Campus Tree Tour

Eugene/Springfield–Whitey Lueck, an instructor in the UO Department of Landscape Architecture, annually leads a two-hour walk called Campus Tree Tour at the University of Oregon to discuss the campus’s landscape history and especially its trees, usually in the fall. He has given campus tours for many other groups, too, from the Society of American Foresters to garden clubs, school groups, and Boy Scout troops, and is available to lead private groups. The university’s lovely tree-studded and mostly car free campus lends itself perfectly to this type of educational outdoor activity. Lueck never gets tired of “showing off” the university campus’s ever-changing landscape. The special tour for OLLI members will take place in August. Participants will meet at the Pioneer Mother statue south of Johnson Hall, at 10 a.m. The tour is limited to the first 25 people to preregister.

Ukraine’s “Revolution with Dignity” and U.S. Foreign Policy

Eugene/Springfield–Bend resident Bruce Donahue, who recently retired as Minister-Counselor from the U.S. Department of State, speaks about his last assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, from 2013–2015. In his presentation, Donahue reviews the often-misunderstood events of the winter of 2013–2014, which led then-Ukrainian President Yanukovych to flee the country and allowed a pro-Western government to come to power. He also discusses Russia’s actions during the “Revolution of Dignity,” including the invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Finally, he outlines implications for U.S. foreign policy and lessons learned from the Ukrainian revolution. Donahue retired from the Foreign Service in 2016 after a 33-year career as a Foreign Service Officer. During most of his career, he focused on Russia and Eastern and Central Europe, serving in Poland and Moscow. Other overseas assignments included South Korea and Armenia. Donahue received his BA from Cornell University and his MA and PhD from the University of Oregon. He has been married to his wife, Karen, for 34 years; they have four adult children.

Eugene/Springfield Annual Picnic at Lively Park Shelter 

Eugene/Springfield–Mark your calendars for the OLLI- UO Eugene-Springfield annual picnic, at Lively Park Shelter, 2100 Thurston Road, in Springfield.

The picnic is a potluck with OLLI providing the beverages and set up (cups, flatware, etc.) Please bring a dish to share, according to your last name:

A–H, desserts
I–R, appetizers or salads
S–Z, entrée or a protein dish

Following positive feedback from members last year, we have booked the same venue, which has a playground for any visiting grandchildren. Please bring guests if you would like. Volunteers for set up and clean up will be appreciated. We hope many members will attend this great social gathering.

The Aging Brain

Central Oregon–The summer term science class, The Aging Brain, begins a six-week course using recorded lectures by Professor Thad A. Polk on our newly scheduled science day and time: Tuesday, July 11 at 1:45 p.m. We’re all getting older every day,   and scientific research has shown that starting in our twenties, some brain functions begin a linear decline. Even if we avoid diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, parts of the brain inevitably shrink, replicating cells become damaged, and fluid processing skills such as multitasking and episodic memory worsen. But is old age all doom and gloom? Are we destined for senescence once we’re barely out of adolescence?

Not at all! Join us in this six-week study group as we look at issues like the biology of aging, changes in the brain, diseases and conditions, and future therapies. The lecturer is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He will also explore issues of improving or maintaining memory, and how physical activity, diet, and socialization (i.e., OLLI membership) can help maintain brain function.

Course Manager/Facilitator: Russ Hopper

Gift Children: A Story of Race, Family, and Adoption in a Divided America

Eugene/Springfield–Nearly 50 years ago, a young Eugene couple, Doug and Gloria Bates, both white and the parents of two very blond little boys, adopted a pair of young African-American girls. It thrust the family to the forefront of a controversial social experiment that’s still being debated today. So how did it all work out for the Bateses? Join Doug Bates, a University of Oregon graduate and Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist, for a discussion of his book, Gift Children, in which he tells the compelling and sometimes gritty story of his family’s interracial odyssey. The book draws its title from a custom of the Old South, where the adoption of “gift children” by close friends was common among poor blacks. Though published 25 years ago, Gift Children remains a remarkably relevant portrait of family and race today, exploring the theme of whites and blacks trying to live together in a country gripped by racial dissension. Bates retired in 2009 as an associate editor at The Oregonian and a member of its editorial board. He has worked as assistant managing editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune, news editor of The Seattle Times and managing editor of The Register-Guard in Eugene. He has also held editing and writing positions at daily newspapers in Spokane and Bend. In 2006, Bates was co-recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, along with his colleague at The Oregonian, Rick Attig, who is also a UO journalism alumnus. Their 15-part series on abusive conditions at the Oregon State Hospital won the prize for editorial writing along with several other national honors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, Bates grew up in Oakridge and graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism in 1968. He and his wife Gloria moved back to Oakridge in retirement. Besides Gift Children, Bates is also the author of The Pulitzer Prize: The Inside Story of America’s Most Prestigious Award, a book he wrote 15 years before receiving the honor himself.

The Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920

Central OregonAs part of the 2016–17 Speaker Exchange project funded by our Osher Capacity Grant, summer term begins with a special four-session course taught by Eugene member, Ilene O’Malley. The Mexican Revolution, which began on November 20, 1910, and continued for a decade, is recognized as the first major political, social, and cultural revolution of the 20th-century. It claimed between one and two million lives and radically transformed Mexican culture and government. We are familiar with the names Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, but do we remember what they were fighting for? Ilene’s presentation of the history of the Revolution consists of four parts: Part 1, the factors contributing to the revolution, the rise of prodemocracy and agrarian reform movements that brought down the 30-year dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz; Part 2, the factionalization (roughly along class lines) of the seemingly united revolutionaries; Part 3, the leftward pressures from campesino-based movements (most famously those led by Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa) and counterrevolutionary pressures from foreign interests; and Part 4, the gradual consolidation of a new “revolutionary” state and the emergence of a new national cultural identity, 1920–1940. Ilene O’Malley has worked on labor advocacy issues and is a former migrant farmworker attorney. Ilene has a PhD in history from the University of Michigan with a specialization in Latin America. She lived and studied in Mexico on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Archaeology Up Close: Field Trip to the Northern Great Basin Connley Caves

Eugene/Springfield—Dr. Dennis L. Jenkins, senior research archaeologist for the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History and recent OLLI speaker, will conduct a 1.5 hour walking tour of the University of Oregon’s Archaeological Field School at Connley Caves. The site is composed of eight caves and rock shelters located in the Connley Hills of the Fort Rock basin 10 miles south of the town of Fort Rock. Material there has been radiocarbon dated to as much as 13,000 years ago. Dr. Jenkins will tell us what is known about each cave and answer questions as they come up.

The Connley Caves are very deep, requiring meticulous excavation, note taking, and field form recording procedures. Jenkins works closely with all students and will discuss site formation processes, sampling techniques, local archaeology, and the study of first colonization of the New World. Perishable artifacts were recovered during the 2001 field season. Archaeology course activities include instruction in excavation and survey techniques as well as archaeological record keeping and artifact processing in the field laboratory. Survey methods include development of observation skills, map reading, GPS usage, and note taking. The setting in the Northern Great Basin offers a rich environment for studying late Quaternary climatic and hydrologic changes and the effects of these changes on vegetation cover, geomorphic processes, and soil development. In addition, the region has experienced the effects of volcanic eruptions, faulting, and wind action.

Since the location is carefully controlled and participants need to be able to see and hear activities underway, registration will be limited to 20 OLLI participants. Participants will travel in private vehicles (detailed driving directions will be provided). Estimated travel time to Fort Rock is two hours 40 minutes—142 miles—then a short distance to the caves. Carpooling may be arranged by trip coordinators.

According to Jenkins, “Portions of the tour may be a challenge for some folks, but most can make it up the slopes with a little help and caution. There is something for everyone.” He recommends wearing comfortable walking shoes or boots, bringing plenty of water, sun protection, snacks, and lunch.

Registration will be available Friday, June 16–Friday, July 14, or until the trip is filled. Members may register with the Academic Extension office by phone, 541-346-0697, or in person. Online registration will also be available. Look for more information and an online registration link in upcoming e-minders.

 Summer Documentaries

Central Oregon—Enjoy your OLLI summer with these delightful and provocative Wednesday films Wednesdays, starting July 12, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m

July 12: The Galapagos Affair: Satan Comes to Eden (2013) 120 min.

July 19: Antarctica: A Year on the Ice (2013) 92 min.

Aug. 2: 13th (2016) 100 min.

Aug. 9: The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014) 80 min.

Aug. 16: Kumare: The True Story of a False Prophet (2011) 83 min.

Aug. 23: 1971 (2014) 79 min.

Aug. 30: An Honest Liar (2014) 92 min.

Sept. 6: East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem (2014) 80 min.

Coordinator: Linda Charny

International Relations: Peace Before Prosperity: The Evolution of U.S.–Canada Relations

Eugene/Springfield—This International Relations lecture provides a look at United States-Canada relations through our treaties and international agreements. Did you know that the four international Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were demilitarized in 1817? Or, that it seems the first science ever funded by the U.S. State Department was in support of a reference on pollution to the International Joint Commission, pursuant to the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty? How these joint agreements have shaped our relationship and our societies lies at the heart of the talk.

Presenter Dr. Mary Durfee, a new OLLI member, is professor emerita of government from Michigan Technological University where she taught international law, U.S. foreign policy, and various environmental politics courses. She was U.S. Co-chair of the Lake Superior Bi-National Forum, a citizen advisory group to the governments of Canada and the U.S. She served on an EPA Science Advisory Board subcommittee on the diffusion of pollution prevention policy.

Understanding Science: Archaeology

Eugene/Springfield—The Understanding Science study group is introducing a new topic in June, based on Archaeology—An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites. The recorded lectures cover several well-known sites and in doing so teaches about such topics as what archaeology is, what tools are used, the discovery of new sites, and what questions are asked about origins. The DVD course was sponsored by National Geographic and taught by Eric H. Cline, PhD, The George Washington University. We will visit King Tut’s site, the Maya, the Terracotta Army, and many, many more.

Understanding Science meets at 10 a.m. on the first, third, and fifth Tuesdays of each month. Lecture topics for each session are listed in the monthly schedule (pages 8-9).