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history and nature

Cabrillo Extension Classes
History and Nature

 


Backyard Astronomer

 

night sky

Learn how to identify the stars and constellations seen in our local skies in this fun hands-on workshop. Using the Cabrillo planetarium and observatory you will see the wonders of the universe and learn about astronomy history, methods, equipment, and recent discoveries. Get a sense of distances to planets, stars and galaxies. Learn about Black holes, dark matter and the expanding universe.

Participants should dress warmly for outdoor observation at the observatory. In case of rain or fog, class will assemble in the planetarium.

This class is appropriate for students aged 10 to adult.

2 Fri., October 23 & 30
6:30 - 9:30 pm
Room: 707

Register by Sept. 14: $58
Register after Sept. 14: $65

 

register online

 

Karl von Ahnen has been an amateur astronomer and telescope user since age 12. He served as lab instructor-assistant in the Cabrillo Astronomy Department for many years, and is the Director of the Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College, one of the largest school planetariums in the country.

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RailWalks with Sandy Lydon


A continuation of a series of walks along the Santa Cruz Branch railroad lines conducted with the approval of the lines’ owner, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC), and the Iowa Pacific Railroad, the railroad that has leased the line. These courses are designed to give you a background on the history of Santa Cruz County railroads, and, the Santa Cruz Rail Road, locally-financed and completed in 1876.

Walking Distance for each class: Approximately 5 miles each day. Moderate difficulty with several steep trails.

This program is suitable for participants aged 18 and above. Participants will be responsible to provide their own transportation.    

 

Railwalks Combo: The Rio Del Mar-La Selva Transect, The Oak Forests and Sloughs Transect AND The Watsonville – Pajaro Transect

Sun., August 23, August 30 and September 13
9:30 am - 6 pm
Fee: $180    

 

register online

For more infromation about these classes, please see Sandy Lydon's Central Coast Secrets web page

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The Rio Del Mar-La Selva Transect: Aptos Village to Manresa State Beach

We will begin in Aptos Village and head east (downcoast), and enter the suburban, 1920s neighborhood of Rio Del Mar. We will discuss Rio Del Mar’s history as we stroll through a completely invented, humanized landscape as the line angles, slowly toward the immediate coast. This walk has some of the most stunning coastal views in the county. We’ll end at Manresa State Beach.

Walking distance approximately 5 miles each day. Moderate difficulty with several steep trails.

Sun., August 23
9:30 am - 6 pm

Fee: $75

 

register online

For more infromation about these classes, please see Sandy Lydon's Central Coast Secrets web page

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The Oak Forests and Sloughs Transect: Manresa State Beach to Highway 1 overcrossing

This section of the Santa Cruz Branch Line traverses some of the most isolated parts of the county. We will be hiking through oak forests and across sloughs that cannot be accessed any other way except on the railroad line. This is also the place where the Watsonville-Santa Cruz rivalry call still be seen. Where F.A. Hihn attempted to get his revenge on the voters of Watsonville who did not support the railroad. The views on this segment are stunning.

Walking distance approximately 5 miles each day. Moderate difficulty with several steep trails.

Sun., August 30
9:30 am - 6 pm

Fee: $75

 

register online

For more infromation about these classes, please see Sandy Lydon's Central Coast Secrets web page

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The Watsonville–Pajaro Transect: Highway 1 overcrossing to Pajaro

This final railwalk takes us through the agricultural-industrial heart of Watsonville. We will then slide down Walker Street, cross the Pajaro River and into Monterey County and into Pajaro. Lots of history in this one—immigrant history as Pajaro was Watsonville’s “Ellis Island.” Immigrant came into Watsonville from Pajaro. Chinese, Japanese, Croatians and now Latinos all came through here.

Walking distance approximately 5 miles each day. Moderate difficulty with several steep trails.

Sun., September 13
9:30 am - 6 pm

Fee: $75

 

register online

For more infromation about these classes, please see Sandy Lydon's Central Coast Secrets web page

Sandy Lydon is a certified Road Way Worker and has been a Cabrillo history faculty member since 1968. He has written widely on the history of the railroads in Santa Cruz County and was a consultant for the Smithsonian on the landmark exhibit titled “America on the Move.

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The Day our Rebel Died: The 60th Anniversary of James Dean’s Last Day


A Day-long Bus Adventure an Anniversary Commemoration at Cholame where James Dean was killed in an automobile accident on September 30, 1955.

James Dean was our rebel. For those in high school in the mid-1950s, as the character Jack Stark in the movie “Rebel Without a Cause,” Dean represented the tormented teenager whom we believed ourselves to be. Though his three major films were released soon after his death, the films amplified the loss we felt. The clothes that Dean wore in Rebel became our uniform: jeans, white t-shirt and red windbreaker with upturned collar.

In the comfort of our deluxe motor coach, we will travel south through the Salinas Valley with historical visits along the way. We will join a gathering of other James Dean aficionados at the James Dean Memorial for an outdoor commemoration and barbecue complete with 50's music.

Come join us on a chartered bus as we flay open the town and dissect it for you.
We will be taking a number of off-bus strolls of exploration.

Lunch: There will be a no-host tri-tip barbecue at Jack Ranch Café, the location of the James Dean 60th Anniversary Commemoration. You may purchase lunch at the barbecue, or you are welcome to bring your lunch if you have dietary concerns.

Transportation: Deluxe motor coach with restroom and video. We will watch some clips of “Rebel Without a Cause” during the day.

Course is not appropriate for children under 21.

Registrants will receive maps and supplemental materials.

Sat., Sept. 26

10 am - 6 pm (There will be two pick-up locations. See below)
Two pick-up locations:
10:00 am - Cabrillo College Aptos Campus
10:30 am - Cabrillo College Watsonville Campus

Register by Sept. 14: $95
Register after Sept. 14: $110

 

register online

 

Sandy Lydon - see bio below

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Another “Actual Hollister”


You think the New Yorker Magazine knows Hollister? Come Experience “Another Actual Hollister” through the Eyes and Mind of a Haybaler Homeboy.

Have you read the New Yorker’s version of Hollister? Now see the town through the eyes of Homeboy Sandy Lydon during a day-long bus adventure. If you haven’t seen the article, please Click Here for a direct link.

Maybe Hollister is in the Central Valley when seen from New York, but Sandy Lydon knows better. And so do you. Often dismissed as that place “where the motorcycles took over” and there are “earthquakes every day” and it’s “hotter than hell in the summer” we will separate the myths from reality and show you a complexity and diversity you never imagined. Most Hollisterites don’t even know the incredible history of this quirky town, much less folks out in New York.

Come join us on a chartered bus as we flay open the town and dissect it for you.

We will be taking a number of off-bus strolls of exploration.
Participants should bring a lunch and liquids as we’ll be having a picnic.
Transportation: Deluxe motor coach with restroom and video. We will watch some clips of Hollister’s iconic moments.

Course is not appropriate for children under 21.

Registrants will receive maps and supplemental materials.

Sat., Oct. 11

9:30 am - 6 pm (There will be three pick-up locations. See below)
Three pick-up locations:
9:30 am - Cabrillo College Aptos Campus
10:00 am - Cabrillo College Watsonville Campus
10:30 am - San Juan Bautista

Register by Sept. 14: $95
Register after Sept. 14: $110

 

register online

 

Sandy Lydon grew up Hollister and graduated from Hollister High School and is proud to be a Haybaler. He never strayed far. Even after joining the Cabrillo faculty in 1968 he continued to research and write about the history of San Benito County and has led many field trips to its far corners. He also subscribes to the New Yorker and when the July 20th issue arrived with the article about “the actual” Hollister, he knew he had to prepare a response.

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The Bears of the World


Much of what passes for fact about bears in reality is not so: bears do not hibernate; most bear species (even your grizzly bear) have no difficulty climbing and even spending a considerable part of their time well above ground in tree tops and bears, even polar bears, are not strict carnivores.

Join us for a fun evening of “bare” facts as we examine bears from their prehistoric fossil origins (if you believe grizzlies are formidable, wait until you take a look at cave bears!). We examine our world, tropical bear species, as well as our own loved bear of Monterey County Los Padres National Forest. You’ll learn a great deal if you bear with us.

Thu., August 20

7 pm - 9:30 pm
Room: 403
Fee: $32

 

register online

 

Bruce Elliott - see bio below

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Biology of Whales and Dolphins, and the Lives of Monterey Bay

 



Our program will begin with a 3-hour boat trip onto the Monterey Bay on the comfortable Blue Ocean whale watching boat to search for seasonal whale and dolphin species over the famous Monterey submarine canyon.

After the boat excursion, we will adjourn ashore for a 1.5 hour lunch break, then reconvene in the Seminar Room of the adjacent Moss Landing Marine Laboratory for a 2-hour illustrated review of pacific west coast cetacean species, aspects of their biology and a review of their often tragic relationship with mankind.

Both the morning sea conditions during September, and the presence of cetacean species should be optimum and comfortable.

Bring your binoculars and/or camera to enjoy close-up observations and unique photography opportunities while learning about the individual species.

Check the Class Resources web page for a class location map, directions and meeting location.

Sat., Sept. 26

8:45 am - 3:15 pm
Room: Moss Landing Marine Laboratory
Per Person: $85
Per Couple: $150

 

register online

 

Youth aged 16 & Under: $58

 

register online

 

Bruce Elliott - see bio below

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Carrizo Plains

California’s newest high desert reserve is nestled between the Temblor and Caliente mountain ranges of eastern San Luis Obispo County.

This quiet tableland of plains, rugged canyon and sprawling Soda Lake hosts populations of recently reintroduced pronghorn antelope and Tule elk (absent from the area since the beginning of the century), as well as smaller predatory mammals, kit fox, jackrabbit and the endangered kangaroo-rat and antelope squirrel. In the winter, the desert basin hosts thousands of birds, waterfowl, sandhill cranes, mountain plover and raven.

A location map and are available on the Class Resources web page. Participants will meet in the California Valley just east of the Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo County and form carpools for the daily activities.

Sat., Dec. 5

9 am - 6 pm
Off-site in the California Valley
A detailed map is available on the Class Resources web page.

Register by Sept. 14: $64
Register after Sept. 14: $
72

 

register online

 

Bruce Elliott is a retired senior Biologist Supervisor for the California Dept. of Fish and Game. Bruce has conducted dozens of natural history themed presentations at Cabrillo College over the last 30 years.

 

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