News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

August 11, 2008 — Vol. 24 No. 28

Muscians Steve Eaton, above, and Mike Sanders will perform a solar-powered concert Saturday, Aug. 16, outside the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available from the Stephens Center Box Office, at x.3595, or online.

In this Issue

Rising costs, need for renovations prompt fee increases at Holt Arena

Idaho State University will increase fees for the use of Holt Arena by the start of the fall 2008 semester, the first such increase in at least a decade, ISU officials have announced. Faced with rising costs and the need for renovations to the popular facility, the University will implement increases in rental and facility (read more...)

20 years after wildfires ISU researchers head back to Yellowstone

A 10-member team of scientists with links to Idaho State University is heading into Yellowstone National Park for about a two-week period this August to test their theories of the effects of wildfire on natural ecosystems and stream ecology. This summer is the 20th anniversary of the 1988 Yellowstone fires that burned about 1.2 million acres (read more...)

2008-09 ‘Season of Note’ performing arts series set

Idaho State University has announced the performance schedule for the 2008-2009 “A Season of Note” series, which will take place at the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center on the ISU campus. Season ticket sales begin Aug. 11. Individual show ticket sales begin Aug. 25. The schedule is as follows: • Oct. 1 – Samarabalouf, an (read more...)

ISU receives more than $1.4 million for five research projects

Idaho State University received more than $1.4 million in grants in a one-week period in July for five different research projects. “Together, the new grants are indicators of ISU excellence in energy, health care, and scientific research,” said Pamela Crowell, Ph.D., ISU Vice President for Research. “Through these projects, our faculty and students will make new (read more...)

ISU professor attempts to create drought-resistant potato

Idaho State University biological sciences professor Dring Crowell is attempting to create, through genetic engineering, drought-resistant potato and soybean plants that require less water to grow. He has already genetically engineered a relatively simple plant, Arabidopsis, to make it more drought resistant. A Canadian researcher, Dr. Peter McCourt, has also been successful creating drought-resistant canola, another (read more...)

Faculty/Staff Update

A “Celebration of Life” is scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 27, in memory of the late Janet C. Anderson, who died July 29. The namesake of the Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center at ISU, she retired in 1998 as dean of student affairs after a 31-year career at ISU. The time of the celebration will be announced soon. It will be held in the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall.

New hires at ISU include: Sherry A. McTigue, administrative assistant, ISU-Boise; Pamela Crowell, Ph.D., vice president for research, Office of Research; Shane Edwin Ostermeier, assistant director, Student Union; Samuel B. Peterson, faculty, College of Business; Laura L. McCarty, administrative assistant 1, Center for New Directions; Donna M. Summers, counselor, Center for New Directions.


Idaho State University's Division of Continuing Education invites all members of the community to learn about its new series of classes, which begin Sept. 16.
Lifelong learners interested in picking up some Spanish knowledge or practicing what they already know are invited to register for the Spanish conversation courses, facilitated by an experienced native speaker in a fun and interactive environment.
Also available will be Beginning Digital Photography, Beginning Photoshop CS2, Country Swing and Two-Step dancing as well as the Ballroom Dance series, featuring Tango and Waltz. Hundreds of online classes are available as well.
To find out more, call x3155.

The Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) is recruiting participants for its fall 2008 docent training program. Docents are volunteer teachers in the museum who are responsible for conducting guided educational museum tours to groups of all ages, the majority being school children. Groups visiting the museum range from 10 to 80 people. Docents must have vocal and physical stamina. Serving as a docent is a great way for to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with today’s youth.
Docents can expect to learn new information, expand their understanding of natural history, work with children, and have a lot of fun. The Museum is interested in Docents with a variety of backgrounds, including those with no previous scientific knowledge.
An additional benefit of the training program is the opportunity to participate in the annual docent field trip. The 2007 docents took a trip to the Bennet Hills in southern Idaho to learn more about archaeological sites used by prehistoric peoples. In 2004, docents traveled to Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah, to learn about dinosaurs.
Docent training begins Thursday, Sept. 18, and runs for 12 weeks. Docents will spend three hours every Thursday afternoon learning about geology, archaeology, paleontology, anthropology and more. Each class features an important topic relevant to the museum’s collections and instruction on how to work with groups so that the docent can assist the museum in providing interesting, educational visits for visitors.
After attending the classes and observing at least six gallery tours, docents are asked to donate a minimum of 30 hours in providing guided tours to visitors. With the completion of 30 hours of service, docents receive a free membership to the museum which provides exclusive access to member programs, field trips, and other benefits.
For more information, contact Rebecca Thorne-Ferrel, Education Resources Manager, at x2195.

The Idaho Museum of Natural History is offering a one-day field trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch in the Island Park area on Saturday Sept. 13. This special activity is the first of four events offered exclusively to IMNH members over the next year. Flat Ranch, located near Harriman State Park, is a mecca for songbirds, pronghorn, moose, deer, elk, cranes, curlews, peregrine falcons and more. TNC manages it as a model working ranch.
The highlight of the trip will be a three-hour canoe trip through the ranch along the waters of the famed Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, guided by conservancy staff. The river there is narrow and calm and suitable for all skill levels. Surrounded by mountains, the ranch features open grasslands, extensive wetland complexes, more than four miles of river and five tributary spring creeks.
IMNH also plans for a geologist to accompany the group to describe the fascinating history of the Snake River Plain, Island Park Caldera, and the Yellowstone Hot Spot. Space for this field trip is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis only. The registration fee is $58 per person and includes all transportation, the three-hour guided canoe trip and lunch. Museum memberships start at $25 and can be purchased at the time of registration. Registrations must be received by Wednesday, Sept. 10.