May 24, 2024 - The 13,000-year human history of the Channel Islands paired with a field trip to Santa Rosa Island is part of CSU Channel Islands’ (CSUCI) 2024 Summer Taste of OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.) The series also includes classes like “Charlie Parker: Jazz Pioneer,” “Primer on Nuclear Perils,” “Inspired Retired” and much more.

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28 for Summer Taste of OLLI, a smorgasbord of 25 single, two-hour classes designed to give adults an idea of what OLLI has to offer. The summer session begins June 10 and lasts through July 18.

“‘Summer Taste’ is always a great way to showcase a diverse range of 25 one-time, two-hour lectures,” said OLLI Program Coordinator Shaina Salin. “This summer in particular, we wanted to try out offering different opportunities for hands-on learning, typically outside of the classroom.”

Classes can be in-person, on Zoom, or hybrid, which is a combination of both, but this summer, OLLI is adding the field trip to Santa Rosa Island, an in-person lab on graphic design, and an in-person session offering insight into what aging can be like by immersing students in an aging person’s shoes through virtual reality.

The two-hour virtual reality class will be on campus on June 13, facilitated by Associate Dean of Extended University Jaime Hannans and Nursing Faculty Emeritus Colleen Nevins.

“This is a touchpoint to help people navigate really difficult situations,” Hannans said. “Whether or not they are health care providers, it gives people some basic education on how to help people in their lives managing aspects of aging.”

Anthropologist and Executive Director of Regional Educational Partnerships Jennifer Perry will present “The Human Story of California’s Channel Islands” and will later co-lead a trip with Political Science faculty Emeritus Dan Wakelee to explore the long and diverse human story of Santa Rosa Island. Wakelee is a member of the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps with a wealth of information about the islands.

Being home to many unique plants and animals, the Channel Islands are well-known for their biodiversity, whereas fewer know about the incredible time, depth and continuity of people living on the islands or the diversity of cultures represented on the islands historically, according to Perry. Channel Islands has been home to ranching, farming, winemaking, fishing, hunting, filmmaking, recreation, and military operations are among many other activities.

“A lot of people don’t realize how important the islands have been and continue to be in terms of our national security,” Perry said. “Different branches of the military have had a presence on every Channel Island. Beginning in World War II, the islands became especially important in terms of monitoring activities in the Pacific Ocean, as well as for trainings and developing new technologies.”

As a political scientist, Wakelee can speak about the politics and policies that have determined the islands’ growth and development—or lack thereof—through the centuries.

OLLI students can let their imaginations travel around the world with courses like “The Art and Architecture of Pompeii,” by Santa Monica College Professor Emeritus of Art and Architectural History Eleanor Schrader; or “A Taste of Botswana: Living with Elephants” by CSUCI Professor of Biology Amy Denton.

Those looking to explore contemporary issues can take “The Big Pharma Drugs that Killed” by CSUCI Professor of Biology Nitika Parmar, “Disinformation and Free Speech” by Jackie Gardina, Dean and Chief Academic Officer at the Colleges of Law, or “Recent Decisions of the Supreme Court” by Carolyn Dorrance, president of the Institute of World Culture at UC Santa Barbara and founding member of Oxnard College.

There are many more courses covering everything from the wonders of the summer night sky to the last of the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution. A full list of courses is available in the Summer Taste of OLLI catalog. OLLI courses are designed for those 50 and up, but all adults are welcome to enroll.

Each two-hour class is $15, or take unlimited hybrid and Zoom classes this session for $60 for

individuals or $90 for couples. There is a $5 New Member Fee for students who have not paid the OLLI Annual Membership Fee between Fall 2023-Spring 2024. Hybrid and in-person classes are located in Camarillo and Ventura.

Beginning May 28, you may register online

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