Past Events

Each year the ARCS San Diego Chapter has special events and field trips of a scientific nature to inform our members about the latest developments in science and technology.


November 18, 2021: COVID's Toll on Taste and Smell 

One of the many mysteries surrounding COVID-19 is the peculiar side effect of patients losing their sense of taste and smell. In the medical field, it’s called anosmia. A less publicized side effect that follows many COVID-19 patients is parosmia which is when scents and flavors become distorted, e.g., lemons may taste like sewage! There's been relatively little research into anosmia and parosmia, which until the recent pandemic have been exceptionally rare. That's left the thousands of patients experiencing these symptoms feeling confused, isolated and hopeless. To learn more about what’s being done for sufferers and what they can do for themselves, ARCS San Diego is thrilled to invite you to a special virtual “field trip” to UC San Diego on Thursday, Nov 18 from 10:30 - 11:45am Pacific where Dr. Carol Yan, a physician and researcher at UC San Diego, and Julie Carty, one of her patients, tell the story.

CLICK HERE to watch the Virtual Field Trip.


October 18, 2021: Fall General Meeting

The Fall General Meeting is a particular favorite for ARCS members, because much of it is devoted to meeting our new Scholars. Given the ongoing pandemic, we had no choice but to hold the meeting via Zoom, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm and excitement among those who attended.  This year we were delighted to hear from 32 new Scholars (SDSU-7; Scripps Research-5; UCSD-18; USD-2), each of whom gave a brief overview of their research and personal interests. As always, we were so impressed by their many accomplishments, their desire to give back to society, and their balanced approach to a healthy life. We look forward to getting to know them better during the year ahead.

For those who missed the meeting, you can still view the Scholar presentations HERE.


September 28, 2021: Cyber Security - Best Practices

Dr. Curtis PadgettMark Rotarius is the Operations Manager and Senior Engineer at Fortress Networx and he treated us to a 1-hour Zoom presentation on the important and timely topic of “Cyber Security: Best Practices for Personal Computers and Devices.” We learned about phishing attacks, data protection, malware, creating strong passwords and more.

CLICK HERE to watch the Virtual Field Trip.

Mark was also kind enough to include a handout (The 8 Layers of Defense Checklist) which you may download by clicking HERE.



June 8, 2021: Summer General Meeting

ARCS San Diego closed out the fiscal year with a full business agenda and a healthy dose of science...via Zoom, of course!  After introducing our three new members - Sue Dramm, Sharon Lerner, India Mittag - and voting in the slate of officers for 2021-2022, pictured HERE, we were treated to two wonderful presentations from a Scholar alum and current Scholar, both at Scripps Research:

Travis Young, PhD
VP of Biologics at Calibr (California Institute for Biomedical Research)
at Scripps Research and 2009-2010 ARCS Scholar at SR
gave a 1/2-hour talk entitled “Bench to Bedside Immunotherapy.”
Leonard Yoon
2020-2021 ARCS Scholar at Scripps Research
followed up with a 10-minute talk on
“Autophage: What Is It and Why Do We Care About It?”

We closed out the meeting with several updates on past activities, including the incredibly successful SOY Event, Membership Giving Campaign, and Scholar Picnic.  Holly reiterated how proud she was of all that was accomplished during this exceptionally challenging year.  Congratulations, all around!

If you who missed the meeting, you can still view the Scholar presentations HERE.


May 20, 2021: A Virtual Visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Curtis PadgettDr. Curtis Padgett, Supervisor for the Perception Systems Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and ARCS Scholar at UC San Diego back in 1992, guided us on our final virtual field trip of the year. He provided a wonderful overview of recent research in the Perception Area of the Robotics Section at JPL, including technology development for aerial, sea surface, and future sensing applications. After a half-hour Q&A, moderated by Holly Heaton, our time was up and we all went away feeling awed and inspired by the advanced technology at JPL. We were also delighted that several ARCS members from other chapters, as well as several ARCS Scholars, joined us for this special presentation.





May 13, 2021: A Virtual Visit to Sharp Hip Preservation Center

ARCS San Diego was honored to host a special virtual presentation on “Hypermobility: The High Price of Being Very Flexible,” by Dr. Richard Santore, an esteemed orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. Dr. Santore told us about the often misunderstood and misdiagnosed condition of hypermobility. He explained how this seemingly innocuous ability dramatically impacts lives for better and for worse, while discussing strategies he has been developing for resuming a normal life. We also heard from two of Dr. Santore’s patients, who literally “got their lives back” thanks to Dr. Santore’s ground-breaking treatment.

Click on the video below to watch the entire presentation, including the Q&A, on YouTube.

April 25, 2021: Scientist of the Year Virtual Event

Our second virtual gala event spotlights our esteemed Scientist of the Year, Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, while highlighting our Scholars, Scholar Alumni and wonderful sponsors. If you missed the live stream or would like to see it again, please visit the Event Landing Page to watch the recorded event and view the program material. 


February 25, 2021: A Virtual Visit to Scripps Institution of Oceanography

ARCS San Diego embarked on its second virtual “field trip” via Zoom in late February. This time we were treated to an inside peek at ARCS Scholar Jessica Ng’s work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in the lab of Jeff Severinghaus, which is part of the Geosciences Research Division at SIO.

Jessica’s research reconstructing past groundwater levels has taken her to the Andean Highlands of Chile and Argentina, where lithium mining for electric vehicle batteries is threatening limited water resources and Indigenous communities, and eastern Oregon, where local communities and tribes are seeking sustainable water use in the face of industrial agriculture. Jessica talked about some of her experiences in the field and also showed us some of the instrumentation she uses in the lab. She then answered a number of questions posed by ARCS members and Scholars, and closed with a few personal insights on her activities outside of work.

Click the Video Below to Watch

January 25, 2021: Winter General Meeting

To kick off our Winter General Meeting, we invited two ARCS Scholars to talk about their ocean research. Dr. Jeffrey Drazen (1997 ARCS Scholar at UCSD/SIO), currently professor of oceanography at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Honolulu, presented a 1/2-hr talk on “Understanding the Environmental Risks of Deep Sea Mining.” We learned just how little is known about the deep sea, much less the potential destruction to the ecosystem as a result of deep sea mining. Dr. Drazen showed us many slides of creatures never before seen by man, which are now at risk. He also played a short video which demonstrated the use of remotely-operated vehicles (ROV) that he and his team use to capture and examine specimens at the bottom of the ocean.

Channing Prend (2020-2021 ARCS Scholar at UCSD/SIO) followed with a short presentation about his work with robotics and autonomous systems to collect data from the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. Channing tuned in from Paris, where he was working with collaborators at LOCEAN (Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques) to prepare for a research cruise to the Southern Ocean. In fact, he spoke to us just two days before his departure!

Each talk was followed by a lively Q&A and we all went away feeling enlightened and enriched. For those of you who missed these fascinating talks about the ocean, you can view them both on YouTube.

Jeffrey Drazen
Jeffrey Drazen, PhD
Channing Prend
Channing Prend

December 18, 2020: Virtual Home for the Holidays Event

The holiday spirit was alive and well among the members of ARCS San Diego despite the coronavirus pandemic. This year, with Rachel Collins as our guide, we gathered online to share our holiday traditions, our favorite holiday recipes, our favorite Bûche de Noël (with demonstrations), our most outrageous ugly Christmas sweaters, and some holiday greetings from our newest members.

Click the image below to relive the fun:

November 16, 2020: Removing Disease as a Roadblock to Conservation

Three scientists, all former ARCS Scholars, who now work for the Disease Investigations Group at the San Diego Zoo Global, will guide us through their efforts to remove disease as a roadblock to wildlife conservation. Presenters: Patricia Gaffney, DVM, PhD, MPVM, DACVP, Steven Kubiski, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Caroline Moore, DVM, PhD.

Click the Video Below to watch the Tour

September 20, 2020: Scientist of the Year Virtual Event

This was our first virtual event and we thank everyone for making it such a success. Please visit the Event Landing Page to see the event program and watch the full recorded event celebrating our 2020 Scientist of the Year, Dr. Paul Schimmel. 

Photos from Past Events

Field trip to J. Craig Venter Institute
Field Trip to San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
Merriment, Martinis and Masters
2017 ARCS Holiday Party at the Timken Museum
Scholars present their work at our annual Scientist of the Year Dinner
Field trip to Scripps Research
2018 ARCS Foundation All Member Conference in Washington, D. C.
Scientific Innovation for the Next Generation
"Be the Astronaut”
Summer Party at the Air & Space Museum
Field Trip to San Diego Blood Bank