—— About Our Sections ——



The Anthropology Section promotes interest and involvement in the discipline of general anthropology, which includes archaeology, ethnology, physical and cultural anthropology, and linguistics. The Section organizes forums for the discussion of topics pertaining to the scientific study of humanity, the teaching of anthropology, and the application of anthropology to contemporary social concerns. Meetings are at various locations within the area. Topics, times, and sites of each meeting are announced in the R.A.S. Bulletin.




The Astronomy Section brings together individuals and families devoted to promoting and enjoying the hobby of amateur astronomy. Meetings are held on the first Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Rochester Institute of Technology in room A-300 of the Gosnell Science Building (Building # 08), or during the summer at the Wolk Observatory.

The Wolk Observatory at the Marian and Max Farash Center for Observational Astronomy, is the Section's seventeen acre site in Ionia, NY, where members can enjoy the dark skies with their own equipment or the club's telescopes. These include a 16" Newtonian, an 8" Scmidt-Cassegrain, and two large Dobsonian-mounted reflecting telescopes.

Section members operate a 12.5" reflecting telescope on the roof of the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, from May through October. During summer months public star parties are held at town and country parks throughout the Rochester area.

For information about meetings, current activities, and astronomy events, call the Astronomy Events Information Line at (585) 987-5330 or go to http://www.RochesterAstronomy.org/.


Life Sciences


Since its inception in 1881 the Botany Section encouraged interest and study in plants and plant communities, especially those in western New York State. In 1972, Botany merged with the Entomology Section to combine their mutual interests into a single section. In 2006, the name was changed to the Life Sciences Section, to reflect a contemporary appeal to persons interested in a broad range of topics, such as birds, butterflies, amphibians, mammals, plants, ecology, and environmental issues.

The Academy owns one of the finest herbariums in western New York. Local species are its special strength. The Botany-Entomology Seftion maintains the Herbarium and holds periodic curatorial workshops.

Field trips are scheduled throughout the year to acquaint the members with the wild and cultivated flora and insects in the area.





The Mineral Section promotes interest in the study of mineralogy and related sciences. Founded in 1883, the Section is the oldest active mineralogical club in the U.S.A.

Meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. from September to May, except April. Meetings are held in the Community Meeting room of the Brighton Town Hall, 2300 Elmwood Avenue. Programs consist of presentations by professionals and amateurs, illustrated with slides or specimens.

The section participates in an annual four-day, internationally attended Mineral Symposium in April. It also cosponsors a two-day Mineral and Gem Show each year. Field trips are arranged to local, northeastern, and Canadian mineral collecting sites.




The Ornithology Section, also known as the Genesee Ornithological Society, has disbanded and its assets reassigned to other appropriate non-profit organizations.



The Fossil Section encourages an interest in the geologic history of western New York State through the collection, preparation, and study of paleontological materials.

Monthly meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month from October to June at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Meeting room of the Brighton Town Hall, 2300 Elmwood Avenue. Meetings feature presentations by paleontologists, or professionals in related fields, and provide opportunities for members to display, discuss, and identify their fossil finds.

Field trips to fossil collecting sites in New York State are held between May and October. The Section is pledged to work, in cooperation with scientific institutions, for the preservation of the geologic record.


Last Updated December 1, 2012