The Southern California Genealogical Society is known to dish out the best time a family historian can have at a conference. Its Jamborees offer some of the most engaging learning experiences around. Need proof? Look no further than this year’s one-day themed pre-Jamboree event, “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013” on Thursday, June 6, with featured speakers Spencer Wells and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Spencer Wells head shotSpencer Wells is a PhD and a professional adventurer: an Explorer-in-Residence with the National Geographic Society. He leads the Genographic Project, which collects and analyzes DNA samples from around the world. He’ll talk about how these samples are helping provide a richer view of the human story, and how everyday folks like us are contributing to “citizen science,” harnessing the power of the crowd to learn more about the history of human populations.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been a previous guest on The Genealogy Gems Podcast: checkGates head shot out our interview in Episode 133. This genealogy documentary guru (the brains behind the PBS series Finding Your Roots, African American Lives, Faces of America and Oprah’s Roots) will provide your lunchtime edu-tainment. He’s famous for combining DNA research with traditional genealogy investigation–with fascinating results. You’ll love his inspiring stories about how DNA helps us understand our deep roots and connect with far-flung kin.

Learn more about this one-day pre-Jamboree event–and the rest of the Jamboree that will follow–at the SCGS website.

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