Dawn Adams, Ph.D., has taught everyone from families in museum programs to faculty in special seminars about the marvels of animal movement for nearly 35 years. She got her doctorate in vertebrate paleobiology, with an emphasis in the biomechanics of large animal locomotory systems, at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989. She was a university professor for 13 years at Presbyterian College and Baylor University, where she taught comparative anatomy, functional morphology, and biomechanics to undergraduate and graduate students. During this time she carried out research in stress analysis, ran a successful graduate program in animal biomechanics, and served as a consultant to zoos whose large animals were having problems with their legs, feet, and backs.
In 1998 Dawn founded a non-profit for public education about the natural world, and she still serves as the organization’s senior scientist. She was awarded 5 prestigious grants from the National Science Foundation for science education and was the recipient of national excellence in teaching awards. She became a popular invited speaker to academic workshops held for universities and seminaries, on topics ranging from science education to the relationship between science and the humanities during this time, and her work increasingly expanded to include the roles of story, art, philosophy, and spirituality in human understanding of the natural world. This expansion was informed by Indigenous worldview, as she is a registered member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Dawn has ridden casually since childhood and studied Western reining training as a young woman in college. Today she enjoys riding, training, and just generally spending time with mustangs and quarter horses for pleasure. And now for the first time, at the request of many horsepeople, she is presenting workshops and seminars for the horse-riding public that share her knowledge and expertise in biomechanics, story, and science and the humanities in general.