Molly Wampler

Idaho Matters Production Assistant

Molly Wampler is a newsroom intern at Boise State Public Radio. Originally from Berkeley, California, she just graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington state. There, Molly worked for her university's newspaper but is stoked to try her hand at and learn all there is to learn about radio journalism.

In her free time, Molly loves biking, cooking, and figuring out what she actually likes to do for fun now that weekends aren't monopolized by schoolwork.

Carrie Quinney

Dana Quinney

This interview originally aired on Nov. 5, 2020.

Dana Quinney grew up in Ketchum during the 1950s. She became a field biologist and college professor, eventually settling into her lifelong passion of being a writer. Her memoir “Wildflower Girl” was published last year and just won 2019 Book of the Year by the Idaho Library Association. Quinney joins Idaho Matters live to talk more about her book and the award.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

Boise State Esports / via Twitter (@eSportsBSU)

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is rich with geothermal activity. The state boasts dozens of natural hot springs for soaking, some close to city centers and others a hike away. But when Wanna Know Idaho listener Ted Eisele moved to Idaho in 1980, it wasn’t the natural hot springs that caught his attention about geothermal. What really blew him away was the fact that Idaho’s state buildings — like the Capitol and the state Supreme Court — were heated using geothermal systems. 


Ted had a lot of questions:


In this latest episode of Wanna Know Idaho we talk with John Chatburn, the administrator of Governor Little’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources and Dr. Travis McLing, a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory to answer Ted’s questions, and so much more. 

Here's what they had to say: 

What Gem State curiosity should we look into next? That's up to YOU. Submit what you want to know below and you could be featured in an upcoming episode.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio


Idaho is rich with geothermal activity. But when Wanna Know Idaho podcast listener Ted Eisele moved to Idaho in 1980, it wasn’t the natural hot springs that caught his attention about geothermal. What really blew him away was the fact that Idaho’s state buildings, like the Capitol and the state Supreme Court, were heated using geothermal. 


Ted had a lot of questions for Wanna Know Idaho:


In this latest episode, Wanna Know Idaho talks with John Chatburn, the administrator of Governor Little’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources and Dr. Travis McLing, a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory to answer Ted’s questions, and so much more. 


Have a question about Idaho's culture, history or the people that call it home? Submit a question here

John Kelly / Boise State University

There’s a big problem with how we share academic scientific research. Across the world, almost every single science, technology, engineering or math paper published is in English. And here in the U.S., 21% of the United States population speaks a language other than English at home, a majority of them Spanish. Here in the Gem State, one in twelve Idahoans speaks Spanish at home.

That’s where Project SCIENTIA comes in. This Boise State University initiative is working to translate STEM research papers into Spanish, to reach and educate a greater audience.

Boise City Arts & History Department

This year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. And while this was a great accomplishment for the movement and gave so many more Americans the right to vote, we also know that the constitutional amendment only applied to white women, leaving out countless other groups including Black women, Indigenous people and other marginalized groups.

Jesse Tree / via Facebook

Even before the pandemic hit, the Treasure Valley was experiencing an intense housing crisis. In fact, since the beginning of this year, the average rent in the valley has increased by 10%. For folks living paycheck to paycheck, all it takes is one unexpected expense to leave them unable to pay rent. Jesse Tree of Idaho is an organization that prevents homelessness by providing rent assistance and other services to keep folks in their homes." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

During last month’s election, Idahoans passed a constitutional amendment to lock in the number of legislative districts in our state to 35. This decision came shortly before the state’s bipartisan redistricting committee will meet to re-draw legislative and congressional district lines based on new census data.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Arts organizations have taken a hit this year. To stay afloat, they’ve had to embrace virtual means of showcasing their work. At first, this just looked like live-streamed performances or other replications of what you’d see in person. But soon, these organizations innovated ways to use technology and the internet to connect with new artists and audiences.   

One such organization is The Cabin in Boise, whose upcoming evening of performances and readings leans into the virtual platform. Kurt Zwolfer is the executive director of The Cabin and joins Idaho Matters along with Malia Collins, Idaho’s current Writer in Residence.

Riley Haun / University of Idaho

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't the first pandemic in recorded history. In fact, personal stories of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic exist deep in the archives. For college students today struggling through quarantines, strained social dynamics, new academic demands and the politics of visiting home for the holidays, it might be comforting to know that young adults their age went through — and survived — all of this before.

John Kelly / Boise State University

This interview originally aired Oct. 15, 2020.

When the pandemic hit in March, businesses suffered. And all those people who were going to start new jobs or internships were suddenly left hanging. But Boise State’s College of Business and Economics saw an opportunity. They’re matching students with local nonprofits and small businesses for internships supported by some generous grant funding. 

Now, students left without work are getting real world experience, and local organizations typically unable to pay interns are getting that much needed support. 

Breanne Lobenberg is a student interning at the Red Cross of Idaho and Montana and joins Idaho Matters live with Laura Chiuppi, the Director of Career Services for the College of Business and Economics at Boise State. 

Carrie Quinney


Between 1983 and 1997, dozens of women went missing across the Great Basin region. Some of them were found, but their murders to this day remain unsolved. In a tribute to these women whose bodies were found along roadsides, Boise State art professor Lily Lee created the “Great Basin Murders,” a collection of art now on exhibit at the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko.

Lee joins Idaho Matters live along with Carrie Quinney, a photographer and collaborator on the project. 

Wish Granters via Facebook


The Wish Granters foundation began in Idaho 2010 as a way to help terminally-ill adults. Similar to the Make a Wish Foundation, Wish Granters helps make end-of-life requests happen, but for those over age 18. This Idaho organization is growing by the year and while their fundraising efforts were thrown off by the pandemic, they have plans to expand into more Idaho counties by next year. 

Lynda Giddens / Flickr Creative Commons

For over 25 years, the Boy Scouts of America have been hosting a holiday food drive called “Scouting for Food." Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the drive looks a little different. But the Idaho Foodbank is still counting on the scouts to continue their annual tradition and bring in a bunch of donated food. 

Alexa Rose Foundation / via Facebook


Every year, the Alexa Rose Foundation awards over $100,000 in small grants to local Treasure Valley artists, many early in their careers. New this year, the nonprofit has created a fellowship to sponsor established local artists. The foundation just announced two recipients who each recieved $25,000 in the inaugural year of the fellowship. 

Boise State Esports / via Twitter (@eSportsBSU)

Esports, or competitive video gaming, is taking off at universities worldwide. And Boise State University's own varsity team is no different. Even as some remain skeptical about the legitimacy of the sport, Boise State’s Esports team continues to grow, play in big conferences and rack up awards. 

Preacher Fire, Wildfires, Blaine County
Blaine County Sheriff's Facebook Page


This year was historic for wildfires. Smoke from western states was detected across the United States and as far as Europe. As climate change continues to worsen our fire seasons, it’s critical to understand how this smoke impacts our health and how to best protect ourselves from this smoke. 

1963 North Cascades Study Team investigation / National Park Service

This interview originally aired Aug. 18, 2020.

Back in 1966, a mining company had a plan to develop an open-pit mine in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington state. Endangering the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, local and national conservationists got to work. 



This interview originally aired Oct. 6, 2020.

In 2015, a Ted Talk by podcast host Roman Mars went viral. In the talk, Mars, whose podcast ‘99% Invisible’ looks for good and bad design elements all around us, tackled an issue he’s particularly passionate about: city flags.