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.

what's coming up next?

Shasta Lily by Tom Hilton"The History of Botanical Exploration on Mount Shasta" with Alison Varty on November 20.

The 2014/2015 COS Speaker Series continues its fifth season with "The History of Botanical Exploration on Mount Shasta,“ presented by College of the Siskiyous biology instructor Alison Varty on November 20th.

Majestic Mount Shasta has caught the attention of explorers and natural historians for more than a century. The presentation will be historical and botanical in nature, highlighting the discoveries of early and modern botanists who have explored Mount Shasta. We will get to know the explorers themselves while highlighting their plant discoveries and impressions of the mountain. 

Alison Varty earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science degree in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She taught at Loyola University in Chicago before joining the faculty at COS.  Since 2009, she has taught Biology and Environmental Science courses at COS while trying to get to know the vast and impressive natural areas of Siskiyou County.

"The History of Botanical Exploration on Mount Shasta“ will be presented on November 20th at 7:30 PM
in Room 201 of the new Science building on the Weed campus. All COS Speaker Series presentations are open to the public and free of charge.

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. For more information about past and upcoming presentations, bookmark our website:

Image description: Lilium washingtonianum, known locally as Shasta Lily. Image by Tom Hilton.

2014-2015 schedule

Bruce Johnston - Trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest
Alison Varty - The History of Botanical Exploration on Mount Shasta

Maria Fernandez - Travels in Cuba
Dennis Freeman - Mount Shasta Collection
Mike Graves - Drone + GoPro Camera Demo and Talk

John Muir"Trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest" was the first COS Speakers Series’ event of the 2014-2015 academic year, and subsequent presentations will explore topics ranging from cultural and historical Mount Shasta to a music-themed evening talk.

During the academic year events in the series will typically begin at 7:30 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

The 2014-2015 academic year marks the fifth 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 by Sherry Ackerman
  2. Geologic History and Potential Hazards of Mount Shasta by Bill Hirt
  3. Matching 'Healthspan' to Lifespan by Michael Altman

Fall 2011-Spring 2012 presentations:

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

Fall 2012-Spring 2013 presentations:

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

Fall 2013-Spring 2014 presentations:

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

Fall 2014-Spring 2015 presentations:

  1. Trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest by Bruce Johnston

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