Photo courtesy Joe Medeiros
Photo courtesy Joe Medeiros

GRASS VALLEY,  Calif.  September 7, 2016 –  The first Sierra Science Series presentation of the fall semester welcomes Interdisciplinary Scientist, Joe Medeiros, who will give a talk titled: Sierra Superlatives. Superlatives abound in virtually all aspects of our understanding of Muir’s “Range of Light.” This photo-illustrated review discusses the Sierra’s history, natural history, its present status and our concerns for its future.

Sierra College proudly makes its home in three cities within the backbone of California, the mighty Sierra Nevada. The Sierra itself provides rich academic and intellectual resources for the college’s large student population.  For thousands of years the Sierra was the exclusive home for scores of Native American tribes.  They lived here, managed natural resources for their own benefits, and enjoyed a relatively harmonious existence until contact with non-natives from throughout the world.  The Sierra’s popularity, due especially to its rich natural resources resulted in it eventually being overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of “modern” people.  Along with the new arrivals came dreams, demands and technologies that would change the course of history for the range as well as for the entire state.  The Sierra’s dynamic equilibrium had been upset and a new history would be written.

In recognition of the anniversaries of Sierra College (10-20-80) and the significance of the Sierra Mountain range to the college, this photo-illustrated review of the Sierra Nevada includes history and natural history of California’s most dramatic mountain range.  Superlative components of the Sierra abound in virtually all aspects of our human understanding of John Muir’s “Range of Light”.  A picturesque sketch of its major physical and biological features will be presented, followed by a discussion of the Sierra’s highly-abused past and its significantly threatened future.  Issues including pollution, sprawl, forest and watershed management, fire, drought and climate change are primary concerns. Simultaneously, many conscientious and science-driven activities now attempt to restore and sustain the Sierra Nevada that we know and love.

Joe Medeiros is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Sierra College. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Sierra College Press which focuses on Sierra Nevada issues. He was a National Park Ranger in the Sierra and taught college botany and ecology for 35 years. Joe has led thousands of students throughout the Sierra on field trips and lectures, sharing his passion for and concerns for the future of the Sierra Nevada.

The presentation will be held on Tuesday evening, September 13th, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, in the Multipurpose Center, building, N-12. Come early and enjoy a meet-and-greet and refreshments at 6:00 pm. It is free, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The Nevada County Campus is located at 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Parking is $3 on campus and permits can be purchased at the kiosk machine at the main entrance to the campus. For more information about this presentation and others in this series, contact the series coordinator, Jason Giuliani at: Check out other upcoming presentations offered at Sierra College and its 4 campus locations at:

Since its founding in 1936, Sierra College has focused on quality instruction and meeting the needs of the communities that it serves. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California for transfers to 4 year Universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. Our award-winning faculty members enhance their teaching with research, authorship and industry expertise. We are also recognized nationally for excellence in our athletic programs. For more information, visit