September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

News and Events in Region 2

Posted: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

by Eric Lewis

January is here and things seem just a little bit off in the Bay Area. While I’ve been enjoying the weather, I keep wondering why I’m still watering my backyard. And, for all the folks that have been heading up to Tahoe – I’m glad the drive has been easy, but didn’t you want to see some snow? Actually, things seem a little off pretty much everywhere. I just got back from a trip back to New York to see my family. Over the past few years, I’ve hit plenty of different types of weather back East, but this year was the strangest. Not only wasn’t there any snow on the ground, but I also was at a playground with my daughter wearing just a long sleeve T-shirt. Now, the last time I was back East – over the summer – I was lucky enough to get an earthquake AND a hurricane. Then, in October, the East Coast was pummeled with snow – which has had a huge effect on all sorts of birds and other animals that lost their homes.

Now, I’m not a doomsayer, but I’m always a bit surprised when I hear intelligent adults saying that global climate change really isn’t a big deal. I’ve been caught off guard more often than I’d like to admit when people that I respect and admire pooh-pooh global warming as a frivolous imaginary crisis. Too often I’ve heard these people say things like, “this has happened before – the Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling.” I, personally, believe that we are headed towards an environmental catastrophe of human creation. And, I’m doing what I can on a local level – recycling, reusing, composting, conserving water, and encouraging others to do so, too. Of course, time will tell if our efforts are going to be enough. And, whether or not the current warming trend is man-made or not, the results will be the same…

For more information about global warming and other related topics, check out these great resources from some of our local bay area experts: http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/, http://www.exploratorium.edu/climate/, http://gcep.stanford.edu/, http://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/energy, http://www.calacademy.org/teachers/resources/lessons/global-climate-change-and-sea-level-rise/, and http://eetd.lbl.gov/links/global.html.

Please let me know if there are things that you’d like to add to our region’s offerings! Also, 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 with the CSTA board as a whole.

You may also want to consider leading a workshop at our San Jose 2012 Education Conference. For more information and to submit a workshop proposal, click here! Proposals are due by March 6, 2012.

Happy New Year!

Eric Lewis, lewise2@sfusd.edu

Events in Region 2

Free First Wednesday at Discovery Museum
1/4/12, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, Fort Baker, Sausalito
Free Museum admission all day
For more information, email contact@badm.org or call (415) 339-3900.


Rotation of a Moonless Earth – Who needs a Moon?
1/4/12, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View
We have numerically explored the obliquity variations of a hypothetical moonless Earth using a range of initial conditions and extending our calculations for up to 4 billion years. We find that while obliquity varies significantly more than that of the actual Earth over 100,000 year timescales, the obliquity remains within a constrained range, typically 20-25 degrees in extent, for timescales of hundreds of millions of years. Retrograde planets’ obliqities are more stable than that of the real Earth. So having a large moon may not be needed for a planet to be habitable.
Speaker: Jack Lissauer, NASA
For more information email info@seti.org or call 650.961.6633


Free Day at the Exploratorium
1/4/12
Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco
Museum admission is free the first Wednesday of every month. For more information, email visit@exploratorium.edu.


Younger Lagoon Reserve Tour
Thursday, 01/05/12, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab, Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz
Experience the wildlife and natural beauty that make Younger Lagoon an exceptional local treasure on this docent-led tour to the lagoon and its beach habitat. Learn about the ongoing research and habitat restoration work that help this vital ecosystem thrive. Tour includes a short hike and is best suited for adults in good physical condition and children age 10 and older. Space limited, free with admission. Reservations required: (831) 459-3800.


After Dark: Rock, Paper, Scissors at the Exploratorium
Thursday, 01/05/12, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco
Scissors cut paper, rock bashes scissors, yet paper triumphs over rock. Who came up with this strange decision-making game that we all love to play? Come to the Exploratorium’s After Dark: Rock, Paper, Scissors where you can learn about the origins of such games, discover some other hand games from around the world – all while exploring the museum after hours. The evening will also feature film screenings and explorations into the materiality of rocks, metal and paper – as well as demonstrations on paper arts.

Experience life After Dark, an evening series exclusively for adults that mixes cocktails, conversation, and playful, innovative science and art events. Not a theater, cabaret, or gallery, After Dark contains aspects of all three. Each evening showcases a different topic-from music to sex to electricity-but all include a cash bar and film screenings, plus an opportunity to play with our hundreds of hands-on exhibits. Join us and mingle with inventive scientists, artists, musicians, programmers, and designers. Enjoy live performances, provocative films, interesting music, cutting-edge technology, unexpected extravaganzas, and more, depending on each evening’s lineup. Leave the kids at home and meet friends or take a date. Where else can you find an intellectually stimulating playground for adults-with free parking?

This event is included in the price of museum admission. For more information, email visit@exploratorium.edu or call (415) 561-0360.


Cafe Inquiry
Thursday, 01/05/12, 6:00 PM
Cafe Borrone, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Meet up with rationalists, skeptics, and freethinkers south of San Francisco. Cafe Inquiry is a social event hosted by the Center for Inquiry|San Francisco. We’ll meet at Café Borrone http://www.cafeborrone.com/ between Kepler’s Books and the British Banker’s Club! Look for the black balloon.


Free Day at Botanical Gardens
Thursday, 01/05/12
UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley
There is free admission to the Garden the first Thursday of each month.
For more information, email garden@berkeley.edu or call 510-643-2755


CO2 Sequestration: Recent Advances and Remaining Challenges
Monday, 01/09/12, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Stanford University Energy Seminar, Huang Science Center, NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford
In little more than a decade, carbon dioxide (CO2) capture from point source emissions and sequestration in deep geological formations has emerged as one of the most important options for reducing CO2 emissions. Two major challenges stand in the way of realizing this potential: the high cost of capturing CO2, and gaining confidence in the capacity, safety and permanence of sequestration in deep geological formations. Building on examples from laboratory and field-based studies of multiphase flow of CO2 in porous rocks; this talk addresses the current prospects for CO2 sequestration. Which formations can provide safe and secure sequestration? At what scale will this be practical and is this scale sufficient to significantly reduce emissions? What monitoring methods can be used to provide assurance that CO2 remains trapped underground? What are the long-term risks of geological sequestration and how can they be managed? The status of each these questions will be discussed, along with emerging research questions.


January LASER Event
Monday, 01/09/12, Start at 6:30pm
LASER Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous, University of San Francisco – Berman Hall, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco
Schedule:
6:30pm-6:45pm: Socializing/networking.
6:45-7:10pm: Piero Scaruffi (author) on “The Alan Turing Year”
A tribute to Alan Turing and meditations on artificial intelligence, the singularity and Silicon Valley.
7:10-7:35pm: Elizabeth Hadly (Stanford)
TBA
7:35-7:50pm: 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.
7:50-8:15pm Gian Pablo Villamil on “From Sketch to Showpiece: Building Lynn Hershman’s RAW/WAR Installation”
The process of designing and implementing the RAW/WAR interactive installation, part of a set of transmedia works that link to Lynn Hershman’s documentary, Women Art Revolution.
8:15pm-8:45pm: Cheryl Leonard (Composer) on “Music from High Latitudes”
Making music out of sounds, objects and experiences from the polar regions.
Admission is free but limited. Please RSVP to p@scaruffi.com


Inflation and the Landscape of String Theory
Wednesday, 01/11/12, 12:00 PM – 1:00 pm
SETI Institute Colloquium Series,189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View
Speaker: Alexander Westphal, DESY
For more information, email: info@seti.org or call 650.961.6633.


Skepticism & Critical Thinking: Teaching Our Children & Ourselves
Wednesday, 01/11/12, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cafe Valparaiso, 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley
We all need to evaluate the world critically and scientifically. Without this ability, we fall prey to anyone wishing to sell us goods and services regardless of their true efficacy, effectiveness, or even harmfulness.  This talk will focus on specific examples in science and society that illustrate pseudoscientific claims and methods of inquiry, paying special attention to topics that are often accepted by otherwise skeptical people without much critical thought. This FREE Bay Area Skeptics’ “skeptalk” is presented by Dr. Matt Normand, Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, University of the Pacific. For more information, contact Tucker Hiatt at tucker@wonderfest.org.


Mad Science: Science of Music
Thursday, 01/12/12, 10:30 AM
Rose Garden Branch Library, 1580 Naglee Avenue, San Jose
Boom, tap, smack, cha-cha-cha, listen to the sounds and rhythm of the science of music. Feel, hear and see the vibrations that help create music in this hands-on exploration. Ages 3-5. For more information, email rg.sjpl@sjlibrary.org or call (408) 808-3070.


Integrative Medicine Today: Lunchtime Lecture Series
Thursday, 01/12/12, 
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
UCSF Osher Building, 1545 Divisadero, 4th Floor at Post Street
Our Lunchtime Lecture Series has a new name: Integrative Medicine Today. Join us at these free, informative sessions to learn about the latest advancements in integrative medicine. You can watch past lectures online on UCTV: Integrative Medicine Today.
The Osher Center offers free lunchtime lectures each month:
2nd Thursday of every month (unless otherwise noted) 
 
Feel free to bring your lunch.
All lectures are open to the public. To RSVP or to get answers to your questions, please email ocim@ocim.ucsf.edu or call 415-353-7700.


ABCs of Failed Cryptography
Thursday, 01/12/12, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Lockheed Martin Colloquia, 3251 Hanover Street, ATC Auditorium in Building 202, Palo Alto
Speaker: Mr. Greg Edwards


An Evening with Google’s Marissa Mayer
Thursday, 01/12/12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Computer History Museum, 1401 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View
It has been quite a journey so far for Marissa, from her beginnings in Wisconsin, to the National Youth Science Camp, on to Stanford University, and then landing at Google. Join NPR Correspondent Laura Sydell for a wide-ranging conversation abut the educational choices Marissa made, her early role models and mentors, her work at Google, and her continuing role as a mentor – to the next generation of computer scientists.


What Is a Mushroom Anyway?
Thursday, 01/12/12, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
San Francisco Naturalist Society, Randall Museum,199 Museum Way, San Francisco
J. R. Blair is a past President of the Mycological Society of San Francisco. He is also a Lecturer at San Francisco State University and Director of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus. J.R. will be discussing how mushrooms fit into the scheme of things: what exactly they are, how they fit into the life cycle of the organism, fungal ecology, and how fungi form relationships with other life forms. For more information, email JKodiak@earthlink.net or call (415) 225-3830.


Mad Science: Up, Up & Away
Friday, 01/13/12, 3:00 PM
Berryessa Branch Library, 3555 Noble Avenue, San Jose
Join Mad Science for this fun, educational program where the principles of air pressure will be taken to a new high! Some of the things children can observe include: the creation of a hot air balloon, giant smoke rings generated by a vortex generator and a hovercraft in action. Ages 5-12. For any questions, please email bb.sjpl@sjlibrary.org or call (408)808-3050.


Houge Park Start Party
Friday, 01/13/12, 7:00 PM – 10:00 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.


Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!
Friday, 01/13/12, 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Foothill College Observatory,12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. The observatory is next to parking lot 4.
Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!

Foothill Observatory is open for public viewing every clear Friday evening from 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Visitors can view the wonders of the universe through the observatory’s new computer-controlled 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Views of objects in our solar system may include craters and mountains on the moon, the moons and cloud-bands of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, etc. The choice of targets for any evening’s viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.

On clear, dark, moonless nights, the telescopes give visitors views into the deeper reaches of space. Star clusters, nebulae, and distant galaxies provide dramatic demonstrations of the vastness of the cosmos.

Confirm before you go that the observatory will be open!

The public viewing programs at Foothill are free of charge and are open to guests of all ages. Please note that the observatory is closed when the weather is cloudy. Also note that visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots for $2.00.

For more information, email cohndiana@foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7711.


The Elusive Snow Leopard: New Insights Into Its Behavior and Conservation
Saturday, 01/14/12, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
San Francisco Zoo, Sloat Blvd & Great Highway, San Francisco
Dr. Rodney Jackson has been studying snow leopards for over 30 years. Jackson will talk about his arduous fieldwork in high-mountain habitats and extreme low temperatures. He will describe the direct partnerships with local people that are the cornerstones of the Conservancy’s success – creating conservation and education activities that grow from within communities, building strong foundations for locally-driven protection of snow leopards and their habitat. Jackson will also illustrate how the Conservancy uses satellite tracking and computer modeling to identify conservation priorities, with the goal of protecting sufficient habitat across large landscapes. For more information, email guestservices@sfzoo.org or call (415) 753-7080.


Mad Science: Fire and Ice
Saturday, 01/14/12, 3:30 PM
Santa Teresa Branch Library, 290 International Circle, San Jose
Explore “magical” chemical potions, the wonders of dry ice, and the dynamics of air pressure. Some of the topics the mad scientists will investigate include: the three states of matter, a gassy taste test and a super spectacular bubbling potion. Ages 5-12. For more information, email sa.sjpl@sjlibrary.org or call (408)808-3068.


Oh-So-Cool Fishes of the Pacific Coast: As Filtered Through the Mind of Milton Love
Sunday, 01/15/12, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab, Delaware Ave, Santa Cruz
The cold waters of the California Current off the Pacific coast of North America are home to a diverse and biologically rich array of marine fishes with extraordinary means of survival. Join Ichthyologist, humorist, author, and self-proclaimed “Rock-star Biologist” Milton Love for some unique insight into the lives, science, and art of a few of his favorite Pacific Coast fishes. Accompanying the publishing of his newest book, “Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast: A Postmodern Experience,” Dr. Love will hold a signing for his book, available right here at the Seymour Center’s Ocean Discovery Shop.For more information, call (831) 459-3800.


The Salt Marshes: Then and Now
Sunday, 01/15/12, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Don Edwards Refuge Headquarters & Visitors Center, 1 Marshlands Road
off Thornton Avenue, Freemont
Approximately 85% of San Francisco Bay’s wetlands have disappeared over the last 200 years due to industry and development, impacting the wildlife that lived in and around them. Some of the plants and animals have made a comeback. Learn the history of the salt marshes and the plant and animal life affected by the changes. The presentation includes a slideshow followed by an optional walk (approximately 45 minutes, weather permitting) to view a salt marsh and the remains of a salt evaporation pond. Led by Gregg Aronson. Call 510-792-0222 ext. 363 for reservations.


 

Scott, Amundsen and Science: A 100th Anniversary Retrospective on Antarctic Science
Wednesday, 01/18/12, 7:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series,189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View
Marking the 100th anniversary of teams led by Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott reaching the South Pole, science historian Edward Larson will reexamine their so-called Race to the Pole in light of their objectives. Amundsen and his men focused exclusively on reaching the pole and succeeded brilliantly. Scott and his men had multiple objectives, which included conducting a broad array of scientific research by teams of researchers that fanned out across the region. Larson will retell the story of these expeditions in context and contrast it with the conventional wisdom about them.
Speaker: Ed Larson, Pepperdine University
For more information, email info@seti.org or call 650.961.6633


Meteorite Threats to Spacecraft
Thursday, 01/19/12, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Lockheed Martin Colloquia, 3251 Hanover Street, ATC Auditorium in Building 202, Palo Alto
Speaker: Dr. Sigrid Close, Stanford University


Cognitive Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Thursday, 01/19/12, 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Swissnex San Francisco, 730 Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Join an audience at swissnex San Francisco as scientists from Switzerland and the US discuss their research on humanoid robots, cognitive robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Hear how some robots self-reflect, self-improve, and adapt to new circumstances, and whether it’s possible for robots of the future to possess the same cognitive characteristics as humans.

Cornell University’s Hod Lipson is seeking to understand if machines can learn analytical laws automatically. For centuries, scientists have attempted to identify and document analytical laws underlying physical phenomena in nature. Despite the prevalence of computing power, the process of finding natural laws and their corresponding equations has resisted automation. Lipson has developed machines that take in information about their environment and discover natural laws all on their own, even learning to walk.

Rolf Pfeifer directs the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich. Together with his scientific assistant Pascal Kaufmann, Pfeifer presents current AI research and a humanoid robot in the Ecce family referred to as Cronos.

Standard humanoid robots mimic the human form but they generally function quite differently-and their characteristics reflect this. This places severe limitations on the kinds of interactions robots can engage in, on the knowledge they can acquire about their environment, and on the nature of their cognitive engagement. Instead of copying only the outward form of a human, Cronos mimics the inner structures as well-bones, joints, muscles, and tendons-and thus has more human-like actions and interactions in the world.

Advanced RSVP required at website.


A California Mushroomer in Yankee Forests
Thursday, 01/19/12, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Bay Area Mycological Society, 338 Koshland Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley
Christian Schwarz presents “A California Mushroomer in Yankee Forests,” a showcase of some of the marvelous fungi that grow in the forests of the eastern United States, as well as his thoughts and reflections on being a mushroomer away from home.

Christian has been seriously interested in fungi since age sixteen. He got his start in San Diego, but the long, dry summers didn’t suit his lifestyle, so in 2006 he emigrated to Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He is currently on an indefinite road trip collecting, photographing, and teaching about mushrooms, which has taken him throughout the United States as well as Costa Rica, Mexico, and Europe. He is taxonomically interested in the genus Agaricus and the family Entolomataceae.


Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!
Friday, 01/20/12, 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Foothill College Observatory,12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. The observatory is next to parking lot 4.
Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!

Foothill Observatory is open for public viewing every clear Friday evening from 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Visitors can view the wonders of the universe through the observatory’s new computer-controlled 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Views of objects in our solar system may include craters and mountains on the moon, the moons and cloud-bands of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, etc. The choice of targets for any evening’s viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.

On clear, dark, moonless nights, the telescopes give visitors views into the deeper reaches of space. Star clusters, nebulae, and distant galaxies provide dramatic demonstrations of the vastness of the cosmos.

Confirm before you go that the observatory will be open!

The public viewing programs at Foothill are free of charge and are open to guests of all ages. Please note that the observatory is closed when the weather is cloudy. Also note that visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots for $2.00.


Ravenswood Hike
Saturday, 01/21/12, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Bedwell Bayfront Park, Marsh Road, Menlo Park
The 2.3-mile perimeter trail at Bedwell Bayfront Park offers great opportunities to discover winter wildlife and to discuss how future wetlands restoration will shape this piece of the Bay. Offered by the refuge and the Friends of Bedwell Bayfront Park. Meet at the main parking lot bathrooms at Bedwell Bayfront Park. Call 510-792-0222 x139 for information.


Saturday Night Stargazing
Saturday, 01/21/12, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley
See the Moon, Planets, Stars, Galaxies and More

* Stargaze through astronomical telescopes
* Ask questions and talk with amateur astronomers
* Learn how to use a star map to find constellations
* Share in the wonder of the universe with your friends.
Stargazing is always weather permitting-be sure to dress warmly. Foggy and overcast skies can cancel stargazing at the last minute. For more information, call 510-642-5132 or email lhsweb@berkeley.edu.


Marine Mammal Research Tour
Sunday, 01/22/12, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab, Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz
Go behind the scenes to learn about the host of marine mammals housed right here at Long Marine Lab. Find out how scientists studies of diving physiology, ecology, and cognition and sensory systems contributes to our understanding and conservation of these incredible animals. Tour is best suited for adults and children over 10 years of age. Space limited, free with admission. Reservations required: (831) 459-3800


Tracking Through the Slough
Sunday, 01/22/12, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Don Edwards Refuge Environmental Education Center, Alviso
Come and get your hands dirty during this fun and educational program about mud creatures. We will investigate a sample of mud collected from the salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay and observe some of the thousands of incredible organisms that live their lives worming and squirming through the mud! A short talk will be followed by a hands-on activity, and then a guided walk around the marshlands. RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED – All Ages are welcome. Call Eric at 408-262-5513 ext. 104.


How the Genome Folds
Tuesday, 01/24/12, 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Stanford University, Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 201, 370 Serra Mall, Stanford Professor Erez Lieberman Aiden (Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and Visiting Faculty at Google) will give the Applied Physics/Physics colloquium.


Einstein and the Far Future of Interstellar Travel
Tuesday, 01/24/12, 7:15 PM – 9:15 PM
Mount Diablo Astronomical Society, Concord Police Association Facility, 5060 Avila Road, Concord
Speaker: Professor A. Mahdavi, SFSU


A Guide to Lakefront Vacationing on Titan: Hydrocarbon Lakes and their Role in the Methane Cycle
Wednesday, 01/25/12, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
SETI Institute Colloquium Series, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Mountain View
Observations of Titan’s polar regions reveal hydrocarbon lakes with morphologies and scales similar to terrestrial counterparts. The global distribution, topography, and seasonal variability of these lacustrine features are used to study volatile transport in Titan’s hydrologic cycle. This seminar will review recent observations made by the Cassini RADAR and discuss the constraints they place on the nature of the lakes, their role in Titan’s methane cycle, and their evolution over both seasonal and orbital timescales.
Speaker: Alex Hayes, UC Berkeley
For more information, email: info@seti.org or call 650.961.6633.


Nutrition for Healthy Aging
Wednesday, 01/25/12, 2:00 PM
West Valley Branch Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Road, San Jose
Program includes tips for healthy eating, menu planning, dietary guidelines for older adults, and food options for a healthy diet. Janeen Pratt from Pathways Home Health (a not-for-profit agency), will present these programs free of charge. For more information, email: wv.sjpl@sjlibrary.org or call (408) 244-4766.


Smoke and Mirrors: Is Geoengineering a Solution to Global Warming?
Wednesday, 01/25/12, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
UC Berkeley, Barrows Hall, Room 110, Berkeley
Speaker: Alan Robock, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University


Science and Reason with Skeptics in the Pub, West Bay
Wednesday, 01/25/12, 7:00 PM
Fiddler’s Green, 333 El Camino Real, Millbrae
If ye value critical thinking, and if ye scorn the film-flam man, and if ye drink, drink with us, your friends. If ye shun the brewer’s art, at least help us lay waste to bangers & mash!

Skeptics in the Pub is a monthly meeting for discussion of topics of science, reason, and skepticism. Sometimes there will be a planned talk sometimes it is a group of like minded people informally discussing the latest in science or pseudoscience.

Fiddlers Green is a 10 minute stroll from the Millbrae BART & Caltrain station. For more information, email admin@baskeptics.org.


How We Know What We Know About the Brain
Wednesday, 01/25/12, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Marin Science Seminar, 320 Nova Albion Way, Terra Linda High School, Room 207, San Rafael
Speaker: Neurologist Raymond Swanson, Ph.D. of UCSF/VAMC SF. For more information email: marinscienceseminar@gmail.com or call (415) 479-4106.


Eye to Compound Eye: The Art and Science of Insect Photography
Thursday, 01/26/12, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
The Bone Room, 1573 Solano Avenue, Berkeley
Incorporating anecdotes from biology, ecology, and cultural anthropology, insect photographer Becky Jaffe offers an engaging account of her field experiences that will inspire you to pick up the camera and look at insects with new eyes. For more information, email Erin Kerrigan at evolve@boneroom.com or call 510-526-5252.


Humanitarian Surgery in the Heart of Darkness
Thursday, 01/26/12, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Cafe Scientifique Stanford Blood Center, 3373 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto
Be taken on a poignant and sometimes heartbreaking journey with a surgeon working in conflict zones in Africa with Doctors Without Borders and hear how these experiences changed her practice in the US. Dr. Wren is Professor of Surgery and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Stanford University School of Medicine, and Chief of General Surgery at Palo Alto Veterans Health Care System. For more information, email kvoneill@stanford.edu.


Swimming with Humpback Whales on the Silver Bank: A Photographic Journey
Thursday, 01/26/12, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Bay Model Visitors Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito
The Silver Bank, lying 90 miles north of the coast of the Dominican Republic, is one of the few places on earth where on can freely swim with humpback whales in their environment, on their terms. Speaker Jodi Frediana has captured the full experience in color photographs and will share the excitement, the energy, and wonder of these close in-water encounters, while offering a bit of natural history and tales of special whales. Her prsentation will include an update on her recent efforts to identify whales from fluke photos and by unique pectoral fin markings. For more information, call (415) 332-3871.


Mad Science: pH-antastic pH-un
Friday, 01/27/12, 3:00 PM
Berryessa Branch Library, 3555 Noble Avenue, San Jose
Be blown away by awesome chemical reactions! You’ve seen a rainbow in the sky, now watch as we make one in a tube. Learn all about gravity, balance ,and centripetal force, and be dazzled by some amazing optical illusions. You won’t believe your eyes. Ages 5-12.


Houge Park Star Party
Friday, 01/27/12, 7:00 PM – 10:00 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.


Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!
Friday, 01/27/12, 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Foothill College Observatory, 12345 El Monte Road. The observatory is next to parking lot 4, Los Altos Hills
Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!

Foothill Observatory is open for public viewing every clear Friday evening from 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Visitors can view the wonders of the universe through the observatory’s new computer-controlled 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Views of objects in our solar system may include craters and mountains on the moon, the moons and cloud-bands of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, etc. The choice of targets for any evening’s viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.

On clear, dark, moonless nights, the telescopes give visitors views into the deeper reaches of space. Star clusters, nebulae, and distant galaxies provide dramatic demonstrations of the vastness of the cosmos.

Confirm before you go that the observatory will be open!

The public viewing programs at Foothill are free of charge and are open to guests of all ages. Please note that the observatory is closed when the weather is cloudy. Also note that visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots for $2.00.

For more information, email cohndiana@foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7711


Mad Science: Fluttering Birds
Saturday, 01/28/12, 10:30 AM
Willow Glen Branch Library, 1157 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose
Learn all about our fine feathered friends and take an up close look at birds. Take home bird warblers to practice your bird songs at home. Ages 3-5. For more information, email: wg.sjpl@sjlibrary.org or call (408) 808-3045.


Gold Fever: How the Gold Rush Forever Changed SF Bay
Saturday, 01/28/12, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Bay Model Visitors Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito
In 1848 gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, luring people by the thousands to California. Join Ranger Tammi to find out how this event changed San Francisco Bay forever. For more information, call (415) 332-3871.


Mad Science: Up, Up, and Away
Saturday, 01/28/12, 3:00 PM
Martin Luther King Library, 150 East San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA
Join Mad Science for this fun, educational program where the principles of air pressure will be taken to a new high! Some of the things children can observe include: the creation of a hot air balloon, giant smoke rings generated by a vortex generator and a hovercraft in action. Ages 5-12.


Night Sky Party
Saturday, 01/28/12, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Don Edwards Refuge Environmental Education Center, Alviso, CA
Meet the stars of Winter! Join our amateur astronomers as we learn about constellations. Make a star chart and then venture outside to view the night sky through a telescope. Afterwards, warm up with some hot chocolate. Bring your own binoculars or spotting scopes if you have them. Dress warmly, as it gets cold in the evening. Fun for the whole family! RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (program may be canceled if it gets too rainy). Call Debra at 408-262-5513 ext. 102


Producing Natural Gas from Shale – Opportunities and Challenges of a Major New Energy Source
Monday, 01/30/12, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Stanford University Energy Seminar, Huang Science Center, NVIDIA Auditorium, Stanford, CA 94305
Speaker: Mark D. Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. Mark conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics and reservoir geomechanics. He was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. He is the author of the textbook Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. He is the author/co-author of 300 technical papers and holds five patents. Mark has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal from the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He currently serves on the National Academy of Energy committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection.

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office and is CSTA region 2 director.

Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

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

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

It’s that time of year when CSTA is looking for dedicated and qualified persons to fill the upcoming vacancies on its Board of Directors. This opportunity allows you to help shape the policy and determine the path that the Board will take in the new year. There are time and energy commitments, but that is far outweighed by the personal satisfaction of knowing that you are an integral part of an outstanding professional educational organization, dedicated to the support and guidance of California’s science teachers. You will also have the opportunity to help CSTA review and support legislation that benefits good science teaching and teachers.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. 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.

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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…

Powered By DT Author Box

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.