Peter Weiss-Penzias on Methylmercury in Fog

This week’s featured video:

How did dangerous methylmercury make its way into Santa Cruz mountain lions? Watch Dr. Peter Weiss-Penzias explain his research on how mercury travels from the atmosphere into and up the food chain. What does it mean for us who live in, and eat the food grown in, foggy coastal areas? Learn more about (and help) Peter’s research:

Grant Hartzog on Disease Transmission

This week’s featured video:

Are you worried about the coronavirus epidemic? While we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the development of a vaccine, watch Grant Hartzog tell this fascinating — and sad — story about a 19th-century Viennese doctor and his fight against deadly germs (spoiler: wash your hands!).
This is a clip from the course Studies in Medicine: Its Art, History, Science, and Philosophy (BIOL 88) that Professor Hartzog developed together with Gregory Gates, MD.

Marlene Tromp on Growth Mindset

This week’s featured video:

Are there times you feel overwhelmed and like you’re *just not cut out for* academic success?
If so, don’t despair and instead watch Marlene Tromp’s disarming elaboration of what growth mindset is, and why we all need it.
May this video inspire you for success in 2020!

Ben Carson on ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

Is the controversy surrounding the holiday season classic justified?
This winter, take some time to enjoy this video of Ben Leeds Carson analyzing the lyrics, music, context, and history of the song ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ — and decide for yourselves.

This video was recorded in December 2018 in response to a current issue and as an accompaniment to the course Popular Music in the United States (MUSC 80P).

You can learn more about Professor Carson and his work here.


UCSC Online Education wishes you a lovely winter break and happy holidays. See you in January!


Susan Schwartz on Mount St. Helens eruption

This week’s featured video:

How can a mountain lose over 1300 feet of elevation in just minutes?
Watch Susan Schwartz’s fascinating retelling of the sequence of events surrounding the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, taken from her course Geology of National Parks (EART 3). If devastating geologic events fascinate you, make sure to check out Professor Schwartz’s other online course, Earthquakes (EART 11).

Read more about Professor Schwartz’s research here.