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Saturday, August 17, 2019. Guide Dogs for the Blind, RESERVATIONS CLOSED

DeadlinrGuide DogsGuide Dogs for Blind in San Rafael is the largest training center in North America. This tour comes highly recommended and will be a very poignant and moving experience for all. Don’t miss it!


The morning tour at 11 AM is a docent-led walking tour of the campus with a video and information about the programs and blindness. No seating is available. Bring a picnic lunch to have on the reserved patio while waiting for the afternoon program. A gift shop is available to explore.


The afternoon Graduation Ceremony at 1:30 PM consists of talks by the blind or visually-impaired, who have been at the Center for two weeks being matched with their Guide Dogs and trained how to work with their new Guide Dog. The trainers who trained them will also be in attendance. A brief video about the program will be shown.


The people who raised the Guide Dog as a puppy from about 8 weeks to 15 months also come. Sometimes other members of their puppy-raising club attend. Both the graduate, (recipient of their new Guide Dog), and the puppy-raiser say a few words about their experiences. The graduate Guide Dog just gets to wag its tail.


Date - Saturday, August 17, 2019

Deadline -August 10, 2019

Time- 11-12 AM tour, bring a picnic lunch, then 1:30 PM-2:30 PM Graduation Ceremony. Do either one or both.


Location -

Guide Dogs for the Blind

350 Los Ranchitos Rd.

San Rafael, CA

Parking- lots of Street parking. Drop off only at center itself.

Meet at the Visitor Center, first building on the left beginning 10:30 AM

Fee - $10

Max number- 40


More info



Saturday, August 31: Chiura Obata exhibit, Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento, private guided tour. Deadline August 30

Chiura Obata paintingObataChiura Obata (1885-1975) is among the most significant California’s artists of the 20th Century. He immigrated from Japan in 1903, eventually becoming an art professor at the University of California, Berkeley. As a Japanese American, he and his family were imprisoned in World War II in the Topaz internment camp in Utah.

Obata is best known for his iconic paintings of Yosemite and California landscapes, but his drawings and paintings during his imprisonment are haunting, raising deep questions about how immigrants are treated as “other” in American life.

This is the first major exhibit of Obata's art in nearly 20 years, and offers an unprecedented survey of Obata’s rich and varied body of work with more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and personal items, including from the Topaz internment camp. Much of the exhibit is from private collections and has never been on public display.

The exhibit closes in September and will be traveling to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Your admission will also allow you to explore the extraordinary Crocker Art Museum at your leisure.


Location: Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street, Sacramento (corner of 3rd and O streets, downtown Sacramento near I-5 and Highway 50 exits)

Meet at the Crocker Museum ticket desk

Date: Saturday August 31, tour starts at 11 am.

Parking: Lots and metered spaces are nearby

Limit: 21

Fee: $20

Lunch: We have tables reserved in the solarium area adjacent the museum restaurant

Accessibility: The Crocker Art Museum is fully ADA accessible and barrier-free.


PBKNCA on-site contact: Jim Richardson, who will meet you inside the museum

For more information about the exhibit:





Saturday, September 14, 2019. Aftel Archive of Curious Scents. Deadline Sept 1,

letterpress stripsThe Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is not just the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to perfume, but more beguilingly, the first one dedicated to the experience of fragrance. This tiny museum manages to contain the olfactory history of the world: hundreds of natural essences, raw ingredients and antique tinctures gathered from every corner of the globe, and all available for visitors to smell.


This small museum host 8 guests at a time for an hour’s tour, allowing visitors to experience many different fragrances as well as have three letter-press scent strips to dip in essences and take home (shown at left).          


Anyone having read “Moby Dick”  will know that a prized substance from sperm whales is Ambergris, used in perfumery and derived from the squid Sperm whales eat. It is, in essence, whale poop mostly found floating on the ocean’s surface..   Ever wonder what Ambergris fragrance is like?  Now is your chance!   Experience a 100 year old sample, as well as modern synthetic ones, and this is only one of hundreds of different fragrant substances at the Archive!


Date-Saturday, September 14, 2019

Deadline -  September 1, 2019 (early registration highly recommended)

Time- First tour starts promptly at 10 AM for 8 attendees and last one hour. Arrive at least 15 minutes before.

Additional tours starts hourly thereafter. Attendees will be assigned their tour times via E-mail based on when they register for the event.

Fee - $30


In the middle of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto

1518-1/2 Walnut St.

Cottage at end of brick driveway

Berkeley, CA

Parking- on the street

Max attendees-  24


More information 



Key Connections

Key Connection events offer a great opportunity for all younger members of Phi Beta Kappa to get together, to share what you've learned, to network, and learn about sake-making at Takura Sake.  As a member of PBK, you're invited to PBK Northern California's Key Connections celebration.
Note, you must be a Phi Bete, but do not need to be a member of the Northern California Association to attend.
Join us at Takara Sake in Berkeley
Rescheduled to
Sunday, September 15, 2019, 12 noon.
for a seven-course sake wine tasting followed by a light lunch.
 There will be plenty of opportunities to network with your fellow Phi Betes.
Event: Sake tasting and Sake Museum (the only one of its kind in the U.S.), followed by a light lunch.
When: Sunday,September 15, 2019
Where: Takara Sake
708 Addison St
Berkeley, CA
Parking: On the streets close by.

Cost: $10
Limit: 20 (signing up early recommended).
Please indicate if you are vegetarian.
Time: 12 Noon to see the museum. The formal program starts at 12:30 PM with a video and then a seven-course sake tasting followed by a light lunch.

On arrival, go up the stairs from the entrance to the main room and then into the conference room immediately on your right to check in and get your name tag.


Thursday, October 24, 2019. Giacomini Dairy Farm and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. Deadline October 14

Giacomini Cheese Find out why California cows are so happy!


The Giacomini Dairy Farm is an iconic, and picturesque, West Marin Dairy Farm on the East side overlooking Tomales Bay just North of Pt Reyes Station. It is a 1000 herd dairy farm which makes some of its cheeses from milk produced on its farm, so can be called a" Farmstead “cheese company.


The tour is of the dairy farm first, followed by a cheese tasting (wine extra) in the lovely patio next to its visitor center. The farm is an exemplar of sustainable, organic dairy farming with a technologically sophisticated methane recapture system powering 65% of the farm’s energy needs. It is an example of land being protected in West Marin to sustain the agricultural heritage of the area close to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore.




Event:  Giacomini  Dairy Farm and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

Date:  Thursday, October 24, 2019

Time:  Tour starts at 11 AM.  Arrive by 10:30 AM.

Deadline: October 14th, 2019

Cost: $35



Google directions from your current location


No Google, no problem - Drive to town of Point Reyes Station.

Take Hwy. 1 north from Point Reyes Station for about 3 miles to 14700 State Hwy. 1 (Shoreline Highway).

See sign for Robert Giacomini Dairy and enter on the right hand sign of the road (Tomales Bay will be on the left

hand side).

Follow private road to dairy, about 1 mile

Follow sign to visitor parking

Come into the visitor center, go right through the large room and then out to the patio area.


This event allows you the opportunity to enjoy a lunch afterward. Some great stops in the area:



Saturday November 23, 2019 The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, Deadline Nov 10

Asian Art MuseumThe Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture houses one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world, with more than 18,000 works of art in its permanent collection, some as much as 6,000 years old.

Enjoy a private docent-led tour through the newly re-opened 3rd floor galleries to discover the Asian’s rich collection in a new display. The Asian’s collection showcases diverse and intriguing cultures as well as sacred and secular art. The “Great Works” tour is the perfect introduction to the Asian Art Museum’s collection and a superb way to experience the collection over and over again in the future. This tour is crafted to focus (in depth) on a relatively small number of artistic masterpieces, which exemplify their particular aspect of asian art.

Visit the museum’s other exhibits on your own afterward, and enjoy a lunch in the museum restaurant. Special exhibits are available for an additional $10 at the time of the visit

Where: Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA

When: Saturday November 23, 2019
One hour tour starts 10 AM
Please arrive no later than 9:45AM

Cost: $20 for non-Museum members.

If you are a Museum member, you get free admission to the Museum for you and one guest. Bring your membership card! You need only pay $7 per person contribution to our PBK Scholarship Fund. If you have additional guests, they are must pay $13 for Museum admission plus $7 contribution to our PBK Scholarship Fund. Confusing, yes. But we are Phi Betes!

Limit: 20
Parking: There are two parking garages within one block of the museum: Civic Center Garage (355 McAllister St.) and UC Hastings Parking Garage (376 Larkin St.). Limited metered street parking is also available near the museum.
Deadline: November 10, 2019
Accessibility: ADA accessible, wheelchairs available.
Parking: There are two parking garages within one block of the museum: Civic Center Garage (355 McAllister St.) and UC Hastings Parking Garage (376 Larkin St.). Limited metered street parking is also available near the museum.

PBKNCA leader: O’Neil Dillon


Jan 5, 2020, 2PM "THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND" musical, Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma Deadine December 11

Cinnabar The World Goes RoundCinnabar Theater“THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND” - Razzle-dazzle, show-stopping, famous melodies, hilarious lyrics, and all that jazz that celebrates the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. All your favorite hits from CABARET and CHICAGO plus lots of great songs from THE RINK, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, WOMAN OF THE YEAR and other musicals are spun into a delightful cabaret-style revue that has garnered loads of awards from coast to coast. The show was conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman & David Thompson, with Stage Direction by Clark Sterling and Music Direction by Mike Greensill.


Cinnabar Theater is a professional non-profit theater located in a quaint 1908 schoolhouse-turned-theater. It earns a 4.5/5 Google review rating.


Event: “THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND” musical.

Where:  Cinnabar Theatre 3333 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

Google map click here

When:   Jan 5, 2020, 2PM Matinee

Cost:     $50

Maximum: 20

Deadline: December 11, after that, only if tickets still available.

Accessibility: ADA accessible

Parking: Limited available, car pool if possible





Asilomar 2020 34th Annual Asilomar Conference the weekend of February 14 - 17, 2020. Deadline Dec 10

Beach header

Where is Asilomar? The beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds was designed in the Arts & Crafts style by architect Julia Morgan and is located near Monterey, California. We have held our conference there for the past 33 years. For more see the Wiki

Asilomar once again beckons! Last year’s conference reminded us of the pleasures of dialogue in the liberal arts – a conversation that flows from history to literature, from biology to design, from neuroscience to music to foreign affairs. Many members have already registered in anticipation of another great event.

We will have a slate of extraordinary speakers representing a broad range of disciplines and pursuits. As always, we look forward not only to sharing a mental workout but also to the privilege of renewing old friendships and beginning new ones – all in a location of exceptional peace and beauty. Thank you for joining us in what promises to be a lively and exhilarating exchange. It is not too early to sign up now!



A preview of the 2020 speakers:


Diane DreherFriday Evening, 7:30 pm.

Diane Dreher, Ph.D. (Literature), Santa Clara University

The Secret Behind Shakespeare’s Greatest Tragedies


William Shakespeare wrote all of his major tragedies between 1602 and 1607: Hamlet in 1602, Othello in 1604, King Lear in 1605, Macbeth in 1606, and Antony and Cleopatra in 1607. For years scholars have wondered about the mystery behind these works: what had inspired his greatest tragedies? We now know from psychological research that writing about emotional trauma can be powerfully therapeutic. My research has revealed that Shakespeare’s personal losses plunged him into a prolonged period of grieving. While writing Hamlet, he began a therapeutic process that filled his tragedies with unprecedented emotional depth. Drawing insights from Shakespeare’s life, the latest psychological research, and dramatic scenes from Hamlet, we will explore together how this therapeutic process contributed to the play’s enduring appeal.


Diane Dreher is a Professor of English at Santa Clara University. She did graduate work at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon and received a Ph.D. in English from UCLA, an M.A. in Counseling from Santa Clara University, and a B.A. in English from UC Riverside, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Her research agenda includes works on literature and spirituality, Eastern philosophy, leadership, and positive psychology with publications ranging from the bestselling Tao of Inner Peace to scholarly books and articles. In addition to her academic work, she is a writing and positive psychology coach, credentialed by the International Coach Federation. 


William J. ClanceySaturday Morning, 9:30 am.

William J. Clancey, Ph.D. (Computer Science)

Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

The Okeanos Explorer: Robotically mediated field science beneath the sea and the art of travel

Using robotic systems operated from NOAA’s ship, the Okeanos Explorer, oceanographers are now able to explore the depths of Earth’s oceans without leaving their homes. Unlike missions on Mars, undersea robots can be tele-operated, communicating without noticeable delay, and an international remote science team can participate as the daily investigation unfolds. I present my observations from an ethnographic study conducted onboard during the American Samoa Expedition. The technology provides a multidisciplinary “collaboration system,” in which the ship’s officers and crew, robot engineers, oceanographers, and educators coordinate their activities during an expedition. The combination of video, phone, and social media provides great flexibility and a voice for everyone, including students, in how the investigation proceeds. Throughout, science, technology, and art are interwoven as the historic, poetic aspect of discovery is ever-present; and as in the first voyages of the South Pacific, exotic images inspire us with the romance of exploration.

William J. Clancey is a computer scientist whose research relates cognitive and social science in the study of work practices and the design of agent systems. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University (1979) and Mathematical Sciences B.A. at Rice University (ΦBK, 1974). He has developed artificial intelligence applications for medicine, education, finance, robotics, and spaceflight systems. At the Institute for Research on Learning he co-developed ethnographic methods for modeling work systems. At NASA Ames Research Center as Chief Scientist of Human-Centered Computing, Intelligent Systems Division (1998-2013), his team automated file management between Mission Control and the International Space Station, receiving Johnson Space Center’s Exceptional Software Award. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, Association for Psychological Science, Association for Advancement of AI, and National Academy of Inventors. His book Working on Mars: Voyages of Scientific Discovery with the Mars Exploration Rovers received the AIAA 2014 Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award.


Henry ReichmanSaturday Afternoon, 1:30 pm.

Henry Reichman, Ph.D. (History), California State University, East Bay


The Future of Academic Freedom











Joe LurieSaturday Evening, 7:30 pm.

Joe Lurie, M.A. (Communications)


Culture Clash in the Era of Globalization


Addressing the implications of the West African proverb, "The Stranger Sees Only What He Knows," the talk will explore the nature and sources of bias and misunderstanding in a hyper-connecting, often polarizing world. In a time of unprecedented contacts across cultures, author Joe Lurie will examine cultural disconnects with refugees and other immigrants and study the nature and implications of culture clash in the news of the day, in the worlds of diplomacy, politics, business, religion, health care and technology. In this process, we'll come to see and hear that more is meant than meets the eye or the ear.


Author of the award-winning Perception and Deception, A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures; former Peace Corps Volunteer, Joe Lurie is Executive Director Emeritus of the University of California Berkeley's International House, a dynamic multi-national residential program center serving the campus, local community, and 1,000 residents from 75-plus countries annually. Its mission is to foster intercultural respect and understanding for the promotion of a more peaceful world. He served in this role for two decades and subsequently has been an active teacher and intercultural trainer at UC Berkeley and consultant on cross-cultural communications. His work has been featured at the Commonwealth Club and on NPR, PBS and in Harper's Magazine and The Mercury News.

Robert SiegelSunday Morning, 10:00 am.

Robert Siegel, Ph.D. (Biology)


Robert Siegel received a Teaching Excellence Award from our Association in May 2019. He is constantly thinking about how he can help his students and genuinely cares about the future of each and every student. He even hosts Breakfast Meetings at his house, so students have the opportunity to speak with leading experts in the fields of Women’s Health, Infectious Disease, and Global Health. Through these discussions, students are inspired to address pressing issues in Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Siegel reminds his students that it’s never too early to think critically about issues that we feel passionate about, and more importantly, it’s never too early to change the world.


Grant BallardSunday Afternoon, 1:30 pm.

Grant Ballard, Ph.D. Biological Sciences, B.A., Chief Science Officer, Point Blue Conservation


Climate-smart conservation from Antarctica to California


As Chief Science Officer for Point Blue Conservation, Grant leads a number of projects investigating and communicating the effects of landscape-scale environmental stressors on ecosystems and human stakeholders in western North America and the Southern Ocean. Managing a team of 160 scientists, he is responsible for shaping and growing Point Blue's multi-investigator scientific research and conservation programs towards the vision that healthy ecosystems will continue to sustain thriving wildlife and human communities in California and beyond, on land and at sea, for decades to come. 



Ryane LogsdonSunday Evening, 7:30 pm.

Ryane Logsdon, Ph.D. Candidate, (Animal Behavior), University of California, Davis


Robots, burlap, and habitat-mapping: Using technology to study animal communication


Ryane Logsdon was the recipient of a Scholarship from our Association in May 2019.  Animal communication has led to the evolution of some of the most incredible and diverse displays and behaviors in the natural world. Successful communication between animals is often critical to their continued survival; understanding the dynamic interactions between individuals - and the external factors that influence these dynamics - is important to establishing effective conservation and management strategies. However, conducting this research in the wild is often logistically challenging – the mere presence of a human can drastically alter an animal’s natural behaviors!


Logsdon’s doctoral research focuses on courtship behaviors in a declining species of bird, the greater sage-grouse. Through her dissertation, Logsdon utilizes a variety of tools – including biologically-realistic robot sage-grouse – that enable her to investigate natural courtship behaviors in the wild. This presentation will discuss how her research utilizes both high- and low-tech solutions to further understand the environmental influences on animal communication and the dynamics of inter-individual interactions in these wild birds.



[A male greater sage-grouse mid-display[A male greater sage-grouse mid-display. Photo by Ryane Logsdon.]


Ryane Logsdon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Animal Behavior Graduate Group (ABGG) at the University of California, Davis.  After receiving her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Rochester, she held a series of research positions – studying lizard courtship, vampire bat social calls, and cognition in American crows – investigating various aspects of animal behavior. Ryane’s current doctoral research aims to investigate the interplay between habitat structure, social interactions, and courtship behavior using the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as a model system. Ryane is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, received the ΦBKNCA graduate scholarship, has published in top-tier journals, and has presented her research at international conferences. In addition to her doctorate work, Ryane enjoys volunteering to work with birds of prey at the California Raptor Center, writing for The Ethogram (the official blog of the ABGG), and teaching dance.


James RichardsonMonday Morning:

James Richardson, M.Div. (Theology), Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento

The Abolitionist’s Journal: The Life and Times of an American Anti-slavery Family


Methodist pastor George Richardson (1824-1911) left behind a 334-page journal richly detailing how he and his family used their home on the Underground Railroad to assist escaped slaves; his service as the white chaplain to an African American Union regiment in the Civil War; and then after the war, his family’s struggle to found a college for the formerly enslaved in Texas. The college was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan, chased out by the city of Dallas, and then reestablished in Austin where it thrives today as Huston-Tillotson University. His journal has prompted a decade-long search through family archives -- yet raises questions about how a family’s deep commitment to emancipation faded and disappeared in succeeding generations.


James Richardson is a former senior writer with The Sacramento Bee and the author of several books on California politics, including an acclaimed biography of the politician Willie Brown, published by the University of California Press. His newest book project heads into a new direction, exploring his family roots in the anti-slavery abolitionist movement of the 19th century. Richardson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA and has a Master of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. He is an Episcopal priest and is currently the interim Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento.

See pictures from last year's Asilomar Conference

Date:              The weekend of February 14 - 17, 2020
Cost:               $125.00 registration, Lodging and meals are charged separately

There is a $125 registration fee per person which goes mainly to our Scholarship fund. Lodging and meals are charged separately by Asilomar. Please wait for instructions, which will be sent to you after you register. The per person total below is based on a 3-night stay beginning on Friday, February 14th and includes 3 meals per day and ALL applicable fees & taxes. Meals inclusive begins with dinner on arrival day and ends with lunch on departure day.

Single Occupancy: TBD, In 2019 it was $941.57
Double Occupancy: TBD. In 2019 it was $623.02 per person
Editor's note: This is a bargain. We have checked numerous other venues, and could find nothing comparable.

If you have questions on the program, please contact  For registration matters, please contact Barry Haskell at

Deirdre Frontczak, Asilomar Chair

Go to Past Asilomars

Key connections for young Phi Betes