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Masters Series, an adult education program of the Pasadena Senior Center, is designed to increase understanding of national and international issues, the arts, other cultures, the community, and the individual. With a focus on “understanding,” courses are presented by local university faculty and experts. Each term provides a wonderful opportunity for learning and discussion.

Logo Women AuthorsThe Masters Series is funded
in part by a generous grant from
the Pasadena Literary Alliance

Masters Series Winter Term 2018

2018 Winter Term
Tuesdays, January 9 - March 6
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
$120 Full Series
$15 per Lecture

Climate Change: An Urgent Threat?

Everyone has an opinion about climate change. Is it real or isn’t it? In January and February of 2018 we’re dedicating the Winter Term of the Pasadena Senior Center Masters Series to digging out the facts. Former Harvard professor John Odell will discuss what he feels is the impending threat posed by climate change and the steps we should be taking right now to defend ourselves. Joel Haber, a former post-doctoral fellow at Cal-Tech will examine the 50-year battle for hearts and minds between the scientific community, the public and many government leaders over whether climatic change truly exists. Want to know what was in the United Nations’ 2015 Paris agreement? What will be the effects of President’ Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of it? What are China and other national and local governments doing? How could global governance be improved? We’ve got the people who know the answers. If your questions are about things closer to home, Peter Kalmus of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will show us how to reduce our personal carbon footprint and strike a personal climate revolution, which is a good thing to do whether climate change is a civilization-ending threat or not. Craig Hover, heeding a keen interest in renewable energy, will have a hydrogen-fueled car on display for his January 16 lecture. Professor Memper-Drumm will explore how all the products we use will be designed with sustainability in mind and what that will mean for businesses. Dr. Jeremy Pal of Loyola Marymount will share his research on the impact of heatwaves, flood and drought in for habitability in California and places abroad. Professore Adkins of Caltech will present his studies on the problem of rising CO2 in the atmosphere. Because even if we get rid of all car and industry emissions tomorrow, temperatures will continue to rise. We need the help of new processes, based on old and new technologies, to completely solve the problem. These sessions will take place on Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. For more information, contact Pam Kaye at (626) 685-6766 or



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John Odell

John Odell
Professor Emeritus of International Relations, USC
An Urgent Threat and a Powerful Potential Remedy & What Is the World Doing to Address Climate Change?

John Odell

John Odell hails from San Antonio, he served as a US Army Lieutenant 1969-1971, and holds a doctorate in political science. He was a member of Harvard University’s faculty from 1976 through 1982, and from 1982 until 2012 he taught and wrote at the University of Southern California. He directed USC’s Center for International Studies and its School of International Relations. From 1992 through 1996 he served as Editor of International Organization, a leading academic journal of international relations. He is the author or co-author of 3 books, co-editor of 3 others, and author of many research articles and commentaries. His research and teaching have concentrated on the governance of the world economy--why governments and international organizations do what they do on issues such as trade, exchange rates, debt, and climate. He co-directs the Fixing Climate Governance Project at the Centre for International Governance Innovation ( He attended the conferences of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima in 2014 and Paris in 2015, which produced the historic Paris Agreement.

John Odell has conducted field research in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as well as the United States. He has worked as a visiting fellow in the office of the US Trade Representative, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, and the Graduate Institute for International Studies, Geneva. Many institutions have invited him to lecture--in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, China, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and the United States. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State, the Ford Foundation, the Asia Foundation, and the Council of the Americas. In Mexico he helped train diplomats for effective economic negotiation. He speaks Spanish and lives in Pasadena, California. More information can be found at his web page at

Joel Haber

Joel Haber
PhD Inorganic Material Chemistry, Caltech
Why People Don’t Understand that Climate Change Threatens Humanity

John Odell

Dr. Haber earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry specializing in Inorganic Materials Chemistry. His 25 years of active research in academia and industry has focused on discovery of new materials and new methods in materials synthesis, particularly for solar-energy conversion and storage. As a concerned citizen and member of several community organizations, he has sought to understand why there is such a disconnect between the scientific community and much of the non-scientific community on the issue of climate change.

Craig R. Hover

Craig R. Hover
Speaker on Global Warming, Renewable Future and Sustainability
If We Act Soon We Can Stave Off Extinction and Preserve Our Lifestyle

John Odell

Craig R. Hover is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years of engineering, project and facilities management, financial services and consulting experience in independent business and traditional corporate settings. He believes that aggressive development of renewable energy sources is necessary for us to successfully meet the challenges of today’s national and global environment.

Craig received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Fullerton campus. He also did post-graduate work in nuclear engineering at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Heeding an early interest in renewable energy, Craig studied solar system design in the 1980s at ARCO Solar, an early pioneer in the photovoltaics industry.

Craig’s experience in the electric power industry came during his tenure at Southern California Edison, during which time he was part of the engineering team that built the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station south of San Clemente, California. While there, he was head of the environmental compliance program for nuclear safety equipment.

Following this, Craig became the general superintendent at the Santa Anita Racetrack horseracing venue in southern California and was in charge of engineering, construction, and maintenance of the facility. Craig was also a project manager with McDonald’s Corporation wherein he was in charge of building and remodeling restaurants in southern and central California.

Now retired from “active duty,” Craig writes and speaks on the subjects of global warming, a renewable future, and sustainability.

Craig is a member of Climate Resolve, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, the California Hydrogen Business Counsel, and drives a hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle.

Peter Kalmus

Peter Kalmus
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution

John Odell

Dr. Peter Kalmus is a scientist studying clouds and climate change at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (speaking on his own behalf). He holds a PhD in physics from Columbia University and has over sixty peer-reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Kalmus has cut his emissions to below a tenth of the US average. His new book is Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution.

Heidrun Mumper-Drumm

Heidrun Mumper-Drumm
ArtCenter At Night / Graphic Design / Product Design

Heidrun Memper Drumm

Heidrun Mumper-Drumm teaches courses that explore the potential for art and design to address pressing environmental, social and economic challenges. Using ''form, function and sustainability'' as a benchmark for creative practice, the student artist/designer learns how to evaluate environmental impacts, apply sustainability best practices and optimize product life cycles. Professor Mumper-Drumm is ArtCenter''s Director of Sustainability Initiatives and advises the student-led EcoCouncil. She is a Fellow of the Partnership of Academic Leadership for Sustainability and Vice President of ico-D, the International Council of Design. She leads research, conducts seminars and workshops, speaks about life cycle thinking, and occasionally is able to work on a letterpress project.

Jeremy Pal

Jeremy Pal
Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jeremy Pal

Dr. Jeremy Pal received his AA from Santa Monica College in 1991, BS in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 1994, and MS and PhD Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997 and 2001, respectively. He is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at LMU where he teaches a variety of courses related to hydrology and water resources as well as climate change and sustainability. Prior to joining the LMU faculty in 2006, Dr. Pal worked as a research scientist in the Earth System Physics Group for the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy, an agency that operates under the UNSESCO umbrella with the mission to foster the growth of research in developing nations. He was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He also has experience with various consultancies including the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office in Ethiopia and the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology in Singapore.

Dr. Pal has over 20 years of experience in the field of climate change and its impacts on water resources and the hydrologic cycle; extreme climatic events including flood, drought, and heat waves; agriculture; and human health. Other areas of expertise include the impacts of land cover and landuse change on surface climate and the role of land surface conditions in the prediction of flood and drought. To assess and project these impacts, he employs a variety of complex numerical models, including earth system, hydrologic, wetlands, and water resources management models, as well as analyzes a number of surface and satellite observational datasets. He was the co-lead developer of the ICTP Regional Climate Model, one of the most internationally recognized and used models. He has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, including in top journals such as Nature Climate Change and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; as well as several book chapters and consultancy reports. Furthermore, he has delivered numerous invited presentations on the topics of his research.

Jess F. Adkins

Jess F. Adkins
Smits Family Professor of Geochemistry and Global Environmental Science

Jess Adkins

Professor Adkins focuses on geochemical investigations of past climates using corals, sediments and their interstitial waters; Rate of deep ocean circulation and its relation to mechanisms of rapid climate changes; Metals as tracers of environmental processes; Radiocarbon and U-series chronology. Chemical oceanography.

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Phone: (626) 795-4331
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Pasadena Senior Center
85 East Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103