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Gentleman Scientist- Scientific Presentations w/ Dr. Roy Torley

2-15-13 revised Roy picRoy Torley has an extensive science background including study of volcanoes, Oregon geology and geophysics. He has a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Oregon, and was instrumental in developing the first wind-energy technology program on the west coast at Columbia Gorge Community College in the The Dalles.  Roy’s other activities include tutoring, web design and programming, as well as musical performances on the Ukrainian bandura and Russian balalaika!

Invite Dr. Torley shares his eclectic knowledge of science in a series of PowerPoint presentations!

*Presentations run at least 45 minutes; Facilities are requested to provide use of a computer and projector.


1.) Orchids: Not What You Think!

There are more than 25,000 different species, way more than grasses. Some orchids imitate wasps, moths, bees and other insects in order to trick them into pollinating them. They come as big as your hand and as small as the head of a pin! Dr. Torley takes you on a fantastic orchid show that fills your imagination with the rich colors, amazing shapes, and habits of these distinctive plants.


2.) Orchids: Masters of Disguise

You might remember the orchid corsages of the junior and senior proms, the sprays of flowers that adorn the lobbies of hotels and banks, and how exotic they look to attract your attention. Dr. Torley takes you around the world to show you orchids that imitate insects, spiders, happy aliens, monkey faces, and more. There is more to the orchid than greets the eye!


3.) The Northern Lights: Silk of the Gods

Imagine the night sky shimmering in an ever-changing tapestry of light. Dr. Torley takes you on a fascinating celestial field trip to enjoy their shapes and colors here on Earth, and on other planets in the Solar System.


4.) Do You Have Your Head in a Cloud?

Clouds are like different forms of life – denizens of the atmosphere. They come in all shapes and sizes, and perhaps personality traits. Dr. Torley takes you on a cloud-watching tour through the Earth’s air envelope where you will see clouds that we commonly see, and others that are distinctively different and exotic.


5.) Oregon Geology: What’s in Your Backyard?

Our state is a wonderland of waterfalls, caves, active volcanoes, the Columbia Gorge, and plain lands created by mind-boggling floods and glaciers. Dr. Torley takes you on a geological field trip through Oregon, and you don’t even have to leave your seat!


6.) Volcanoes

Volcanoes can seem like any other mountain, and then transform themselves in a split second in a catastrophic eruption. They stand quietly for centuries as sentinels guarding the countryside and then erupt violently, wreaking havoc over the landscape. Dr. Torley takes you on a tour across Earth and across the Solar System, looking at volcanoes “near and far out!”

7.) Oceans: Wet and Wild!

The oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface and yet, how much do we really know about them? Dr. Torley takes you on a world-wide journey above and beyond the oceans so we can enjoy a better understanding of them. He will talk about how our oceans came into existence, the ocean floors, coasts, islands, seahorses, sea dragons, and more!

“All the drops of water that make an ocean!”


8.) Crystals and Crystallography: Perfection in Shape

Like flowers, crystals come in all shapes and sizes, colors and habits. Some are of gem quality; others capture your attention just by their geometry that defies description. Dr. Torley takes you on a crystal show to inspire you with Nature’s own sense and sensibility of perfection.


9.) The Wonder of Wind Turbines

Columbia Gorge Community College started the very first wind-energy technology program on the west coast in 2006. Dr. Torley helped design and develop it from its very beginning. He also worked as an intern at PGE’s first wind farm at Biglow Canyon, east of The Dalles. These were dynamic times in the fledgling industry. Dr. Torley shares his experiences teaching wind technology and working at the Biglow Canyon wind farm through his collection of pictures.


10.) Nebulas: Ghosts of Old Stars and Birthplaces of New Suns

Stars are born, go through their life spans, and die. Astronomers have been recording these stellar cycles for centuries. Now, with the help of the Hubble telescope and computer imaging, we can see these celestial life processes in great detail. Dr. Torley takes you through space and time to visit stars being born, exploding as novas, creating new solar systems, and gives you an inkling of the future of our solar system.


11.) A Virtual Planetarium Show #1: Dr. Torley’s Terrific Trek through the Solar System

Travel into outer space in a ship that you can control. Orbit the Earth, see its magnetic field, the northern and southern lights, the planets and moons of our solar system, and fly by a volcanic eruption on Jupiter’s moon, Io. Dr. Torley shares with you a powerful program designed to teach and put the wonder back into astronomy and the cosmos.


12.) A Virtual Planetarium Show #2: A Royal Romp through the Universe

If you watched Dr. Torley’s Terrific Trek through the Solar System, then here’s your opportunity to see the rest of the universe in all its cosmic glory. See nebulæ, binary stars, pulsars, and black holes; visit galaxies and travel to the edge of the known universe. In his spaceship of the imagination, Dr. Roy Torley takes you on a tour from the edge of our solar system to the farthest reaches of space and back home again (and in one piece)!


13.) The Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington

Ancient floods ravaged the landscape of eastern Washington as glaciers retreated during the last ice age. Rapid-moving rivers sliced through the land to create V-shaped canyons. Glaciers scoured away mountainsides to create U-shaped valleys. Soil was carried away, resulting in flat plateaus, gigantic ripples, and gargantuan potholes. There is no other place like it in the world. Dr. Torley takes you on a tour of this landscape molded and carved by the powerful hands of Nature.


14.) The Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington, Earth; and Mars

Ancient floods on Mars left their marks deeply etched into the planet’s surface. Canyons bigger than the Grand Canyon, dry riverbeds, deltas, and huge sandbars suggest to us that Mars had a lot of water and that it flowed with a vengeance. We see something amazingly similar in southeastern Washington, in the Channeled Scablands. Dr. Torley takes you on a tour to do some interesting planetary geology on Earth and its sister planet, Mars.


15.) Halos and Rainbows: Halos Aren’t Just for Angels!

Sundogs, moon dogs, double rainbows, fire rainbows, sun pillars, and more! You can see them all here in Oregon, at the South Pole, Norway, and other places around the globe. Enjoy a light show of panoramic proportions!


16.) Roman Life in Pompeii and Herculaneum before the Eruption

Three Roman cities were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost two thousand years ago. They disappeared from history for 700 years. Since the late 1700s, archeologists have been unearthing houses, city centers, jewelry, and other artifacts that shed light on how these citizens of the Roman Empire lived. Dr. Torley takes you on a tour of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. He also shows you the art that Mount Vesuvius inspired through the centuries. Inspired by the Pompeii Exhibition.


17.) Another View of Roman Life in Pompeii and Herculaneum before the Eruption (for slightly more mature audiences)

 Three Roman cities were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost two thousand years ago. They vanished from history for 700 years. Since the late 1700s, archeologists have been unearthing houses, city centers, jewelry, and other artifacts that shed light on how these citizens of the Roman Empire lived. Dr. Torley takes you on a tour of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Walk down streets, into houses, a token brothel, admire the art, and enjoy an insight into the lively and lusty lifestyle of the ancient Romans. Inspired by the Pompeii Exhibition.

18.) Majestic Waterfalls of the World

 Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, our very own Willamette Falls, and other waterfalls from around the world add their splendor to our experience as human beings. Like water pouring over the edge of the world, they stretch our imagination with their size, sheer power, dressed with lush vegetation or decorated with a rainbow, and plumes of spray showering the landscape. Dr. Torley takes you on a trip around the world to see some of these wonders of the world up close, and without getting drenched in the process!


19.) Lesser Known Majestic Waterfalls of the World

We have seen and known of Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, and Oregon’s own Multnomah Falls. The world boasts of other hidden jewels, such as Venezuela Falls, the exotic falls and cascades of Viet Nam, Thailand, Croatia, and Iceland. Dr. Torley takes you on tour around the world to see and enjoy these wonders of Nature.


20.) Distinctive Butterflies and Moths of the World: Living Pieces of Jewelry

Butterflies and moths from Malaysia, Indonesia, Central America, Africa, and North America have always excited the imagination of children and adults alike. They are painted, written about in poetry, raised from caterpillars in butterfly farms, and many migrate in clouds of millions. Dr. Torley shows their impressive variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.


21.) Distinctive Architecture from around the World

Visit China to see Shan Xi, a city in the sky. Survey the distinctive architecture found in Singapore, including the Gardens by the Sea, the Sky Forest, and the walkway along Singapore’s Southern Ridges. See these unique and distinctive works of human art and more as Dr. Torley takes you on an architectural tour of the world.


22.) Distinctive Architecture of Portland, Oregon

Portland is home to distinctive examples of architecture that make it an attractive place to visit and live. Take a tour of the Pittock Mansion, see the Festival of Flowers on Pioneer Square, the Cobweb House, the fanciful pitcher plants that adorn the sidewalks of downtown, and more. Step inside some tiny homes, experience the spookiness of the remains of a pioneer stone house. Enjoy some of the sights that keeps Portland prominently on the map!


23.) Views of Earth from the International Space Station I

Fasten your seatbelt! Countdown: ten, nine, eight, … Blast off in the space shuttle for a visit to and aboard the International Space Station. See cities at night, the northern lights, and serious weather from a safe altitude of 250 miles above the surface of the Earth! Warning: you will experience gravity again at the end of the visit!


24.) Views of Earth from the International Space Station II

See Moscow, other cities, and Great Britain all lit up at night. Look down the eye of a hurricane! Clouds at sunset look very different when you’re 250 miles up in space in the International Space Station! Enjoy this slide show of Earth, life in weightlessness, and the expanse of the universe. Dr. Torley promises you a safe return trip home. Just be prepared for some gravity!


25.) Pictures from the International Space Station, taken by Astronaut Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly – retired astronaut, engineer, and consummate photographer. Dr. Torley has collected many of Scott’s pictures taken from the International Space Station into a slide show of his weightless adventures in space for 340 days! Enjoy Scott Kelly’s special view of the world, outer space, and what it’s like to live in a space station for year!


26.) Professor Beringer’s Lying Stones

Professor Johann Beringer was a pompous self-centered wind-bag. A couple of colleagues played a prank on him. The prank was funny at first, and then got seriously out of hand. Professor Beringer and the “lying stones” hoax are now a permanent part of the history of geology.


27.) Eclipses and Other Occultations

Oregon had its total solar eclipse on Monday, 21 August 2017. People in the path of the moon’s shadow saw the sun disappear for two minutes and the moon surrounded by the sun’s corona. Dr. Torley shows you what happened, plus views from the international space station, lunar eclipses, and eclipses and other crossings from around the solar system. Enjoy an eclipse chase and a hutch of chickens confused by the quick change from day to night to day again over a couple of minutes!


28.) Views from Planet Saturn

Our “Little Spacecraft that Could”, Cassini, completed its final orbit around Saturn on Friday, 15 September 2017. It plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere, still sending us data and extraordinary images as it ended its 20-year-old mission. Dr. Torley shares with you pictures of Saturn, its rings, and its moons so we can also appreciate this spacecraft’s long legacy of exploration.


  1. Views from Planet Jupiter

Jupiter has a little satellite orbiting it taking pictures that inspire and stretch the imagination and your understanding of the universe. The Juno spacecraft has been sending images of the largest planet of our solar system back home for us to see, learn, and understand further how Jupiter works as a star that never ignited! Storms that encircle the whole planet, a super-hurricane that several Earths can fit into, bubble, bubble, toil and trouble! Dr. Torley shares the latest images sent from our little Juno spacecraft that could, and still does!


  1. Shan Xi – China’s City in the Sky, and China’s Sense and Sensibility of Exercise

China’s styles of architecture go back a few thousand years. One distinctive feat of architecture is the “Hanging Temple,” Shan Xi. Built onto the vertical cliffs of a mountain, Shan Xi defies and yet excites the imagination with its other-worldly beauty and architectural design. The Chinese have also developed their own sense of how to stay in good shape with exercises that involve movements imitating animals combined with deep breathing. Many of the Chinese people live up to and over 100 years without slowing down! Dr. Torley shares with you a glimpse into the Chinese way of building strong, resilient buildings, and strong and healthy bodies and minds.


Service Fee: $75.00/presentation

Service Areas: Oregon- Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County, Yamhill County

Service Types: Retirement Home/Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Senior Center

Availability: Weekdays, Weekends, Daytime, Evenings, Request on Short Notice, Request in Advance


Contact Name: Roy Torley

Phone: (503) 666-4795 (land line)




Don’t forget to tell Dr. Roy Torley you found his services using ElderAudience!



“Dr. Roy Torley is very educated and has many different science lessons that he brings to our residents. I get a great turn out and residents are very interested and entertained with the topics presented. He is flexible with his pricing and worth every penny.” Tami I., Activities, Somerset Assisted Living

“Roy Torley gave an amazing presentation at Van Mall retirement. We are looking forward to having him again in 2014.” Destiny W., Van Mall Retirement

“I just wanted to give you some positive feedback about Dr. Roy Torley.  I saw him featured on your website, and brought him in to The Quarry  today to give a presentation on “Volcanoes in Your Backyard”. It was  fascinating! He did such a great job presenting to the residents. His  voice was clear and good toned, his slide photos were interesting, and  his talk was accessible for everyone and very interesting! I’m booking  him right away for his talk on Irises! ” Laura M., The Quarry Senior Living

“He is really a grand fellow. Very informative, with a wide range of knowledge and easy to understand — laced with humor and wit! He is also a very talented musician playing the Ukrainian bandura, very beautiful mystical sound, and the Russian balalaika. Roy’s wife Joan sings (and is very knowledgeable on) Ukrainian folk songs, Transylvanian-Hungarian vocal music and other things. They have my FULL recommendation!” Deanna D., Activity Director, Parkview Retirement, Portland





*Information on this listing may be subject to change. Please contact this lister directly with any questions.

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