USD scientist Timothy Heaton to present Harrington Lecture

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Timothy H. Heaton, Ph.D., professor of earth sciences at The University of South Dakota, will present “Getting Along: Case Studies in Science-Culture Conflict,” during the 57th annual Harrington Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in Farber Hall, which is located inside Old Main on the USD campus.

A member of the USD faculty since 1990, Heaton has taught a variety of courses at The U, including Historical Geology, Oceanography, Paleontology and The Evolution-Creation Debate. He is also a renowned researcher having unearthed the remains of a human skull in 1996 while excavating for Ice Age animal fossils on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. This discovery turned out to be the oldest genetic sample ever recovered in the Americas and supported the scientific theory that humans first arrived in North America around 15,000 years ago.  

His ground-breaking Prince of Wales Island research has been featured in several prominent scientific publications, including a 2000 profile in National Geographic, a 2004 article in Smithsonian magazine entitled, "America's First Immigrants," and a 2000 NOVA program called "Mystery of the First Americans." An article Heaton co-authored that provided detailed information about the find was recognized by Discover magazine as the No. 32 (out of 100) top science story for 2007 (http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan/tooth-dna-dates-the-first-americans).

Heaton received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University, all in geology. He did post-doctoral study at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., prior to joining USD's Department of Earth Sciences.

The Harrington Lecture Series is an annual event featuring a distinguished professor with long-standing service to the College of Arts and Sciences in memory of the late Elbert Harrington, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor Emeritus of communication. Following the lecture, which is free and open to the public, there will be a reception for Heaton in Farber Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. featuring a string quartet performance from the College of Fine Arts. For more information about the 2009 Harrington Lecture, please contact USD's College of Arts & Sciences at (605) 677-5221 or knelson@usd.edu.

A photo of Heaton is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Tim_Heaton.jpg.