Robert J. O’Hara
I am an academic naturalist and evolutionary biologist with professional interests in systematics, biodiversity, and the history and theory of the historical sciences. I administer the websites listed below.
I am also an advocate for the creation of small, cross-sectional, faculty-led house systems and residential college systems within schools and universities as a means to improve education for all. I established and maintain “The Collegiate Way: Residential Colleges and the Renewal of University Life” (collegiateway.org), the leading international resource on collegiate houses and the residential college movement. I have sixteen years’ experience in residential college life and administration at Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, and Middlebury College, and have been a speaker and consultant to public and private institutions in the United States and abroad that are exploring the collegiate model. To see what house systems and residential colleges can do for your institution please explore the Collegiate Way website.
The Collegiate Way: Residential Colleges, House Systems, and the Renewal of University Life — Renewing campus life by dividing large universities into small, cross-sectional, faculty-led collegiate houses and residential colleges.
Introduction—House Systems—Online Houses—Four Foundations for the Renewal of Campus Life—How to Build a Residential College (Membership · Buildings · Life · Pastoral · Academic · Sequence)—Objections to the Collegiate Model—The Collegiate Landscape of the Future—Recommended Reading—Residential Colleges Worldwide—Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way.
Teaching Pages — Syllabi, study guides, and related information for past and prospective students, along with notes on how to learn things, and on four recommended books every student should have.
The Darwin-L Archives on the Historical Sciences — Message logs and supporting materials from Darwin-L (1993–1997), an academic discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
Introduction—Palaetiology—Today in the Historical Sciences (January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December)—Tree-Thinking—Narrative in the Historical Sciences—History of Systematics—Stephen Toulmin Publications—Darwin-L Message Logs.
Melville, Hood, and “The Lee Shore”—West Street Inscriptions—Ahab and Ishmael—American Higher Education and the “Collegiate Way”—“To Gather From the Air a Live Tradition”—Against Theme Halls—Hogwarts U.—How to Build a Residential College—Population Thinking and Tree Thinking—Mapping the Space of Time—Cladistic Analysis of Old Norse Manuscripts—Trees of History in Systematics and Philology—Species and Evolutionary History—Vita: Chauncey Wright (1830–1875)—Systematic Generalization, Historical Fate, and the Species Problem—Telling the Tree: Narrative Representation and Evolutionary History—The Richmond Index—The Natural System in the Nineteenth Century—Diagrammatic Classifications of Birds—Homage to Clio, or, Toward an Historical Philosophy for Evolutionary Biology—The Pleistocene Forest Refuge Hypothesis. (More…)
New England Genealogy — My ancestry through Boston Irish and Massachusetts Bay Puritan branches. Another avocational site, closely related to my professional interests in the historical sciences.
Introduction and Ahnentafel—New England Immigrant Ancestors (working draft)—Descent from Nathaniel and “Roaring John” Rogers—The Demonic Possession of Elizabeth Knapp—Descendants of Samuel Scripture of Groton—Ancestors in King Philip’s War—Ancestors in King William’s War—Ancestors in Queen Anne’s War—Ancestors in the American Revolution—Ancestors in Shays’ Rebellion—Lexington and Concord—Notable Kin. (More…)
Peabody Park at UNCG — The history and natural history of an educational park at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Book Reviews — A selection of capsule book and product reviews on education, numismatics, literature, and more, posted to Amazon.com.
Alexander on Towns, Buildings, and Construction—Alexander on the University of Oregon—Atran on the Cognitive Foundations of Natural History—Fischer on Liberty—Kors and Silverglate on the Shadow University—Light on Making the Most of College—A WiFi Antenna That Works—Epson Photo Printers—Morison on the Founding of Harvard College—Peckham on American Colonial Wars—Ravitch on Failed School Reforms—A Fine Folding Table—Willimon and Naylor on the Abandoned Generation. (More…)
Varia — Technical notes on RJO’s websites, along with an assortment of diversions, amusements, photo albums, and less-than-serious publications.
© RJO 1995–2015