Skip to Site Navigation | Skip to Local Navigation | Skip to Content

Cabrillo Extension Classes
History and Nature

astronomy class

Backyard Astronomer


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 10 & 17
6:30 - 9:30 pm
Room: 707

Register by Sept. 8: $58
Register after Sept. 8: $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.


Three North Coast Railwalks: 25 years of Industrialization and the Davenport Line

Come join us for three day-long hiking installments on the railroad line between Davenport and Santa Cruz. We will explore how two railroad companies combined to create the most intense 25-year industrial explosion in Central California. The course will begin with an illustrated lecture followed by three days of hiking the line. Subjects included will be the impact on cement manufacturing, logging, bitumen mining, agriculture as well as the ethnic diversity of the North Coast.

Walking Distance: Approximately 4 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.

Participants will receive a letter & map with the details about where to meet and what to bring.


Friday, Sept. 19 (7 – 9 pm) – NEW ROOM! 435- Lecture

Saturday, Sept. 20 (9 am – 5 pm) – Davenport to Laguna

Saturday, Oct. 4 (9 am – 5 pm) – Laguna to Wilder

Saturday, Oct 25 (9 am – 5 pm) – Wilder to Santa Cruz

Register by Sept. 8: $150
Register after Sept. 8: $165


register online

Sandy Lydon,Historian Emeritus from Cabrillo College, has written and lectured widely on the history of the county’s railroads and the North Coast. He has been teaching at Cabrillo College since 1968.


Return to the Epicenter: A Journey to Ground Zero - 25 Years Later

On the warm, still afternoon of October 17, 1989, at 5:04 PM, deep in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, the earth directly below quite literally exploded. Shock waves radiated out interrupting the World Series, collapsing freeways, and crumbled buildings and lives many miles distant. When the dust finally settled, the landscape resembled a war zone: entire hillsides had collapsed sending huge redwood trees down into Aptos Creek, boulders as big as cars had crashed down through the forest, and the forest floor was a jumble of broken limbs and treetops. On the silver anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, we will take the opportunity to reflect on what happened and whether or not we’re prepared for the next big one.

Back to the Epicenter!
How does it look above the epicenter 25 years later? The area most affected by the earthquake is only legally accessible on foot. Gary Griggs and Sandy Lydon will be guiding an expedition and providing lectures to those wishing to see the effects of the passage of time.

This program is suitable for participants aged 18 and above.

Bring liquid and lunch.

Participants will meet at 10 am in Aptos Village and be shuttled to White’s Lagoon.

We will hike approximately three miles to the epicenter. This is a 6-mile roundtrip hike with numerous elevation changes and uneven ground.

Participants will receive a letter with a map and additional important information.

Prices includes: round trip shuttle, escorted hike to the epicenter, AND the Saturday night lecture.

Fri., October 17
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Meeting Location: Aptos Village
Register by Sept. 8: $100
Register after Sept. 8: $110


register online

Gary Griggs & Sandy Lydon - see bios below


Are We Ready to Rumble? The Lessons of Loma Prieta

An illustrated lecture by Gary Griggs and Sandy Lydon exploring the history of the the earth- quake and its local physical and psychological effects.

  • What have we learned?
  • What have we done?
  • What can we do?

Sat., October 18

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Room: 450

Register by Sept. 8: $18
Register after Sept. 8: $22


register online

Gary Griggs has been a geology professor at UCSC since 1968 where he is presently a Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Sandy Lydon is Historian Emeritus at Cabrillo College where he has taught since 1968.


The California Condor

Join us for a combined illustrated lecture session regarding the biology and life history of North America’s largest bird species, followed by a field trip to prime wild condor viewing habitat in Big Sur. Our program also reviews the many faceted effort to restore this magnificent species in California, Arizona and adjacent Baja California of Old Mexico.

Sat., September 27 NEW DATE!

10 am - 4 pm
Participants will meet at the Visitor Center at Big Sur Station south of the Big Sur River and State Park

Register by Sept. 8: $42
Register after Sept. 8: $48

Follow this link California Condor Class Information for a map and detailed information about the location of the class.

register online


Bruce Elliott - see bio below


The Maya Civilization of Old Mexico

A comprehensive introduction to one of the most advanced human cultures in the “new World” (A.D.300 to the early 1400’s).

We chronicle origins and known history by means of complicated glyphs carved into stone walls of palaces and royal tombs. We will show you how the on-going process of deciphering them leads to our recovery of a political history and dynastic theology. By means of a slide show, we’ll travel to many of the restored Mayan city-state sites such as Coba, Chichenitza, and incredible Palenque. We examine daily peasant life and extravagant royal ritual ceremonies, continual inter-state warfare and sacrifices, as well as trade, belief patterns, and cosmic beliefs.

Also, we will learn the unique Maya ‘Long Court’, a mathematically sophisticated 20-point system that quickly and easily permits one to compute totals in the hundreds of millions, and be rewarded for your achievement with real Mayan money!
Join us for a few short hours in the Yucatan with one of world history’s most fascinating and still mysterious entities.

Sat., November 15

10 am - 2 pm
Room: 1605

Register by Sept. 8: $24
Register after Sept. 8: $28


register online


Bruce Elliott - see bio below


The Biology of the Whales

This program features an illustrated review of our local whale population. Life histories of those likely to be found while cruising on a local whale- watching boat trip will be reviewed. Included will be ‘great whale’ species such as Blue, Humpback, Gray, and less commonly found species as Sei, Fin, and Orca (‘Killer Whales’). Many smaller, but no less interesting form of dolphin and porpoises are Dall’s, Risso’s, Pacific White Sided, and Right Whales, Dolphins will also be reviewed.

Recommendations for prime opportunities to access local whale-watching trips will also be provided and recordings of whale ‘songs’ will be played.

Sat., December 13

10 am - 1 pm
Room: 1605

Register by Sept. 8: $24
Register after Sept. 8: $28


register online


Bruce Elliott - is a retired senior Biologist Supervisor for the California Dept. of Fish and Game. He is a skilled field trip leader who conducts a variety of tours and explorations of the area's natural resources.


Sea Otter Adventures

Enjoy a slide show, lecture and discussion about the fascinating lives of Monterey Bay’s sea otters. In this class, you will learn what their long struggle to survive can teach us about our own past, and what we can do to assure a sustainable ocean for the future!

Enjoy stunning images of their daily activities, review recent litigation over the expansion of their range, some history of the great sea otter hunt, and take a brief look at some of the extraordinary adaptations these creatures have undergone in evolving from land to sea.

Sat., Sept. 20

10 am - 12:30 pm
Room: 1605

Register by Sept. 8: $25
Register after Sept. 8: $28


register online


Kim Steinhardt, JD, photographs and studies sea otters, and writes a regular column called “The Sea Otter File,” dealing with all things otter. He is a popular presenter, leading natural and cultural history walks and lecturing on sea otters at Seacliff Beach and New Brighton State Parks.



    Was this page helpful?    
Blackboard Online Learning System WebAdvisor  iTunes Cabrillo Library Facebook Icon Twitter Icon YouTube

© 2013 Cabrillo Community College District

Campus Safety | Accessibility

Main Campus, 6500 Soquel Drive Aptos CA 95003, 831.479.6100