Giving his heart and Sohl to the physics department

Dr Sohl, Dumke hall, 8 November 2022

Weber State University alumni, students and faculty flocked to Dumke Legacy Hall on Nov. 8 to witness physics professor John Sohl’s last lecture. Attendees wanted to honor Sohl for his outstanding volunteer work, achievements and ground-breaking research during his time at WSU.

For the past 33 years, Sohl has taught within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Sohl also holds a position in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and has made a significant impact on many WSU students and staff.

The Last Lecture is a WSU tradition and honor where an outgoing professor is nominated and given the opportunity to present a final lecture. Sohl’s lecture was titled “Can one person save the Earth?”

The event had a large turnout. In order to fit everyone into the lecture, they had to bring more chairs. The audience seemed to be fully engaged during the entire lecture. They responded to surveys, participated in discussions and visibly enjoyed their time at the lecture.

Sohl talked about what people could do to potentially save the planet and its relation to climate change. Throughout the presentation, Sohl showed the effects and his thoughts on climate change.

Sohl said he cares about the environment because his students will be around for a long time, so change has to start now.

Nicola Corbin, director of the Teaching and Learning Forum, said the most important thing to remember is that everyone has to do something; it doesn’t matter how big or small.

“We need to vote to put people in power who will do the right thing for the climate, and we need to call on our state representative to get them to do what they are supposed to be doing for the future, for us and our children moving forward,” Nicola Corbin, director of the Teaching and Learning Forum said.

Sohl isn’t cutting his ties with WSU quite yet, but he also won’t be working 70-hour workweeks, either. Sohl said he wants to continue working closely with both his present co-workers and any future college hires to the department.

With his newfound free time, Sohl wants to accomplish things he hasn’t had time to do and explore the globe by spending more time hiking, sailing, rock climbing and traveling.

Colin Inglefield, department chair and professor of physics and astronomy, said life without Sohl in the department is “scary because he does a lot of things.”