OLLI=Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Sonoma State University

For those 50 years old or better

Summer & Fall 2021 online series!

PDFs of OLLI lectures will be posted here after each presentation

Click here for more information & to register for OLLI classes

Nicole's Future OLLI Courses through SSU

  • Summer 2021 (August 10th at 10am): Geology of Alaskan National Parks & the Once Beringia Land Bridge (a single class & a good intro to Geology of the National Parks)
  • Fall 2021 (September 15 - October 20): Geology of the National Parks (6-week course)

Week 1: Monday, April 12th

Handout with geologic time scale and layered Earth diagram

Week 2: Monday, April 19th

Handout with Bowen's Reaction Series

Week 3: Monday, April 26th

Handout with rates of volcanism graphs 

Week 4: Monday, May 3rd

Handout with magma chemistry graph

Week 5: Monday, May 10th

Handout with magma mineral diagram

Week 6: Monday, May 17th

Handout with notable eruptions

OLLI Spring 2021

Volcanic Cataclysms

6-week series on Mondays 1-3pm from April 12th through May 17th
This class will be presented online to ensure safety...no worries, OLLI & I are well versed in online teaching these days & strive to build connection and education in a virtual setting. Registration is open!
I have wanted to be a Volcanologist since I was 10 years old. This first time I saw a video of a volcanic eruption I was hooked, and I still am. Earth began as a ball of molten magma, and for more than 4.5 billion years the planet has slowly cooled. The process of planetary cooling causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, each of which marks a time of rapid change on a continuum of constant planetary evolution. This course will investigate the great earth movements that have changed the appearance of earth’s surface and the course of biological evolution. We will focus our investigation on large scale volcanic eruptions and high magnitude earthquakes in volcanically active regions that changed the topography of Earth, and extraterrestrial events that initiated planetary-wide earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. We will explore super-volcanoes that changed the planet, volcanic eruptions that ended & began ice ages, and flood basalt events that are linked to all the great mass extinctions. We will consider how massive volcanism and earthquakes could change the course of human history, just as it has changed the course of biological evolution for hundreds of millions of years. Our planet is built on a foundation of volcanism and when that volcanic activity ceases in the distant future, that may initiate the end life's reign on Earth.

Past OLLI Course I have taught through at SSU

  • Fall 2017: The Dinosaur Revolution: Fossils Finds & Avian Genetics
  • Fall 2018: Catastrophism: How Natural Disasters Have Affected Earth and Human Evolution
  • Fall 2019: Geology of California
  • Spring 2020: Geology of the National Parks (sadly cancelled due to the pandemic but will be offered again Fall 2021!)
  • Spring 2021: Volcanic Cataclysms That Changed The World