earthquake road

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern’s geology lecture series kicks off for 2019-20 when Dr. Susan Hough speaks on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm.  Dr. Hough will present a lecture on “Facts & Fake Facts: What Past Earthquakes Tell Us About Future Earthquake Hazard”.  Dr. Hough comes to Coos Bay as a distinguished lecturer Lectures Series. For nearly two decades, the IRIS/SSA lecture series has enabled world-renowned scientists to travel and speak to public audiences about cutting-edge earthquake and seismologic research.

Dr. Susan Hough graduated with a B.A. in Geophysics from UC Berkley and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from UC San Diego.  Since 1992 she has worked as a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena.  Her research interests include earthquake ground motions, induced earthquakes, historical earthquakes and seismic hazard.  She led deployments of portable seismometers following a number of damaging events including the 1989 Loma Prieta and 2010 Haiti earthquakes. Dr. Hough has co-authored over 120 articles, was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and is the President-Elect of the Seismological Society of America.  In addition to technical articles, she has a long-standing interest in science communication, authoring five books on earthquake science for a general audience as well as numerous popular articles.  She has also led USAID-supported capacity development projects in a number of countries including Nepal, Haiti and Myanmar.

Seismologists spend their lives working to understand earthquakes, including earthquakes caused by human activities, so that we can understand and mitigate the hazard they pose. Fortunately for us all, large earthquakes do not strike frequently in any one place. Many of the most important past earthquakes occurred before the invention of modern seismometers. To understand these events, scientists draw on sleuthing skills to explore all available sources of data. In this talk, Dr. Hough will describe some of the ingenious work that has been done to understand past earthquakes, and the lessons they can teach us about present-day earthquake hazard. She will also discuss evidence that, while earthquakes induced by wastewater injection appeared to be a new phenomenon, there is evidence that humans caused earthquakes in a number of places, including Oklahoma and Texas, as far back as the early 20th century.

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. Artie Rogers (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) on “Forecasting Ground Shaking from Earthquakes Using Supercomputers” on November 8, 2019;  Dr. Sarah Minson (US Geological Survey) for The 15th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture on “Imminent Shaking: What Kind of Earthquake Warning is Possible?” on January 24, 2020;  Dr. Scott Burns (Portland State University) discussing “Radon in Oregon” on March 13, 2020; Dr. Sean Davis (NOAA) on "Lessons at the School of Hard Knocks: From the Ozone Hole to Global Climate Change” on April 24, 2020; and Dr. Ginny Edgcomb (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) an Ocean Drilling Program distinguished lecturer with “Life at the Edge of What is Possible: Microbial Biosignatures in the Lower Oceanic Crust” on May 17, 2020.  Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill Casino-Resort, IRIS/SSA, Ocean Discovery Lecture Series, the Southwestern Foundation, and the College.

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

OCCI team win nationals 2019

Coos Bay, OR – Oregon Coast Culinary Institute’s (OCCI) Student Team traveled to the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) National Convention in Orlando, Florida to compete as the reigning Western Regional Champs. The team was named ACF National Student Team of the Year, and former OCCI student, Reilly Meehan, was named USA Chef of the Year!


Team Members are:

Coaches: Chef Randy Torres, CEC, Executive Director of OCCI

Chef Laura Williams, CEC, Chef Instructor at OCCI


Captain: Brock Mahi

Manager: Vicki White

Bradliegh Best

Marissa Brazell

Grace McKie

Andy Wright

Evan White

Jerry Martinez

Hunter Robbins-Bilow


signature menu item

The field of competition was narrowed to a six-team final event. All teams had one and a half hours to prepare a four-course signature menu. Every element had to be created from scratch. No items on the menu could be prepared ahead of time. Four portions of each menu item needed to be produced for the judge’s scrutiny.


Chef Torres was thrilled with the win stating, “I am so proud of our team, once again they showed the rest of the culinary community that Oregon Coast Culinary Institute is a top ranked culinary school.”   


To learn more about culinary programs at Southwestern please visit or call our admissions office at 541-888-7195.

Southwestern celebrates 58th graduating class

COOS BAY, OR – The Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) hosts its 58th annual commencement on Friday, June 14, 2019.

The 2019 Class includes 359 graduates from 17 states and 5 countries. Graduates will leave Southwestern with a variety of degrees and certificates in science, business, arts and other fields. One-hundred-seventy-three graduates have earned Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer and 17 earned Associates of Science Oregon Transfer degrees. These students will move on to bachelor’s degree programs; 119 will receive Associate of Applied Science degrees; 133 will receive Associate of General Studies degrees; 105 Associate of Science degrees. In addition, 85 students also earned Certificates of Completion in specialized career technical areas.

Eighteen students have obtained bachelor’s degrees and one earned a master’s degree through the college’s University Center in partnership with the Oregon University System. Some students will receive more than one degree.

“Today’s college graduates are motivated and hardworking. This year, our graduating class even includes 16 co-enrolled high school students,” said President Dr. Patty Scott. “Our graduates come from all over Oregon, the Northwest and the world. They are leaving our college well prepared for additional university training and to go to work in high-skill, high-demand industries. We’re pleased to be celebrating their achievement with families and our community,” said Southwestern President Dr. Patty Scott.

Graduates List

Southwestern’s President Dr. Patty Scott will provide the welcoming remarks and introductions. Board of Education Chair David Bridgham and Faculty Senate Chair Ron Metzger will offer greetings. Student Lakota Robison-Sanada will be giving the Commencement Address to fellow students.
Dr. Scott will present the 2019 Distinguished Alumni award to LaMont Swinson, Class of 2000. Dr. Ali Mageehon and David Bridgham will present and confer the Southwestern graduates. Presentation of the University Center Degrees will be made by Dr. Patty Scott and she will then conclude the evening with the tassel ceremony and the presentation of the Class of 2019.

Sign language interpretation will be provided for the ceremony, which is a ticketed event beginning at 12 p.m. in the Coos Campus Prosper Hall gymnasium, 1988 Newmark Ave. Overflow seating is available in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts, where the event will be shown live on the theater screen. The event will also be streamed live on by clicking on the red “Event Streaming” icon on the lower right side of SWOCC’s home webpage. 

Students and families can commemorate their college experience or special individuals by purchasing an engraved Legacy Brick that will be permanently placed in the Henry Hansen Union Square on the Coos Bay Campus. Minimum donations for a 4x8-inch and 8x8-inch brick are $100 and $200, respectively. Proceeds of the Legacy Brick project support the Laker Alumni Association annual scholarship. For details, go to

Coos Bay, OR – Two Southwestern students, Bailee McMahon and Isabella Trifilo-Miley completed their term-long journey in the world of solar physics research last Friday with presentations at the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) SCORE Symposium hosted by Oregon State University. Both students presented research summary talks and posters at the event, completing their projects. Upon completion, they along with other participating students for OSGC member institutions statewide received their $800 stipend checks in an awards ceremony.

Isabella Trifilo-Miley presented work on the effects of solar magnetic field structure on solar X-ray emission. Her analysis included modeling the solar magnetic field before and after large flare events to locate observational signatures of magnetic field changes and flare energy release. Isabella used a combination of X-ray data from the RHESSI spacecraft, magnetic field data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI instrument, and magnetic field modeling.

Bailee McMahon presented her work on the analysis of spatial and temporal relationships between hard X-ray and ultraviolet emission in solar flares observed by RHESSI and SDO/AIA. Her analysis included comparative time history for X-ray and UV emission for the duration of individual flare events alongside spatial comparisons of flare images in each wavelength. To accomplish her work, Bailee analysis X-ray data from the RHESSI spacecraft in tandem with high resolution UV images taken from Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA instrument.

The research opportunities were funded by the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium. The consortium consists of 21 affiliate members from 18 colleges and universities in Oregon along with three informal education affiliates. The consortium is headquartered at Oregon State University, but the affiliates cover much of the state.

For more information, contact Dr. Aaron Coyner at (541) 888-7244 or via email at