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Registration is required to attend all Osher Institute programs. Many Fall 2022 programs are offered as a blend of in-person seats and livestream via Zoom Webinar, and are also recorded. Some are in person/livestream only, some are in person only, some are livestream/recorded only, and some are livestream only.

Registration for the Fall 2022 semester opens on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

To register:

Fall 2022 Catalog Available Now

Thank you for accessing the online version of the Fall 2022 semester catalog!

Hard copy catalogs will arrive in members’ mailboxes starting on Monday, June 27.

If you would like an additional copy of the Fall 2022 semester catalog, we will be happy to mail you one. Please contact the Osher Institute office at osher@boisestate.edu.

Additional Information

Visit the Semester Updates page to view our policies and updates for the Fall 2022 semester.

Visit the Presenter Biographies page to learn more about our presenters.

Fall 2022 Programs

Starting in August

When It’s Your Turn to Lead the Meeting (In Person Only)

This workshop will focus on learning and practicing techniques for leading meetings to elicit full participation; guiding discussions that result in clarity of purpose and action; teaching members how to make decisions by consensus; and identifying sustainable solutions to complex problems. Participants will learn and apply methodologies for guiding a focused conversation, practice tips for engaging participants, and discover decision-making tools.
Presenter: Cindy Anson, Chair, Osher Institute Advisory Board, Boise State University
Date and time:
Fri., Aug. 12, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Urban Wildlife: How Animals Have Learned to Live Among Us

Urban wildlife is nothing new. Humans have co-evolved with wildlife and domesticated some species in the process. For example, predators like wolves were domesticated to help hunt, and ungulates like horses and caribou were domesticated for food and transportation. Join us as we look into the secret world of wild animals living among us and their ability to adapt to humans to enhance their survival.
Presenter: Steve Nadeau, author and retired biologist, Idaho Fish and Game
Date and time:
Mon., Aug. 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Energy Transitions and You

This course will address challenges and opportunities presented by transitioning from fossil fuels to a carbon-free economy. We will explore typical energy technologies, such as wind, solar, and hydro, and how they work together. We also will move the discussion beyond electricity, which is only about 40% of our country’s energy usage.
Presenter: Dr. John Gardner, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Boise State University
Dates and times:
Tue., Aug. 16, 23, and 30, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35

Business is Changing: Where Are the Future Opportunities? (In Person Only)

Businesses operate in a constantly evolving environment, and now is a time of particularly dynamic change. How are the businesses of the future likely to adapt? In this workshop, we will engage in interactive, hands-on activities to identify some current trends and try to predict what’s coming.
Presenter: Dr. Kirk Smith, Chair, Marketing Department, Boise State University
Date and time:
Tue., Aug. 16, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership
Capacity: 45

Plastics and What We Can Do About Them

In this lecture, we will learn why we have plastics; what options existed before plastics; where plastics come from and what they’re made of; and the problems that plastics create. We also will discuss the efforts underway at Boise State to develop solutions to these problems.
Presenter: Dr. Scott Phillips, Professor, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, Boise State University
Date and time:
Wed., Aug. 17, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Life and Art of Pablo Neruda

The works of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize for literature, have been translated into dozens of languages and have influenced poets, playwrights, and musicians all over the world. He is as famous for his turbulent life as he is for his poetry, serving as a politician and diplomat before and after the Pinochet coup d’état. We will examine his life, his poetry, his influence, and several of his most famous poems in detail.
Presenter: Clyde Moneyhun, Professor of Creative Writing, Boise State University
Date and time:
Wed., Aug. 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Drawing and Sketching Basics (In Person Only)

This course is designed for students who enjoy pencil drawing and sketching. We will review basic drawing techniques from value scale (light to dark) to simple still-life setups and nature scenes, such as flowers and foliage. Participants may bring a small favorite object to draw. Materials for the course will be provided, and sketch books are recommended but not required.
Presenter: Gizella O’Neil, artist
Dates and times: Thu., Aug. 18 and 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$30
Capacity: 25

The Architecture of Arizona’s Valley of the Sun (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Arizona’s “Valley of the Sun,” a name coined in a 1930s Phoenix advertising campaign, is the backdrop for the stunning designs of some of the Southwest’s most talented architects. Stylish mid-century buildings, lovely bungalows, contemporary towers, early skyscrapers filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Lloyd Wright’s late desert designs, and Paolo Soleri’s “arcology” are all part of this virtual tour. Participants will discover the architectural landscape of this unique desert region.
Presenter: Pam VanderPloeg, researcher and curator, Architecture GR
Dates and times:
Thu., Aug. 18 and 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

An Osher Special Event: Offshore Outposts—Living at Remote Lighthouses (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state. Many are on remote islands and reefs that once snagged ships before they were marked. In this lecture, researcher Ric Mixter will share interviews with lighthouse keepers, discuss his visits to the most remote lighthouses in the U.S., and examine the explosion that killed a lighthouse keeper through the eyes of a survivor.
Presenter: Ric Mixter, author and PBS producer
Date and time:
Mon., Aug. 22, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

Native American Music as Engaged Resistance (Livestream/Recorded Only)

The influence of Native Americans on American popular music has been enormous, yet largely overlooked. Indigenous musicians have helped create and develop multiple musical genres, including jazz, the most “American” musical genre of all. For tribal people traditionally, song is a fundamental expression of spirituality, and it has become a form of aesthetic and political activism addressing important contemporary issues from broken treaties to oil pipelines to violence against Indigenous women. We will explore the historical significance of music to tribal people, the impact of compulsory boarding school education, and contributions to jazz, rock, and hip hop.
Presenter: Dr. Janis Johnson, Clinical Associate Professor of English and Director of Africana Studies Program, University of Idaho
Date and time:
Mon., Aug. 22, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Introduction to Craft Beer: Production and Operations

This lecture will provide a brief overview of the craft beer industry, including brewing processes, onsite operations, offsite sales, marketing, and industry economies.
Presenter: Dan Jordan, Co-Owner, White Dog Brewing Co.
Date and time:
Tue., Aug. 23, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Cosmology 101

This course will give a layman’s explanation of what astronomy and physics have discovered about the beginning, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. We will learn the meaning of many buzzwords in science literature, such as red shift, background microwave radiation, and inflation theory.
Presenter: Paul Nelson, retired Senior Engineer, DRAM Research and Development, Micron Technology
Dates and times:
Wed., Aug. 24 and 31, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

Boise’s Climate Action Initiatives

Following the establishment of a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, the city of Boise is leading the way for climate action in Idaho. This lecture will provide information on Boise’s climate and clean energy goals and initiatives.
Presenter: Steve Hubble, Climate Action Manager, City of Boise
Date and time:
Wed., Aug. 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Advancements in Arthroplasty

This lecture will provide new information about advancements in joint replacement, including robotic technology, opioid reduction strategies, development and application of same-day discharge surgeries, implant design, and accelerated recovery.
Presenter: S. Bradley Daines, MD, Joint Replacement Specialist and Co-Founder, The Idaho Clinic
Date and time:
Fri., Aug. 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Deep History of Population Growth in the Snake River Plain

Population growth and climate change are two of the greatest challenges facing the Snake River Plain. This lecture will focus on a 15,000-year record of adaptations to these challenges in the Snake River Plain that provides important lessons. We also will discuss a need for increased engagement with the Indigenous societies who have successfully adapted to these challenges for millennia.
Presenter: Dr. Erick Robinson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, and Director, Center for Applied Archaeological Science, Boise State University
Date and time:
Mon., Aug. 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Media Bias and Why Facts Matter

This lecture will look at perceived media bias and why facts matter in a democracy. We will explore how journalists gather facts, source stories, and present the facts in an objective manner. Then we will examine the notion of expertise, media literacy, and the spread of disinformation and misinformation in the current social media climate.
Presenter: Scott McIntosh, Opinion Editor, Idaho Statesman
Date and time:
Tue., Aug. 30, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

The Stone House in the Cañon

Between 1885 and 1889, Arthur DeWint Foote and his wife, Mary Hallock Foote, designed, constructed, and lived in a home in the rugged Boise River Canyon. We will learn about the homesite and examine archival research on the original structure. Nicknamed the “House in the Cañon,” our study will offer a glimpse into the early pioneer spirit of this couple and highlight the achievements of both individuals.
Presenter: Dr. Stacey Guill, author
Date and time: Wed., Aug. 31, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Starting in September

Indigenous Storywork (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will explain Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) storywork as an essential, vitalized premise of Indigenous pedagogy, methodology, theory, and practice in Idaho. The significance of place-based storywork will serve as an intersection of knowledge, providing a much-needed framework for the relationship of unique epistemological foundations, hermeneutics, and language revitalization/reclamation, while examining the ways in which cultural analysis creates an inclusive classroom environment.
Presenter: Julian Ankney, co-fiction editor, Blood Orange Review, and co-director of Visiting Writers Series, Washington State University
Dates and times:
Thu., Sep. 1, 8, and 15, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35

Shakespeare on Film (In Person Only)

What makes a great film adaptation of Shakespeare’s plays? What should a reader of Shakespeare look for in evaluating the continuing stream of new Shakespeare-inspired films? This course will examine Shakespeare on film by concentrating on the critically praised version of Macbeth by Joel Coen, starring Denzel Washington. We will focus on the text of Macbeth, highlighting performance history and interpretive issues, then screen and critique the film.
Presenter: Dr. John Ottenhoff, Professor Emeritus of English, Alma College
Dates and times:
Thu., Sep. 1, 8, and 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Idaho Forest Ecosystems

How long have Idaho mountains been forested? How have Idaho forests changed since Lewis and Clark crossed Lolo Pass? What do trees say to each other? Why are birds and fungi important to trees? How do wolves affect trees? What is the role of fire in our forests? How will climate change affect our forests? Learn about the history of the Idaho forest ecosystem, as well as some of the many ecological interactions that make it work.
Presenter: Dr. Eric Yensen, Professor Emeritus of Biology, The College of Idaho
Dates and times:
Tue., Sep. 6, 13, 20, and 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$45

Film and Television Arts at Boise State University

This lecture will present an overview of the Film and Television Arts program at Boise State, the fastest-growing program in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Richard Klautsch, Charles Hewitt, and Boise State students will discuss their experiences in the program. Scenes from the Narrative Television Initiative also will be shared.
Presenters: Dr. Richard Klautsch, Professor of Theatre Arts and Department Chair, Boise State University, and Charlie Hewitt, Founder and President, Mirror Studios, and Professor of the Practice, Department of Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing, Boise State University
Date and time:
Tue., Sep. 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

The Transatlantic Slave Trade (Livestream/Recorded Only)

More than 12 million African men, women, and children were kidnapped and forced to board European ships as part of the transatlantic slave trade. In the 1560s, an Englishman named John Hawkins led three slaving voyages to the west coast of Africa, and two hundred years later, the British controlled most of the slave trade, transporting large numbers of Africans to American plantations. This course will examine Hawkins’ career and the rise of the Royal African Company after his death, as well as the resistance to the slave trade mounted by Africans in Africa.
Presenter: Dr. Richard Bell, Professor of History, University of Maryland
Dates and times:
Wed., Sep. 7, 14, and 21, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35

Boise Junior College: A History

On September 6, 1932, Boise Junior College (BJC) opened with 70 students and 14 faculty. We will take a step back in time to learn about BJC from this humble beginning until it became a four-year institution in 1965. We will learn about the challenges and triumphs in establishing BJC, its transition to a public institution, the development of the physical campus, and how the dedication of the students, faculty, staff, and community built the foundation that propelled the school’s expansion and success.
Presenters: Dr. Cheryl Oestreicher, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Albertsons Library, Boise State University, and Ernie Hoidal, retired attorney and adjunct faculty member, Boise State University
Dates and times:
Wed., Sep. 7 and 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

Rebirth of Our Gorongosa

This lecture will review the restoration project of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique and the work of philanthropist Greg Carr. Human resources, conservation, and tourism in Gorongosa will be discussed, and Gabriela Curtiz will share her experience of being the first female safari guide of the park.
Presenter: Gabriela Curtiz, tourism safari guide, Gorongosa National Park
Date and time:
Fri., Sep. 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Trial and Execution of Socrates

This course will explore several critical texts of the Greek philosopher Socrates. Participants will examine four Platonic dialogues (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo) and engage in rich discussions on the texts, including topics of piety, justice, the nature of the soul, and the afterlife.
Presenter: Dr. Reginald Jayne, Clinical Associate Professor, Applied Sciences and Interdisciplinary Professional Studies, Boise State University
Dates and times:
Mon., Sep. 12, 19, and 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$35

Putin’s Russia: “The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep” (Livestream/Recorded Only)

The subtitle of this course is a Russian proverb that describes well the prevailing head-in-the-sand attitude and survival mode that many Russians currently hold. The goal of this course will be to learn more about what makes Russia, its political figures, and its common people tick. We will discuss political, economic, demographic, social, and cultural developments inside Russia; its role in the international arena; and Russia-U.S. relations. We also will scrutinize the workings of Putin’s regime and question what has held him in power for longer than any leader since Stalin.
Presenter: Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig, linguist, author, and educator
Dates and times:
Mon., Sep. 12, 19, and 26, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Charting Idaho Nursing History: 1860s Through 2010

Nurses have been the largest healthcare workforce in Idaho for more than 100 years. In this lecture, nurses’ contributions to the healthcare of Idahoans and the evolution of the nursing profession will be detailed by decade. The impact that Idaho nurses have had on public health, on the establishment of hospitals and training schools, on expanding the practice to promote public access to care, and on public policy will be discussed, and historical photos of key events and people will be shared.
Presenter: Dr. Randall Hudspeth, APRN-CNP, FAANP, Executive Director, Idaho Center for Nursing
Date and time:
Tue., Sep. 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Catastrophic Floods From the Last Ice Age

Some of the largest documented floods on earth occurred in the Columbia River Basin between 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, leaving puzzling hydrologic and geologic remnants that baffled scientists for years. This lecture will explore the events that led to the floods and their lasting impacts on the landscapes of Idaho, Montana, and Washington.
Presenter: Dr. Greg Clark
, retired Hydrologist and Associate Director, USGS Idaho Water Science Center
Date and time:
Fri., Sep. 16, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

American First Ladies: Eleanor Roosevelt and Abigail Adams

In the first session, Blaine Davies will explore the life of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, an activist before, during, and after her husband’s presidency. While Franklin D. Roosevelt led our country through the Great Depression and WWII, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt traveled throughout the country and the world, bringing back to the White House a perspective that FDR valued, appreciated, and often implemented. In the second session, Dr. Janet Worthington—as Abigail Adams—will reminisce on Abigail’s life and beliefs during the Revolutionary War, a tumultuous time in U.S. history.
Session One Presenter: Blaine Davies, retired Professor of History, Boise State University
Session Two Presenter: Dr. Janet Worthington, retired Dean of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Education, SUNY Plattsburgh
Dates and times: Tue., Sep. 20 and 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

Regenerative Farming in Southern Idaho

Southern Idaho is a high desert ecosystem blessed with copious amounts of water. This unique circumstance has led to extensive irrigation projects and millions of acres of farmland. Legacy agriculture corporations, resource exploitation, a growing population, and a changing global climate all present difficult obstacles for Idaho’s agriculture community. Learn about regenerative agriculture through the lens of a multigenerational organic family farm in southern Idaho. Also learn about the geography, climate, natural resources, history, and policies that shape Idaho’s unique agricultural landscape.
Presenter: Wilder Jones, farmer, King’s Crown Organic Farm and Wild Spaces Farm
Dates and times:
Wed., Sep. 21 and 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

The Business of 3D Printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a revolutionary process for some industries, allowing companies to bring products to market more quickly and at less cost. Learn the basics of 3D printing, the difference between commercial additive manufacturing and hobbyist applications, and ways in which industry is deploying the technology. We also will discuss innovative applications of 3D printing on the horizon in healthcare and other industries.
Presenter: Lynn Hoffmann, CEO, Intermountain 3D, Inc.
Date and time:
Thu., Sep. 22, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

NEW! The Supreme Court and the Constitution: Religion, Reproductive Rights and Gun Violence

The Supreme Court’s rulings in June have left American citizens to wonder about the scope and future of rights and liberties at the center of national controversies. In this lecture, Dr. David Adler will review and critique the Court’s recent rulings on matters of great concern: the status of freedom of religion; the future of women’s reproductive rights, including access to contraceptives in an era of rapidly-changing state laws; and the expansion of gun rights in the face of mass shootings and the public’s yearning for laws that will promote safety.
Presenter: Dr. David Adler, President, Alturas Institute
Date and time: Thu., Sep. 22, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $15

NEW! American Democracy at the Crossroads: The January 6 Hearings

The House Select Committee Hearings into the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol represent an historic inquiry into the insurrection that temporarily halted the critical constitutional process for counting and certifying Electoral College votes in the presidential election in 2020 and the promotion of the “Big Lie.” The unprecedented assault on our constitutional democracy requires a meticulous accounting of the persons and organizations responsible for the violence and efforts to subvert the election outcome. History requires it. Our law requires it. Our democracy requires it.  In this lecture, Dr. David Adler will draw on the founders’ insistence on governmental accountability in critiquing the process and results of the congressional hearings, and will review potential consequences, remedies, and protections against future assaults on our democracy.
Presenter: Dr. David Adler, President, Alturas Institute
Date and time: Fri., Sep. 23, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $15

The Latino Community in Idaho (In Person Only)

“Important Issues Impacting Idaho’s Latino Community” will examine proposed policies that address income inequality, difficulties in accessing healthcare, and issues in education success. We also will explore criminal justice reform, civil rights protections, immigration reform, and exploitation of labor. “Idaho Latino History Through Song, Word, and Dance” will include musicians celebrating the history of Latinos in Idaho through corridos/ballads. From the development of the ranching and mining industries of the 1800s, to agriculture and railroad expansion and massive government irrigation projects, Hispanic Idahoans have been essential to Idaho’s economic and cultural development.
Session One Presenter: Natalie Camacho Mendoza, Owner, Camacho Mendoza Law
Session Two Presenter: Ana Maria Nevarez Schachtell, Project Director, Idaho Corrido Music Project
Dates and times:
Thu. and Fri., Sep. 29 and 30, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

Shared Stewardship and Idaho’s Forests

Shared Stewardship is a national initiative that aligns the efforts of multiple agencies, organizations, and landowners as they work across ownership boundaries to implement effective forest treatments and address existing forest health and wildfire risks. This lecture will present an overview of Idaho forests, discuss the path to Shared Stewardship in Idaho, and explore current efforts in Idaho. Panelists from the Idaho Department of Lands and the U.S. Forest Service also will participate.
Presenters: Ara Andrea, Idaho Statewide Shared Stewardship Coordinator, and Lynn Oliver, South Idaho Shared Stewardship Coordinator
Date and time:
Thu., Sep. 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Starting in October

Glaring Omissions: Connecting Population Growth and Climate (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This lecture will examine connections between climate change and population growth, the reasons why population isn’t discussed, and how voluntary population programs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience. The very processes of industrialization that have historically facilitated increases in living standards, overall health, and economic growth for affluent nations now act as environmental threats with consequences that are more immediate and life-threatening than ever before.
Presenter: John Seager, President and CEO, Population Connection
Date and time:
Mon., Oct. 3, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Baltic Countries: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (Livestream/Recorded Only)

The three Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are a beautiful and captivating—if often overlooked—part of Europe. While today they are often mentioned in the same breath, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are historically, culturally, ethnically, and linguistically very different from one another. These differences in history, language, and religion made each of the three Baltic countries unique in terms of architecture, traditions, and even cuisine. Join us for a fascinating virtual trip to these three Baltic countries.
Presenter: Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig, linguist, author, and educator
Dates and times:
Mon., Oct. 3, 10, and 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Idaho School Board Members: The Hot Topics They Face

Idaho’s school board members have faced especially challenging times in recent years, and the challenges will continue into the future. This lecture will address some of the hot topics that school board members are discussing during their terms of service, including the COVID pandemic; district funding; recruiting teachers and administrators; engagement between board members and constituents; parent participation; advocacy on behalf of public education; trends in school board elections; and current issues in the news.
Presenters: Misty Swanson, Executive Director, and Quinn Perry, Deputy Director, both of Idaho School Boards Association
Date and time:
Tue., Oct. 4, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Challenging “Normalcy”: The Roaring Twenties (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will explore the lives of three presidents—Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover—during a critical decade of Republican Party dominance. We will examine key events, such as the advent of Prohibition and the Teapot Dome Scandal, the popularity of “Silent Cal,” the progressive career of Hoover, and the coming of the Great Depression in 1929. We also will discuss key technological developments, such as radio and the automobile, and cultural icons of the era, such as Henry Ford.
Presenter: Dr. Jared Day, former Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University
Dates and times: Tue., Oct. 4, 11, and 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Genetic Predisposition to Disease

Facilitated by two clinical genetic counselors, this lecture will focus on providing an overview of the current state of medical genetics. We will focus on genetics of predisposition to certain diseases of interest, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases; various types of genetic testing to help delineate a person’s risks; and other scenarios in which genetic testing can be helpful. We also will touch on “direct-to-consumer” genetic tests, such as 23andMe, and things to be aware of when undergoing genetic testing.
Presenters: Emily Fassi and Madison Bernhardt, Certified Genetic Counselors, St. Luke’s Cancer Institute
Date and time:
Wed., Oct. 5, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

My Journey Before and After the U.S. Invasion

Artist Luma Jasim will discuss her life before and after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “I didn’t choose to be born in Baghdad. I didn’t choose to be called a Muslim. I didn’t choose to spend my early years hearing bombs and watching funerals. I didn’t choose to have Saddam Hussein be my president. I didn’t choose to be there when he invaded Kuwait. I didn’t choose to suffer under the economic blockade. I didn’t choose to be close to terror attacks every other day. I didn’t choose not to have electricity for a decade. I didn’t choose not to resist the wave against women.”
Presenter: Luma Jasim, multidisciplinary artist and Alexa Rose Foundation Fellow
Date and time:
Wed., Oct. 5, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Reclaiming the Past: History of LGBTQ+ Idahoans

We will explore the history of LGBTQ+ Idahoans, expanding beyond the Boys of Boise (a 1955-57 McCarthy-era investigation into an alleged “homosexual underground” in Boise) to illuminate the everyday lives, communities, successes, and accomplishments of LGBTQ+ Idahoans, with attention to diverse identities and experiences. We will investigate surprising opportunities for LGBTQ+ life in rural Idaho, and then delve into the complex role religion has played in the lives of LGBTQ+ Idahoans.
Presenters: Dr. Lisa McClain, Professor of History and Gender Studies, Boise State University, 2021 Osher Institute Faculty Grant Recipient, and Rachel Taylor, Graduate Student of History, Boise State University
Date and time:
Thu., Oct. 6, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Terror and Delight: The Development of Gothic Fiction

From Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, from Frankenstein to Friday the 13th—throughout the centuries, why have scary stories so persistently attracted us? This course will explore the 18th century British origins of Gothic literature; examine historical and cultural reasons for its rise to popularity; look closely at iconic examples of Gothic fiction in America; and ask us to reflect on the enduring legacy of reading and telling tales that frighten us.
Presenter: Dr. Tom Hillard, Professor of English, Boise State University
Dates and times:
Fri., Oct. 7, 14, 21, and 28, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$45

Mining in Idaho: Past and Future

This lecture will provide a brief history of mining in Idaho, discuss the unintended consequences to our environment, and showcase how mining practices, companies, and regulations have (and in some cases, have not) evolved over time. We also will review some controversial proposals for new mines in Idaho, such as the Stibnite Gold Project, and highlight how communities can get involved in shaping these projects.
Presenter: John Robison, Public Lands Director, Idaho Conservation League
Date and time:
Mon., Oct. 10, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Boise’s Parks and Trails

This lecture will discuss how Boise’s beloved parks, trails, and other recreational assets are developed and maintained. From the creation of the Greenbelt more than 50 years ago, to current efforts to make our parks and playgrounds accessible and inclusive for children of all ages, we will examine what makes Boise’s system a model for other communities, including protecting and improving services as the city and Treasure Valley grow.
Presenter: Doug Holloway, Director, Boise Parks and Recreation
Date and time:
Tue., Oct. 11, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Art and Science Behind LAIKA’s Oscar-Winning 3D Printing (Livestream Only)

This lecture will treat attendees to a visual journey through how 3D printing has helped redefine stop-motion animation. We will explore more than a decade’s worth of creative and technical developments and groundbreaking animation. LAIKA is world renowned for its stunning films, such as Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, KUBO and the Two Strings, and Missing Link.
Presenter: Brian McLean, Director of Rapid Prototype, LAIKA
Date and time:
Wed., Oct. 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Myths and Realities in Our Nation’s History

This course will challenge some familiar narratives of U.S. history and present our past from differing political, economic, and social perspectives. We will examine our history from the viewpoints of Indigenous peoples and African Americans, as well as from various foreign actors. We also will retrace important events in our country’s history and redefine their significance. From these vantage points, we will craft a closer and deeper understanding of both our accomplishments and our shortcomings as a nation.
Presenter: Ralph Bild, retired CIA Intelligence Analyst and high school economics and history teacher
Dates and times:
Wed., Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, and 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$45

The U.S. Mining Industry: Key Trends and Issues (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Mining in the U.S. historically has provided one of the principal building blocks for our industrial revolution and national prosperity. Minerals are needed for construction, appliances, digital devices, many consumer products, and most recently, batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy production and storage. However, the domestic mining industry is being threatened on multiple fronts. This lecture will examine the state of the domestic mining business and how it is responding to these pressures.
Presenter: Andrew Brodkey, COO, International CuMo Mining Corp
Date and time:
Wed., Oct. 19, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Your Modern Library: Better Than Google, Alexa, and Siri

Historically, libraries have been known for orderly collections of books, trained staff, and quiet spaces. Today’s libraries, however, manage both physical and digital spaces and serve as primary community advocates. Learn how the needs of library patrons have changed, how disinformation is impacting libraries, and how libraries are responding. We will discuss how new technologies and the high-price information world have resulted in a drive towards open access. We also will explore a variety of resources available to community members.
Presenters: Michelle Armstrong, Interim Dean, Albertsons Library, Boise State University; Jessica Dorr, Director, Boise Public Library; and Elisabeth Shook, Head of Scholarly Communications and Data Management, Albertsons Library, Boise State University
Date and time:
Thu., Oct. 20, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Bridge Generation of Vietnam (In Person/Livestream Only)

This course will discuss the people who grew up in wartime northern Vietnam, experiencing severe famine during the 1970s and 80s and who now lead the country in business, education, and government. Stories of these people and “aha” moments during their experiences will be shared. Participants will view a 45-minute documentary that focuses on the hunger period and on the cultural shift in Vietnam, moving from a culture of community to one of individualism.
Presenter: Dr. Nancy Napier, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Boise State University
Dates and times: Thu., Oct. 20 and 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

The Columbia Spotted Frog: A Century of Discovery

This lecture will examine the Columbia spotted frog, which was first discovered in 1841 on a Smithsonian expedition. Like many amphibians around the world, the spotted frog succumbed to a multitude of environmental changes that caused population declines. These declines, however, inspired concerted conservation efforts by diverse stakeholders, and many of these conservation actions have had remarkable success.
Presenter: Dr. David Pilliod, Supervisory Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Date and time:
Mon., Oct. 24, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Drought and Fire Impacts to Idaho Forests

This lecture will discuss the Idaho Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling lab (ITEAM) and its investigations into the impacts of climate change, policy decisions, and natural and human disturbances on terrestrial ecosystem processes at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Using observations, experiments, and modeling to improve mechanistic understanding of ecosystem response to change, experts can make predictions about carbon and water balance, biodiversity, emissions, climate feedback, and changing disturbance regimes (e.g., fire).
Presenter: Dr. Tara Hudiburg, Associate Professor, Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, University of Idaho
Date and time:
Mon., Oct. 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Intermountain Bird Observatory: The Diane Moore Nature Center

The Osher Institute has had a long-standing relationship with the Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO). In 2021, Osher sponsored the IBO on the River: The Diane Moore Nature Center project. Learn how this idea has gone from vision to reality. How long has it taken? Who benefits? We will review the progress made; ongoing outreach, research, and habitat restoration; future plans; and how one can get involved in supporting the completion of this legacy project along the Boise River.
Presenter: Greg Kaltenecker, Diane and Winston Moore Family Endowed Executive Director, Intermountain Bird Observatory
Date and time:
Tue., Oct. 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Insects in Decline

Insects are the most biodiverse organisms on the planet. From little-known beetles to the Monarch butterfly, insects are vital to both natural ecosystems and our own economy. Are our six-legged friends in trouble? We will go on a bug’s eye journey of threats that face insects in the 21st century, describing which insects are thriving and which are in peril. We also will discuss the decline of insects and what can be done about it.
Presenter: Sierra Laverty, Plant Health Consultant and Garden Coach, Master of Science Candidate in Entomology
Dates and times:
Tue., Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

Mycology: A Stroll Through the Fungal Forest

This lecture is all about fungi, their importance in the evolution of life on the planet, their role in ecological systems, and their uses. We also will explore fungal oddities, such as Massaspora, a fungus that infects cicadas and causes their reproductive body parts to fall off while inciting hypersexual behavior courtesy of an amphetamine-like substance and the psilocybin it produces.
Presenter: Dr. Mickey Myhre, retired pathologist and Founder and Owner, IDX Pathology
Date and time:
Wed., Oct. 26, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Meet Craig Johnson, Bestselling Author (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Saddle up, because New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson, creator of the Walt Longmire series, will be presenting for the Osher Institute. The Longmire mysteries have been translated into more than twenty languages and are the basis for the hit Netflix series. A self-proclaimed cowboy novelist, Mr. Johnson has been referred to as one of the most delightfully engaging and entertaining writers on the circuit today.
Presenter: Craig Johnson
, author
Date and time:
Thu., Oct. 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Llorona, Cucuy, Brujas, and Other Hispanic Tales of Mystery

Hispanic tales are not about witches in tall hats riding broomsticks, princes and princesses, or fairy godmothers granting wishes. Instead, they are yarns about a Mexican version of witches casting different kinds of spells, a terrifying woman in white seeking her lost children, a monster hiding under beds, and healers remedying curses with oils and prayers. This lecture will take a look at the Hispanic tales of mystery and lore that have grounding in reality and religion.
Presenter: Patricia Marcantonio
, author
Date and time:
Mon., Oct. 31, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

From Elvis to Hendrix: Pop Music’s Evolution in the 1950s and 60s

From Elvis Presley’s iconic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show to Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire, radical transformations in popular music left Perry Como fans wondering what happened. This course will provide an in-depth examination of how tumultuous cultural, political, and social changes in the U.S. prompted the reinvention of pop music, thanks in part to a certain quartet from Liverpool. Did the change in pop music ultimately benefit fans, or the record labels that took advantage of the musicians who made it?
Presenter: Kurt Orzeck, writer, reporter, and critic
Dates and times:
Mon., Oct. 31, Nov. 7, and 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

Starting in November

Exoplanets: Planets Outside Our Solar System

This lecture will provide a survey of planets discovered outside our solar system. How were they found, beginning in the 1990s? What are they like? Are any of them like planet Earth? What are scientists’ plans for more discovery about them?
Presenter: Paul Nelson
, retired Senior Engineer, DRAM Research and Development, Micron Technology
Date and time:
Tue., Nov. 1, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

The Nature of War: Ecology, History, and Military Conflict

This lecture will explore the ecological and environmental effects of military activity—whether engaged in or preparing for combat—over the 20th century. We will pay particular attention to major wars involving the U.S.: WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the First Gulf War, with additional consideration of the global environmental impacts of the Cold War. While destruction of nature is a certain result in any war, nature is also resilient and can rebound from conflict in hopeful and beneficial ways.
Presenter: Dr. Lisa M. Brady, Professor and History Department Chair, Boise State University
Date and time:
Wed., Nov. 2, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Healthcare Planning and Getting Your Affairs in Order

“Palliative and Supportive Care in Today’s Medical Environment” will explore the operational principles of palliative and specialized medical care for those living with a serious illness, as well as the value the discipline brings to patient care. “The Transition: Information for Survivors” will discuss details of our day-to-day lives that often are not written down for our loved ones, such as contact information for healthcare providers, insurance agents, or lawn care service. These missing details can make life more difficult for our survivors.
Session One Presenters: Jessica Evert, MD, and Emily Getlein-Marques, NP, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialists, St. Luke’s Health System
Session Two Presenter: Dennis Hall, retired financial advisor
Dates and times:
Thu., Nov. 3 and 10, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

Russian Expansion Eastward: Industrialization and Colonization

This course will chronologically describe the expansion of western Christian Russia eastward, with a focus on the Ural region, including Siberia and the Far East. Two overall efforts will be examined: the colonization of the Indigenous and Muslim peoples east of the Volga, and the industrialization of Ural and Siberian mountains and rivers in order to power the Russian/Soviet military efforts. We also will discuss how these efforts provoked famous uprisings against the state, including the revolts of Stepan Razin and Emelyan Pugachev, and the Russian Revolution itself.
Presenter: Dr. Megan Dixon, Lecturer on Environmental Studies, The College of Idaho
Dates and times:
Thu., Nov. 3, 10, and 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$35

The Men and Women of WWII and Prisoners of War (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will focus on the men and women who served in WWII, based on interviews with veterans of the war.  The presenter will  share stories of aviators in the Pacific, Seabees, Marines at Iwo Jima, medics in the Aleutians, and soldiers  who crossed mountains in Burma. The role of women and African Americans in the war effort  will be discussed, as well as POWs, including a memoir of a 16-year-old Army soldier captured by the Japanese and forced on the Bataan Death March. He survived three years of slave labor in the Philippines and Japan.
Presenter: Kayleen Reusser, author
Dates and times:
Fri., Nov. 4 and 11, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25

Beethoven String Quartet Cycle: Performance Six (In Person Only)

2020 was the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth year. We are continuing the celebratory events in his honor this fall. A Beethoven quartet cycle that performs all 16 of his quartets is a very special and unique experience for the listener and the performers. Join us for the continuation of the Beethoven quartet cycle with Laurel Talley and Anna-Marie Vargas on violins, Jennifer Drake on viola, and Dr. Brian Hodges on cello as they perform the Op. 132 quartet.
Presenter: Dr. Brian Hodges
, Associate Professor of Cello, Boise State University
Location: Morrison Center Recital Hall
Date and time:
Sat., Nov. 5, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Sing Where the Love Is (Livestream Only)

How many poems do you know from memory? What makes a poem earn its place on your list of favorites? How does it arise in the poet? We will read, recite, and analyze favorite poems, beginning with “Sing Where the Love Is,” and discuss the process and craft that poets employ. Participants are asked to bring at least one poem (their own or another’s) for the first session. Critique of original work will be gentle and positive.
Presenter: Jack Seybold, author and retired teacher
Dates and times:
Mon., Nov. 7 and 14, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
$25
Capacity: 40

Food and Agriculture

“Transforming Food and Agriculture to Circular Systems (TFACS)” will demonstrate how essential this system is to ensure we have resources to meet the needs of  the world’s growing population. We will explore “convergent” research and the work of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and funding agencies. “The Food and Dairy Innovation Center” will discuss  the new facility at Boise State that is transcending the normative standards of science in the food and dairy sectors. It is creating innovative technologies and providing  education for the next generation of workers to lead in a high-tech, artificial intelligence (AI) dominated work environment.
Session One Presenter: Dr. JoAnn S. Lighty, Dean, College of Engineering, and Professor, Mechanical and Biomechanical Engineering, Boise State University
Session Two Presenter: Dr. Owen McDougal, Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Nov. 8 and 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
$25

Understanding Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s plays are often difficult, complex, even mystifying; King Lear is perhaps the most daunting of all. This lecture will offer participants ideas for making Shakespeare more understandable and enjoyable while appreciating the complexity and challenges of this play. With some effort, we can find real satisfaction in encountering Shakespeare’s works, especially one as deep and moving as King Lear.
Presenter: Dr. John Ottenhoff, Professor Emeritus of English, Alma College
Date and time:
Wed., Nov. 9, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

What’s in Wildfire Smoke and Why is it So Bad for You?

In this lecture, we will discuss how a changing climate is contributing to more wildfire activity and learn what is in smoke, breaking down the process of what happens when it gets inside the human body. We will cover historical research on lung and heart impacts, as well as cutting-edge research suggesting how organ systems can be impacted. Participants also will learn what actions can mitigate smoke exposure in future fire seasons.
Presenter: Dr. Luke Montrose, environmental toxicologist and Assistant Professor of Public Health and Population Science, Boise State University
Date and time:
Wed., Nov. 16, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Planning for Idaho’s Future in the Face of Climate Change

The Idaho Climate-Economy Impacts Assessment connects the latest scientific research on Idaho’s changing climate with economic risks and opportunities that impact businesses, residents, and local and state economies. This lecture will explore the assessment’s findings across six sectors: agriculture, energy, human health, recreation and tourism, infrastructure, and land. To lend more information to these topics, the Nature Conservancy in Idaho will present opportunities for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to a changing climate in Idaho, focusing on climate solutions.
Presenters: Dr. Katherine Himes, Director, McClure Center for Public Policy Research, University of Idaho; Dr. Megan Foster, Program Director and Research Scientist, McClure Center for Public Policy Research, University of Idaho; Bas Hargrove, Senior Policy Representative, The Nature Conservancy Idaho; and Jillian Hanson, Climate Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy Idaho
Date and time:
Wed., Nov. 16, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost:
Included with membership

Idaho’s State Budget and Why it Matters for Our Communities

The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy is the state’s only nonpartisan think tank dedicated to informing the public and policy makers about Idaho’s budget and how it impacts our state’s prosperity. This lecture will explain the Center’s work in housing, budgets, criminal justice, and education, and how big-picture trends in state funding are navigated around these critical issues. We will use interactive exercises to empower participants to make a difference in advocating for ample budgets that fund the services their communities need to thrive.
Presenter: Alejandra Cerna Rios, Director, Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy
Date and time:
Thu., Nov. 17, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost:
Included with membership

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are member-led opportunities for learning and engagement outside of the classroom.

Hiking in the Foothills

Come explore Boise’s wonderful Ridge to Rivers trail system on moderately strenuous hikes of one-and-a-half to two hours in duration. Start from a different trailhead each week to experience the beauty of the open space surrounding our city. Information with details on date, time, and location will be emailed in advance of the planned hike.
Please note: Due to parking and group size constraints, members who enroll in this group will be split into two groups that will hike different trails each week.
Facilitator: Dennis Hynes
Hikes: Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.-noon

Journeying Together

This SIG is a group of Osher members that meets every month in a seminar. Each member, in rotation, presents on a topic they have researched to the group. Topics cover a wide range of subjects, such as literature, history, sociology, and technology.
Facilitators: Diane Ronayne and Paul Penland
Meetings: Second Friday of each month, 12:30-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 20

Make Your Family Tree Better

Meet with other Osher members to discuss common questions and issues involved with family history research and genealogy. Discover new ways to find solutions to your research challenges, hear other members’ experiences, and share your own findings with the group.
Facilitator: Thad Webster
Meetings: First and third Tuesday of each month, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 25

(Mostly) Foreign Films at The Flicks

Join Osher members who enjoy films—both foreign and American—by gathering at The Flicks, Boise’s premier independent movie theater. Following each film, members will have the opportunity to meet in the theater for a short discussion. The Flicks utilizes best practices for social distancing and safety issues.
Please note: Due to robust interest in this SIG and the limited size of the theater, the film may sell out.
Facilitator: TBD
Meetings: One Monday a month, around 4:30 p.m.
Location: 646 W. Fulton St., Boise

Personal Writing

Join Osher members who are interested in personal writing (memoir, essays, etc.) in a supportive setting. Each meeting will be peer led and will focus on a specific area of personal writing or a theme. No prior writing experience is necessary.
Facilitator: Merilee Marsh
Meetings: every other Friday, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 25

Reading Writers Paired

Take part in a casual and exploratory book group—something different than the typical format. Each month, SIG members choose two books that have something in common such as era, location, or theme. Members can choose to read one book or the other, and both works are discussed at the next meeting.
Facilitator: Carol Delaney
Meetings: Third Thursday of each month, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Capacity: 25

Walking the Greenbelt

Take part in the beauty of the Boise River Greenbelt with other Osher members who want to get exercise while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Moderate to brisk walks that begin and end at the Yanke Building will be the core of this SIG.
Facilitators: Sharon Bixby and Diane Ronayne
Meetings: Fridays, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Location: 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise. Meet on the east side of the building.

Wednesday Morning Summer SIG

Make connections with other Osher members during weekly conversations, with coffee and food available at the food trucks.
Facilitator: Mark Eubank
Dates and times: Wednesdays, July 6, 13, 20, and 27, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Location: Green Acres Food Truck Park, 1401 Shoreline Dr., Boise

Stay Connected

Osher News: Read our monthly e-newsletter to keep up to date on events, newly added programs, important membership information, and more.

Facebook: Like us on Facebook! Discover curated articles, see sneak peeks of the next catalog, and get real-time updates on Boise State campus news and Osher Institute programs.

Casual Coffee Social Hours: Join Osher Director Dana Thorp Patterson for monthly casual coffee social hours. Great conversation is always supplied—we just need you to join us! Dates for each meeting are announced in Osher News and on the Osher Facebook page.

Osher on Demand: Visit our blog, Osher on Demand, to access a wide variety of online resources including recorded lectures from Osher Institute presenters, curated TED Talks, academic articles, podcast recommendations, virtual tours, and more!

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