During each semester, the Science in Action Seminar Series is held every Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 pm, accessible via THIS link. Please note that the Zoom Link requires a password to join the Zoom Meeting, which can be obtained from your professor or Bryan Swartout. You may also view older Science in Action seminars on our Youtube channel.

This weekly series is presented in partnership with the San Francisco State University Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, the Skyline College Science and Math Division, and the Math, Engineering, Science Achievement Program (MESA).

The seminar series is free and open to the public. The topics vary and are geared not only towards science, but the entire college experience, so we encourage non-science students to attend. Attendance confirmation slips will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you're interested in presenting at the Science in Action Seminar Series, please contact Alyssa Wong-Conway. If you have questions about attending the Science in Action Seminar Series, please contact Bryan Swartout.

Fall 2020 Seminar Schedule

Due to COVID-19 and closure of Skyline College campus, all remaining Science in Action seminars will be held VIRTUALLY until the end of the spring 2020 semester. To join us via Zoom, please click the respective link for a seminar. If you aren't able to watch the seminars live, visit our YouTube Channel, or click the respective link in each seminar description to be taken to a recording of the seminar you're interested in.

Preview our upcoming speaker schedule for this semester

My Educational Journey through Biotechnology

November 3, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Eric Huang | Manufacturing Associate at Pendulum Therapeutics

Eric was a Research Associate at Zymogen after graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Biotechnology. Specializing in Fermentation and Microbiology, Eric has cultured numerous microbes, from strict anaerobes to soil bacteria. His passion lies in solving the intricacies of microbiology and the symbiotic relationship of the microbiota and its host. While in Davis, Eric studied the microbiota of ruminant animals, which led to the unforgettable yet awesome experience of working with a cannulated cow to study the anaerobic fungi and its role in breaking down cellulose.

My Educational Journey and my Past Research Projects

October 27, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Malori Redman | Instructor (Skyline College & San Francisco State University & La Canada)

Malori was born and raised in a small rural town in Iowa, which is where her spark of interest in the weather began. She moved to the Bay Area when she was 15, which broadened her horizons very quickly. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences with an emphasis in Meteorology from San Francisco State University in 2014. After graduation, she took 2 years off to travel the world and expand her horizons even further. When she returned home, she pursued her Master's degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Arizona. After graduating in August of 2018, she returned home to the Bay Area and immediately began teaching at SF State, and later in 2019 at Skyline College. She currently teaches at both colleges and also La Canada.


After a brief introduction to Malori’s journey in the STEM field and the challenges faced while pursuing her degrees, she will go through some of the various research projects that she has had the pleasure of working on. They vary from going to Burning Man in 2013, to atmospheric rivers, to how thunderstorms in the Indian Ocean can influence weather patterns here in the United States.

Panel Discussion: Black Minds in STEM Matter!

October 20, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Marie-Ange Eyoum Tagne, Elizabeth Turner-Grays, Kolo Wamba, and Kenyatta Weathersby   

Despite it being 2020, STEM continues to have a serious diversity problem, and Black minds continue to be grossly underrepresented, mainly as a result of historical and structural inequities that continue to plague our society and the world.  Join us as we reflect on the personal journeys of four Black  STEM professionals who are making important contributions as faculty here at Skyline and as engineers and engineering executives in the industry.  We will have four panelists, as follows:

Marie-Ange Eyoum Tagne, PhD  Dr Eyoum Tagne is a veteran tech leader with 15 years of experience in product management and innovation in consumer electronics. She is currently a Lead Product Manager at Roku.Inc.  She received her Master’s and PhD in degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley with research expertise on the advanced process engineering of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems). When she’s not being an engineering executive, she enjoys spending time with her husband and beautiful toddlers (Zoey, 4 and Ian, 2).

Elizabeth Turner-Grays Elizabeth Turner-Grays, who goes mostly by “Liz,” hails from the San Diego area.  She has been a Test Engineer for almost 20 years. She has worked in various industries, although the majority of her experience has been in mobile. She is very excited to take part in this forum and looks forward to an illuminating discussion with all of the participants.

Kolo Wamba, PhD Having first come to Skyline College as an adjunct in the Spring of 2018, this Fall marks Kolo’s first semester as a full-time instructor of physics.  Prior to this, he worked at various R&D jobs at different tech companies around California.  He received his PhD in applied physics from Stanford University.  When he’s not doing physics he enjoys spending time with his family.

Kenyatta Weathersby, MS Prof Weathersby received his Master’s degree in Statistics from CSU East Bay.  He joined the Skyline College faculty as a full-time instructor of mathematics and statistics in the fall of 2017 and is currently part of an effort to create a Data Science program of study at Skyline. Prof Weathersby is an active participant in the Umoja-ASTEP and BAM groups.

 **The panelists would like to respond to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link 

Trying to Understand our Universe - The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) in the Search of Dark Matter

October 13, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux | Instructional Aide II - STEM Center  

Mayra is an Instructional Aide at the STEM Center of Skyline College and holds a B.S. in Astrophysics from San Francisco State University. She is now working on her Aerospace Engineering master’s project at San Jose State University. Mayra moved to San Francisco as a young adult and studied English and her general education at Skyline College and College of San Mateo. Her professional background includes observational and particle Astrophysics research in dark matter detection and the application of Artificial Neural Networks on orbital astrodynamics at SJSU, SFSU, Berkeley Space Science Laboratory, and Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory.


During this presentation, Mayra will tell us about her experiences through school and research, and how she was able to stay on track despite the challenges she encountered. She will also give us a deeper description of her favorite research experience, participating in the integration of the General Antiparticle Spectrometer Prototype (GAPS), which led to the next step of her academic path.


My Journey to Environmental Engineering and the Use of Electrochemistry to Remediate Contaminated Groundwater

October 6, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Andrea Naranjo | UC Berkeley Master's Graduate 

Andrea has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Before moving to the United States, she lived in Colombia, where she saw many communities not having access to clean air and water, food, and sanitation. This experience motivated her to find ways to help low-resource communities have access to safe drinking water.  Currently, she is part of Dr. Gadgil's lab, working on the scale-up of low-cost remediation technologies for contaminants present in groundwater. 


After giving an introduction on her journey, Andrea will give a summary of some of the projects she has been working on in Dr. Gadgil's Lab. She will mainly present on her current project, which consists of the design and distribution of a procedure for making a disinfecting solution at a low-cost.  

Wildfires: Can We Predict Their Destructiveness? 

September 29, 2020 | *4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Nery Barrera | UC Berkeley Master's Graduate (Skyline College Alumnus)

Nery Barrera is a senior research associate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Nery started his higher education in Skyline college. In Skyline, he collaborated as a peer tutor at the learning center and TRiO, besides volunteering at the MESA center. He then transferred to UC Berkeley in 2016, where he graduated with a BS in environmental engineering. He then obtained a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in May of 2020, with a focus on fluid mechanics and water resources management, also at UC Berkeley.

Nery has participated in several research projects at UC Berkeley and the Berkeley National Lab. Today he will present his research about wildfires in California. This research aims to use weather data to calculate a weather index on the day that destructive wildfires occurred. We will explore his journey on data analysis, and get to know more about his research to determine if an occurring wildfire has the potential to become destructive.

*Today's event is meeting earlier to accommodate our speaker's schedule. 

From Dirty (Log) Books to Finding Dirty Data: The Impact of Benford’s Law

September 22, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Bryan Swartout | Program Services Coordinator-STEM Center

Bryan Swartout is currently the Program Services Coordinator for Skyline College's The STEM Center. His higher education journey started at Lake Tahoe Community College before transferring to Occidental College where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 2013 (Mathematics Major/Computer Science Minor). 

Bryan will present his former research project (from Occidental College) about Benford’s Law: a statistical phenomenon regarding numerical data pulled from real-world observations. We begin with the phenomenon’s discovery by Simon Newcomb in 1881, and follow its development until finally proven by Theodore Hill in 1995. It’s story sheds light to some of the best parts of math: taking what seems to be an innocuous observation and developing deep insight into a profound and effective tool to help navigate this current world dealing with fake news and fake data. 

Aerospace Engineering

September 15, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Meeting Link 

Samneet Singh | Project Engineer, Jacobs Engineering Group

Samneet was born and raised in Punjab (India), moved to California during high school. He is a former community college student who transferred to San Jose State University and finished a Masters (2019) in Aerospace Engineering. His future plans include pursuing an MBA after gaining a few years of experience in the industry. During his Master’s career, he designed a two-seater electric aircraft that runs completely on the electric power. The research was selected and presented at the 4th Annual International Conference on Mechanical Engineering in Athens, Greece. Currently, he is working as a Project Engineer with Jacobs Engineering Group since 2017.