News Blog: Natural Sciences

C of I Planetarium hosts November public show

Dwarf planets and exoplanets will be the topics of conversation when The College of Idaho’s Whittenberger Planetarium hosts its next public show at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8. Guests will find out what happened to Pluto and learn about other planets outside of our Solar System in addition to receiving an overview of the constellations and planets visible in the November night sky.

C of I Planetarium hosts October public show

Dwarf planets and exoplanets will be the topics of conversation when The College of Idaho’s Whittenberger Planetarium hosts its next public show at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. Guests will find out what happened to Pluto and learn about other planets outside of our Solar System in addition to receiving an overview of the constellations and planets visible in the October night sky.

C of I Planetarium hosts September public show

The Autumnal Equinox is almost here, and The College of Idaho’s Whittenberger Planetarium is ready for it! The equinox will be the topic of the Planetarium’s first public show of the new school year, set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20 inside Boone Science Hall on the C of I campus in Caldwell. The show – the first featuring the Planetarium’s new sound equipment – also will offer an overview of constellations, planets and moon phases visible in the September night sky.

Orma J. Smith Museum set for annual Bug Day

The College of Idaho’s Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History is set for Bug Day, the annual celebration of insects that is one of the museum’s signature events. Bug Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children and IBG members.

C of I professor lends Idaho ground squirrels a helping hand

Measuring roughly 10 inches in length and weighing less than a pound, Idaho’s ground squirrels live their lives relatively unnoticed by much of the outside world. Apart from the farmers who consider them pests and the predators that rely upon them for survival, few are aware of the ground squirrels’ quiet existence, and fewer still realize the important role they play in Idaho’s ecosystems.

C of I group uses crayfish to study ecosystem toxicology

Shy, elusive and able to fit into the smallest of underwater cracks, the signal crayfish isn’t the easiest animal to get one’s hands on. But this summer, a group of students at The College of Idaho is diving right into a study of the crayfish and its ability to serve as a key indicator of contaminants in Idaho’s aquatic environments.

C of I researchers study the redband trout of Dry Creek

Southwest Idaho’s tiny Dry Creek contains more water than its name suggests, but only a little. Just a few feet across and less than a foot deep in most places, Dry is the kind of stream that makes one think “No way are there fish in there.”

But the fish are there, alright – native redband trout. And this summer, College of Idaho student Shelby Richins is doing her best to make sure the fish will always be there through her honors thesis project “Genetics, Movement, and Distribution of Columbia River Redband Trout in Dry Creek, Idaho.”

C of I Planetarium hosts June public show

The Summer Solstice is nearly upon us and the Whittenberger Planetarium is celebrating with its June public show, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20 inside Boone Science Hall on The College of Idaho campus in Caldwell. Planetarium director Amy Truksa will teach audiences what causes solstices and equinoxes and give an overview of the June constellations, planets and moon cycles to watch for in the Idaho sky.

Whittenberger Planetarium hosts May public show

Asteroids are the topic of discussion this month at The College of Idaho’s Whittenberger Planetarium. Come learn about these extraterrestrial objects that reside in our solar system and sometimes collide with other solar system residents during the Planetarium’s public show, beginning at 7 p.m. May 8 inside Boone Science Hall on the C of I campus in Caldwell. The show will feature both the asteroid belt and near-Earth asteroids and also will include a tour of the constellations and planets visible in the Idaho night sky this month.    

C of I museum curator releases Idaho fishes book

Dr. Donald W. Zaroban, the Curator of Fishes at The College of Idaho’s Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History, has released the new book "Native Fishes of Idaho." The book, co-authored by the late Richard L. Wallace and published by the American Fisheries Society, is a complete study of Idaho’s native fishes, documenting the ecological status of more than two-dozen species for the first time. It is available for purchase ($35 for AFS members, $50 for non-members) at the Orma J.

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