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Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s popular Geology Lecture Series continues with soils expert Dr. Scott Burns, speaking about "Terroir of the Wine Country of Southern Oregon: Relationship Between Soils, Geology, Climate and Wine"  at 7 p.m., Friday, March 10, 2017 at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts.

A professor emeritus of geology at Portland State University, Dr. Burns specializes in engineering and environmental geology, soils, geomorphology, Quaternary Geology and terroir.

Dr. Burns received his bachelor and master’s degrees from Stanford and PhD from the University of Colorado. He has taught in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana; and is author or co-author of two books, more than 80 articles and 200 published abstracts. His broad-reaching research topics are diverse, analyzing landslides, debris flow, radon and earthquake hazard mapping, heavy metals and trace elements in soils, loess stratigraphy, slope stability, Missoula Floods, bio-geomorphology (pocket gophers, tree throw, and ants) and alpine soil development.

Of his many honors, Dr. Burns received the Public Service Award from the Geological Society of America (GSA) given annually to a member who reaches out to the public about geology, Meritorious Service Award (2006) from the Engineering Geology Division (EGD) of GSA. He has won many other awards for outstanding teaching, with the most significant being the Faculty Senate Chair Award at Louisiana Tech University in 1987, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the PSU Alumni Association in 2001, and the George Hoffmann Award from PSU in 2007. He actively helps local TV and radio stations and newspapers bring important geological news to the public.

On Saturday, March 11, 2017 Dr. Burns will make it a Terroir weekend by participating in a Winemakers’ Dinner, featuring an evening with Abacela Winery and Vineyard founder and owner Earl Jones, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) on Southwestern’s Coos Campus.  This Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation event will feature OCCI Chef Shawn Hanlin’s cuisine paired with six Abacela wines. Jones and Dr. Burns will share the story of the creation of one of Oregon’s oldest wineries and the soil science in growing wine grapes. Seating is limited and tickets are $150 per person with all proceeds going to support the Health & Science Technology Building project.Tickets are available by contacting the college’s Foundation office at 541-888-7211.
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  Continuing sponsors of the lecture series include DB Western, the Southwestern Foundation and the College.
Additional talks scheduled in the series this year include:  Dr. Mark Tveskov (Southern Oregon University) discussing “The Archaeology of the Rogue River War” on Saturday, April 15  and concluding with Dr. Carolyn Porco (UC Berkley) with “Cassini to Saturn:  The Journey and the Legacy” on Saturday, May 20.  For additional information, please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.

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Coos Bay, OR – The Music Department at Southwestern Oregon Community College is pleased to present its Winter End of Term Concert series from March 6, 2017 to March 9, 2017 at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on the Southwestern campus.  Celebrating 53 years of music at Southwestern, the concerts are free and open to the public and will begin at 7:00 pm Monday Wednesday & Thursday with Tuesday’s concert starting at 7:30 pm.

On Monday March 6, the Southwestern Symphonic (Community) Choir, under the direction of David Aakre and accompanied by Southwestern piano instructor Lynne Kuhn, will perform a variety of works from the traditional large choir repertoire including traditional spirituals and works by Morley, Thompson, and others.
On Tuesday March 7, The Southwestern Community Orchestra, under the direction of Don Walden will perform a variety of works for orchestra, including works by various composers like Bedrich Smetana, and others.
On Wednesday March 8, come join us for an evening of western art music as the Southwestern Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ida Jo Gates, will perform several works for small chamber choir.  In addition, several voice students of Ida Jo Gates will perform solo works by a variety of composers representing the classical, romantic, and 20th century music genres.
Finally, on Thursday March 9, come join us for an evening of Vocal Jazz as the Southwestern Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Ida Jo Gates, performs a variety of works for swing choir.
While all these concerts are free and open to the public, the music department will be accepting donations to help pay for our upcoming trip to New York City in order for our Instrumental & Vocal Jazz Ensembles to perform at the New York City Jazz Festival at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem from April 7 – 10, 2017!
For more information on these concerts or how you can help our student groups get to New York City, please contact Mike Turner (Professor & Director of Music) at the Southwestern music department, phone: 541-888-7242, or

“Teaching Bronze” Exhibit at Southwestern

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Coos Bay, OR – The Art Department at Southwestern Oregon Community College is proud to announce that "Teaching Bronze", an exhibit of bronze sculpture by Tom and Linda Walsh will run February 13 through March 20, 2017 at the Eden Hall Fine Art Gallery, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. This exhibit coincides with "River of Bronze", a large group exhibit of bronze sculpture by northwest artists at the Coos Art Museum (CAM).

Tom and Linda Walsh are professors emeritus, having retired from teaching careers at Southern Illinois University and San Jose State University, respectively. Tom Walsh's work plays with simple found elements that combine to evoke deep psychological, symbolic, and mystical meanings. Linda Walsh's work uses abstract web-like textures and structures to explore ideas of network, feminine spirit, and connectivity.
The influence of these two educators has rippled across the country, touching the lives of many artists and influencing much American bronze casting in the late 20th and early 21st century. Academic bronze casting got a boost in places like San Jose State and Southern Illinois, and the students and visiting artists who interacted with these programs have become a national diaspora of bronze artists, some of whom are represented in "River of Bronze” at CAM.
"Teaching Bronze" will run through March 20, 2017 at the Eden Hall Fine Art Gallery, Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay campus. Exhibit hours are 9 am to 5 pm, Monday - Friday, and by appointment. For more information contact James Fritz at 541–888–7322 or

Laker Teddy Bear Toss Benefits Children at Bay Area Hospital

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Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Junior Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Associated Student Government (ASG) will hold its second annual “Teddy Bear Toss” benefiting the Pediatric Unit and the Kids’ HOPE Center at Bay Area Hospital.

The event will be held during the men’s basketball game, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2017. The Southwestern Lakers will play the Portland Community College Panthers at the Southwestern campus, Prosper Hall Gym, 1988 Newmark Avenue, Coos Bay, OR 97420

Spectators of the game are encouraged to bring new Teddy Bears or stuffed animals and toss them on to the court during the halftime presentation. The stuffed animals will be collected and donated to the Pediatric Unit at Bay Area Hospital and the Kids’ HOPE Center. Each individual who brings a new stuffed animal will receive 1 free ticket into the game.
The teddy bear toss assists the hospital in providing a toy to pediatric patients while admitted at Bay Area Hospital. This can help ease the anxiety and fear of being hospitalized.

“It’s these extra touches that make a child’s day in the hospital a little more comfortable and enjoyable. You can’t imagine the difference a gift can make to a hospitalized child.”  – Amanda Bemetz, RN Pediatrics
Teddy Bear Toss Promotional Flyer

About Bay Area Hospital:
Bay Area Hospital has been serving the South Coast since 1974.  Bay Area Hospital offers advance care in a wide range of medical specialties.  Board-certified physicians, a compassionate staff and up-to-date technology make Bay Area Hospital your first choice for medical excellence on the Oregon Coast.  Bay Area Hospital offers all private rooms and services that include the new Bay Area Cancer Center as well as interventional cardiology at the Prefontaine Cardiovascular Center, robotic-assisted surgery and hyperbaric wound care.
About the Kids’ HOPE Center:
Supported by Bay Area Hospital and other organizations, The Kids’ HOPE Center in Coos Bay brings Healing Outreach Prevention & Education to children who have been abused and need a friendly, non-threatening place to divulge their painful stories. Children meet with caring adults who will protect, reassure and advocate for them.