An incredible history of life is preserved in the many kinds of rocks that occur in Orange
County. These rocks range from 180 million years to the present time in age and contain
an abundance and a wide diversity of plant, animal, invertebrate, and microorganism
fossils. The rocks were formed far to the southeast (up to 400 miles) and moved
northwesterly from about Sonora Mexico to their present positions along the faults of the
San Andreas system in just the last 25 million years. The environments have changed
drastically too. All of these make a dynamic land- and seascape where life succeeded.
Dinosaurs roamed the land far to the east but a few were deposited in OC, invertebrates
flourished over the 180 million years, while vertebrates dominated on the land and in the
sea where marine mammals (whales, seals, walruses, sea cows, and extinct groups) were
diverse. And then people arrived perhaps as long ago as 13,000 years. Dr. Lipps will
recount this history as documented in the collections of the John D. Cooper
Archaeological and Paleontological Center, Santa Ana.
Jere H. Lipps studies a broad range of paleontologic, geologic, archaeologic, marine biologic, and astrobiologic problems. He is particularly interested in the effects of climate change and sea level rise on the people, past and present, of Southern California, the processes of evolution and extinction of marine animals ranging from single-celled foraminifera through reefs to marine mammals and the origin of animals more than 500 million years ago. He employs a combination of field, lab and molecular biology techniques to examine many aspects of these problems, and has worked in over 100 countries and all continents. This work has resulted in over 500 publications on geologic, biologic, general science, and historical topics.Jere completed a PhD in Geology at UCLA, taught on the faculties at UC Davis (Geology) and UC Berkeley (Integrative Biology). After 42 years, he retired from Berkeley where he had served as Chair of IB, Director of the Museum of Paleontology and The Berkeley Natural History Museums. In 2012, he was invited to become Director of the new John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center, a partnership between Orange County and Cal State Fullerton to manage and utilize the County’s collection of artifacts and fossils for the benefit of the people of the County. Jere’s academic career included teaching “Biology and Geology of Tropical Islands “ at Moorea (sister island to Tahiti) for many years, “Field Paleontology” at various places in California, Baja California, and Oregon, “Astrobiology: The Search for Life in the Universe”, “Introduction to Oceanography”, “Paleobiology”, “Marine Geology”, and other courses in biology and earth sciences. In each of these classes, climate change and its consequences through time was a topic of study. He mentored over 60 Master’s and PhD students working on a variety of subjects in marine biology or paleontology. He was Chair of two departments and Director of two research institutes at Davis and at Berkeley. In 2011, he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Georgia where he taught a course on “Climate Change”. Jere was a Visiting Scientist at the British Natural History Museum, London, the French Museum of Natural History in Paris, The Paleontological Institute in Moscow, and the Christiansen Research Center in Madang, Papua New Guinea, and he served as a visiting professor at Aarhus University in Denmark and Tubingen University in Germany. He is also currently Professor Emeritus and Faculty Curator in the Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley.
Address: Please contact an SCGS officer for directions to the Cooper Center!
Meal: Regular or Vegetarian meals
Complimentary tea and coffee will also be available