Perspectives on Science is a monthly seminar series for science teachers. The seminar typically focuses on recent developments in the guest scientist’s area of expertise, with particular emphasis on those aspects that are of greatest interest and significance to science teachers.  Each POS meeting begins with refreshments at 4:30 p.m., followed by the scientist’s formal seminar presentation beginning at 5:00 p.m. We start out in the Fermanian Business Center (southeast part of campus) and move to Cunningham Dining Room (Nicholson Commons building) for dinner.

2015 - 2016 Schedule

guestOctober 13, 2015:  Dr. John Avise (Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, UC Irvine) 


Seminar Title:  “Inside the Human Genome:  A Case for Non-intelligent Design.”

guestNovember 17, 2015:  Dr. Jules Jaffe  (Research Oceanographer, Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA)

Webpage: and

Seminar Title:  “Adventures in Underwater Microscopy.”

guestDecember 8, 2015: Dr. Al Pisano (Dean, Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego) 



Seminar Title:  "Science and Engineering as a Force for the Public Good."

guestJanuary 12, 2016: Dr. Mike Wallace (Wildlife Scientist in the Applied Animal Ecology Division of CRES, Zoological Society of San Diego; Institute for Conservation Research) 

Webpage:  ​ and

Seminar Title:  "The Highly Endangered California Condor: Its Long Path to Recovery."

guestFebruary 9, 2016:  Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, MD (Chief, Division of Hematology & Oncology; Murray Professor of Medicine; Senior Deputy Director, and Clinical Science Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy & Clinical Trials Office for UC San Diego) 


Seminar Title:  "Precision Cancer Medicine: the Genomics and Immunotherapy Era.”

guestMarch 1, 2016:  Dr. David Nemazee (Professor, Department of Immunology and Microbial Science for The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA) 

Webpage: and

Seminar Title:  “Lymphocyte Learning and the Antibody Response to Microbes or Self.”

guestApril 5, 2016:  Dr. Stephen Mayfield (Director of the California Center for Algae Biotechnology, Co-director of Food & Fuel for the 21st Century, and a professor of Molecular Biology for UC San Diego)

Webpage: and

Seminar Title:  “Photosynthetic Bio-manufacturing in Algae; Food and Fuel for the 21st Century.”

guestMay 10, 2016:  Dr. Ethan Bier (Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology for UC San Diego)


Seminar Title:  "Using CRISPR/cas9 Genome Editing to Usher in a New Era of Active Genetics."

Event Format and Time

Each POS meeting begins with refreshments at 4:30 p.m., followed by the scientist’s formal seminar presentation beginning at 5:00 p.m. The seminar typically focuses on recent developments in the scientist’s area of expertise, with particular emphasis on those aspects that are of greatest interest and significance to science teachers. The seminar is followed by a sit-down dinner, during which time teachers are able to dialog with each other informally in smaller groups about how the concepts of the seminar can be effectively incorporated into their classrooms. The last half hour of each session (7:00 to 7:30 p.m.) is set aside as a time for the teachers and the guest scientist to clarify and exchange ideas that might help facilitate more effective, enthusiastic student learning.

Event Location

POS events take place in the Fermanian Business Center and the Nicholson Commons building on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University. Driving directions and a map of the PLNU campus will be sent to all those who register for the program.

Registration Details

The subscription fee for the POS program is $80 which covers ~1/3 of the annual cost of the POS program per teacher (see "Program Sponsors" link below).  Please use the "Registration/Payment" link below in order to sign up for this year's program.

Academic Credit

Point Loma Nazarene University offers one unit of continuing education credit per year (at a subsidized rate of $75 per unit) to teachers who participate in both the seminar and dinner/discussions of at least seven of the eight POS events (this arrangement may be repeated up to a total of 6 units).  Those who meet the minimum attendance requirement receive a letter and form shortly after the final POS event of the year.   The form includes instructions and a deadline to abide by in order to receive academic credit.  Credit may only be applied for and received within 3 months of receiving the form. 

Teachers who are enrolled in PLNU graduate course BIO692 receive 2 units of credit for POS (1 unit in the Fall and 1 unit in the Spring), pay regular graduate level tuition and are required to fulfill other assignments relating to the POS presentations.  BIO692 students must also pay the $80 POS program subscription fee (see "Registration Details" above).  This fee helps subsidize the cost of meals and various other expenses related to running the POS program.

Program Sponsors

The Perspectives on Science Lecture/Dinner Series has received financial support over the years from several outside organizations and businesses, including:  the CA Science Project, SEASAND-the Science Education Association of San Diego, the Girard Foundation of La Jolla, George's at the Cove, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.   From the outset, the Point Loma Nazarene University Administration provided strong support for POS (~33% of annual operating expenses from 1998 through 2008).   When the financial crisis hit the nation in 2008, the University raised its support level to ~67%.  By 2012, though, the higher level of support could no longer be sustained and the POS program was facing cancellation.   It was at this point that several dozen teachers who were participants in POS began contributing gifts so that the program could continue.  We are grateful to all of these science educators, and especially to Steve Rodecker of Chula Vista High School, whose leadership in this fund raising effort helped save the day.  The future for POS looks bright! 

Need More Information?

Contact Michael McConnell at or LeAnne Elizondo at or 619-849-2205.