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Registration Required

Registration is required to attend all Osher Institute programs. Many Spring 2024 programs are offered as a hybrid of in-person seats and livestream via Zoom. Most presentations also are recorded so that members may view them anytime during the membership year, which ends June 30, 2024.

Registration Opens

Registration for the Spring 2024 semester opened on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.

To register:

Spring 2024 Catalog Available Now

Thank you for accessing the online version of the Spring 2024 semester catalog!

Print catalogs will arrive in members’ mailboxes starting on Tuesday, December 12.

If you would like an additional copy of the Spring 2024 catalog, please contact the Osher Institute office at osher@boisestate.edu.

Download printable Spring 2024 catalog (PDF)

Additional Information

Visit the Semester Updates page to view our policies and updates for the Spring 2024 semester.

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

Spring 2024 Programs

Starting in January

Special Event: Spring Semester Welcome (Livestream Only)

Join us for the Osher Spring Semester Welcome, an online orientation and preview for the Spring 2024 semester! We will provide information about new programs available to Osher members and a sneak preview from new and returning presenters. The event is free, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link to attend. While the program is Livestream Only, members who wish to watch in the classroom are welcome.
Host: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Date and time: Thursday, January 11, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Special Event: Collette Travel Information Session

The Osher Institute is working with a variety of travel agencies this year to provide opportunities for members to visit other locations. This first information session with Collette Travel will review itineraries and pricing for three upcoming trip options: “Countryside of the Emerald Isle” in October 2024; “European Christmas Markets” (featuring Prague, Vienna and Budapest) in December 2024; and “Kingdoms of Southeast Asia” in Spring 2025. This program will be offered in person and livestreamed. Registration is required.
Presenter: Andy Boone, Collette Travel
Date and time: Thursday, January 18, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Included in membership

Taste Buds: Gino's Italian Ristorante-Bar (In Person Only)

Join the Osher Director for a meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Information on the restaurant, address, and menu will be provided in advance. Taste Buds maximum enrollment is two meetings per member.
Facilitator: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Date and time: Thu., Jan. 18, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: Gino’s Italian Ristorante-Bar, 3015 W. McMillan Rd., #198, Meridian, ID
Cost: Lunch is at members’ own expense

Symposium for Successful Aging (In Person Only)

Successful aging is often defined as the process of growing older while maintaining physical health, cognitive abilities and strong social relationships. During this symposium, our discussions will focus on concepts of awareness of aging issues and improving quality of life. Speakers will share their expertise on these issues with attendees. Topics include longevity, heart health, audiology, movement and concepts of exercise, being one’s own healthcare advocate and how hope can serve as a preventative and interventive measure. The first day’s conclusion will feature a resource panel. Join us to begin the new year with information, insight and meaningful discourse.
Programs Include:
Is Exercise Medicine, or is Physical Inactivity Pathological? (Dr. Shawn Simonson)
How to be a Great Patient: Co-Producing Your Own Healthcare (Paul Miles, MD)
An Avocado a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away (Matthew Nelson, MD)
Successful Aging and Audiology (Cynthia Olsen)
Five Recent Surprising Discoveries About Longevity (Dr. David Rehkopf)
Movement for Successful Aging (Kay Braden)
Nature-Based Stress Reduction (Dr. Thomas Doherty)
Hope: A Preventative and Interventive Measure in Challenging Times (Dr. Thomas Trotter)
Dates and times: Wed. and Thu., Jan. 24 and 25, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Cost: $75

The What and Why of the Institute for Advancing American Values (In Person Only)

Founded in 2021 and anchored by its signature, statewide Idaho Listens program, The Institute for Advancing American Values utilizes dialogue, education and research to initiate and inspire critical thinking, respectful engagement, understanding and connection concerning values that shape and define America.
Presenter: Dr. Andrew Finstuen, Dean, Honors College, Executive Director, Institute for Advancing American Values, and Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning and Special Initiatives, Boise State University
Date and time: Mon., Jan. 29, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Cool Molecules: How Nature Deals With Cold

Controlling ice crystal growth is a big challenge with major technological ramifications for settings as diverse as oil fields, cryobiology, airplanes and frozen food. Polar organisms living at subzero temperatures produce antifreeze proteins that bind to ice crystal surfaces and arrest their growth. This lecture will unravel the mode of action of these extraordinary molecules.
Presenter: Dr. Konrad Meister, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Boise State University
Date and time: Mon., Jan. 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

The Colonial Art of South-Central Mexico (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course will examine the sacred power of Aztec feather art, obsidian and beyond as we journey through the south-central valley of Mexico. We will study plays, poetry and music used to connect the spiritual realm to social power structures and the masses. We also will explore the power of art as an act of resistance.
Presenter: Hugh Leeman, multidisciplinary artist and educator
Dates and times: Tue., Jan. 30, Feb. 6, and 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

Inside the Boise Airport

The Boise Airport continues on a trajectory of exponential growth in passenger traffic. Learn more about the airport’s long-term plan, including the BOI Upgrade Capital Expansion Plan, its approach to air service and its recent revenue diversification efforts to ensure it meets the needs of our growing community well into the future.
Presenter: Rebecca Hupp, Airport Director, Boise Airport
Date and time: Tue., Jan. 30, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Escape Disinformation

Learn about a Homeland Security grant awarded to a librarian’s interdisciplinary team as part of an effort to counter domestic terrorism. We will explore the grant’s objectives and training developed to strengthen our community’s resistance to false and misleading information, including examining our vulnerabilities to disinformation.
Presenter: Elizabeth Ramsey, Associate Professor and Librarian, Albertsons Library, Boise State University
Date and time: Wed., Jan. 31, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Starting in February

Idaho Babe: Documentary Screening With Producer Arlie Sommer (In Person Only)

Filmmaker Arlie Sommer will screen her film, Idaho Babe, a short, poetic documentary about the Idaho Buckaroo legend, Babe Hanson. The film uses collage animation, archival photos and contemporary video of oral history interviews with and about Harriet “Babe” Drake Hanson, a queer woman who ran the Sawtooth Lodge in Grandjean, Idaho, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Presenter: Arlie Sommer, filmmaker, radio producer and Multimedia Developer, Extended Studies, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 1, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Chinese Calligraphy (In Person Only)

In this workshop, participants will learn about Chinese calligraphy tools and how to write the basic strokes of calligraphy. The course also will introduce the evolution of Chinese characters.
Presenter: En-hsun (Vanessa) Lai, Visiting Professor of Chinese, Department of World Languages, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25
Capacity: 45

First Amendment Freedoms and Restrictions (In Person Only)

This course will examine the history and creation of the First Amendment and provide a detailed outline of the evolving freedoms and restrictions in the First Amendment over time. We will discuss U.S. Supreme Court and District Court cases, with emphasis on changes and challenges in the First Amendment over recent decades.
Presenter: Bob Aldridge, JD, founder, Trust and Estate Professionals of Idaho, Inc. and Robert L. Aldridge, Chartered
Dates and times: Fri., Feb. 2 and 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Exploring Indigenous Idaho (In Person Only)

Indigenous Idaho Alliance uplifts and advocates the dynamic and colorful history of Idaho’s five tribes while nurturing community care and mutual aid, practicing abolitionism and advising on policy. This course will explore the intergenerational connections of tribal history in Idaho at the crossroads of our contemporary political and social work to bring tribal futurism to life.
Presenter: Tai Simpson, Community Organizer, Indigenous Idaho Alliance
Dates and times: Mon., Feb. 5 and 12, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Water Birds of Idaho

This course will examine the species, biology, occurrence, conservation needs and both cultural and historical facts of interest of various water birds of Idaho. We will discover particularly interesting behaviors and learn to identify and distinguish different species.
Presenter: Terry Rich, ornithologist, environmental educator and writer
Dates and times: Mon., Feb. 5 and 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25

Vanished Kingdoms of Eastern Europe (Livestream/Recorded Only)

What was the European landscape before major, modern nation-states such as France, Spain, Germany and Russia dominated the map? The five nations we discover will provide the necessary background for studying Eastern European history.
Here is a sneak peek of the course from Dr. Pereltsvaig: Vanished Kingdoms of Eastern Europe
Presenter: Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig, linguist, author and educator
Dates and times: Tue., Feb. 6, 13, and 20, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $35

Rembrandt: His Life and Work (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course is dedicated to the life and art of Rembrandt. In discussing his work, we will consider his sources, as well as his fascinating life in the unique environment of Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age. We will review well over 200 images and several videos that reveal the details of his creations up close.
Presenter: Dr. Russell Walker, Teaching Professor Emeritus, Carnegie Mellon University
Dates and times: Wed., Feb. 7, 14, and 21, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

The Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey

The Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey  is one of the longest-running public opinion polls in Idaho. Its annual release helps lawmakers know where Idahoans stand on the issues of the day and informs policy debates each legislative session. Learn about how this annual survey is prepared each year, what goes into its planning, how it is fielded and what Idahoans think about the issues.
Presenter: Dr. Matthew May, research scholar, Idaho Policy Institute and Survey Research Director, School of Public Service, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 8, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Chinese Spring Couplets (In Person Only)

Chinese Spring Couplets (Chunlian in Chinese) are also known as Chinese New Year Couplets. The process of creating them is the most common and important custom observed when celebrating Chinese New Year. Participants will learn about Chinese New Year culture and customs.
Presenter: En-hsun (Vanessa) Lai, Visiting Professor of Chinese, Department of World Languages, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25
Capacity: 30

Illuminating the Smallest Dark Matter Halos (Livestream/Recorded Only)

We will discuss efforts to learn about the nature of dark matter via astronomical observations. We also will discuss the presenter’s own work using data from the James Webb space telescope.
Presenter: Dr. Matthew Walker, observational astronomer
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Taste Buds: Wyld Child (In Person Only)

Join the Osher Director for a meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Information on the restaurant, address, and menu will be provided in advance. Taste Buds maximum enrollment is two meetings per member.
Facilitator: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Date and time: Fri., Feb. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: Wyld Child, 13 S. Latah St., Ste. 103, Boise, ID
Cost: Lunch is at members’ own expense

Boise Depot: Approaching 100 Years (In Person Only)

The Boise Depot will be 100 years old on April 16, 2025. The Depot’s eventual grand opening was a passionate community goal for over 40 years, realized only after several halted projects. Recently,  historical facts have become available from new sources. We will present a review of the train era in Boise centered on the Boise Bench Depot site. Learn how different building owners have treated this historic building. The second session will include an optional walking tour of the Depot grounds.
Presenter: Thad Webster, retired, Hewlett Packard
Dates and times: Wed., Feb. 14 and 21, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25

NEW! Travel Fever Tours Information Session

The Osher Institute is traveling with Travel Fever Tours to Costa Rica on January 30-February 8, 2025. Join us for a livestream Travel Information Session to find out more about this trip.
Presenter: Bob Lawson, Travel Fever Tours
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 15, 11:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

The Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence

In this lecture, participants will gain a better understanding of what artificial intelligence (AI) is, how it works and a few of its applications in everyday life. We will discuss concerns and ethical considerations, and learn how to engage with AI systems through interactive participation.
Presenter: Katy Rutledge, AI Product Owner, Hewlett Packard
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Creative Calm: Easy Art to Ease the Mind – Section One (In Person Only)

This workshop will provide participants with an overview of how simple visual art activities can increase mindfulness, reduce anxiety, improve mood and support healthy cognitive function. Each session will blend guided artmaking experiences that are easy, low-risk and lots of fun with information from scientific studies and class discussion. Participants will gain practical tips and tricks for making creativity a regular part of their lives. All materials are included.
Please note: You may only register for Section One OR Section Two.
Presenter: Terra Feast, K-12 Professional Development Manager and Adjunct Professor of Art Education, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Feb. 20 and 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $45
Capacity: 20

American Photography (Livestream/Recorded Only)

Since its inception, photography has become ubiquitous, with photographers both famous and unknown using it in innumerable ways, including as personal mementos, a form of historical documentation, an aid to commerce, and a tool for propaganda, scientific investigation or a form of art. Each of these uses provides a vantage point from which to view the history of our country. This lecture will provide thumbnail introductions to the work of a large number of American photographers from the 19th century to the present.
Presenter: Dr. James Schaefer, retired Associate Dean, Graduate School, Georgetown University
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 22, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Reconstructing Diets, Migrations and Environments Past and Present

This lecture will introduce how we can reconstruct environments, diets and migration of animals and humans using molecular and chemical techniques from samples such as fossils, bones, teeth and feathers. Applications of these tools range from archaeology to ecology. We will examine questions such as: How do we learn about bird migration? What did ancient humans and other hominin species eat? How can we understand past environments? Participants will learn more about the Stable Isotope Laboratory at Boise State University.
Presenter: Dr. Linda Reynard, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Geosciences, Boise State University and 2023 Osher Faculty Grant recipient
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 22, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Fun Fridays at Osher: Popcorn and a Documentary - "Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know" (In Person Only)

Join other Osher members for an entertaining afternoon at the Osher Institute where we will share a staff-selected documentary to enjoy. There will be time to socialize before and after the program. Refreshments are included. This free program has been created just for Osher members, but registration is required.
Date and time: Fri., Feb. 23, 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Landscape Design Basics and Plants of the Intermountain West

Knowing where to start in the art and science of landscape design can be overwhelming. We will learn practical steps to getting a design down on paper, and we’ll dive into the importance of site analysis and thinking of the space as an outdoor room. We’ll also learn how to use design tools such as seasonal interest and sight lines. The second part of the lecture will discuss plants that are perfect for the Intermountain West and examine how they can fit into your design to add color and interest.
Presenter: Sara Meier, horticulturist and landscape designer
Date and time: Mon., Feb. 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Cryptocurrencies and the Future of Money (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This lecture will provide a glimpse into the world of cryptocurrencies and “FinTech.” We will discuss how Bitcoin—the earliest and largest cryptocurrency—came to be, what it is and what its broader implications might be. The innovations underlying Bitcoin have shaken up the world of finance and raise important public policy questions such as: What role does—or should—government regulation and the Fed have in the evolving world of cryptocurrency and online finance?
Presenter: Dr. Joan Nix, Associate Professor of Economics, Queens College of City University of New York
Date and time: Tue., Feb. 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Redirecting the Immune System to Fight Cancer

This lecture will discuss many aspects of immune oncology from CAR-T to vaccine oncolytic virus and Bi specific T cell Engager therapy. We also will briefly discuss checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Presenter: Travis Williams, DO, St. Luke’s Cancer Institute
Date and time: Wed., Feb. 28, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

The Trial of Margaret Macomber (In Person Only)

We will dig deeply into Ernest Hemingway’s iconic 1937 short story, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and learn about its background, setting and characters. We will also discuss the more than 80 years of scholarly opinion—most centered on the guilt or innocence of the wife, Margaret Macomber. Participants will then act as jurors as we turn our classroom into a courtroom for a “mock trial” of Margaret Macomber.
Presenter: Dr. Stacey Guill, author
Date and time: Wed., Feb. 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

The History and Highlights of Young Adult Literature

Young adult (YA) literature first entered the market about 50 years ago and has seen incredible growth, especially in the 21st century. Books written specifically for teens now frequently show up on bestseller lists and have been adapted into hit movies and television shows. This lecture will explore the history of YA literature and discuss some of the best YA books available today.
Presenter: Gregory Taylor, former teacher-librarian and English teacher, Boise Public Schools
Date and time: Thu., Feb. 29, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Starting in March

Creative Calm: Easy Art to Ease the Mind – Section Two (In Person Only)

This workshop will provide participants with an overview of how simple visual art activities can increase mindfulness, reduce anxiety, improve mood and support healthy cognitive function. Each session will blend guided artmaking experiences that are easy, low-risk and lots of fun with information from scientific studies and class discussion. Participants will gain practical tips and tricks for making creativity a regular part of their lives. All materials are included.
Please note: You may only register for Section One OR Section Two.
Presenter: Terra Feast, K-12 Professional Development Manager and Adjunct Professor of Art Education, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Mar. 5 and 12, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $45
Capacity: 20

Covering Idaho Politics: Stories and Observations

This lecture will discuss specific stories and columns written by retired reporter Betsy Russell about Idaho politics over the years. She will share how and why she did them, what she learned and what she hopes readers learned. Betsy also will divulge a few anecdotes and humorous “legislative limericks” she penned during the final weeks of Idaho’s legislative sessions, and perhaps close with a new one.
Presenter: Betsy Russell, retired Boise Bureau Chief and State Government and Politics Reporter, Idaho Press
Date and time: Tue., Mar. 5, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

NEW! The 2024 Presidential Election: Implications for American Democracy and the Rule of Law

The 2024 presidential election is being viewed as a historic contest, pitting fundamentally different governing philosophies that will influence the future of the United States in a way that will exceed the impact of previous presidential races. For some, this race is about revenge and retribution. For others, it’s an epochal election, with the future of American Democracy at stake. In this two-day short course, we’ll examine the implications of this election for key domestic policy issues, matters of national security and foreign policy, the rule of law and the future of democracy.
Presenter: Dr. David Adler, President, Alturas Institute
Dates and times: Wed. and Thu., Mar. 6 and 7, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25

Dam Removal in the U.S.

Dam removal efforts continue to expand regionally and nationally to improve habitat, reduce safety risks and replace aging infrastructure. This lecture will describe factors considered  in dam removal decisions, trends in dam removals and elements considered during project planning, permitting, design and implementation.
Presenter: Dr. Steve Clayton, Senior Project Manager, Jacobs Engineering Group
Date and time: Thu., Mar. 7, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

From Grape to Bottle: An In-Depth Look at Wine Production (In Person Only)

Dive into the microbiology, chemistry, history and much more of winemaking. We will examine how principles from engineering to anthropology play a part in wine production. The second session will be a guided tour of the Cinder Wines facility.
Presenter: Riley Gorman, Assistant Winemaker, Cinder Wines
Dates and times: Fri., Mar. 8 and 15, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Taste Buds: Luciano's Italian Restaurant (In Person Only)

Join the Osher Director for a meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Information on the restaurant, address, and menu will be provided in advance. Taste Buds maximum enrollment is two meetings per member.
Facilitator: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Date and time: Fri., Mar. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: Luciano’s Italian Restaurant, 11 N. Orchard St., Boise, ID
Cost: Lunch is at members’ own expense

Officer-Involved Critical Incidents (In Person Only)

This lecture will discuss critical incidents in which a first responder is directly involved in the assault or in-custody death of an individual, usually a suspect or detainee. The ability to make judgment calls and act quickly to resolve issues and protect others is a trait that law enforcement officials are expected to have. What is the reality about situations resulting in brutal beatings, or even the death of another, by the officers we trust to protect and serve?
Presenter: Mike Miraglia, Detective, Violent Crimes Unit, Boise Police Department
Date and time: Sat., Mar. 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $15

The Uses and Abuses of History, or How History is Made

The discipline of history has become unexpectedly controversial in the past several years. As people lay claim to historical “truth,” it is important to be informed about how historians do their jobs. This lecture will explore important questions about sources, storytelling and the making of history.
Presenter: Dr. Rebecca Scofield, author, History Department Chair and Associate Professor of American History, University of Idaho
Date and time: Mon., Mar. 11, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Meet the Author: Heather Lende (Livestream Only)

Meet Alaska Writer Laureate Heather Lende, whose essays and stories have been widely published. She is a former contributing editor at Woman’s Day magazine and for over 20 years wrote some 400 obituaries for the Chilkat Valley News. She is the author of four bestselling memoirs, including Find the Good, the 2020 Alaska Reads pick. Her honors include the Alaska Governor’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities.
Presenter: Heather Lende, Alaska Writer Laureate
Date and time: Mon., Mar. 11, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Tales From the South Side: Discovering South Boise’s History

This lecture will explore the story of a neighborhood suburb, South Boise, which has largely been neglected in the historical scholarship about Boise. The evolution of South Boise will be discussed in relation to transportation, architecture, education and community identity.
Presenter: Barbara Perry Bauer, historian, preservationist, and founding member, TAG Historical Research and Consulting
Date and time: Wed., Mar. 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

National Parks After Dispossession: The Return of Buffalo

National parks are transforming in light of demands to make amends to displaced Indigenous communities. We will ground our discussion in the Iinnii Initiative, the Blackfoot-led reintroduction of buffalo onto Blackfoot lands and into Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks. We will explore how tribal-led projects like the Iinnii Initiative transform park-tribal relations and offer new models of parks and conservation.
Presenter: Dr. Libby Lunstrum, Professor of Environmental Studies and Research Director, School of Public Service, Boise State University
Date and time: Wed., Mar. 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

The Armenian Genocide of 1915 (In Person Only)

The Armenian Genocide of 1915 was the first genocide of the 20th century. Hitler used it as his blueprint for the Jewish Holocaust 25 years later. World leaders failed to act against the perpetrators who still deny the genocide, despite the fact that nearly two million Armenians were systematically annihilated by their Ottoman Turk government. We’ll discuss the story of the presenter’s mother’s survival of a forced death march across the Syrian Desert.
Presenter: Jo-Ann Kachigian, tutor and human rights activist
Date and time: Thu., Mar. 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Fun Fridays at Osher: Popcorn and a Documentary (In Person Only)

Join other Osher members for an entertaining afternoon at the Osher Institute where we will share a staff-selected documentary to enjoy. There will be time to socialize before and after the program. Refreshments are included. This free program has been created just for Osher members, but registration is required. The selection for this date is “Fantastic Fungi.”
Date and time: Fri., Mar. 15, 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Flora of Craters of the Moon

The hot, dry volcanic landscapes at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve support a surprising diversity of plant species. In this lecture, we will cover the unique geologic features of many showy natives, including milkweeds, orchids, penstemons, monkey flowers, ferns and cacti.
Presenter: Dr. Lynn Kinter, Lead Botanist, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Date and time: Mon., Mar. 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Converting the Pagans: A Medieval Story

At the beginning of the Middle Ages, most of northern Europe was pagan. By the end, it was Christian. Was the actual process of conversion peaceful or by force? What did Christians and pagans understand “conversion” to mean? We’ll take a closer look at the conversion of a pagan tribe in northern Germany during the 12th century.
Presenter: Dr. Skip Knox, retired adjunct professor and web programmer
Date and time: Mon., Mar. 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

30 Years in the Dirt: A Retrospective of Preserving the Past

This lecture will discuss the presenter’s 32-year career as a federal archaeologist, focusing on an archaeologist’s role in preserving our shared cultural history, as well as our nation’s laws that protect cultural heritage resources. We will focus on research conducted, including the theory and method employed by archaeologists to interpret and understand past human behavior.
Presenter: Kirk Halford, Adjunct Professor, Anthropology Department, Boise State University and retired State Archaeologist, Idaho Bureau of Land Management
Date and time: Tue., Mar. 26, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Organizing for Incident Response: How We Respond to Emergencies (In Person Only)

Across the U.S., and in many other countries, the Incident Command System (ICS) is used to respond to emergencies such as wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other natural or human-caused disasters. An overview of ICS will be provided, looking at the historical genesis of the system, system components and processes and real-world examples of ICS usage.
Presenter: Bill Kaage, retired Director of Fire and Aviation, National Park Service
Date and time: Tue., Mar. 26, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Global Regulation of Plastic: The Stories We Tell

Plastic waste has been a topic of concern since the 1997 discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In 2022, the United Nations moved to the forefront in addressing the problem by opening negotiations on a global plastic treaty. This lecture will examine the ethics, international law and geopolitics of plastic.
Presenter: Dr. Ruth Jebe, JD, Hansberger Chair of Business Ethics and Associate Professor of Management, Boise State University
Date and time: Wed., Mar. 27, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

[CANCELLED] An Exploration of GLP-1 RAs: From Discovery to Controversy

[PLEASE NOTE: This program has been cancelled for the spring semester. It will be rescheduled at a later date.]
Participants will learn about the discovery and evolution of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) such as Ozempic and Wegovy, from groundbreaking treatments for diabetes to weight loss wonder drugs. We will explore how these medications are used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes and their uses beyond diabetes treatment.
Presenter: Michael Biddle, PharmD, Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, St. Luke’s Humphreys Diabetes Center
Date and time: Wed., Mar. 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Never Too Early, Never Too Late (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This lecture will profile the lives of four child prodigies and four “50+” creative minds whose lives continue to inspire us. We will examine the dazzling young minds of feminist poet and philosopher Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal and pianist and composer Clara Schumann. We will review the older creative minds of composer Elliott Carter, environmentalist Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, painter Grandma Moses and author Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Presenter: Dr. William Thierfelder, retired professor of arts and humanities
Date and time: Thu., Mar. 28, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Writing Discovery (In Person Only)

Generate and shape the stories that matter from your life in any genre you prefer. This workshop will offer writing tools, inspiring prompts and discussion to create writing in a supportive environment. No writing experience is needed. Our space will provide not only ideas for writing, but a sense of community that is important to foster the creative spirit.
Presenter: Laurie McMillan, writer and co-founder, Pittsburgh Memoir Project
Date and time: Thu., Mar. 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $15
Capacity: 20

Student Union Art Collection Tour One (In Person Only)

The Student Union Permanent Art Collection was established to introduce students, faculty, staff and community members to a wide range of artwork from multiple traditions and periods in art history. This walking tour will explore how the collection creates a diverse mixture of style, content and subject matter.
Please note: Refunds will not be given for tours or special events. This event is offered twice. Please select ONE option only.
Presenter: Fonda Portales, Director of University Arts, Boise State University
Location: Boise State University Student Union, 1700 University Dr., Boise
Tour One date and time: Fri., Mar. 29, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $20
Capacity: 15

Starting in April

The Four Basic Questions of Philosophy (Livestream Only)

Ever since Parmenides first inquired into the nature of existence, we have been asking ourselves the four basic questions of life and philosophy: Who am I, really? What is really real? How does the answer to these two questions influence how I behave? What is the ultimate source of all this? This course is a journey into the human condition to answer these four basic questions.
Presenter: Dr. Vincent Coppola, author and filmmaker
Dates and times: Mon., Apr. 1 and 8, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Old Hearts, Young Love (In Person Only)

This interactive seminar pairs the rich life experience of Osher students with the young-lover characters from Shakespeare’s canon. Students will explore, play and perform in some of Shakespeare’s most iconic and romantic scenes. Come with an open mind and heart…because love isn’t just for the young.
Presenter: Tracy Sunderland, writer, director, actor and Lecturer, Department of Theatre, Boise State University
Dates and times: Mon., Apr. 1, 8, and 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $35
Capacity: 14

Theodore Roosevelt: A Life of Action

Learn about Theodore Roosevelt’s youth, his education and his adventures in politics and out west. We will consider his presidency and focus on his unique charisma and character.
Presenter: Dr. Reginald Jayne, Clinical Associate Professor in Applied Sciences and Interdisciplinary Professional Studies, Boise State University
Dates and times: Tue., Apr. 2 and 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Migration Mysteries

This course will dive into the secrets of bird migration, including cutting-edge research and little-known facts related to migration that make this field of study so intriguing. We will learn fascinating secrets behind birds’ navigation abilities, physiologies and sensory systems that make them some of the most astounding migrating creatures in the animal kingdom.
Presenter: Heidi Ware Carlisle, Education and Outreach Director, Intermountain Bird Observatory
Dates and times: Tue., Apr. 2 and 9, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25

A Modern Masterpiece: The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis (In Person Only)

Few authors are better known than C. S. Lewis, and nothing he has written is more important than The Abolition of Man. Lewis, departing from the Christian themes with which he is typically associated, asks whether morally responsible “man” can survive increasingly powerful technology and the impulse to condition and control that embraces it. In this course, we will discover the most vital question that  is before us. The significance of the book emerges from viewing it as an extraordinary discourse on the meaning of education.
Presenter: Dr. Jon Fennell, Professor Emeritus, Hillsdale College
Dates and times: Wed., Apr. 3, 10, and 17, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

Food and Dairy Innovation Center

Learn about the Food and Dairy Innovation Center at Boise State University that uses science and technology to transcend the normative standards of fundamental and applied science in food and dairy sectors. This shift is required to catalyze the transition in Idaho’s food and dairy processing industries by creating innovative technologies,  providing food safety and food security training and educating the next generation of workers to lead in a high-tech work environment dominated by AI.
Presenter: Dr. Owen McDougal, Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Boise State University
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 3, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

AI-Generated Art

This lecture will provide an in-depth examination of art generated by artificial intelligence (AI). We’ll look at the history of AI in relation to image generation, how to access and use AI in this context, the syntax/language required to communicate with AI, the ethics of using AI and its effect on artists.
Presenter: Levi Kuskie, musician, composer, writer, director and producer
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 10, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

A History of Hate: The Aryan Nations and White Supremacy in Idaho

Swastikas on the Anne Frank Memorial, arrests of 31 Patriot Front men in Coeur d’Alene during a pride parade, and alt-right clashes in front of City Hall…how did Idaho get here? This lecture will revolve around the white supremacy group, The Aryan Nations, their activities in Idaho during the 1970s to the 2000s and the history of hate groups in Idaho.
Presenter: Alisha Graefe, Archivist, Albertsons Library, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Apr. 11, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

[CANCELLED] Taste Buds: Fork (In Person Only)

[PLEASE NOTE: This meeting has been cancelled for the spring semester.]
Join the Osher Director for a meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Information on the restaurant, address, and menu will be provided in advance. Taste Buds maximum enrollment is two meetings per member.
Facilitator: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Location: Fork, 199 N. 8th St., Boise, ID

[DATE CHANGE] Research and Creative Activity at Boise State: An Overview

[PLEASE NOTE: The date for this lecture has been updated; it will no longer be held on March 12.]
Learn about Boise State’s Division of Research and Economic Development, including an overview of Boise State’s Center for Research and Creative Activity.
Presenters: Dr. Nancy Glenn, President, Research and Economic Development, Boise State University, and Jana LaRosa, Assistant Vice President for Research Advancement and Strategy, Boise State University
NEW date and time: Thu., Apr. 11, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Student Union Art Collection Tour Two (In Person Only)

The Student Union Permanent Art Collection was established to introduce students, faculty, staff and community members to a wide range of artwork from multiple traditions and periods in art history. This walking tour will explore how the collection creates a diverse mixture of style, content and subject matter.
Please note: Refunds will not be given for tours or special events. This event is offered twice. Please select ONE option only.
Presenter: Fonda Portales, Director of University Arts, Boise State University
Location: Boise State University Student Union, 1700 University Dr., Boise
Tour Two date and time: Fri., Apr. 12, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $20
Capacity: 15

Fun Fridays at Osher: Popcorn and a Documentary - "What the Health" (In Person Only)

Join other Osher members for an entertaining afternoon at the Osher Institute where we will share a staff-selected documentary to enjoy. There will be time to socialize before and after the program. Refreshments are included. This free program has been created just for Osher members, but registration is required. The selection for this date is “What the Health.”
Date and time: Fri., Apr. 12, 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Boise Public Library: Where Everyone in Boise Goes to Grow

In 2023, the Boise Public Library (BPL) completed a new Strategic Plan setting direction for the BPL for the next five years. Learn how the BPL created its new plan, the four priority areas identified through engagement with the community, and what to expect as the BPL begins implementation.
Presenter: Jessica Dorr, Director, Boise Public Library
Date and time: Tue., Apr. 16, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

The Story of the Cosmos: Four Forces That Define the Universe

We will explore the evolution of the biggest systems we can imagine, from the far-off galaxies explored by the James Webb telescope to the smallest things measurable: the quarks and gluons inside the neutron and proton and determine the properties of all matter. We also will learn about the Higgs boson and the origin of mass.
Presenter: Dr. James Russ, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University
Dates and times: Tue., Apr. 16, 23, and 30, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $35

Contemporary Strategies in Stroke Prevention

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common heart rhythm disorder in the U.S. and worldwide. Current data suggests AFib afflicts up to seven million Americans. Up to one in six people with AFib will suffer a cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke), which leads to significant socio-economic morbidity and mortality. Addressing stroke prevention via pharmacologic or minimally invasive surgical options is of paramount importance. We will focus on minimally invasive surgical options and  the source of CVAs in patients with AFib.
Presenter: Daniel Noonan, MD, Founder and President, High Desert Heart and Vascular
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 17, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

The Role of Arts in Our Community

This lecture will explore the power of arts and creativity in placemaking and place belonging, including a discussion of  the evolution of arts’ economic and community development in cities. We will examine the growing role of higher education as arts anchor institutions, and inspirational ways that arts and design can address some pressing challenges.
Presenter: Dr. Amanda Ashley, Director, School of the Arts, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Urban Studies, School of Public Service, Boise State University
Date and time: Thu., Apr. 18, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Reliability and Today’s Intelligent Power Grid

Utilities are evolving quickly with new technologies, growing demand and changing generation sources. Learn how Idaho Power is modernizing the electrical grid, mitigating wildfire risk and developing plans to meet the communities’ growing needs—all while keeping energy reliable, affordable and clean.
Presenters: Dan Johnson, Senior Engineer, Idaho Power, and Ian McGetrick, Planning Analyst, Idaho Power
Date and time: Thu., Apr. 18, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

The Art of Buddhism (Livestream/Recorded Only)

From its inception in ancient India to the present, Buddhism has inspired some of the world’s most astounding artistic creations. This lecture will provide a historical overview of works selected from sites located across Asia. We will explore the importance of each site or object through an analysis of the cultural, religious and political factors that surrounded its creation and use.
Presenter: Dr. Robert DeCaroli, author and Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art History, George Mason University
Date and time: Tue., Apr. 23, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

The American Revolution Beyond the British Empire (In Person Only)

This course will investigate the geopolitical forces that shaped the American Revolution and the international consequences of the U.S. break with Britain. We will explore how the familiar story of the American Revolution changes when it is considered as part of a titanic struggle among European empires for control of a vast, resource-rich new world.
Please note: This program will be presented on consecutive days.
Presenter: Dr. Richard Bell, Professor of History, University of Maryland
Dates and times: Wed., Thu., and Fri., Apr. 24, 25, and 26, 10:30 a.m.-noon
Cost: $45

The Coming Revolution in Inertial Navigation (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This lecture will explore two major classes of navigation systems: beacons at known locations such as GPS satellites, and inertial systems such as gyroscopes that exploit the basic physics of moving bodies. We will discuss the major revolution in beacon-based navigation and the smaller revolution in inertial systems that began at the end of the 20th century, and how innovations based on hot lasers and cold atoms will contribute to future navigation systems.
Presenter: Dr. Mel Siegel, Professor Emeritus, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Date and time: Wed., Apr. 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

America’s Birth Certificate: The Declaration of Independence (In Person Only)

The Declaration of Independence is a 1,310-word literary masterpiece written jointly by a committee of 50 people. Is it a birth certificate announcing happy news, or a petition for divorce full of grievance and score-settling? Is it aimed at the American people, King George or someone else? We will tackle the fascinating origins, misunderstood purpose and extraordinary global legacy of this document.
Presenter: Dr. Richard Bell, Professor of History, University of Maryland
Date and time: Thu., Apr. 25, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $20

Indigenous Art of the Southwest (In Person Only)

This course will explore the whimsical world of Navajo Folk Art.. We will discover creative art and artists whose charming designs reflect a strong sense of place in the rural life of the Diné (Navajo) and look at artists whose work combines joy and laughter with an unexpected twist. We also will examine the history, stylistic characteristics and beauty that has made Navajo rugs an enduring historical and contemporary art form.
Please note: This program will be presented on consecutive days.
Presenter: Linda Friedman, docent, Tohono Chul and Tucson Museum of Art
Dates and times: Mon. and Tue., Apr. 29 and 30, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

Millimeter Wave Drilling for Deep Geothermal Energy (Livestream/Recorded Only)

[PLEASE NOTE: This lecture has been rescheduled from its original date of March 4.]
This lecture will discuss Quaise Energy’s process for developing a novel drilling technology based on the dielectric heating and vaporization of rock through the generation and application of high power, high frequency microwaves. The organization is leveraging decades of research and billions of dollars invested into fusion, combined with 150 years of subsurface methods and drilling technologies that were developed for oil and gas extraction, to drive a step change in the economics and power density of geothermal energy.
Presenter: James Benetatos, Head of Business Development, Quaise Energy
Date and time: Mon., Apr. 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Starting in May

The Play’s the Thing (In Person Only)

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ISF) provides exceptional modern productions of Shakespeare’s plays in an extraordinary setting. Knowing about the plays ahead of time, as well as the interpretive issues and directorial challenges, can greatly enhance the theater experience. We will focus on the two Shakespeare plays to be performed at ISF in Summer 2024—The Merry Wives of Windsor and A Midsummer Night’s Dream — with an advance preview, focusing on plots, historical contexts and interpretive challenges.
Presenter: Dr. John Ottenhoff, Professor Emeritus of English, Alma College
Please note: This program will be presented on consecutive days.
Dates and times: Wed. and Thu., May 1 and 2, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

The Gregorian Calendar

The present calendar in use for most of the world today is the Gregorian Calendar. What are its origins? What does it have to do with genealogy? Although the process of dating is a complex one, this lecture will explain how and why the Gregorian Calendar came into existence, when most countries adopted and changed over to the Gregorian Calendar and how this information pertains to us today.
Presenter: Terry Sunderlin, past president, Pikes Peak Genealogical Society and member, Mountain Home Family History Group
Date and time: Wed., May 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

The Peace Corps Then and Now: Idaho Experiences (In Person Only)

This lecture will provide a review of the history of the Peace Corps from its founding in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to the present. Osher Advisory Board member Michael Bixby—a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica with his wife, Sharon, from 1968 to 1970—will discuss where and how many volunteers have served over the years, and the many changes in the organization. Idahoans who were former Peace Corps volunteers in different decades in Nepal, Zambia and Nicaragua will participate in a panel discussion of experiences.
Presenters: Michael Bixby, Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies in Business, Boise State University, and former Peace Corps volunteers from Idaho
Date and time: Thu., May 2, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Fun Fridays at Osher: Popcorn and a Documentary - "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am" (In Person Only)

Join other Osher members for an entertaining afternoon at the Osher Institute where we will share a staff-selected documentary to enjoy. There will be time to socialize before and after the program. Refreshments are included. This free program has been created just for Osher members, but registration is required. The selection for this date is “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.”
Date and time: Fri., May 3, 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Introduction to Chinese Language and Taiwanese Culture (In Person Only)

This lecture will provide participants with a basic Chinese language lesson including greetings, self-introductions and simple conversations. It will also give an overview of Taiwanese culture, customs and etiquette.
Presenter: En-hsun (Vanessa) Lai, Visiting Professor of Chinese, Department of World Languages, Boise State University
Date and time: Mon., May 6, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

Yesterday, Today and…Tomorrow? Creating Abstract Photographs (In Person Only)

People who view Diane Ronayne’s photo series “Yesterday, Today and…Tomorrow?” often ask her how it was made. In this workshop, participants will walk downtown and photograph buildings, trees, stoplights and other objects. Resulting images will be  transformed into abstract art using Photoshop. Instructions for working in Photoshop will be provided.
Presenter: Diane Ronayne, photographer
Dates and times: Tue., May 7 and 14, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25
Capacity: 20

Gene Editing: Introduction and Examples in Agriculture

Gene editing is a new tool in the biotechnology toolbox for developing improved agricultural products. Products from gene-edited plants, animals and microbes will be entering our food supply starting in 2024. This lecture will describe how gene editing works, why it is different from genetic modification, how it is being used in agriculture, and the safety of gene-edited products.
Presenter: Muffy Koch, Senior Regulatory Manager, J.R. Simplot Company
Date and time: Wed., May 8, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

The River Street Neighborhood: Diversity and Civil Rights in Boise (In Person Only)

In this course, we will discuss the history of the River Street neighborhood and changes that have taken place over time. These reflect the history of Idaho, but also have some unique aspects particular to this community regarding diversity, property rights and civil rights in Boise. The second session will be an optional guided walking tour around the River Street neighborhood.
Presenters: Emily Fritchman Mahaney, public historian and Professor of History, Boise State University and Dan Everhart, architectural historian
Dates and times: Wed., May 8 and 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25

The Brain Explained: Neurology in a Nutshell (Livestream/Recorded Only)

This course is aimed at nonmedical professionals interested in learning how the amazing brain works. We will delve into simple, useful ways to identify neurological diseases and conditions, as well as appropriate treatments. Topics will include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, movement disorders (particularly Parkinson’s disease), seizure disorders and strokes. We also will discuss healthy lifestyles and how to put the “care” back in “healthcare.”
Presenter: Dr. Paul Schanfield, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School, and retired clinical neurologist
Dates and times: Thu., May 9, 16, and 23, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

[CANCELLED] Taste Buds: Tango's Empanadas (In Person Only)

[PLEASE NOTE: This meeting has been cancelled for the spring semester.]
Join the Osher Director for a meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Information on the restaurant, address, and menu will be provided in advance. Taste Buds maximum enrollment is two meetings per member.
Facilitator: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Location: Tango’s Empanadas, 701 N. Orchard St., Boise, ID

The Murder of Rasputin: The Whodunnit of the 20th Century (Livestream/Recorded Only)

On the night of December 16, 1916, a group of conspirators murdered Grigori Rasputin, Russia’s “Mad Monk.” While meant to strengthen the Romanov dynasty, this murder brought on its downfall two months later and ushered in a year of two revolutions that ended with the Bolshevik takeover of Russia and the eventual murder of the Tsar and his family. In this lecture, new light will be shed on this century-old mystery.
Presenter: Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig, linguist, author, and educator
Date and time: Thu., May 9, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Sea Otters on the Oregon Coast (In Person Only)

Once common in Oregon, sea otters were hunted nearly to extinction in the late 1700s through the 1800s along the Pacific coast from Japan to Mexico. They have returned elsewhere, but remain missing in Oregon. This lecture will explore the history of sea otters in Oregon, their ecological and cultural importance and the prospects for their return and recovery.
Presenter: Robert Bailey, Board President, Elakha Alliance
Date and time: Fri., May 10, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: Included with membership

Resistance Training for Older Populations (In Person Only)

This lecture will provide valuable information for older populations about the benefits of resistance training programs. Some of these benefits include increased longevity, lower risk of falls and injuries associated with falls, improved balance and coordination and maintaining or improving the ability to independently complete everyday tasks and activities.
Presenters: Dr. Shawn Simonson, Director, Human Performance Lab, Kinesiology Department, Boise State University, and Ayla Gabel, graduate teaching assistant, Kinesiology Department, Boise State University
Date and time: Mon., May 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Music in Animated Films (Livestream/Recorded Only)

While many of us grew up enjoying the music of Disney movies, there’s a whole world of iconic songs and soundtracks that came out of Fleischer Studios and Looney Tunes productions that are just as noteworthy. Join us for an exploration of the music and songs of beloved cartoon characters like Betty Boop, Popeye, Olive Oil, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. You’ll be surprised by the adult themes and sophisticated musical arrangements that accompany these timeless characters and stories.
Presenters: Sam and Candy Caponegro, actors, co-directors, and theatre instructors
Date and time: Tue., May 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Included with membership

Writing the American Sonnet (In Person Only)

This poetry reading/workshop will familiarize students with the American sonnet, a looser, more musical and more inventive variation than its traditional counterpart. Without a required rhyme scheme or specific meter, the poets have freedom to create their own constraints within the 14 lines. We’ll start with a reading of some American sonnets written by the instructor and published in her new book, Hand Signs From Eternity’s Yurt,  followed by a discussion of techniques  and a workshop devoted to composing American sonnets.
Presenter: Diane Raptosh, author, writing instructor, and Co-Director, Criminal Justice/Prison Studies, The College of Idaho
Date and time: Wed., May 15, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25
Capacity: 25

Special Event: Osher Spring Picnic (In Person Only)

Join us as we celebrate the end of another spring semester! Enjoy music, fun events and refreshments in an outdoor location to be announced. This event is included with membership, but registration is required for planning purposes. Members may bring a guest.
Date and time: Fri., May 17, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: TBD
Cost: Included with membership

The Geologic and Historic Diversity of Idaho

Idaho’s dramatic topography is caused by its geologic diversity. This includes the ancient metamorphic basement of North America—sedimentary rocks that have been shoved eastward by thrust faulting and pulled apart by Basin and Range faulting, intrusive rocks of the Idaho batholith and volcanic rocks of the Snake River Plain. We will discuss  Idaho’s topography, as well as how the state’s history and economy have been controlled by geography and hydrology.
Please note: This program will be presented on consecutive days.
Presenter: Dr. Paul Link, author and former Professor, Geology Department, Boise State University
Dates and times: Wed. and Thu., May 22 and 23, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

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

Chit Chat Club

Come socialize with other Osher members before the start of class on Thursday mornings and enjoy coffee and snacks in our newly remodeled Yanke building lobby. This SIG is for Osher members only, and registration is required.
Facilitator: Mark Eubank
Meetings: Thursdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Capacity: 25

Craft Beer Buds

Join Osher members for a monthly meetup at a Treasure Valley brewery to sample various local craft beers. There will be knowledgeable people on hand to introduce members to the world of craft beer and various styles of local beer to enjoy. Beer is at members’ own expense, but the company, conversation, and discovery are included at no charge. Information on the brewery, address, and links will be provided in advance.
Facilitators: Steve Easley and Todd Fraser
Meetings: One Thursday a month, times and locations TBD
Capacity: 20

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.
Facilitator: Dennis Hynes
Meetings: Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.-noon
Capacity: 75

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

Mahjongg

Mahjongg is a game of strategy, luck, and skill that was developed in 19th-century China and is popular all over the world. Learn how to play this fun game with other Osher members. Registrants will purchase a 2023 National Mahjongg League card for $20 through the Osher Institute. No experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome.
Facilitator: Toni Fontaine
Meetings: every other Friday, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Capacity: 8

Make Your Family Tree Better [ON HIATUS]

[PLEASE NOTE: This SIG is on hiatus for the Spring 2024 semester.]
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

(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.
Facilitators: Bob and Toni Fontaine
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 is 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, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Capacity: 25

Taste Buds

Join the Osher Director for a meetup at area restaurants to sample various cuisines for lunch. Members will identify a subsequent restaurant, food truck, or other dining option for each month. Lunch is at members’ own expense, but the company and conversation are included at no charge. Information on the restaurant, address, and menu will be provided in advance. Taste Buds maximum enrollment is two meetings per member.
Facilitator: Dana Thorp-Patterson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Date and time: Thu., Jan. 18;  Fri., Feb. 9; Fri., Mar. 8; Thu., Apr. 11; and Thu., May 9, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: various locations (see each month’s listing for details)
Cost: Lunch is at members’ own expense

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 at the core of this SIG.
Facilitators: Diane Ronayne and Sharon Bixby
Meetings: Fridays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Location: 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd. Meet on the east side of the building.

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: 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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