Science, Research & Technology

Upcoming Courses


The former Curator of Mammals at the San Diego Zoo will share highlights of his animal expeditions.

Tuesdays, Feb 14, 21, 28, TBD - UR Campus
The war in Ukraine has led to increased thinking about the unthinkable: the possible use of nuclear weapons. This class will focus on nuclear weapons in the post-WWII era. Specifically, we will cover the technical and policy debate surrounding development of the Hydrogen bomb, Russia's development of nuclear weapons, domestic and international controls, and efforts to dramatically reduce numbers of strategic and tactical nuclear warheads.

Tuesdays 2/14, 2/21 & 2/28, TBD - UR Campus
FIELD TRIP This traveling exhibition explores the causes and forces that sparked the Space Race, a decades-long rivalry between the United States and the USSR. In addition, The Virginia Museum of History and Culture has worked with NASA Langley Research Center to create a complementary exhibition that tells the story of Virginia's contributions to the exploration of 'the final frontier.' Because of the tour costs, fees for this class are non-refundable.

Friday April 21, Virginia Museum of History and Culture
Friday May 12, Virginia Museum of History and Culture
This course will cover the notable changes in iOS 16 and new iPhones released in September 2022. However, the main focus will be on using the camera, photos, financial, and other essential apps. An iPhone updated to iOS 16 is recommended for this class.

Mondays and Thursdays, Feb 23, 27, Mar 2, 6, 9, Synchronous Online
A young man in a young nation, John James Audubon had the ambitious goal of painting all the birds of America, life-sized. He labored without success for years, suffering personal rejection and financial ruin, as he discovered new species, studied their habits, and left a warning for future generations. This course will focus on Audubon's life and world, a time of explosive growth and rapid scientific and technological change.

Tuesdays 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, TBD - UR Campus
The class is designed to enhance your cell phone photography while traveling. We will cover improving cell phone images regardless of brand or model, editing cell phone images and available features on the iPhone.

Mondays, Feb 6 and 13, TBD - UR Campus
Designed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and facilitated at the grassroots level, the Great Decisions program highlights eight thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing Americans each year. The 2023 Great Decisions videos and briefing book serve as the focal material for the class. It is strongly recommended that students purchase the briefing book and read the relevant topic before each class. To purchase the briefing book visit

Wednesdays, Feb 8, 15, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, TBD - UR Campus
Released in theatres in 1933, 'King Kong' initiated the American monster movie. Ninety years later, Kong still elicits admiration for its technical innovations, debate about its meaning, and even a few screams, and it is ranked by The American Film Institute as one of the 50 greatest movies ever made. We will view the film, examine the stories and people behind its creation, and consider the movie's cultural and historical context and continuing legacy.

Mondays; 2/6, 2/13 & 2/20, TBD - UR Campus
This course covers ways in which students can use Microsoft Word more efficiently and with greater confidence. We will go beyond a list of shortcuts to cover some 'hidden' features that could be helpful to beginners and advanced users alike.

Every day, starting on 05/04/23 and ending on 05/04/23, Synchronous Online
Since the development of CRISPR technology 10 years ago, there has been a revolution in biology, medicine, and agriculture because we can now modify the genetic makeup of any organism, including ourselves.

Tuesdays; January 10, 17, 24, 31 February 7 & 14, Synchronous Online
Moral disagreements are tearing the fabric of American society apart. In this series, David Smith will provide an overview of moral theories in circulation today, including relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, deontology, divine command theory, and virtue theory, and he will apply these theories to abortion, war, end-of-life questions, and gun control. Lectures will include commentary on both the ethical and legal aspects of these issues.

Wednesdays; 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/01, 2/08 & 2/15, Synchronous Online
Let's explore outdoor and wildlife photography around Richmond and Virginia. The presentation will provide local photographs, information on places to go, the right time of day and conditions to take your best photos. Come learn non-technical tips on taking photos with cameras ranging from an iPhone to other camera types. We'll end with an overview and photos of Richmond's urban wildlife populations from some easily accessible locations and the best times to view them.

Tuesday 4/4, TBD - UR Campus
Ever since Copernicus proposed that the earth revolves around the sun, science and religion have sometimes found themselves at odds. This course will explore some of the key developments, discoveries, theories, and philosophical viewpoints of science and how they may or may not relate to religious faith in the Judeo-Christian tradition as well as other faith traditions.

Tuesdays; 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/28 & 4/4, TBD - UR Campus
This lecture will provide an overview of the DNA testing conducted by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in the Department of Forensic Biology. It will also highlight OCME's response and role in 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday 4/6, Synchronous Online
In order for us to be able to settle back and enjoy a movie today, inventors from around the world and over a period of literally hundreds of years had to solve three key technological challenges. What were those challenges, and who are the people who solved them?

Fridays;1/27, 2/03, 2/10, 2/17, TBD - UR Campus
The course explores the science of the atom and modern physics at a level accessible to the layperson. Topics include atomic structure, binding energy, nuclear reactions, radioactive decay, Einstein's theories of relativity, quantum theory, elementary particles, the Higgs boson, and string theory. The course starts with a review of what we actually know and how we know it and moves on from there to the theories that try to tie it all together.

Fridays 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, TBD - UR Campus
This course serves as a basic guide to rock and mineral identification for the interested hobbyist or hiker. We will examine typical examples of igneous/lava rocks (we will study metamorphic and sedimentary rocks in future classes). Bring along your own rock collection for a 'stump the professor' session! A small x10 hand lens (loupe) is required for this course. The instructor will have a few on hand, but please bring your own.

Monday 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, TBD - UR Campus
Traveling from the mouth to the rectum, we will discuss the various diseases that we could encounter. Problems like heartburn, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, gastrointestinal bleeding will be covered, ending with the treatment of hemorrhoids. During our voyage, cases of actual patients will be presented with the hope that a correct diagnosis will be made by our audience: waiting for the autopsy results is not an option!

Mondays, May 8 and 15, TBD - UR Campus
Ever wonder why weather affects each of us in so many different ways? This class will explore different ways that weather and messaging in weather forecasts so often affects us in negative ways, as well as demonstrate how you can 'flip the script' to use the weather, no matter what kind, to positively influence your life.

No session is currently available for registration

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Wish you had more birds, bees, and butterflies where you live? This class will discuss how to improve the habitat around you using native plants, whether you have a traditional yard, container garden, or community space.

Wednesdays, April 19 and 26, TBD - UR Campus