News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

October 29, 2007 — Vol. 23 No. 29

Cal Groen, director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, visited ISU Oct. 24 to help launch the Idaho Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit, “A Century of Fish Hatcheries.” The event, which reviews 100 years of fish hatcheries in Idaho, included a fish fry. (ISU Photographic Services)

In this Issue

AMIS CTO Stoner, ISU President Vailas to speak at AMIS/ISU Research Symposium

Jon Stoner, AMI Semiconductor’s chief technology officer, and Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., president of Idaho State University, will underscore the value and potential for collaboration between higher education and private industry when they speak at the Third Annual Idaho State University/AMI Semiconductor Research Symposium on Friday, Oct. 26. AMIS and ISU, respectively, are the largest private (read more...)

‘Global Warming and Health’ topic of Health Conference keynote presentation

Global warming is responsible for the rise in asthma, West Nile virus and infectious disease, according to Harvard’s Paul Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., who will deliver the keynote speech “Global Warming and Health” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Idaho State University. His free, public presentation in the Salmon River Suite of the Pond Student Union (read more...)

ISU Homecoming Parade set Oct. 6; entry deadline is Oct. 4

The Idaho State University Homecoming 2007 Parade on Oct. 6 in Pocatello will start for the second consecutive year at the corner of First Avenue South and East Center Street, just east of the Center Street Underpass. From the starting point, the parade will proceed up Center Street to 15th Avenue South, where entries will turn (read more...)

Complex diseases on agenda of ISU bioinformatics workshop Oct. 12-13

Emerging applications and approaches for dealing with complex and data-intensive biomedical analysis will be the focus of the third annual Idaho State University bioinformatics workshop Oct. 12-13 in Lava Hot Springs. The “Symposium on Biomedical Bioinformatics” will convene at the Aura Soma Lava Conference Center. Researchers will be able to explore recent computational approaches for (read more...)

ISU receives $842,000 from DOD to develop ’smart’ prosthetic hand

Engineers, a biomedical researcher and a physical and occupational therapist at Idaho State University are collaborating to develop a “smart” prosthetic hand that will use nerve signals to fully simulate natural grasping, lifting and twisting hand motions. They hope the artificial hand will also respond to sensory and visual feedback. The United States Army Medical Research (read more...)

Faculty/Staff Update

A free public reception is scheduled Monday, Nov. 5, to mark the release of the book “The American Protest Essay and National Belonging: Addressing Division,” (State University of New York Press; $24.95 paperback) by ISU assistant professor of English Brian Norman, Ph.D. All are invited. The reception will be at the Piccolo Gallery, 501 N. Main St., in Old Town Pocatello from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Copies of the book will be available. Norman’s book uncovers a rich tradition of essays by writers who also serve as spokespersons for American social movements throughout the nation’s history. He demonstrates that the American protest essay is a distinct form that draws from both the European-born personal essay and American political oratory anchored in social movements. For more information about the book, visit


“ISU in Motion,” the radio show hosted and moderated by Idaho State University President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., will air Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. on KISU 91.1 FM, the University’s public radio station. President Vailas’ guests will be ISU chemistry professor Jeff Rosentreter, Ph.D., and ISU chemistry student and researcher Moises Moreno. “ISU in Motion” airs the last Monday of every month. Rosentreter, named an ISU Master Teacher in April, will discuss his research in devising new methods of detecting cyanide. Rosentreter and his research team have developed a sensor that instantaneously measures toxin levels in water and targets the specific form of cyanide toxic to humans and other organisms. Moreno, a master’s degree candidate, is working on the cyanide detector project as well.

The fall general assembly for all faculty and staff is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 15, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Bengal Theater in the Pond Student Union Building. The assembly will be an open format with President Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D., and the President’s Cabinet. It is requested that questions pertain to ISU as a whole. Individual personnel issues should be brought to Human Resources or to one’s immediate supervisor.

The ISU Student Health Center is offering flu shots to students, faculty, staff and spouses. Flu-shot clinic hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $22, payable by cash or check at the time of service. A valid Bengal ID card is required. For more information call x2330.

Join Phi Kappa Phi on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salmon River Suite of the Pond Student Union Building at Idaho State University for the Fall Lecture. The topic will be “Honoring our Wildlife Heritage.” Scott Ransom, director of the Pocatello Zoo, and Sarah Ifft, chair of the zoo’s capital campaign, will give a presentation on the zoo’s history, education programs, events and plans for expansion and development. Ransom may also bring an “animal ambassador.” As always, the lecture will be free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The biggest GIS Day ever held at ISU will be Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the PSUB Wood River Room. The annual GIS Day is intended to teach people how geography is used in their daily lives. This year it will combine with the Geo-spatial Range Sciences Conference. The free event is open to anyone who wants to learn more about geography and GIS technology. There will be presentations, demonstrations, a trivia contest, free items and refreshments. Once again, there will be a chili cook-off with Lodge Cast Iron cookware for the winner in each of the four categories and tasty chili for everyone to enjoy. To enter your pot of chili in the Chili cook-off, contact Keith T. Weber. No registration is required. For more information and a schedule of events, visit the GIS Day Web site.

The ISU Society of Physics Students and the ISU Department of Physics will host a “Haunted Laboratory” exhibit, free and open to the public, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the PSUB Ballroom. The “Haunted Laboratory” will be part of the annual Halloween Carnival sponsored by the ISU Student Activities Board. It will feature interactive exhibits designed to delight, fright and educate kids of all ages. Exhibits will include “The Disembodied Head,” “Pepper’s Ghost,” a Van deGraaf generator, Tesla coils, lasers moving to music, and lots of cool illusions with smoke and mirrors. Several exhibits use the same principles as those of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, except that at this event they will be explained.

The Students’ Community Service Center is sponsoring the annual toiletries drive again this year. Last year it was able to assemble 500 bags for individuals, and 50 bags for families. It invites the University community to participate again this year. Filled bags are distributed to the Idaho Food Bank, Aid for Friends Homeless Shelter and Resource Center, Family Services Alliance Women’s Crisis Center, and SEICAA. Donations must be new and unopened. Small travel-size products are welcomed. Please bring donations to The Students' Community Service Office in the Involvement Center on the bottom floor of the Pond Student Union Building. Call x3494 to arrange to have a donation picked up or for more information. The drive begins Nov. 5 and runs through Dec. 17.

The Idaho Museum of Natural History will participate in the last Monday Gallery Walk at ISU on Monday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. As part of the Gallery Walk, IMNH will be open free of charge to the public on the last Monday of each month through April, as will the other ISU galleries. Stillwaters Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Clinic is sponsoring the free admission for this event.

The Students' Community Service Center is sponsoring its fall blood drive on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Wood River Room of the Pond Student Union Building. To schedule an appointment to donate blood or to volunteer to help with the blood drive, call x3494 or visit the Students’ Community Service Office in the Involvement Center on the bottom floor of the PSUB.

The 15th annual Arctic Conference will be held at ISU Nov. 1-3. The conference is an informal symposium of archaeologists, anthropologists, ecologists and geologists. They gather once a year to share data and new findings and to plan collaborative research activities. Guest speakers will be Robert McGhee, Ph.D., and Patricia Sutherland, Ph.D., both of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. McGhee’s research focuses on the history of the Arctic peoples. He has worked in most regions of Arctic Canada, as well as in Siberia and Svalbard, investigating questions related to the earliest pre-Inuit occupations of Arctic North America; the development of Inuit culture; and the nature of relationships between the Inuit and early European travelers to Arctic regions. Sutherland has undertaken field investigations throughout Arctic Canada as well as in northern British Columbia, and has collaborated on international projects in Greenland. Her Arctic research has included studies of the Inuit and pre-Inuit occupations of the High Arctic and the Mackenzie Delta; the art of the Dorset culture; the medieval Norse colonies of Greenland; and the lost Franklin expedition. The Arctic Conference will be especially suited to student participants, who are encouraged to present findings from thesis and dissertation research. Conference presentations will be in the Salmon River Suite from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3. Registration is $40 at the door for faculty, $10 per day for students. The opening and closing keynote presentations, both on Nov. 2, will be free and open to the public. They will be: 9 a.m. Sutherland, “Canadian Museum of Civilization: A New Perspective on Norse/Native Contact in Arctic Canada”; 4:30 p.m., McGhee, “Canadian Museum of Civilization: Archaeology, Inuit History, and the Consequences of a Scholarly Myth.” For more information, to register, or for information about the opening reception on the evening of the Nov. 1, contact

The ski film “Warren Miller’s Playground” will be shown in the Idaho State University Pond Student Union Building Bengal Theater at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. The film signals the local ski season’s unofficial start. Tickets are $9 in advance and $10 at the door. Film sponsors are the ISU Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (CW HOG), ISU Student Activities Board, ISU Pond Student Union, Scotts Ski and Sports, Pebble Creek Ski Area, Rob’s Ride On Bikes and Snow, Snow King Resort, Soldier Mountain, Barrie’s Ski and Sports, Jackson Hole, Powder Mountain and Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. Tickets can be purchased at the Pocatello Ski Swap Nov. 2-3 in the PSUB Ballroom; the ISU Outdoor Adventure Center office on the lower level of the PSUB; and Scotts Ski and Sports, Barrie’s Ski and Sports, and Rob’s Ride On Bikes and Snow in Pocatello. For more information, contact CW HOG at x3912.

The Pocatello Ski Swap is scheduled Nov. 2-4 in the Pond Student Union Building Ballroom. Proceeds benefit the ISU Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group (CW HOG), the Pocatello Ski Association, the Pebble Creek Junior Racing Team and Pebble Creek Ski Patrol. Supporting merchants are Scott’s Ski and Sports, Rob’s Ride on Bikes and Snow, Barrie’s Ski and Sports, and Ace Hardware. There is a $1 entrance fee, although children age 12 and under get in free. Ski-swap hours are 7-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; and 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. Check-in times to bring items for display and sale are 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, and noon–6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3. Curbside check in is available at the PSUB’s Eighth Avenue entrance. Those displaying equipment must pick up unsold items from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at the PSUB Ballroom.