INSTRUCTOR: Michelle Flenniken
DATES: Wednesdays; April 1, 8, 15 & 22 
TIME: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Hope Lutheran Church

ebolaCOURSE INFO: Viruses are fascinating obligate intracellular pathogens that infect nearly every organism on Earth. Understanding virus-host interactions has led to numerous fundamental discoveries, including that DNA is the genetic material of life. This course will focus on understanding virus–host interactions from the molecular to the global scale. Topics of exploration include: basic virology, virus-host interactions, recent and past virus epidemics (i.e., ebola virus, polio virus, influenza virus), zoonoses, vaccines, antiviral treatments, and Dr. Flenniken’s research aimed at understanding the role of viruses in recent increased losses of honey bee colonies in the US.

CLASS FORMAT: Lecture and Discussion

READINGS: Suggested Reading: Spillover, by David Quammen

INSTRUCTOR BIO: Michelle Flenniken is an Assistant Professor in the Plant Sciences Department, and an Institute on Ecosystems Affiliate, at Montana State University. She is a virologist, currently investigating the role of viruses and other pathogens on recent honey bee colony losses, and antiviral responses in insect and plant hosts. Michelle has over 10 years of experience in virology, during which time she has utilized virus capsids as anticancer delivery agents, investigated mammalian antiviral responses, and discovered a new virus family that infects honey bees.

Michelle enjoys talking about important scientific topics with learners of all ages; she teaches Genetics and Virology at MSU, and a molecular biology course for 5th-7th graders called “Honey Bee Investigators (H.B.I.)” each summer; she gives numerous lectures to beekeepers, and the general public each year.

COST: $50


Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In September Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on September 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  Also in September we’ll be a sponsor of the Bozeman Public Library’s celebration of Yellowstone National Park, Our Yellowstone.  

On October 3rdand 4thMSU Wonderlust is hosting an interactive symposium for practitioners and lifelong learners, Lifelong Learning: New Opportunities for Aging Communities.  This symposium, sponsored by Friends of MSU Wonderlust and MSU’s Office of Research and Development, will provide an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, innovations, and strategies.

Save the dates: Wednesday, October 3, 5 pm – 7 pm, for the opening reception and presentation featuring Dr. Renee Reijo Pero of MSU and Dr. Rick Knopf of Arizona State, and Thursday, October 4, 9 am – 4 pm,for in-depth sessions on various topics, featuring speakers from across Montana and the U.S.  For details on the symposium and on all MSU Wonderlust program offerings, see   

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust