SC 201 THE WORLD, ITS RESOURCES AND HUMANKIND: Part 2. Class presentations available.

The world’s natural resources are necessary for human life and the development of civilization. The location of these resources has always fashioned our history and dictated the economics of the time, which cast the politics that color our way of life. Understanding this helps explain what happened in the past and our world today.


This is Part 2 of the series of eight lectures over two semesters (Part 1 was in Fall 2016). We will address: the physical location of natural resources, the historic events caused by their exploitation, the related economic problems, the ensuing politics, and the waste management issues created. Continue reading

SC 212 – The Addictive Brain. Class presentations available for viewing.

Eighty million Americans can be considered addicts. Each of us probably knows someone who has been affected, or we may have been addicts ourselves (for example, with cigarettes or coffee). The convergence of psychology and neuroscience has led to a new understanding of the specific changes in the brain that are associated with addiction. These lectures will describe the changes that chemicals or behaviors have been shown to induce in the brain that result in the hallmarks of addiction: abuse, dependence and craving.

January 3: The basics of addiction, the neuroscience of reward, chronic drug use and the reward system

January 10: The genetics of addiction, how drugs affect the brain, cravings for coffee and cigarettes

January 17: Alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine

January 24: Opioids, street drugs and prescription medications

January 31: Gambling, junk food, pornography, and video games

Class Presentations:






Presenter: (Via Great Courses DVD):

Thad A. Polk, Ph.D., Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan

Developer/ Discussion Leader:

John B. Bush, Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley. John is an OLLI STEM Committee member and has taught many popular OLLI classes.


SC 214 – GEOLOGY OF NATIONAL PARKS: Part 1 – The Far West. Class presentations available.

DVD Lecture with Discussion

The 100-year-old U.S. National Park System is one of America’s treasures. Join us in the first of a multi-semester series of classes addressing the geology of the National Parks, focusing this semester on the far western continental United States. Each DVD lecture will provide an account of the human significance of the region, as well as a description of the geological phenomena that are responsible for its interesting features. There will be time for questions and discussion in each class session, led by members of the OLLI STEM Committee. The last week of the class, we will be joined by Mark Bordelon, an OLLI favorite local geologist, for a lecture specifically about Joshua Tree National Park.

Friday, January 6: Grand Teton National Park (earthquakes, glaciers, landslides), Glacier Bay and Kenai Fjords Alaska National Parks (plate tectonics, glaciers, remnants of erosion)

Class Presentations:




Friday, January 13: Yosemite National Park (valley formation, volcanic activity, glaciers, streams and rivers), Sierra Nevada Area National Parks (glaciers, gold, water, sequoias)



Friday, January 20: The San Andreas Fault Area National Parks (tectonic activity, faulting, uplift), Denali Area Alaska National Parks (crustal collisions, faulting, mountain building, micro-plates)

Class Presentations:



Friday, January 27: Mark Bordelon, The Geology of Joshua Tree National Park (crustal collision, zonal geology, volcanic plutons, remnants of erosion)


Ford Cochran (via Great Courses DVD), Geologist and Program Director, National Geographic Expeditions

Mark Bordelon, Adjunct Geology Professor, Irvine Valley College

Class Presentation:


Developers/Discussion Leaders:

John Bush and Gary Oberts, OLLI STEM Committee members


Fridays, January 6, 13, 20 and 27

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken

SC 213: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY. Class presentations available.

This class is Part 1 of a planned multi-part series on Synthetic Biology. We will discover how DNA can be engineered and how the technology can be used to modify organisms producing saleable products.

Wednesday, January 4: Basic Molecular Biology of DNA: provides background information and an explanation of terms and concepts necessary to understand subsequent classes. This session will answer the questions, what is DNA, where is it found, what is its purpose, how is it formed, how does it duplicate, and how does it transfer information to make proteins?

Class Presentation: olli-intro-dna-presentation-1

Presenter: Steve Wunderly, Ph.D., synthetic organic chemist with a background at Beckman Instruments in the fields of Nuclear Detection (liquid and solid scintillation counting) and molecular biology (automating DNA synthesis and sequencing). Steve is an OLLI STEM Committee Member.

Wednesday, January 11: Genetic Manipulation: presents details of how genetic changes are made to DNA in the context of living organisms. Historically, genetic manipulation of plants and animals occurred slowly by selective breeding and nuclear irradiation of seeds. In modern times, direct laboratory gene editing methods accelerated this process. In the last year a precision method of genetic manipulation called CRISPR has made the process even less expensive and faster.

Presenter: Chang Liu, Professor, UCI Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Class Presentation: ccl-continuing-education-lecture

Professor Liu’s research is in the field of synthetic biology, chemical biology, and directed evolution using advanced, genetic engineering methods. He earned his Ph.D. at The Scripps Research Institute.

Wednesday, January 18: Synthetic Biology.  What is Synthetic Biology? We will explore this concept through examples of some of the many ways research into genes and mechanisms of natural organisms are used to create cost-effective products that benefit mankind.

Presenters: Nancy DaSilva, PhD, CalTech; Sheryl Tsai, PhD, UC Berkeley;

Alon Gorodetsky, PhD, CalTech; Chang Liu, PhD, Scripps, UC Berkeley

Class Presentations: 



Developers: Phil Friedel, Vern Roohk


Wednesdays, January 4, 11 and 18

2:00 – 4:00 PM


The Irvine Station-Onken

SC 215: THE WORLD, ITS RESOUCES, AND HUMANKIND – Part 1. Class presentations available.

The world’s natural resources are necessary for human life and the development of civilization. The location of these resources has fashioned our history and dictated the economics of the time, coloring our politics and affecting our way of life. Understanding the science, economic and social history of our resources helps to shape today’s resource policies and investment decisions.

This series of eight lectures over two semesters will address: the physical location of the natural resources; the historic events caused by their exploitation; the related economic problems; the ensuing politics; and the waste management needs that remain. All of these aspects are strongly inter-connected to present-day environmental problems and to our very existence. Part 1 of this series will address:

  1. Water (essential to life and more; its shortage and its biologic impact)
  2. Food (wheat, plants, the effect of the food chain and its impact on our health)
  3. Lumber (in construction and more; deforestation and afforestation actions)
  4. Iron and precious metals (for the have and have nots) Part 2 in the Spring of 2017 will continue with lectures on stones, energy, radioactive sources and transportation.

Presenter: Edgar M. Moran, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, UCI Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Moran has researched the development of humankind as a function of the natural resources it needs. Dr. Moran recently taught the very popular OLLI course Practical Health – Our Body Systems in Health and Disease.

Class Presentations:

January 6:

The World-Its Resources – and Humankind – Bibliography

UCI – OLLI – The World Its Resources and Humankind-Lecture-1-Humankind-01-06-17– Class Presentation (Updated)

January 13:


January 20:


January 27:




Developer: Gary Oberts


Fridays, January 6, 13, 20 and 27

1:00 – 3:00 PM


The Irvine Station-Onken

Rise of Radical Islam (SS 312 & 318). Class presentations available.

This course will focus on the social and political evolution of the modern Islamic World. The topics focus will shed light on the nature of the jihadist movements that dominate the headlines. Their ideologies and worldview have their roots in hundreds, if not thousands of years of history. To understand them requires us to know their past.

October 25 & December 1: The essential beliefs of Islam and rise of Muslim societies and empires. The split of the Islamic faith into Sunni and Shia factions. The impact of European imperialism on the Near East.

Class Presentation: rise-of-jihad-Class 1

November 1 & December 9: The rise of anti-colonialist movements and Western support for puppet regimes in the Middle East. Ataturk, Nasser and Khomeini – three models of leadership for the region. The Arab –Israeli conflict. The modern version of Jihad arises from conflicts in Lebanon, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Class Presentation: jihad-Class-2

November 8 & December 15: Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 attack. The US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the long-term consequences. The Arab Spring and the civil war in Syria. The establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and its appeal to Jihadists around the world.

Class Presentation:  rise-of-jihad-Class-3

Presenter: Rainer Feldt taught The History of the Contemporary Middle East class at Saddleback College for 16 years and has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East. He lived for an extended time in Istanbul, Turkey, Kibbutz Amiad in Israel, and Karachi, Pakistan

Developers: Al Fuller and Jonathan Weil


The Irvine Station, Onken Classroom


SC 211: The Human Microbiome: Friends and Foes. Class presentation available.

The human microbiome refers to the vast diversity of bacteria and other microorganisms (including the chemicals they produce) residing within and on the surfaces of every person.  The population of microorganisms in one person’s microbiome is at least ten times greater than the number of cells constituting the average human body.  How does this vast collection of tiny cells impact our lives as humans?  How do these populations change with time, our diet, medications, and other environmental situations?  What in the world is a fecal transplant?  And what is another meaning for gut check?   Many scientists postulate a strong relationship between the types of microorganisms in our bodies and the development of obesity, diabetes, autism, and premature birth.  This course will describe the nature of the human microbiome and update recent research findings.


Barbara Pogosian, MS, Microbiology, CSULB, California certified Public Health Microbiologist, retired Professor of Biology, Golden West College.

 Vern Roohk, Ph.D., Physiology and Biochemistry, University of California, Davis. He is a biomedical device consultant, a technical author and an OLLI STEM Committee Member.

Class Presentations:

December 12: Human Microbiome

December 19: Human Microbiome-Part 2


Mondays, December 12 and 19

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken


Topics in Science (SC 208): Class presentations available.

SC 208                       TOPICS IN SCIENCE

This class is a collection of presentations on science topics that are of interest to the general public. It is presented in plain English for all to understand.

Tuesday, December 6, (10–11 AM): The Meaning of Gravitational Waves.

Detecting gravitational waves is a new astronomy, which will reveal amazing events like merging black holes. It also tests Einstein’s Theory of Gravity in the super-strong gravity region, where space warping becomes its own source of gravity. Educational videos will be used to illustrate gravity waves, detectors, and wave sources.

Tuesday, December 6 (11 AM–12 PM): How We Elected Our New President – the Math of the Primaries. We will review the math behind the Republican and Democratic primaries, and how they differ.  How is the fact that we are a Republic of States and not a democracy reflected in our primaries and our general election?  The discussion is based on the math of the primaries from the blog,  The caucuses will be contrasted with our state primaries.  We will also discuss the Citizen United ruling.

Presenter: Dennis Silverman, Ph.D., Retired UCI Physics Professor and OLLI STEM Committee Member

Class Presentation: The Math Inside the Election of 2016

Tuesday, December 13: Autonomous Vehicles aka Self-Driving Cars.

The future of self-driving vehicles is almost here! When can we expect to stop driving and instead enjoy the benefits of self-driving cars? This two-hour introduction will describe ongoing efforts to create autonomous vehicles, including progress-to-date and how these future accident-free automobiles will work.  Topics will include the components required to see and sense the road ahead and react to changing road conditions, and the huge burden to make the software responsive to a wide-range of driving situations. A number of concerns related to privacy, responsibility, and regulatory acceptance will also be discussed.

Presenter: Martin Cooper, Ph.D.,

Consultant, research and development management and commercialization of industrial technologies.  Dr. Cooper has presented several courses for OLLI.

Class Presentation: Autonomous Cars


Marc Nussbaum, Martin Cooper, Fred Pelliciotti


Tuesdays, December 6 and 13

10:00 AM – 12 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken

Topics in Medicine (SC 209). Class presentations available.


This class is a collection of presentations in health science that are of particular interest to active older adults. Topics are selected to inform and help OLLI members proactively manage, maintain and improve quality of life.

Wednesday, December 7 (9:30-10:30 AM):

Liquid Biopsy for Prediction of Cancer: Fact vs. Fiction.

Class Presentation: liquid-biopsy-for-prediction-of-cancer

A liquid biopsy, in which tumor-specific DNA fragments are measured in blood samples, offers several advantages over conventional tissue biopsy procedures. One advantage is the claim that such blood testing can diagnose cancer before symptoms occur in the patient. This talk will update the status of liquid biopsy for cancer, which depends on ever-evolving DNA sequencing technology, and discuss the limitations of early cancer detection in general.

Presenter: Vern Roohk, Ph.D.,

Physiology and Biochemistry, Postdoc in Bioengineering. Biomedical Devices consultant, and member of the OLLI STEM Committee.

Wednesday, December 7 (10:30-11:30 AM):

Harnessing the Power of Your Mind: Clinical Hypnotherapy.

Class Presentation: The Sidman Solution

The Sidman Solution® is a unique, short-term form of clinical hypnotherapy that addresses depression and anxiety by accessing the subconscious mind without medication. It has proven especially effective in resolving disorders combining psychological issues and physical symptoms, such as interstitial cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Sidman will explain the process involving replacing old negative thoughts and emotions with appropriate updated ones, and will share techniques relative to the hypnotic experience.

Presenter: Jacqueline Sidman, PhD,

Clinical Hypnotherapy, American Pacific University, President, The Sidman Institute.

Wednesday, December 14: Arthritis and Rheumatology.

Nearly 40 million people in the United States are affected by arthritis, including over a quarter million children. More than 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis. In this lecture we will learn about joint, muscle and complex connective tissue diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other related afflictions. We will discuss their causes, diagnosis and courses of treatments.

Presenter: Sheetal Desai, MD.

is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCI and a practicing rheumatologist. She is a graduate of the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Class Presentation: community-rheumatology-talk


Vern Roohk and Marc Nussbaum


Wednesdays, December 7 and 14

9:30 – 11:30 AM

The Impacts of Climate Change (SC 204): Part 2: Oceans. Class presentations available for viewing.

As our planet warms, humankind must discover solutions to global ecological problems before it is too late. We are being impacted by changing temperatures on land and in the ocean, changes in sea level and acidity, increasingly frequent extreme weather events, biological extinctions, and more. Please join OLLI for the second in a series of classes on the impacts that a changing climate is driving. During this semester’s sessions we will focus on ocean impacts. Specific impact assessments of UCI faculty and the Santa Monica Seafood Company will address: acidification, El Niño, heat uptake, nutrient transport and biological productivity, fisheries, ice loss, sea level rise and the marine carbon cycle.

Friday, October 7: Ocean Acidification and Global Change

Presenter: Kate Mackey, Claire Booth Luce Assistant Professor, UCI Department of Earth System Science

Class Presentation: The Future of Phytoplankton in a Changing Climate

Friday, October 14: El Niño and Its Changing Impacts on Climate

Presenter: Jin-Yi Yu, Professor, UCI Department of Earth System Science

Class Presentation: El Niño and its Changing Impacts on Climate

Friday, October 21: Ocean Heat and Biological Productivity

Presenters: Francois Primeau,

Professor, UCI Department of Earth System Science, Ocean Heat and Its Impact on Nutrient Transport and Biological Productivity

Mel Carrasquillo, Regional Brands Manager, Santa Monica Seafood Company, The Impact of Changing Climate on the Local Seafood Industry

 Class Presentation: The Impacts of Changing Climate on the Local Seafood Industry

Friday, October 28: Ocean Warming, Ice Loss and Sea Level Rise

Presenter: Bernd Scheuchl, Associate Project Scientist, UCI Department of Earth System Science

Class Presentation: Ocean Warming Ice Loss and Sea Level Rise

 Friday, November 4: Marine Carbon Cycle and Ocean Currents

Presenter: Rob Letscher, Postdoctoral Researcher, UCI Department of Earth System Science

Class Presentation: The Marine Carbon Cycle and Ocean Currents

Developer: Gary Oberts


Fridays, October 7, 14, 21 and 28 and November 4

10:00 AM -12 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken

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