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Anacortes Senior College

Our Classes

Exploring Washington’s Geology


with Eugene Kiver

Calendar Jan 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

A short introductory course that covers the geologic development of the State of Washington over the past 1800 million years. Examples of geologic sites in all parts of our state will be covered in an illustrated lecture format. Included will be plate tectonics, the Northern Rocky Mountains; Columbia Plateau; Cascade Mountains (and our local volcanoes); Salish Sea and San Juan Islands, and the Olympic Mountains. The final session may be a field trip. No prior geologic training is necessary.

Instructor: Eugene Kiver, Ph.D., R.G.Dr. Kiver graduated from Case-Western University in Ohio and later earned his doctorate in Geology from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He taught Geology for 34 years at Eastern Washington University in Cheney and conducted an active research career that emphasized landforms and surface processes. One of his major interests is the Missoula Floods story that he has researched over 30 years. He has co-authored three books: “Geology of U.S. Parklands”; “On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods”; and his most recent book: “Washington Rocks!”

Full Course

Genealogy and DNA


with Susanna Epler

Calendar Jan 31, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 3 weeks

In this introductory overview of genealogy research techniques and DNA testing:

• We will cover how to research and build your family tree using online and traditional resources.

• We will explain the three different types of DNA tests, and demonstrate what your DNA results mean.

• We will then explore and demonstrate ways to use your DNA results to expand and verify your family tree information.

Every class will include lecture, discussion, and hand-on activities. Students are encouraged to bring their laptop if they have one.

Note: This class is 3 weeks, starting January 31.

Instructors: Susanna Epler & Betty Tartas

Susanna Epler has a B.A. in Biology from Agnes Scott College and an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Georgia. She has taught many areas of science, including genetics and cell biology and she was the Science Curriculum Specialist for the Renton School District for 21 years.

Betty Tartas is a retired elementary school teacher who has lived in Anacortes since 1986. She is a graduate of Western Washington University, with a B.A. in Sociology, and Elementary Education/Special Education. Genealogy became her passion in 2001; since then she has successfully researched and verified her own family tree going back over a thousand years and she has helped many other people find their ancestors and explore their DNA.

Full Course

Guns: Fundamentals, Rights, and Laws


with Alan Brewer

Calendar Jan 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Gun control and ownership rights continue as an area of public debate, but many people feel their lack of knowledge about how guns work limits both their understanding of the issues involved and their credibility when stating their views. This course is intended to give you enough knowledge to maintain your credibility in these discussions. The first half of the course covers how guns work, the different types of guns and ammunition, and an overview of how to use guns. The second half covers the constitutional foundation of the right to keep and bear arms, and then the set of federal laws and Supreme Court decisions that set the current boundaries of civilian gun ownership. We will end with a discussion of the issues surrounding current gun violence statistics, and gun issues in general.

Instructor: Alan Brewer Alan learned to shoot when he was 9, and has kept learning about guns ever since. His knowledge of guns has allowed him to maintain credibility in all the conversations he has had regarding gun ownership and controls. He is retired, and spent most of his career as a technical support engineer and a writer of technical documentation. In both roles he learned how to logically present complex information in a way that enables people to quickly understand confusing issues. He has two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Business Administration.

How Metalwork Changed Civilization


with Paul Thorne

Calendar Jan 10, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Metals have been worked by humans for over 5,000 years. Without metal tools, hardware, utensils, and weapons, civilization as we know it would be stalled in the Stone Age. The overall impact of metals on civilization, starting with copper, then bronze and finally iron, will be presented. Of all the metals, iron has had the most profound impact on our lives. Blacksmiths are the individuals who work iron into useful objects. This is the story of blacksmiths – their knowledge, metals, skills, tools, and place in history.

Instructor: Paul Thorne Paul is a master blacksmith with over thirty five years’ experience in industrial, architectural, and artistic forge work. He currently teaches blacksmithing through group and private classes at his Anacortes studio. You can view his work at

Inside North Korea


with Mark Wenzel

Calendar Jan 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

This course examines the political, social and economic life of North Korea. We will study the formation of the North Korean state and the forces that have driven it in the last 70 years. As the U.S. government seeks an agreement with North Korea to address nuclear weapons and regional security, this course provides important historical and current context. Topics will include arms development, gulags, education, propaganda, diplomacy, food insecurity and more. The class structure will include videos, in-class readings, small and large group discussions.

Instructor: Dr. Mark Wenzel Dr. Mark Wenzel has served as school superintendent in Anacortes for five years. Mark earned his doctorate from the University of Washington in education leadership and master’s degrees from UW (Asian Studies) and London School of Economics (political communication). He lived in Korea for six years and has a lifelong interest in North Korea.

Full Course

Managing Tree and Garden Pests


with Robert Gara

Calendar Jan 10, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

Maintaining gardens and trees in the PNW is a beautiful and rewarding endeavor. On occasions, however, the attractiveness of these back-yard-sites is degraded by insect, mite, abiotic effects and pathogens. This course delivers a working knowledge of: (1) basic entomology, (2) pathology and (3) ways to manage pest outbreaks within the principles of Integrated Pest Management. We also will touch on the use of biocides and how they are registered for safe use… but the notion of pesticide safety is likewise presented so that their use or non-use may be better understood.

Instructor: Robert Gara, Ph.D. [Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Washington] Bob earned a BS in Forest Management at Utah State University. He later worked in East Texas as a forest manager for Kirby Lumber Co. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Entomology are from Oregon State University. He directed a research lab for the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Texas, taught forest entomology at the State College of Forestry at Syracuse University, was a Fulbright Scholar in Chile, Venezuela & Ecuador, and, in 1968, came to the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington. He retired to Anacortes in 2006.

Three Good Movies


with Mark Lundsten

Calendar Jan 10, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 6 weeks

We will watch Three Good Movies in weeks #1, #3, and #5; High Noon, a 1952 western; Tootsie, a 1982 comedy; and The King’s Speech, a 2010 drama. In weeks #2, #4, and #6, we’ll discuss the movies and study them by re-watching some of the scenes. All three films include seasoned actors, directors, writers, and crew, all won Oscars, and all were box office successes. In six weeks, we will learn not only how three good movies are very distinct, but also how they are very similar.Please note: the sessions for weeks #3 and #5 will end between 5:30 and 6:00 pm in order to watch all of the two longer movies. All the other sessions will end at 5:30 pm.

Instructor: Mark Lundsten  Mark received a BA in English from Pomona College and then spent many years working as a commercial halibut fisherman in Alaska, during which time he made his first movie. Since retiring from fishing, he has made a few more of them. His last short film The Bath played in many film festivals and won a number of awards. Mark also conducted the Second Sunday Film Series in Anacortes.

Understanding Insurance: Auto, Home, & Beyond


with Michael Mast

Calendar Jan 10, 2019 at 3:30 pm, runs for 3 weeks

Do you really understand your personal insurance policies? This is a basic explanation of your auto & home insurance. We’ll be using down to earth terms, delving deeper into key terms, coverage, and the in/outs of the insurance business.

Note: This class is three weeks on 1/10, 1/17, 1/24

Instructor: Michael Mast  Michael graduated from Western Washington State College with a BA in History. He has served Anacortes as a State Farm agent for 47 years. He has received multiple awards for his insurance work over the years.

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