Southwestern Music Department Announces End-of-Term Concerts

Coos Bay, OR – The Music Department of Southwestern Oregon Community College is pleased to present three end-of-quarter concerts.

On November 30, 2017, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band along with selected soloists will perform an evening of Christmas music at 7:00 pm at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on the Southwestern Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. Their concert will include “O Holy Night”, “Let It Snow…”, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, and “Silent Night” other arrangements of familiar holiday songs. Under the direction of Ida Jo Gates (vocal) and Cameron Jerde (instrumental), it promises to be an entertaining evening, sure to put all attendees in the holiday spirit.

Sunday, December 3, 2017, the Community Choir will continue the tradition of sacred Christmas offerings at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at 3:00 pm. Director David Aaker will lead the choir in favorites “Carol of the Bells”, “O Magnum Mysterium”, and The Messiah selections, to name a few. Soloists Heather Williams, Bill Kendrick, Peggy Maddron and Kerry Oxford will be featured. Additionally, the Gold Coast Barbershop Chorus will perform selections to be announced from the stage. The accompanist for the Community Choir is Lynne Kuhn.

The Community Orchestra will round out the quarter’s concerts on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at the Hales Center at 7:00 pm. With conductor, Don Walden, the orchestra will perform selections from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, with additional repertoire by Albinoni and Rachmaninoff. Heather Williams will be a featured vocal soloist and Heidi Connolly and Walden providing a unique flute and trombone pairing on “Vocalise for Soprano and Strings”

The Head of the Music Department, Ida Jo Gates, cordially invites everyone to attend these free concerts and asks that attendees bring a can of food for the community food bank. Ms. Gates sincerely thanks the North Bend/Coos Bay Rotary Club, the Coos County Cultural Coalition, and Coos Bay Public Library Foundation for their generous gifts and support during our current academic year. Individuals and businesses who wish to support the college’s music program and concerts can contribute at the door or to the Southwestern Community College Foundation on behalf of the music department.

photo of dr roman gomez in laboratory  photo of HPCA instrument  illustration of an artists concept of space

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern Oregon Community College’s popular Geology Lecture Series continues with Dr. Roman Gomez, speaking about “Probing the Secrets of Magnetic Reconnection” at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

Roman Gomez is a senior research scientist at Southwest Research Institute, located in San Antonio, Texas.  He has been employed there since 2007.  In 2011 he completed his studies at Rice University and received his Doctorate in Physics with a specialization in space plasma instrumentation.  In 2012, Dr. Gomez began working on the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) team as the calibration lead for the Hot Plasma Composition Analyzer (MMS-HPCA) instruments used in the mission; four units in all.  When calibration was complete, he transitioned to environmental testing, launch preparation, and eventually to the science team post-launch in 2015.  In addition to participating in research related to reconnection between the magnetic field of the Sun and Earth, he is also working on measuring the composition of the near interstellar medium (NISM) using interstellar neutrals which enter the solar system, and are ionized by the sun on their way to the Earth.

This lecture is sponsored by the NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) program.

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 scheduled this year include: Dr. Justin Rubinstein presenting the 13th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture (Human Induced Earthquakes) on January 26, 2018; Dr. Anne Nolin (Changing Climate) on March 3, 2018; Dr. David Montgomery (Bringing Soil Back to Life) on April 14, 2018; and Dr. Josh Roering (Insight From Geologic “Accidents”) on May 19, 2018.  Additional sponsors of this lecture include DB Western, the Southwestern Foundation and the College. 

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

Shaking and Baking: Using Seismology to Study Volcanoes

McNutt Telica pr   Augustine Rockfalls pr

Coos Bay, OR – Geology Lecture Series at Southwestern

Southwestern Oregon Community College’s popular Geology Lecture Series kicks off this year with Dr. Stephen McNutt, speaking about “Shaking and Baking: Using Seismology to Study Volcanoes” at 7 p.m., Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the Hales Center for Performing Arts.
Seismology is used to study volcanoes in several ways. Seismic tomography, similar to medical tomography, is used to probe beneath volcanoes for their velocity and attenuation structure. This reveals the size, shape and location of bodies of molten rock underground, such as magma chambers and conduits. Models have become more detailed over the years as techniques and data have improved.
One result of such studies is a model of the structure of the volcano. The model then provides a conceptual pathway to interpret the seismic activity that occurs prior to eruptions. A common pattern is an increase first in volcano-tectonic earthquakes caused by increasing pressure in the magma chamber communicated to faults in the rocks nearby. This is followed by low-frequency earthquakes, which are likely related to fluid processes involving magma or water and gases. Third, a continuous signal known as volcanic tremor occurs when magma reaches shallow levels near the vent. Explosions and strong eruption tremor are associated with the eruption. Deep earthquakes sometimes occur as stresses readjust after the removal of magma. Such patterns, together with understanding of physics, have enabled successful forecasts of eruptions over a range of sizes and types.
The strength and character of some eruption seismic signals also provides clues to make near-real time assessments of eruptions while they are in progress. For example, the strength of eruption tremor is proportional to the height of the ash column. Lava fountaining from fissures makes stronger tremor than fountaining of the same height from cylindrical conduits. Magma with more gases makes stronger seismic signals and more fine ash, which can influence the amount of volcanic lightning!
These are the types of questions that Professor McNutt will explore as he discusses how the movement of magma causes volcano shaking and baking.
Dr. McNutt is a professor and head of the Seismology Laboratory at the School of Geosciences, University of South Florida. His research focus is in the field of volcano geophysics, including seismology, infrasound and lightning. Dr. McNutt has studied more than 160 volcanic areas worldwide, and is particularly interested in volcanoes in Alaska and Central and South America. Professionally he served as Secretary General for the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, has served on several committees for the National Academy of Sciences, including the US National Committee for International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, the US National Committee for the Pacific Science Association, and the standing Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics.  Steve earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. 1985
This Lectures Series. For over a decade, the IRIS/SSA lecture series has enabled world-renowned scientists to travel and speak to public audiences about cutting-edge earthquake research.
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 scheduled this year include: Dr. Roman Gomez (study of the Earth’s magnetic field) on December 2, 2017, Dr. Justin Rubenstein (human induced earthquakes) on January 26, 2018, Dr. Anne Nolin (changing climate) on March 3, 2018, Dr. David Montgomery (bringing soil back to life) on April 14, 2018 and Dr. Josh Roering (insight form geologic “accidents”) on May 19, 2018.  Additional sponsors of this lecture include DB Western, the Southwestern Foundation and the College.

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

U.S. economic agency invests $3 million in SWOCC


RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2017   
CONTACT: Elise Hamner   
PHONE: 541-888-7211  

U.S. economic agency invests $3 million in SWOCC

COOS BAY – The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) on Monday awarded Southwestern Oregon Community College a $3 million grant for the Health & Science Technology Building project.

“These improvements to the Southwestern Oregon Community College workforce training facilities will help local workers gain the skills employers in the region need to compete and thrive,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in the announcement.

The federal economic development funds will help pay for building construction, which will include 33,000 sq. feet of modern labs for science, health and nursing programs, along with technology-rich classrooms and a lecture hall.

“Our college has dreamed about this building for two decades and the EDA investment makes this dream a reality for our community,” said Southwestern President Dr. Patty Scott. “Our future students and regional employers will feel the positive impact for many decades.”

The college and regional employers worked together to quantify the project’s impact on job growth and private investment in the funding request to U.S. EDA. They estimate over the next decade the project will lead to creation of nearly 250 jobs, help employers retain 600 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment. With additional space and modern labs, the college will expand enrollment and add new industry-needed training programs, which has not been possible in the current small, 50-year-old facilities.

“The new facility at SWOCC will be a tremendous resource for our area’s rural communities by creating more skilled medical professionals and expanding the educational and training opportunities provided to the South Coast’s students,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, who visited the college campus Monday and announced the award.

The college is moving forward with Opsis Architecture of Portland and HGE Inc. of Coos Bay on the building’s design. Groundbreaking on the Coos Bay campus is scheduled in early 2018, and the building is to be completed in late 2019.

Photo cutline: Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) visited with Southwestern Oregon Community College President Dr. Patty Scott on Monday, Aug. 28, announcing the college received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the Health & Science Technology Building project.


About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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People with questions about equal opportunity and nondiscrimination should contact the Vice President of Administrative Services in Tioga 512. Phone 541-888-7206 or TDD 541-888-7368. All other issues, concerns, and complaints also should be directed to the Vice President of Administrative Services for referral to the appropriate administrator.