September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

April 2013 News and Events

Posted: Monday, April 1st, 2013

by Eric Lewis

Happy Spring everyone!  I hope that you have had a restful Spring Break (or will have one shortly) and that you’re ready for the last bit of the school year.  Incredibly, we are into the last stretch!  I’ve already started planning out my summer – between trips, work and PD, it’s turning out to be pretty full!

I hope that some of you were able to submit your ideas for workshops for this year’s Education Conference in Palm Springs in October!  And, please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our Region’s offerings.  Don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to join CSTA.  I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to grow our organization and expand to meet your needs and your colleague’s needs.  To that end, please feel free to email me directly so that I can represent your questions and concerns to the CSTA Board of Directors.

Eric Lewis,

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) from Hydrocarbon-Based Power Projects

Monday, 4/1/13, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Stanford University Energy Seminar, Huang Science Center, NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford

Eric Redman is the Co-Chairman of Summit Power Group, and the President and CEO of its subsidiary, Summit Carbon Capture, which focuses on CO2 capture, including for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). He helps lead Summit’s efforts on coal gasification with carbon capture, including the Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP), and carbon capture from natural gas and other technologies.  He works with several national environmental groups on climate matters, and leads Summit’s carbon capture projects abroad, including the proposed Caledonia IGCC plant included in the Captain Clean Energy Project, a TCEP replica in Scotland.  Mr. Redman formerly chaired the Clean Energy Technology group at a major international law firm.  He was a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson (D-WA) and wrote The Dance of Legislation, a best-selling account of Congressional enactment of the National Health Service Corps.  He was educated at Harvard College, Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and Harvard Law School.  He was chosen for Best Lawyers in America for energy matters in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  He is active in a variety of wildlife conservation organizations, the Methow Conservancy (a land trust), and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Gasification Technologies Council (GTC) Board of Directors.

For more information, visit their website at

When Conifers Took Flight – The Origins of Winged Seeds

Tuesday, 4/2/13, 11:10 AM – 12:00 PM

UC Berkeley, Valley Life Sciences Building, Room 1101, Berkeley

An informal talk in the UC Museum of Paleontology’s Tuesday “Fossil Coffee” series.

Speaker: Cindy Looy Lab, UC Museum of Paleontology

For more information, visit their website at

Characterizing the Atmospheres of Low-Mass Low-Density Transiting Exoplanets

Tuesday, 4/2/13, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

NASA’s Kepler Mission has revealed that the most common planet size in our galaxy may be from 2-3 Earth radii.  Such medium-sized planets are significantly more common on close-in orbits than Neptune and Jupiter-class giant planets.  We have no analog for these planets in our solar system.  What are they made of?  An example relatively close to home is planet GJ 1214b, which is 2.6 Earth radii and 6 Earth masses, and orbits an M star near the Sun.  This planet has been extensively studied with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes.  In this talk the presenter will discuss our current understanding of the composition and atmospheric physics of GJ 1214b, which is potentially the prototype for this class of low-mass low-density planets.

Speaker: Jonathon Fortney, UC Santa Cruz

For more information, email, call 650.961.6633, or visit their website at

The God Problem

Tuesday, 4/2/13, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Stanford University Bookstore, 519 Lausen Mall, Stanford

How does an inanimate universe manage the God-like feat of creating itself from absolutely nothing?  And what enables it, after pulling itself up by its own cosmic bootstraps, to continue to generate billions of years’ worth of stunningly creative new forms all by itself?

Howard Bloom’s book, “The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates” has been compared to Newton’s Principia and Darwin’s Origin of Species and has been praised by one Nobel Prize winner and two MacArthur Genius Award winners. “If Howard Bloom is only 10% right,” says author and science-junkie Barbara Ehrenreich, “we’ll have to drastically revise our notions of the universe.”

Speaker: Howard Bloom

For more information, visit their website at

Parasites Among Us

Tuesday, 4/2/13, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Ask a Scientist, SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th Street, San Francisco

Imagine, if you will, a tiny creature with the ability to invade your body, hijack your cells, change your DNA, and modify you physically and behaviorally to suit its own devious goals. Sound like science fiction? Maybe, but it’s also the modus operandi of the real-life parasitic organisms that live among, and inside, the rest of us animals. While some parasites, in their quest for survival and propagation, may live undetected in the bodies of their hosts, others can cause sickness or death. Some of the most pernicious and persistent diseases are caused by these supremely successful and sophisticated organisms. But according to evolutionary biologists, parasites have also played a significant role in shaping the human species – including why we use sex to reproduce. (Nice job, little friends!) Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Jim McKerrow returns to Ask a Scientist with more strange and wonderful tales of parasite biology. This event is presented in partnership with Wonderfest, The Bay Area Beacon of Science.

Speaker: Jim McKerrow

For more information, visit their website at

The Promise and Reality of Electric Vehicles

Tuesday, 4/2/13, 7:30 PM

Fenwick & West, 801 California Street, Mountain View

Rafael Reyes, Executive Director of Bay Area Climate Collaborative, will moderate a panel of experts discussing how innovations in EV technology, (including batteries, charging stations and design), can point the way to continuing mobility while offering new options for large scale solutions to energy storage.

Join Acterra for a series of exciting conversations focused on different solutions to protecting our climate by breaking out of our modern addiction to fossil fuels. You’ll come away with fresh ideas to spread a positive vision for making the transition to a new energy future.

For more information, visit their website at

Free First Wednesday at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Wednesday, 4/3/13, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito

Free Museum admission all day.

For more information, email or call (415) 339-3900.

Climate Change and Conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area

Wednesday, 4/3/13, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

UC Berkeley, Barrows Hall, Room 110, Berkeley

Speaker: David Ackerly, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley

For more information, visit their website at

The New Gold

Wednesday, 4/3/13, 6:00 PM

David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley

The New Leaders Initiative is hosting the next installment of its Rooted and Rising series, entitled “Water – the New Gold?”. The discussion will include Brower Youth Award winner Martin Figueroa, UC-Berkeley student activist Angélica Salceda, and Colin Bailey of Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. This event will explore contemporary water issues in our society and solutions for conserving this precious resource.

For more information, visit their website at

New Phylogenetic Methods for Measuring Biodiversity and their Conservation Aapplications

Wednesday, 4/3/13, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

East Bay Science Café, Cafe Valparaiso, La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity is critical for conservation planning, particularly given the need to prioritize efforts in the face of rapid habitat loss and human-induced climatic change. Biodiversity and endemism are traditionally measured using species counts and ranges. However, investigation of patterns of species distributions alone misses out on both the full richness of patterns that can be inferred using the whole tree of life, and the analytical power that comes from a phylogenetic approach. The application of phylogenetic methods, particularly the new measures Relative Phylogenetic Diversity (RPD) and Relative Phylogenetic Endemism (RPE), greatly enhances our knowledge of the distribution of biodiversity across both space and time. The RPE metric allows (for the first time) a clear, quantitative distinction between areas of neo- and paleo- endemism. Conservation reserve design can be guided by assessment of phylogeny, rather than species counts alone, and can identify complementary areas of biodiversity that have unique evolutionary histories and processes in need of conservation.

Speaker Brent D. Mishler is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria as well as professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, where he teaches systematics and plant diversity. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984. His research interests are in the systematics, evolution, and ecology of bryophytes, especially the diverse moss genus Tortula, as well as in the phylogeny of green plants and the theory of systematics.

For more information, visit their website at

Free Day at Botanical Gardens

Thursday, 4/4/13, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA

There is free admission to the Botanical Garden on the first Thursday of each month.  For more information, email, call 510-643-2755 or visit our website at

April LASER Event

Thursday, 4/4/13, 6:45 PM – 9:30 PM

LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous, Room 380-380Y, located in the basement of the Main Quadrangle’s Math corner, Stanford University

6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.

7:00-7:25: Jesse Houldingon “Phenomena as material.”

7:25-7:50: Chris McKay(NASA) on “The Curiosity Mars Mission”

7:50-8:10: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.

8:10-8:35: Vijaya Nagarajan(USF) on “Embedded Mathematics in Women’s Ritual Art Designs in southern India”

8:35-9:00: Niki Ulehla (Puppet Maker) on “Marionettes, forms and relationships”

9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, networking

You can mingle with the speakers and the audience

For more information visit their website at

Our Coast & Ocean in a Changing World – Learning and Teaching About Sea Level Rise, Ocean Acidification, Wetlands, and Plastic Pollution.

You’re invited to attend a free educator workshop at the San Francisco Bay Model in Sausalito on Saturday, May 4, 9am to 1pm.

Workshop attendees will receive a free copy of the California Coastal Commission’s science activity guide for teachers, Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds, as well as connections to many additional free resources and research to get you started or enrich your teaching on the workshop topics. The workshop will include an interpreted wetlands/watershed tour of the Bay Model with US Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Linda Holm. Learn how our Bay and people’s interactions with the Bay have changed over time. The workshop is open to both formal and informal educators. The material is best suited for students in 6th grade and up, but ALL educators are welcome to attend.

You can register for this workshop online at

Science Smart Kids- Wormology and Composting

Friday, 4/5/13, 3:00 PM

Alviso Branch Library, 5050 N. First Street, San Jose

Wormology and Composting with Science Smart Kids offers engaging, multi-sensory, hands-on science workshops for children. Kids learn best when they are having fun.

For more information, visit their website at

Houge Park Star Party

Friday, 4/5/13, 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM

San Jose Astronomical Association, Houge Park, Twilight Drive, San Jose

Meet with members of San Jose Astronomical Society for a Star Party, weather permitting.

For more information visit their website at

San Mateo County Eco-Friendly Fair

Saturday, 4/6/13, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

San Mateo County Center , 400 County Center, Redwood City

The San Mateo County Eco-Friendly Fair is a gathering of environmentally conscious and friendly individuals, companies, and organizations, sponsored by the San Mateo County Youth Commission. Come for a day filled with vendors from all over the Bay Area featuring unique green products, food, and special finds.

Engaging free DIY workshops will be held in order to increase your ability to easily incorporate the environment into your life! Various groups & causes will hold tables where the curious can wander, …listen to music, purchase products, grab a bite to eat, and learn about environmental projects and efforts in the Bay Area.

First 50 individuals there will receive a reusable shopping bag, and all attendees will be entered into raffle drawings.

For more information, visit their Facebook page at

San Mateo County Astronomical Society Star Party

Saturday, 4/6/13, 7:36 PM

Crestview Park, Crestview Drive, San Carlos

The City of San Carlos Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society have open Star Parties twice a month.

Reasons to Attend

1.  If you have kids interested in space or planets bring them here for a real life view of planets, nebula, star clusters and galaxies.

2.  If you are thinking of buying a telescope or want help using a telescope you own, come here to talk with experienced users.

3.  If you think you might have an interest in astronomy come and talk to experienced amateur astronomers.

Setup will begin at sunset and observing about one hour after sunset.  In the event of inclement weather (rain, clouds, fog or excessive wind) the star party will not to be held. Because each astronomer makes his or her own decision about bringing their telescope, there is no official cancellation notice.

If you would like help with setting up a telescope or would like to learn about telescopes, come at sunset.  If you would just like to see the universe through a telescope, come at about one or two hours after sunset.

For more information visit their website, email or call 605-862-9602.

Free Day of Science

Sunday, 4/7/13, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street, Oakland

OMCA is free all day the first Sunday of every month.  Tour the building with members of the Museum’s Council on Architecture at 1 pm and enjoy a Docent-led tour of the Gallery of California Art at 2 pm.

For more information, call 510-238-2200 or visit their website.

JANE GOODALL: Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants

Sunday, 4/7/13, 7:00 PM

King Middle School, 1781 Rose Street, Berkeley

The world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees shows us the secret world of plants with all their mysteries and potential for healing our bodies as well as Planet Earth.

In Seeds of Hope renowned scientist Jane Goodall shares her love and profound knowledge of the botanical world, offering us a greater under-standing of the critical role that trees and plants play in our lives. With the same observational skills and engaging voice that deepened our personal feelings for the world of primates, she opens our eyes and hearts to our connection with the astonishing world of plants and trees as food, as medicine for our bodies and psyches, as helpers in the urgent task of healing the harm we have inflicted on the natural world. Even when she is tackling the sinister forces imperiling the very nature of the plants we depend upon, her stories are visionary, uniquely enlightened, rooted in hope.

Her lifelong passion for botany sprouted in the backyard of her childhood home in England, where she climbed her beech tree and made elderberry wine with her grandmother before establishing her home away from home among the fig and plum trees and chimpanzees in the Gombe forest in Africa. In Seeds of Hope, she introduces us to botanists around the world, places where hope for plants can be found, such as The Millennium Seed Bank, where a billion seeds are stored.

Speaker: Jane Goodall

Cost:  $12 advance, $15 at door

For more information, visit their website at

Climate Change, Energy Markets and Economics

Monday, 4/8/13, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Stanford University Energy Seminar, Huang Science Center, NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford

Charles D. Kolstad is an internationally known economist who once served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and has taught at universities in the U.S, Russia, and Belgium. His research interests are in information, uncertainty and regulation; he does much of his applied work in the area of climate change and energy markets. Currently he is a Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), an advisor to the California Air Resources Board and Editor of the journal Review of Environmental Economics & Policy. He is a former president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) and has authored more than 100 publications, including the undergraduate text, Environmental Economics, which has been translated into Japanese, Spanish and Chinese. Prior to joining Stanford, Prof. Kolstad was a Professor of Economics and Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a University Fellow at Resources for the Future (Washington) a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge) and a Fellow of CESifo (Munich). In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

For more information, visit their website at

Warning California: Science and Technology to Reduce the Growing Earthquake Threat

Monday, 4/8/13, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

CITRIS at UC Berkeley, Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium, Berkeley

Since 2003, the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory has been hosting a free public lecture series in honor of Professor Andrew Lawson on earthquakes and earthquake science. Held every year in April, the lecture series highlights a broad range of earthquake issues of interest to the Berkeley community.

Speaker: Dr. Richard Allen, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory

Light refreshments will be served in the Atrium following the lecture.

For more information, contact Jennifer Strauss at, call 510-642-1067, or visit their website at

The Higgs Boson and Our Life

Monday, 4/8/13, 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Stanford University, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 200, 370 Serra Mall, Stanford

On 4 July 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments operating at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of a new particle compatible with the Higgs boson (hunted for almost 50 years), which is a crucial piece for our understanding of fundamental physics and thus the structure and evolution of the universe.  This lecture describes the unprecedented instruments and challenges that have allowed such an accomplishment, the physics meaning and relevance of this discovery, and the implications for our day to day life.

Speaker: Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, CERN

For more information, visit their website at

Engineering the Emergence of Life Through Convection, Serpentinization and the First Metabolic Pathway

Tuesday, 4/9/13, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

The alkaline hydrothermal theory for the emergence of life holds that the endergonic (thermodynamically uphill) reactions vital for life’s origin and continued existence require free energy converters (nano-engines) fuelled by various disequilibria. The first two primary engines were i) a carbon fixation engine to generate the organic building blocks of life by reaction between hydrothermal CH4 and H2 with the CO2 and NO in atmosphere and ocean, ii) a proton pyrophosphatase engine exploiting the natural pH gradient between alkaline hydrothermal solution and acidulous ocean to drive biosynthesis by condensations of these same building blocks.

To this end there occurred on the early Earth and other such rocky bodies, inorganic prebiotic molecules that would have been precipitated at the interface between a submarine alkaline hydrothermal solution and the metal-bearing acidulous ocean.

Dr. Russell will show how these metals, especially iron, occurred as readymade nano-scale sulfides and oxides with the same structures and valences as the active centers of those biotic metalloenzymes shown to be present in the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all life.

Speaker: Michael Russell, JPL

For more information, visit their website at

Sugar — The Bitter Truth

Tuesday, 4/9/13, 6:00 PM

San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California, will speak on “Sugar: the Bitter Truth.” His new book, Fat chance: beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease, addresses how sugar is toxic to our health. A book sale and signing follows the program. Everyone welcome. Meet in the Koret Auditorium.

For more information, visit their website at–+The+Bitter+Truth&eventID=41406.

Disentangling the Impact of CO2 and pH on the Mechanisms of Photosynthesis and Calcification in the Coccolithophore Emiliania Huxleyi

Wednesday, 4/10/13, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, 3152 Paradise Drive, Bay Conference Center, South Bay Room, Tiburon

Speakers: Dr. Luke Mackinder, Carnegie Institution for Science

The RTC Seminar Series brings leading local, national, and international scientists to a public forum at RTC to speak about the latest advances in science, and provides an opportunity for graduate students to present research in progress. The Series is open to the public. Join us for any of our free presentations.

For more information, contact Erin Blackwood at, call 415-338-3757 or visit their website at

San Francisco’s Natural Areas

Thursday, 4/11/13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

San Francisco Naturalist Society, Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco

Margo Bors, Ruth Gravanis, and Damien Raffa, members of the newly formed Friends of Natural Areas, will explore the value, beauty and diversity of San Francisco’s remaining indigenous habitats. They’ll talk about how these biotic communities are threatened and what is being done to protect and restore them.

For more information, email, call (415) 225-3830, or visit their website at

Berkeley Bay Festival

Saturday, 4/13/13, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Shorebird Park, 160 University Avenue, Berkeley

A wonderful environmental education festival at the Berkeley Marina! Spend a day by the Bay listening to music, taking free sailboat and Dragon boat rides, eating tasty food, and exploring the Berkeley Marina. Visit booths sponsored by fun and educational organizations from throughout the Bay Area to learn about exciting things you and your family can do locally. Pick up a Passport to the Bay and get it stamped as you move from activity to activity in each booth. Education, entertainment, and fun for all ages.

For more information, visit their website at

San Mateo County Astronomical Society Star Party

Saturday, 4/13/13, 7:42 PM

Crestview Park, Crestview Drive, San Carlos

The City of San Carlos Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society have open Star Parties twice a month.

Reasons to Attend

1.  If you have kids interested in space or planets bring them here for a real life view of planets, nebula, star clusters and galaxies.

2.  If you are thinking of buying a telescope or want help using a telescope you own, come here to talk with experienced users.

3.  If you think you might have an interest in astronomy come and talk to experienced amateur astronomers.

Setup will begin at sunset and observing about one hour after sunset.  In the event of inclement weather (rain, clouds, fog or excessive wind) the star party will not to be held. Because each astronomer makes his or her own decision about bringing their telescope, there is no official cancellation notice.

If you would like help with setting up a telescope or would like to learn about telescopes, come at sunset.  If you would just like to see the universe through a telescope, come at about one or two hours after sunset.

For more information visit their website, email or call 605-862-9602.

Understanding the Climate Change of the Last 250 Years

Saturday, 4/13/13, 8:30 PM

Mountain Theater, Mt Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley

The Earth is getting warmer. Come review the evidence that Earth’s climate has been changing, and understand the likely connection to the greenhouse gases generated by mankind’s industrial activities.

Speaker: Dr. Robert Rohde, Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature

For more information visit their website at

Science Smart Kids- Wormology and Composting

Monday, 4/15/13, 4:00 PM

Willow Glen Branch Library, 1157 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose

Wormology and Composting with Science Smart Kids offers engaging, multi-sensory, hands-on science workshops for children. Kids learn best when they are having fun.

For more information, email, call (408) 808-3045, or visit their website at

Better Burning – China’s Attempt at ‘Clean Coal’

Monday, 4/15/13, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Stanford University Energy Seminar, Huang Science Center, NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford

David Mohler is vice president of emerging technology for Duke Energy. He is responsible for the development and application of technologies in support of Duke Energy’s strategic objectives.

David has operational experience in both nuclear and fossil power generation, as well as experience in corporate marketing, human resources and business development. He also led the establishment of the technology office at Duke Energy in 2006.

David is a member of the advisory boards of GridPoint Inc., Verizon Wireless and the Carnegie Mellon Electric Utility Industry Center. He is a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Research Advisory Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of the Asia Clean Energy Innovation Initiative.

Clicks, Whistles and Pulses: What can SETI Learn From the Parallel Challenges of Dolphin Communication Research?

Tuesday, 4/16/13, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

The search for signals out of noise is a problem not only with radio signals from the sky but in the study of animal communication on Earth. Like SETI radio signal searches, dolphin sound analysis includes the detection, recognition, analysis, and interpretation of signals. Dolphins use three main types of acoustic signals and many of these sounds have been a challenge to measure and categorize due to their graded and overlapping nature. The goal of this talk is to provide perspective from dolphin communication studies and lessons learned about signal detection and recognition.

Speaker: Denise Herzing, Wild Dolphin Project

For more information, email, call 650.961.6633 or visit their website at

Grand Opening Day for The Exploratorium

Wednesday, 4/17/13, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Exploratorium, Pier 15, 698 The Embarcadero, San Francisco

To celebrate Opening Day at Pier 15, the Exploratorium offers free, outdoor programming from morning to night. Beginning at 8:00 a.m., artists in collaboration with the India Community Center of Milpitas will create Rangoli, intricate, geometric designs made with materials such as sand, flower petals, and spices, to welcome everyone into our new home. Following a dedication and uniquely Exploratorium ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m., the doors to the museum officially open!

Throughout the day, Explainers, Explorables volunteers, and special guests will offer a variety of surprises and hands-on activities to those waiting in line. After sundown, Los Angeles artist Miwa Matreyek will unveil her latest work, a lyrical combination of live performance, animation, and video projection. And at 9:00 p.m., festivities will culminate in a spectacular visual narrative: a choreographed and interactive architectural projection by Obscura Digital.

For more information, visit their website at

Disrupting the Flow: Effects of Stream Fragmentation on Juvenile Steelhead Ecology

Thursday, 4/18/13, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Point Reyes National Seashore, 76 Bear Valley Road. Point Reyes Station

Please join Point Reyes National Seashore staff for Science Lectures, 45-minute presentations on scientific research being performed at Point Reyes and elsewhere in the California. Science Lectures are sponsored by the Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Speaker: Jason Hwan, UC Berkeley

For more information, visit their website at

STEM Speakers Series: Engineering is Elementary

Thursday, 4/18/13, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

San Mateo County Office of Education, 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) classroom integration from experts in the field as well as use the STEM Center equipment for hands-on exploration.

Each night the agenda is: 3-4pm Open House, 4-5pm Speakers Series, 5-6pm Open House

Speakers: Mark Miller,; Marie Crawford, Central Middle School, San Carlos

For more information, contact Christi Harter at or call 650-802-5401.

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Great Blue Heron Colony in GG Park

Thursday, 4/18/13, 7:30 PM

San Francisco Natural History Series, 199 Museum Way, The Randall Museum, San Francisco

Nancy DeStefanis, Director of SF Nature Education, will speak on the 20th Anniversary of the first nesting pair of the Great Blue Herons at Stow Lake in GG Park. DeStefanis discovered the first nest in 1993, and has monitored and studied the behaviors of the herons since then.

For more information, visit their website at

Colombia-Land of Birds

Thursday, 4/18/13, 7:30 PM

Golden Gate Audobon Society, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin Street, San Francisco

Join guide Christopher Calonje for a photographic tour of Colombia and its birdlife, along with information on the country’s geography, cuisine, culture, and people. Colombia boasts the world’s longest list of birds, now over 1,890 species (more than North America and Europe combined). Much of this diversity is due to the country’s complex topography, which includes three Andean ranges and the valleys between these ranges, Atlantic and Pacific coasts, vast grasslands bordering Venezuela, and a large portion of the Amazon Basin. Chris will discuss Columbia’s improving security situation and how the government, at all levels, has made great strides in bringing peace and prosperity to the country. Birding in Colombia promotes responsible environmental and social ecotourism as well as providing an opportunity of a lifetime for birders.

For more information, visit their website at

Ecology of Oak-Associated Ectomycorrhizal Fungi in the Sierra Foothills

Thursday, 4/18/13, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Bay Area Mycological Society, 338 Koshland Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley

For his PhD research, Matt Smith studied the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in the xeric oak-dominated woodlands of the Sierra Foothills. Although these low-elevation habitats may seem dry and dusty to most mycologists, Matt found that these habitats host a high diversity of hidden fungal treasures. These woodlands are particularly rich in truffle species but also inconspicuous agarics and cup-fungi. Matt will discuss his work on these under-appreciated fungal communities, including work on host preferences, morphology, and evolutionary relationships of the fungi.

Matt grew up in Sonoma County, attended UC Davis for BS and PhD degrees in Biology and Ecology. In between degrees, he worked as a biological scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, did postdoctoral gigs at Harvard and Duke, then landed at the University of Florida. Matt is currently an assistant professor in the UF Department of Plant Pathology.  He teaches mycology and is a curator for the UF fungal collection.

For more information, visit their website at

Houge Park Star Party

Friday, 4/19/13, 8:45 PM – 11:45 PM

San Jose Astronomical Association, Houge Park, Twilight Drive, San Jose

Meet with members of San Jose Astronomical Society for a Star Party, weather permitting.

For more information visit their website at

Earth Day at Richardson Bay

Saturday, 4/20/13, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, 376 Greenwood Beach Road, Tiburon

Celebrate Earth Day by bringing your family and friends for a morning of naturalist led explorations, bird watching, restoration and clean-up. Learn about our bay and bird conservation and our importance in the Pacific Flyway. Help make a difference and connect with our beautiful bay and uplands. Even the wildflowers should be out in full force to brighten the day! Activities are appropriate for all ages, including young children.

All restoration participants are asked to sign a waiver, for youth under 18 a waiver must be signed by a parent/guardian. Please bring your completed Adult or Youth waiver with you.

Children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring a re-useable water bottle, wear appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes.

For more information call 415-388-2524 or visit their website at

BioFest 2: A Celebration of Science Fun & Science Futures for All Ages

Saturday, 4/20/13, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Merritt College, Huey Newton Lounge, R Building, 12500 Campus Drive, Oakland

Explore lucrative career options in emerging biotech fields

Featuring:  Industry Experts and Merrritt Biosciences Alumni, “Cell-abration” Games for Kids, Hands-on Demo of Hitachi Tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope, Career Counseling, Biomedial Microtalks, Small Worlds of Wonder: Art Show, Hands-on Microscope Experiences, and Raffle and Door Prizes.

Sponsored by the Merritt College Genomics, Histology, and Microscopy Programs

For more information, visit their website at

Science Smart Kids-Radical Recycling

Monday, 4/22/13, 3:00 PM

Joyce Ellington Branch Library, 491 E Empire Street, San Jose

Radical Recycling with Science Smart Kids offers engaging, multi-sensory, hands-on science workshops for children. Kids learn best when they are having fun!

For more information, email, call (408)808-3043, or visit their website at

Land Art for the Next 10,000 Years’: Art, Technology, Culture Colloquium Lecture

Monday, 4/22/13, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

UC Berkeley, Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium, Berkeley

How do you build a monument scale sculptural machine that will last as long as civilization? For the last fifteen years The Long Now Foundation and Alexander Rose have been working on building this icon of long-term thinking. Rose is currently managing the 10,000 Year Clock project underway in West Texas where they have already excavated over 500 vertical feet through solid rock to house the Clock.

Alexander will discuss the research and design process that has taken him as far as the arctic Seed Vault in Svalbard, to the ultra-secret Mormon geneological vaults in Salt Lake City. He will show the building process now underway for the 10,000 Year Clock that includes specialized excavation robots and the fabrication of the Clock itself.

Speaker: Alexander Rose, Director, Long Now Foundation

For more information, visit their website at

Do Cyanobacteria use Iron for Photosynthesis?

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

Tuesday, 4/23/13, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Dr. Parenteau will speak about her research into the origins of photosynthesis and how this might relate to ancient banded iron formations formed during the great oxidation event. Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) are widespread Precambrian sedimentary deposits that accumulated in deep ocean basins with inputs of reduced iron and silica from deep ocean hydrothermal vents.

There is a large scientific debate as to whether abiotic or biotic mechanisms were responsible for the oxidation of mineral assemblages in BIFs. Biotic oxidation could have occurred as a result of the photosynthetic production of oxygen by cyanobacteria, or could have been directly formed by anoxygenic phototrophs or chemolithotrophs.

Dr. Parenteau has been searching for modern descendants of such an ancestral “missing link” cyanobacterium in the phototrophic mats at Chocolate Pots, a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Dr. Parenteau will explain how her study of the biomats using C-14 carbon uptake experiments have tantalizingly showed that the cyanobacteria grow anoxygenically using reduced iron as an electron donor for photosynthesis in situ.

Speaker: Dr. Niki Parenteau, SETI

For more information, email, call 650.961.6633 or visit their website at

How Does the Nose Know? The Mystery of Human Smell.

Thursday, 4/25/13, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The Bone Room Presents, 1573 Solano Avenue, Berkeley

The enjoyment of a fine wine, the odor of a ripe cheese, the memory of a long-lost grandmother brought back by the scent of her perfume, or the alarm we feel when we smell smoke are all produced by a functioning olfactory system. Interestingly, there are enormous individual differences in how we interpret these smells. Given almost any odor, some people will find it pleasant, others unpleasant. Ripe cheese or garlic may smell delicious to some, but repulsive to others. The scientific basis of this variation has not been well-studied. Despite the clear evidence for culture-based preferences for food and aromas, the nature-versus-nurture debate for smell remains unresolved. We believe there may be a genetic basis for our unique senses of smell. Leslie Vosshall, neuroscientist and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at The Rockefeller University, will give an in-depth presentation on the biology of the human sense of smell.

For more information, contact Sara at, call 510-526-5252 or visit their website at

Bringing Bald Eagles to Big Sur and the Bay Area

Saturday, 4/27/13, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Martin Luther King Library, 150 East San Fernando Street, San Jose

The San Jose City Hall peregrine falcons have increased interest in birds of prey among community members. Join UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group Director, Glenn Stewart, for a first-hand description of how he and his team mounted an expedition to bring bald eagles to Big Sur and the greater Bay Area. Stewart and his team used boats and helicopters to collect eaglets from a remote part of British Columbia and then fostered them to wild independence from a release site the Ventana Wilderness Area. A brief peregrine falcon Fledge-Watch training will follow the talk.

For more information, visit their website at

For Goodness Snakes

Saturday, 4/27/13, 1:00 PM

Seven Trees Branch Library, 3590 Cas Drive, San Jose

This one-of-a-kind educational experience will introduce you to the fascinating world of reptiles. Come enjoy the opportunity to hold and interact with their docile animals.

For more information, call (408) 808-3056 or visit their website at

The Martian’s Daughter: A Memoir. Author Marina von Neumann Whitman in conversation with John Hollar

Monday, 4/29/13, 12:00 PM

Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View

One of the five Hungarian scientific geniuses dubbed “the Martians” by their colleagues, John von Neumann is often hailed as the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century and even as the greatest scientist after Einstein. He was a key figure in the Manhattan Project; the inventor of game theory; the pioneer developer of the modern stored-program electronic computer; and an adviser to the top echelons of the American military establishment. In The Martian’s Daughter, Marina von Neumann Whitman reveals intimate details about the famed scientist and explores how the cosmopolitan environment in which she was immersed, the demanding expectations of her parents, and her own struggles to emerge from the shadow of a larger-than-life parent shaped her life and work.

Join Museum CEO John Hollar as he moderates a conversation with Whitman about her life with her father and her remarkable rise to become the first or highest-ranking woman in a variety of areas he unfortunately did not live to see.

The Computer History Museum is honored to host Marina von Neumann Whitman.

We are also very pleased that our partner, Kepler’s, will be onsite selling copies of The Martian’s Daughter before and after the program.

For more information, visit their website at

Probing Supermassive Black Hole Growth with Next Generation Telescopes

SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View

Tuesday, 04/30/13

12:00 PM – 01:00 PM

A new generation of telescopes is coming online. Operating at wavelengths from radio, through optical, to gamma ray, they are particularly well suited to time-domain survey science — essentially, making large-format movies of the sky. These telescopes will have the capability to tell us about how black holes grow: through stupendous mergers that shake the very fabric of space-time, through swallowing huge volumes of ten million degree gas, and through shredding stars that happen to pass too close.

Dr. Croft’s talk will particularly focus on the capabilities of the next generation of radio telescopes, including the Square Kilometer Array, due to come online during the next decade, and its precursor facilities, including the Allen Telescope Array (which also continues to undertake SETI surveys). These instruments are due to transform our understanding of the growth of the enormous black holes that lurk at the heart of almost all galaxies.

Speaker: Steve Croft, UC Berkeley

For more information, email, call 650.961.6633 or visit their website at

Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office.

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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated eight exceptional secondary mathematics and science teachers as California finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

“These teachers are dedicated and accomplished individuals whose innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college and develop them into the designers and inventors of the future,” Torlakson said. “They rank among the finest in their profession and also serve as wonderful mentors and role models.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners annually with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher. The Science Finalists will be recognized at the CSTA Awards Luncheon on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Thriving in a Time of Change

Posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

by Jill Grace

By the time this message is posted online, most schools across California will have been in session for at least a month (if not longer, and hat tip to that bunch!). Long enough to get a good sense of who the kids in your classroom are and to get into that groove and momentum of the daily flow of teaching. It’s also very likely that for many of you who weren’t a part of a large grant initiative or in a district that set wheels in motion sooner, this is the first year you will really try to shift instruction to align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I’m not going to lie to you, it’s a challenging year – change is hard. Change is even harder when there’s not a playbook to go by.  But as someone who has had the very great privilege of walking alongside teachers going through that change for the past two years and being able to glimpse at what this looks like for different demographics across that state, there are three things I hope you will hold on to. These are things I have come to learn will overshadow the challenge: a growth mindset will get you far, one is a very powerful number, and it’s about the kids. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.

If You Are Not Teaching Science Then You Are Not Teaching Common Core

Posted: Thursday, August 31st, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn 

“Science and Social Studies can be taught for the last half hour of the day on Fridays”

– Elementary school principal

Anyone concerned with the teaching of science in elementary school is keenly aware of the problem of time. Kids need to learn to read, and learning to read takes time, nobody disputes that. So Common Core ELA can seem like the enemy of science. This was a big concern to me as I started looking at the curriculum that my district had adopted for Common Core ELA. I’ve been through those years where teachers are learning a new curriculum, and know first-hand how a new curriculum can become the focus of attention- sucking all the air out of the room. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

Tools for Creating NGSS Standards Based Lessons

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Elizabeth Cooke

Think back on your own experiences with learning science in school. Were you required to memorize disjointed facts without understanding the concepts?

Science Education Background

In the past, science education focused on rote memorization and learning disjointed ideas. Elementary and secondary students in today’s science classes are fortunate now that science instruction has shifted from students demonstrating what they know to students demonstrating how they are able to apply their knowledge. Science education that reflects the Next Generation Science Standards challenges students to conduct investigations. As students explore phenomena and discrepant events they engage in academic discourse guided by focus questions from their teachers or student generated questions of that arise from analyzing data and creating and revising models that explain natural phenomena. Learn More…

Written by Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches TK-5 science at Markham Elementary in the Oakland Unified School District, is an NGSS Early Implementer, and is CSTA’s Secretary.

News and Happenings in CSTA’s Region 1 – Fall 2017

Posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw


This month I was fortunate enough to hear about some new topics to share with our entire region. Some of you may access the online or newsletter options, others may attend events in person that are nearer to you. Long time CSTA member and environmental science educator Mike Roa is well known to North Bay Area teachers for his volunteer work sharing events and resources. In this month’s Region 1 updates I am happy to make a few of the options Mike offers available to our region. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.