COS Speakers Series


The purpose of the COS Speakers Series is to provide a forum in which all members of the College of the Siskiyous faculty and staff can share insights into topics and activities that are of interest to them with the COS community and the general public. It is not meant to be used for the purpose of promoting a particular political or religious agenda. All presentations should be of interest to a wide audience and be consistent with the spirit of openness and inclusiveness that is central to the College's mission.

For more information about past and upcoming presentations, please bookmark this website.

what's coming up next?

Ray Troll's ages of rockThe Molecular Clock: Telling time with fossils, proteins, and DNA with Ken Goehring
Thursday, 17-Nov-2016 at 7:00pm in Science 110, Weed campus

When scientists discovered the “molecular clock” in the 1960s it led to a fierce debate about the process of evolution. Although the clock is routinely used by anthropologists and other researchers to estimate when lineages of organisms diverged from one another, the controversy underlying its mechanism is still raging and has important implications for the forces driving evolution and the philosophy of science. Retired COS instructor Ken Goehring will explain how the clock works and what its implications are for both evolutionary theory and the philosophy of biology. See why the clock has been considered “Non-Darwinian” evolution. Join us for a surprising evening of science and philosophy!

The Molecular Clock is open to the public and free of charge. It is part of the 2016-2017 season of the COS Speakers Series, which is presented as a public service by the COS staff. To learn more contact (530) 938-5373(530) 938-5373.

2016-2017 schedule

2016-2017 Calendar

Galen Ferrel—Cake, Rent, and Divorce Settlements

Bill Hirt—Ages of Rock: How Geologists Tell Time

Ken Goehring—The Molecular Clock: Telling time with fossils, proteins, and DNA




Cake, Rent, and Divorce Settlements was the first COS Speakers Series’ presentation of the 2016-2017 academic year and subsequent presentations will explore topics ranging from GMOs to geologic dating.

During the academic year events in the series will typically begin at 7:00 PM on the third Thursday of each month on the Weed Campus. No talks will be held during December and January, however, because of the holiday season.

A list of presentation dates and working titles is given at right and will be updated as new information becomes available.

past presentations

PikaThe 2015-2016 academic year marks the sixth season of the COS Speakers Series. As we move forward with new talks we also want to build an archive that will give interested members of the community a sense of the diversity of the series' past presentations. The title of each presentation is listed below and most are linked to a flyer that gives a brief summary of the talk and a little information about the speaker.

Spring 2011 presentations:

  1. The Good Life: How to Create a Sustainable and Fulfilling Lifestyle with Sherry Ackerman
  2. Geologic History and Potential Hazards of Mount Shasta with Bill Hirt
  3. Matching 'Healthspan' to Lifespan with Michael Altman

Fall 2011-Spring 2012 presentations:

  1. Alpacas with Cindy Shipley
  2. There is No Nowhere Anymore: The Cold War and the Rise of Modern Political Culture with Chris Vancil
  3. The Pikas of Mount Shasta with Ken Goehring
  4. The Baby and the Bathwater: Image Making in the 21st Century with Jim Gilmore
  5. The Weird World of Quantum Mechanics with David Carico
  6. Megathrust Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest with Bill Hirt

Fall 2012-Spring 2013 presentations:

  1. Dutch Oven Cooking with Lori Luddon
  2. The Mathematics of Voting and Elections with Galen Ferrel
  3. The Secularism/Anti-Secularism Impasse with Daniel Kealey
  4. Physics Demonstrations with Michael Read
  5. Confessions from the Profession of Art with John Rickard
  6. The Art of Taxidermy with Richard Giordanengo

Fall 2013-Spring 2014 presentations:

  1. Just Too Much Money with Chris Vancil
  2. Craft Seen Hovering Near Mount Shasta! with Greg South and Mike Read
  3. Linking Wetland Restoration and Biofuel Production with Shane Lishawa
  4. Molecular Carpentry 101: The science behind GMOs & the biotechnology revolution with Bill Odegard
  5. The J.H. Baxter Superfund Site with Jenny Heath
  6. The Range of Light through a Forester's Eyes: Backpacking the John Muir Trail with Jim Ostrowski

Fall 2014-Spring 2015 presentations:

  1. Trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest with Bruce Johnston
  2. The History of Botanical Exploration on Mount Shasta with Alison Varty
  3. Lessons from Havana with Maria Fernandez
  4. The Mount Shasta Collection at the COS Library with Dennis Freeman
  5. Aerial Photography with a Drone and GoPro Camera with Mike Graves

Fall 2015-Spring 2016 presentations:

  1. Recent Events in Human Evolution with Ken Goehring
  2. The Power of Music with Ron Slabbinck
  3. Gem Identification with Danielle Signor and Bill Hirt
  4. Black Holes, Wormholes, and Time Travel with David Carico
  5. Perú: The Country of Hidden Treasures with Simón León

who's doing this?

"The Committee": Rumor has it that the COS Speakers Series is organized by a secretive cabal of full- and part-time faculty members who apparently have way too much time on their hands.

If you have an idea for a future talk, might be interested in giving a presentation yourself or just want to contact the members of 'The Committee' we're told you can reach them at