How much physics is it essential for a U.S. president to know who is faced daily with critical decisions about climate change, terrorism and nuclear power?
Dr. Richard Muller, of the University of California at Berkeley, explains what every world leader needs to know in "Physics for Future Presidents" at 4 p.m. on Sept. 8, in Darwin 103. The free public lecture is based on his renowned course for non-science students which was voted "Best Class at Berkeley."
Wired Magazine says "This accessible, worthwhile primer explains the essential physics behind nuclear weapons, terrorist attacks, surveillance technology, and global warming."
The San Francisco Chronicle reported "Muller's section on nuclear weapons and radiation is a neat little gem of science writing and a model for unhysterical explanation of an inherently fraught subject."
Muller, a professor of physics, has earned a "Distinguished Teacher" award from the University of California, a MacArthur Prize "Genius" fellowship, as well as the National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award "for highly original and innovative research which has led to important discoveries and inventions in diverse areas of physics."
The talk is the first in the fall "What Physicists Do" series of public lectures presented by the SSU Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Outspoken author, historian and media critic Michael Parenti explores "Orthodoxy and Diversity in the News Media" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28 in Darwin 103. His lecture is the first of the Modern Media Censorship Lectures to be held Thursdays during the fall semester.
Series host Mickey S. Huff will introduce the topic with a talk entitled "Can We Call it Censorship?"
An internationally known award-winning author and lecturer, Michael Parenti is considered one of the nation's leading sociopolitical analysts. Author Cornell West calls him "a towering prophetic voice in American life."
Parenti's many informative and entertaining books include "Inventing Reality, The Politics of News Media," "The Terrorism Trap, September 11 and Beyond" and most recently "Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader."
The Modern Media Censorship Lectures are sponsored by Project Censored, Associated Students Productions, Students for Media Democracy, and the Media Freedom Foundation. Tickets are $10, free for students.
For more information, visit www.projectcensored.org/lectures or contact Kate Sims at (707) 664-3160.
Some of the hottest topics in physics and astronomy will be described this fall in Sonoma State University's free public lecture series, "What Physicists Do."
Lectures will be on Mondays from Sep. 8 through Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. in room 103 Darwin Hall. Coffee and cookies will be available in the Darwin lobby at 3:30.
The series will open Sep. 8 with University of California, Berkeley physicist Richard Muller, presenting "Physics for Future Presidents," based on his course voted Best Class at Berkeley. Muller, a onetime MacArthur Fellow, has just published a book with the same title.
The following Monday NASA planetary scientist Carol Stoker will present first results from the Phoenix Lander Mission, now digging into the polar region of Mars.
Two of the speakers are past presidents of the American Physical Society and members of the National Academy of Sciences. They are Marvin Cohen, one of a handful of people to hold the title of University Professor at Berkeley, who will speak on "Einstein, Nanoscience, and Superconductivity" Oct. 27, and Helen Quinn of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, who will describe "The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter" Nov. 10.
Other speakers will present antineutrino physics, doing chemistry one molecule at a time, studies of electronic structure of novel metals, use of the world's brightest beams of gamma rays, advanced solar cells, and the chemistry of planet formation.
The series will conclude with three lectures commemorating the 400th anniversary of the telescope, which was patented in October 1608.
This will be the 76th semester for the series of public lectures. The organizer, SSU professor Joe Tenn, is grateful to the donors who make it possible.
Jim Ford of Cotati was recently named a California State University Alumni Advocate of the Year for his consistent service and commitment to Sonoma State University and the CSU system. Ford was one of 23 alumni advocates chosen from each of the California State University campuses.
Since 1993, Ford has been a principal of The Fifth Resource, Inc., a Cotati, California-based firm committed to helping businesses grow in Sonoma and Napa counties. The company promotes sustainable economic development through good business practices and employment advocacy, and utilizing industrial engineering tools to develop business and facilities plans.
Ford earned his bachelor's of science in industrial engineering from Cal Poly Pomona in 1972 and his master's degree in management from SSU in 1979. He served as president of SSU's Alumni Association from 2000-2001. During that time, he helped plan and create the Alumni Grove, Alumni Amphitheater and Alumni Brick Path on the campus.
In 2004, SSU honored Ford with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his community service commitment. During that time, Ford acted as board chair and advocate for partnership between SSU and the Rancho Adobe Fire District, and helped develop a FEMA grant for more than $300,000 to replace breathing apparatus and other equipment.
ABOVE, Jim Ford (left) with President Ruben Arminana.
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The School of Extended Education's global educational outreach at Sonoma State University flourished this summer with two groups of Korean educators and one group of Korean students participating in a variety of learning experiences.
Twenty-six science teachers from the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education are in the middle of a four-week professional development summer program at SSU. The Program and Academic Director is Dr. Hee-Won Kang, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and she is assisted by Dr. Paula Lane, Assistant Professor of Science Education.
The School of Extended Education is overseeing the management and implementation of all aspects of the program from classroom learning to a variety of tours and visits.
Highlights include an extended trip to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. Another field trip included a guided tour of the Point Reyes Peninsula, Black Mountain, Earth Quake Trail and San Andreas Fault Line. All field trips and scheduled Northern California visits compliment the planned curriculum.
Overlapping the visit is a second group of 25 elementary school teachers of English (or potential teachers of English) sent by The Korean Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education.
Their professional development program focused on studying English teaching methodology with Professor Hee-Won Kang and to improve their English proficiency with faculty (George Dancisak and Cheryl Evans) from the Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) of the School of Extended Education. This successful program, now in its second year, is coordinated by Helen Kallenbach, Director of SSALI.
In addition to their classes on the SSU campus during the four-week schedule, the group has visited San Francisco, including several museums; Sacramento and the state capitol building; The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) where they were warmly welcomed by Dr. Carl Wong, superintendent; the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens; Armstrong Woods, Korbel, and Bodega Bay; and two elementary schools in Petaluma.
They were also guests at SCOE's conference on "Multiple Perspectives on Multiple Pathways" at the Doubletree Hotel.
The third group visiting the SSU campus were nine Korean students from Jeju, South Korea, Santa Rosa's sister city. They attended Session 3 (July 21-25, 2008) of SSU's Excel for Youth program. Coordinated by Deb White, this is the third year that students (with the support of host families) have participated in this dynamic cultural exchange program.
The students took part in such classes as Industrial Scrap Magic, Wetland Detectives and Multimedia. Excel Director, Alison Marks said, "This is not only a great opportunity to mainstream Korean students with American students but an opportunity for our students to gain an understanding of another culture up close and personal."
For more information regarding either group of Korean educators, please contact Dr. Hee-Won Kang at (707) 664-3111 or by e-mail: hee firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above, Korean teachers visit an EXCEL class.
Sonoma State University earned a major "green" rating in a new category developed this year by the Princeton Review in its annual 2009 Best 368 Colleges issue this year. An burgeoning interest among students in attending schools that practice, teach and support environmentally-responsible choices is being noticed by educators across the country.
SSU earned a score of 98 out of 99 and was topped only by 11 other U.S. campuses that included Harvard University, Arizona State University and the University of Oregon.
SSU outperformed ten other California colleges who scored in the 90s - UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Santa Clara University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Stanislaus, Claremont McKenna and Stanford University.
The Princeton Review developed the new rating in partnership with ecoAmerica. The institutional survey for the rating included questions on energy use, recycling, food, buildings, transportation, academic offerings (availability of environmental studies degrees and courses) and action plans and goals concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Sonoma State's efforts towards sustainability include a public commitment to sustainability in its strategic plan and myriad opportunities for students to participate in sustainability research as part of the Green Campus Pilot Program. It also has a highly-regarded Environmental Studies and Planning program and employs a dedicated full-time sustainability officer.
A pioneer in the development of sustainable building projects - both retrofitted and new construction - has made the Rohnert Park campus a leader in the California State University system. Campus architects and engineers now develop new projects according to a LEED silver standard.
A groundbreaking Green Building Certificate program has trained many private citizens and governmental officials how to design and build with sustainable concepts in mind.
Other sustainable facts about SSU include:
58% waste diversion rate
45% of food expenditures go toward local, organic, or otherwise environmentally preferable food
33% of the meals in the dining halls have complete vegetarian options
75% of cleaning products (by total expenditures) are Green Seal certified
25% of managed campus grounds are maintained organically
15% of student trips use alternative transportation such as bicycles
"The green movement on college campuses is far more than an Earth Day recycling project or a dining hall menu of organic food," says Robert Franek, Vice President and Publisher at The Princeton Review.
"The commitment that many colleges and their student bodies have made to environmental issues - indeed, to the environment - in their practices, use of resources, and academic and research programs is truly compelling. It is the students of today who will face and hopefully find solutions for the enormous environmental challenges confronting our planet's future."
Three undertakings that represent SSU's environmental commitment, include:
The Student Recreation Center: sustainable design features, which increase energy efficiency and strive to lessen impact on the environment, includes the extensive use of energy-saving day lighting, clerestories, and skylights; HVAC zones using a high efficiency indirect-direct evaporating cooling system, supplemented by natural ventilation and night-time natural cooling and radiant hydronic floor heating; high-efficiency fluorescent lighting tied to photo-sensors and occupancy sensors; Energy Star appliances; reclaimed water toilets, urinals and for irrigation, low flow faucets; the use of sustainable woods for flooring and many other techniques.
The Environmental Technology Center: incorporates a wide range of sustainable building techniques and features that minimize energy use, consuming less than 50 percent of the energy allowed by the state cold for similar buildings. The "Green Building" features include: passive solar heating and cooling, day lighting, advanced window systems, "smart building" control technologies, photovoltaic, and energy and water-efficient landscaping.
Salazar Hall Renovation: The former University library is now one of the most energy efficient public buildings in northern California and has one of the largest solar panel grids in the region, covering 9,500 square feet with 1,200 panels. In addition to utilizing solar panels in its energy collection, SSU's Salazar Hall also features evaporative cooling features that in the past year supplied conditioned air to 120,000 square feel of classroom and office building with almost no mechanical cooling required. The result of this has been a 70 percent reduction in cost of operations as compared to a traditional efficient mechanical cooling system.
Small classes, a great library, amazing athletic facilities and friendly students were other criteria that helped SSU to be named as one of the "Best 368 Colleges." An outstanding undergraduate education is one of the main criteria for the Prinecton Review's annual publication.
Only 15 percent of the 2,500 four-year colleges in America and two Canadian colleges were chosen for the book. The 368 colleges are determined from assessments by Princeton Review's Vice President of Publishing Robert Franek and a 25-member advisory board.
The company visits colleges across the country and collects information on over 2,000 colleges annually. Students are surveyed in 62 categories, including campus life, financial aide, housing, social and sports interests.
The ranking list in the 2009 edition of "Best 368 Colleges" is based on the Princeton Review's survey of 120,000 students - about 325 per campus on average - and institutional data from each college.
The profile also provides extensive quotes from SSU students surveyed by the Princeton Review staff for the book. Their candid comments on campus life and academics included: " 'it seems like everyone can find a niche'; 'a 'wonderful' psychology program; a business program that 'is very well put together, with very helpful, good teachers'; and 'excellent health care and science majors,' including a unique environmental management and design program."
SSU students also mentioned palace-like dorms, great computer facilities and overall student happiness frequently in their surveys. They also loved the small class sizes at SSU, which allowed for "a very personal connection between the student and the professor."
Among 10,300 college applicants and parents of applicants surveyed by The Princeton Review this year for its annual "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 63% of respondents overall said they would value having information about a college's commitment to the environment.
Among that cohort, 23% overall said such information would "strongly" or "very much" impact their/their child's decision to apply to or attend the school, with a higher percentage of students (24%) than parents (18%) expressing this opinion.
Executive Director of ecoAmerica, Lee Bodner, noted "forward-looking colleges and universities see the alignment between policies that are both good for the environment and good for students," he says.
"The ratings show that there are a huge number of schools of every type and in every part of the country that are going the extra mile to offer a great quality of life and give students a leg up in the 21st century green economy."
For more information, visit Princeton Review.