A tour of the Mojave Desert from the Perspective of a Herpetologist

Please join us May 7, 2018 at 7 pm as we tour the Mojave Desert with Dr. Joshua Parker from Fresno City College.

The Mojave Desert is the driest and hottest desert in North America. As such, virtually all of the organisms that inhabit it have had to adapt to one of the most hostile climates on the planet. Most people tend to think of deserts as being wastelands devoid of life. Quite the contrary…most deserts are teaming with life! Although it is a desert, its habitats are quite varied ranging from lava beds, sand dunes, and rugged canyon systems, to lush riparian warm springs and parched scrublands. Each species has uniquely adapted to their own niche among the variety of habitats. We will take a visual tour of these habitats and species of reptiles and amphibians through the lens of my camera. There are roughly 65 species of reptiles and amphibians that have made the Mojave Desert their home. This tour of the Mojave is based loosely on D. Parker’s book “Reptiles and
Amphibians of the Mojave Desert: A Field Guide.”

Who: Dr. Joshua Parker, Fresno City College

When: Monday, May 7, 2018 at 7 PM

Where: Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N. Maroa Ave, Fresno, CA

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GMOs and Transgenic Organisms – Threat or Opportunity?

Join us on Monday, April 2, for a panel discussion of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  GMO crops have increased globally from 4 acres in 1996 to over 400 acres in 2016, but this rapid increase has slowed considerably in the last two years.  Part of this slowing trend is saturation (more than 90% of the soy and cotton grown in the US is genetically engineered), part is legislation (many countries strictly limit transgenic organisms)  Until recently, it required expensive research infrastructure and expertise to genetically modify organisms.  But in 2015 a new technique, CRISPR, emerged that can make genetic modification child’s play.  Monsanto obtained the first license to use CRISPR to modify crops in 2016.  How will CRISPR change how we make and use GMOs?  Will CRISPR spark a renewed increase in GMOs?  What are the ecological and health implications of GMOs and CRISPR?   Bring your questions to our panel experts.


  • Dr. Alejandro Calderón-Urrea (Plant Developmental Biologist; Dept. Biology; California State University Fresno)
  • Dr. John Constable (Plant Physiologist; Dept. Biology; California State University Fresno)
  • Dr. Jorge M. González (Entomologist; Dept. Plant Sciences; California State University Fresno)
  • Dr. Chris Meyer (Biochemist; Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics; California State University Fresno)
  • Dr. Tricia Van Laar (Microbiologist; Dept. Biology; California State University Fresno)

Where: Santa Fe Basque3110 N. Maroa Ave., Fresno, CA

When: April 2, 2018, at 7:00 PM (Arrive early for dinner!)image

Divided to Death: A Psychological Account of the American Political Rift

Please join us Monday March 5, 2018, at 7 pm for a seminar presented by Dr. Spee Kosloff, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Fresno State. Dr. Kosloff will examine motivational factors at the heart of the ever-expanding political rift in contemporary American society. At the center of this discussion is a common denominator that creates uncanny degrees of anxiety and division: the fear mortality. Research on terror management theory suggests that unconscious concerns with death motivate individuals to cling to their ideologies – much as children cling to security blankets. At times of major existential insecurity, entire societies can thus be rendered intensely politically polarized. The psychological instability created by 9/11 set in motion a sequence of events beginning with unified national identity, and followed by divisive political chaos that persists today. Dr. Kosloff will review historical and laboratory evidence relevant to these phenomena, and examine whether realistic conscious acknowledgement of death anxiety may ameliorate aversive trends in our socio-political landscape.

Who: Dr. Spee Kosloff

When: Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7 pm

Where: Santa Fe Basque, 3110 N. Maroa Ave, Fresno