Coos Bay, OR –  Southwestern Oregon Community college is pleased to welcome Andrew Greenberg of Portland State University, faculty mentor for the Portland State Aerospace Society (PSAS), as our first Physics and Astronomy lecturer of the year on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Greenberg will detail the project that the PSAS team has undertaken to create Oregon’s first satellite. What is OreSat? What is its mission? How do students and community members from across the state get involved with communicating with a satellite in space? This talk will give insight into what goes into launching a small satellite and why scientifically we should still conduct experiments from space.

Andrew Greenberg is the Chief Technical Officer at The TOVA Company. At Portland State, he primarily helps operate the Laboratory for Interconnected Devices, a rapid prototyping lab. He also serves as a faculty mentor for the Portland State Aerospace Society, a student engineering project group in the Masseh College of Engineering and Computer Science.

For more information of this event, please contact Dr. Aaron Coyner, Physics Instructor, at (541) 888-7244 or email This event is free and open to the public and takes place on the Coos campus of Southwestern at 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

Coos Bay, OR –  The Southwestern Physics Experimental Atmospheric Research (SPEAR) student group will be conducting a high altitude balloon launch from Henry Hansen Square (the quad) on the Southwestern Coos campus (1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay), Friday, November 16, 2018. The students will be collecting meteorological data and tracking the balloon as it ascends. The data will be used to help the students gain insight into the behavior of our atmosphere, and the effects of upper atmosphere temperature and humidity variations on our surface weather.

Launch activities will begin at 2:00 pm. Those interested in viewing the launch are welcome to contact Dr. Aaron Coyner at (541) 888-7244 or to obtain more information.


Dr Pfeffer Headshot Credit James Balog

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern’s geology lecture series partners with the “State of the Coast” conference to welcome Dr. W. Tad Pfeffer on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Pfeffer will present a lecture on “Projecting Real Sea Level Rise: Moving From Global Assessments to What You Might Actually Experience”. Dr. Pfeffer is a glaciologist, geophysicist, and photographer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned his Bachelor of Science at University of Vermont, Masters of Science at University of Maine, and PhD at University of Washington. He has done field research for more than 30 years in glacier regions of the world, ranging from Alaska to Antarctica and the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Dr. Pfeffer also leads the long-term study of Columbia Glacier, on Alaska’s South Central Coast, one the world’s most extensively studied and most rapidly changing glaciers.  

In the past decade, Dr. Pfeffer’s research focus has shifted to include global assessments of glaciers and ice sheets, their response to environmental change, and their contributions to sea level. This has led to work on the full spectrum of natural hazards and the role of scientific research in decision-making on natural hazards. In these capacities he has served as an advisor to the United Nations Environmental Program, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, and was a Lead Author for Chapter 13 (Sea Level Change) in the IPCC Fifth Assessment/Working Group I.  Dr. Pfeffer was also a member of the National Research Council Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Washington, and Oregon (2010-2012) and is presently the Editor in Chief of the new Oxford Handbooks Online series in Natural Hazard Science

Tad is also active in photography of glaciers and landscapes, using imagery for both description and analysis of glacier changes.  In addition to scientific publications, his photographic work has appeared in exhibitions in the Boulder/Denver area, in American Scientist, GEO (Germany), Geotimes, BBC television productions, and in the movie and book, An Inconvenient Truth, by Nobel laurete Al Gore.  Dr. Pfeffer’s book, The Opening of a New Landscape: Columbia Glacier at Mid-Retreat was published by the American Geological Union.  Tad was also a team member/scientist in the production of the documentary film Chasing Ice.

Geology Lecture Series talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.  For those not able to attend in person, all lectures are Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's web site at  Additional talks in the series for this academic year include:  Dr. Frederick Simons (Princeton), an IRIS/SSA distinguished speaker on November 30, 2018; Dr. Lucy Jones (The 14th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture) on January 25, 2019; Dr. Shannon Kob (Idaho State) on undersea volcanoes and the search for extraterrestrial life on March 2, 2019; Dr. Julia Reece (Texas A & M) an ODP distinguished lecturer on April 13, 2019; and Dr. Stephen Palumbi (Stanford) on extreme life in the sea on May 17, 2019.  Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill, the Southwestern Foundation, and the College. 

For additional information, please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.

Southwestern SBDC seeks business mentors

COOS BAY, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting a Lunch and Learn for people interested in becoming small business mentors. The event is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at the center, 2110 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

Mentors are local individuals who have extensive experience as a business owner, entrepreneur, executive or manager. These mentors share their knowledge, skills and experience with budding entrepreneurs, small business owners and managers. Only 30 seats are available for this Lunch and Learn event. To register go to or call the Southwestern SBDC office at 541-888-7026.

“The Southwestern SBDC is looking for individuals who are passionate about local business and are able to effectively communicate and assist entrepreneurs in seeking out and taking action on new opportunities,” said Dr. John Bacon, Executive Director of the Office of Community Engagement at the college and Director of the Southwestern SBDC.

Southwestern’s SBDC is part of the Oregon SBDC Network providing practical guidance for small business long-term profitability. It focuses on assisting South Coast communities with retention and expansion of established businesses. Additionally, SBDC staff and mentors offer specialty services to local people who own businesses and start-ups, with a goal of strengthening and supporting an entrepreneurial culture.