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Welcome to the Grand Traverse Humanists. If you value science, reason, and compassion and believe that humans are responsible for their own destiny, you have come to the right place. We are a community for the non-religious in the Grand Traverse area, offering a forum for discussing and advancing a secular worldview based on our common humanity. Our programs include monthly speakers and discussions, film and book groups, and various volunteer and social events. All are free and open to the public. Check out Upcoming Events below, or click on the calendar. Nontheists, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, humanists, and more…we welcome you to join us!

Grand Traverse Humanists Main Meeting

Second Monday of each month, 7 p.m.

Traverse Area District Library main branch, 610 Woodmere Ave., TC

Upcoming Events

  • Meeting at the Library: Dr. Cara Ocobock…”Enduring the Extremes: How to Not Die in the Wild

    Monday, July 11 2016

    Meeting at the Library: Dr. Cara Ocobock…”Enduring the Extremes: How to Not Die in the Wild”

    7 p.m….610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City

    Ocobock’s research involves the study and modeling of human energy expenditure at extreme climates, altitudes, and physical activities. Her interest in the energetics and physiology of people living in extreme cold climates arose from her work developing a new model, the Allocation and Interaction Model, for predicting human total energy expenditure. The study population for this research, students from the National Outdoor Leadership School, was highly active and lived for extended periods of time in a variety of high altitude climates in the western United States. The Allocation and Interaction Model out-performs current models for predicting total energy expenditure among highly active humans in natural environments.

    Ocobock uses this model to dissect human energy budgets, determining how much energy is allocated to basal metabolism, physical activity, thermoregulation, and the digestion of food. She has found that physical activity level plays an important role in determining thermoregulatory costs. She also explores the body composition changes experienced in extreme conditions, and found that individuals with higher body fat percentages could attenuate muscle mass loss during extended periods of rigorous physical activity at high altitudes. This research can inform proper ration nutrition and survival techniques during extreme climate expeditions. Most recently, Ocobock took part in a large collaborative project focused on runners participating in Race Across the USA. These runners ran a daily marathon for six days a week over 150 days as they ran across the United States of America.

     About Dr. Ocobock…

    Dr. Cara Ocobock earned her Bachelors of Science from the University of Michigan in Anthropology-Zoology and Cellular, Molecular, & Developmental Biology. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from Washington University, St. Louis in 2014. She is currently a professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department at Grand Valley State University. Her research focuses on human energy expenditure and adaptations under extreme conditions of climate and physical activity.

    Ocobock is also deeply involved in science education and encouraging women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medical fields. She founded and is currently running Science on Tap Grand Rapids, which is an opportunity for conversation, debate, and interaction between scientists and the public while enjoying libations at the SpeakEZ Lounge. Ocobock is also a core member of the Association for Women in Science West Michigan and a faculty fellow for the Women in Science and Engineering living learning community at Grand Valley State University.

  • Meeting at the Library: Highlights of the AHA Conference and Reason Rally

    Monday, June 13 2016

    Meeting at the Library: Highlights of the AHA Conference and Reason Rally

    7 p.m….610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City

    The American Humanist Association (of which we are a chapter) recently held its 75th anniversary conference in Chicago! Seven members of the Grand Traverse Humanists attended this event…and three members attended the epic Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., held the following Saturday. Join us for a presentation of highlights from both of these events.

  • Summer Solstice Party


    Summer Solstice Party Saturday, June 18 2016

    7 p.m.
    7670 E Shore Rd., Traverse City (1/4 mile N of McKinley on Old Mission Peninsula)

    Join us for a celebration of the beginning of summer! Dishes to pass are welcome but not required. Phone 503-422-6515 with any questions.

  • Bike Ride: TC to Suttons Bay

    Tandem bikeSunday, June 12 2016

    Bike Ride to Suttons Bay

    10 a.m….meet at Darrow Park in TC

    Ride to Suttons Bay for brunch…return by bike or take the BATA bus. Ride is 15 miles each way via the TART Trail. Contact person is Mark…231-392-1215.

  • Meeting at the Library: Tim Keenan of Veterans for Peace…Naneek documentary film

    Monday, May 9 2016

    Meeting at the Library: Tim Keenan of Veterans for Peace…Naneek documentary short film and discussion

    7 p.m….610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City

    Join us for a viewing and discussion of Tim Keenan’s documentary film “Naneek,” which chronicles his return to Vietnam forty years after his service in the Vietnam War. Now in his sixties, Tim returned to the country he equated with war and climbed the hill that had given him PTSD. He sat down with former enemy, reconnected with Vietnamese culture, and slowly felt a great weight being lifted. Following the film will be a question and answer period with Tim.

  • Book Club: Discussion of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

    Just Mercy book coverSunday, May 15 2016

    GTH Book Club

    4 p.m….home of Chris Kuchuris and Mella McCormick

    Join us for a discussion of Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Books are available for purchase at a discount through the GTH Book Club at Brilliant Books. To be added to our list there, and for directions and RSVP, contact Heather at heather.kingham@gthumanists.org.