The Idea of Nature Lecture Series:
Bringing the World to Boise.

If you enjoy this series, consider making a donation, however small. All donations are tax deductible and will be dedicated to future programming for the series.

Interested in making a gift via check? Gifts may also be mailed directly to the Boise State University Foundation at:

1173 W. University Dr. Boise, ID 83706

Please include "AR281 Idea of Nature" in the memo line of the check.


Idea of Nature Donation QR Code
"INTERDISCIPLINARY EXPLORATIONS: THE IDEA OF NATURE" PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES

Now heading into its twelfth year, the goal of the The Idea of Nature lecture series is to promote interdisciplinary inquiry about the environment and to foster dialogue across the campus and community.

Videos of the lectures and the promotional materials can be streamed or downloaded from the links below.

These lectures are free, open to the public, and require no tickets. However, the events this year will be held virtually by Zoom.

Registration is required for the Zoom event, please send an email to ideaofnature@boisestate.edu, and a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the lecture.

All lectures will begin at 6 PM MST, with the exception of the bonus lecture listed below.

SPRING 2024 SCHEDULE
  1. “Nature's Best Hope”
    Douglas Tallamy, T.A. Baker Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware
    February 9, 2024 - Jordan Ballroom, Student Union Building
    (both in-person lecture and webinar)

    Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Choosing the right plants for our landscapes will not only address the biodiversity crisis but help fight our climate crisis as well. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can - and must - take to reverse declining biodiversity, why we must change our adversarial relationship with nature to a collaborative one, and why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.

  2. “Over the Adventure Gap”
    James Edward Mills, Freelance Journalist and Mountain Guide
    March 28, 2024 - Jordan Ballroom, Student Union Building
    (both in-person lecture and webinar)

    Mr. Mills will provide a clear understanding of the socio-cultural circumstances that have created disparities among the U.S. population in citizens’ ability to access and enjoy public land. National parks, wilderness, and monuments that are set aside for recreational enjoyment are disproportionately underutilized by African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans for reasons that are inextricably linked to past and present racial discrimination. Broadening access and participation in outdoor recreation requires a clear understanding of this history, as well as an appreciation of the continuing efforts by people of color to reassert their right to the outdoors.

  3. “The Nature of Taylor Swift”
    Stephanie Burt, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English at Harvard University
    April 18, 2024 - Simplot Ballroom, Student Union Building
    (both in-person lecture and webinar)

    We hear about the great songwriter's relationship to her fans, to country, to pop, to singing, and even to the global economy. What about her relationship to nature? Or to the idea of nature? With examples from her own work and from poetry past and present, from the Romantics to contemporary New Zealand, we'll see how Taylor frames nature as an ally-- though an unreliable one-- as she works to become a reliable friend, a lover and a confident adult. We'll see how her lakes and her starlight change from the first country album to the quarantine indie-folk. We'll hear what's wrong with midnight rain-- and what's weird about snow on the beach.

  4. Earth Week Bonus Webinar
    “From Lament to Action: Why We Should All Engage with Eco-Church”
    Rev. Lydia Cook, Angelican Priest, Ottery St. Mary, England
    April 22, 2024 - Webinar ONLY, 12:00 Noon, MST

    Rev. Cook will explore the theological, spiritual and practical role of Christian churches in the care of creation. She will look at what insights the Scriptures give to help navigate a Christian response to the environmental crisis we find ourselves living in and ask how we can (re)discover a spirituality of creation that speaks into people's lives in a meaningful way, rebuilding connections with those of little faith or none. Finally Lydia will look at practical ways that churches can make a difference to their local community and environment through the ARocha eco church scheme.

About Dr. Samantha Harvey

Dr. Samantha Harvey joined the faculty of the Department of English at Boise State University in 2010. She received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in English Literature and her B.A. in English and the Study of Religion from Harvard University. Dr. Harvey's teaching and research interests include nineteenth-century British poetry and prose, transatlantic Romanticism, and literature and the environment.

SPONSORS
Boise state Logo Humanity council logo Nature Conservancy logo
Ada Soil & Water Conservation District logo Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Logo

College of Arts and Sciences
School of Public Service
College of Education
Graduate College

College of Business and Economics
Department of English Literature

Environmental Studies Program
Hemingway Literary Center
The Idaho STEM Action Center

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Submissions from 2024

Over the Adventure Gap (Lecture), James Edward Mills (March 28, 2024)

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Nature's Best Hope (Lecture), Douglas Tallamy (February 9, 2024)

Submissions from 2023

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Don't Forget the Smallest Creatures and Get Rebugging (Flyer), Vicki Hird (April 20, 2023)

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Don't Forget the Smallest Creatures and Get Rebugging (Lecture), Vicki Hird (April 20, 2023)

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How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World (Lecture), Gaia Vince (April 18, 2023)

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How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World (Flyer), Gaia Vince (April 18, 2023)

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Our Wild Neighbors (Flyer), Margaret Renkl (March 28, 2023)

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Slow Plants on a Burning Planet (Flyer), Jared Farmer (February 23, 2023)

Submissions from 2022

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The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative (Flyer), Florence Williams (April 21, 2022)

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Losing Ground: Wildfire and the Limits of Disaster (Flyer), Stephanie LeMenager (March 28, 2022)

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Losing Ground: Wildfire and the Limits of Disaster (Lecture), Stephanie LeMenager (March 28, 2022)

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Weather Report: The Climate of Now (Flyer), Terry Tempest Williams (February 17, 2022)

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Weather Report: The Climate of Now (Lecture), Terry Tempest Williams (February 17, 2022)

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2022 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Handbill), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2022)

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2022 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2022)

Submissions from 2021

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What Does the Earth Ask of Us? (Lecture), Robin Wall Kimmerer (April 7, 2021)

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What Does the Earth Ask of Us? (Flyer), Robin Wall Kimmerer (April 7, 2021)

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Idaho First: How Archaeological Discoveries on the Lower Salmon River Change Our Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas (Flyer), Loren Davis (March 17, 2021)

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Idaho First: How Archaeological Discoveries on the Lower Salmon River Change Our Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas (Lecture), Loren Davis (March 17, 2021)

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Thomas Cole and the Destruction of American Nature (Lecture), Alan Wallach (February 18, 2021)

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Thomas Cole and the Destruction of American Nature (Flyer), Alan Wallach (February 18, 2021)

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2021 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2021)

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2021 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Handbill), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2021)

Submissions from 2020

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Thomas Cole and the Destruction of American Nature (Flyer), Alan Wallach (April 16, 2020)

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Idaho First: How Archaeological Discoveries on the Lower Salmon River Change Our Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas (Slides), Loren Davis (March 18, 2020)

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Idaho First: How Archaeological Discoveries on the Lower Salmon River Change Our Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas (Flyer), Loren Davis (March 18, 2020)

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The Buzz About Bees (Lecture), Thor Hanson (February 19, 2020)

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The Buzz About Bees (Flyer), Thor Hanson (February 19, 2020)

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2020 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2020)

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2020 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Handbill), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2020)

Submissions from 2019

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Changing Views of Nature - Lecture, Bernd Heinrich (April 17, 2019)

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Changing Views of Nature (Flyer), Bernd Heinrich (April 17, 2019)

Thomas Jefferson's Nature - Ketchum Lecture, Peter S. Onuf (March 14, 2019)

Thomas Jefferson's Nature - Boise State University Lecture, Peter S. Onuf (March 13, 2019)

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Thomas Jefferson's Nature (Flyer), Peter S. Onuf (March 13, 2019)

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Rights of Nature: The Future of Idaho's Landscape (Flyer), Paulette Jordan (February 6, 2019)

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Rights of Nature: The Future of Idaho's Landscape - Lecture, Paulette Jordan (February 6, 2019)

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2019 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2019)

Submissions from 2017

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"The Ghostly Language of the Ancient Earth": The Idea of Nature in Deep Time, Scott Ashley (April 20, 2017)

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'The Ghostly Language of the Ancient Earth': The Idea of Nature in Deep Time (Flyer), Scott Ashley (April 20, 2017)

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A Tapestry of Nature: Emerging Themes of Disturbance and Recovery from Multiple Disciplines (Flyer), Nalini Nadkarni (March 16, 2017)

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A Tapestry of Nature: Emerging Themes of Disturbance and Recovery from Multiple Disciplines, Nalini Nadkarni (March 16, 2017)

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Deliberate Living: The Challenge of Walden in the 21st Century (Flyer), Laura Walls (February 16, 2017)

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Deliberate Living: The Challenge of Walden in the 21st Century (Lecture), Laura Walls (February 16, 2017)

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2017 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2017)

Submissions from 2016

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Adventures in a Natural History Museum (Lecture), Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (April 14, 2016)

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John Muir and the Religion of Nature: A Bankrupt Legacy? (Lecture), Donald Worster (March 17, 2016)

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Messy Rivers are Healthy Rivers (Lecture), Ellen Wohl (March 3, 2016)

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2016 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2016)

Submissions from 2015

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The Nature of a Spacious Life (Flyer), Rebecca Kneale Gould (April 23, 2015)

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The Nature of a Spacious Life (Lecture), Rebecca Kneale Gould (April 23, 2015)

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Nature: From Howling Wilderness to the Call of the Wild (Lecture), David Lowenthal (March 19, 2015)

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Nature: From Howling Wilderness to the Call of the Wild (Flyer), David Lowenthal (March 19, 2015)

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The Wolf Trap: Entering the Woods through Fairy Tales (Lecture), Maria Tatar (March 9, 2015)

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The Wolf Trap: Entering the Woods through Fairy Tales (Flyer), Maria Tatar (February 18, 2015)

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2015 Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series Schedule (Flyer), Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2015)

Submissions from 2014

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Getting to the Roots of the Matter: Trees in 19th Century Literature (Lecture), Susan Oliver (April 24, 2014)

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Emily Dickinson and Science (Lecture), Richard Brantley (March 13, 2014)

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After Nature: Living in the Anthropocene (Lecture), Jedidiah Purdy (February 12, 2014)

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Flyer with 2014 Schedule for the Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series, Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2014)

Submissions from 2013

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The Nature of Slow Food (Lecture), Dan Philippon (March 12, 2013)

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The Nature of Slow Food (Flyer), Dan Philippon (March 12, 2013)

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Robert Frost and the Forests of Vermont (Flyer), John Elder (February 14, 2013)

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Robert Frost and the Forests of Vermont (Lecture), John Elder (February 14, 2013)

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Idea of Nature Public Lecture Series - 2013 brochure with schedule, Samantha Harvey (January 1, 2013)

Submissions from 2012

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Romanticism, Blake, and the Politics of Nature (Flyer), Kevin Hutchings (April 30, 2012)

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Romanticism, Blake, and the Politics of Nature (Lecture), Kevin Hutchings (April 30, 2012)

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Henry David Thoreau and Health in Nature (Lecture), James Engell (March 15, 2012)

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Henry David Thoreau and Health in Nature (Flyer), James Engell (March 15, 2012)

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On Metaphor and Progress: Nature in Literature and Landscape Painting in 19th-Century America (Lecture), Rochelle Johnson (February 17, 2012)

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On Metaphor and Progress: Nature in Literature and Landscape Painting in 19th-Century America (Flyer), Rochelle Johnson (February 17, 2012)

Submissions from 2011

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The Poetics of Nature (Lecture), James McKusick (April 22, 2011)