Simmons. Much has changed since Simmons first opened its doors in 1899, but its mission to educate women for an independent livelihood remains the same. Take a look at Simmons then and now.

Learn more about the College's history by visiting the Simmons College Archives.

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