World Explorations Speaker Series

globe with a key

World Explorations is a monthly speaker series designed to introduce you to local travelers, professors, and community members who share their unique insights and experiences. 

All talks are free and open to the public and are held at the Chico Women's Club located at 592 E. Third Street in Chico from 4:00 -5:00 pm.

Spring 2017 Schedule

February 12, 2017

Who’s a Hmong Us?: The Untold Story of the Hmong

CSU, Chico Lecturer, MaiHoua Lo, will speak about the contemporary lives and rich history of the Hmong at World Explorations on Sunday, February 12th, from 4-5 pm, at the Chico Women’s Club.

The Hmong are an ethnic group from China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand who, during the Vietnam War, were recruited by the United States to fight against Vietnam and communist Lao insurgents.  When the war ended, hundreds of thousands of Hmong fled to Thailand seeking political asylum.  Many Hmong have since resettled in the US - including Fresno, Sacramento and Butte County. 

Hear about the journey of the Hmong first hand from Maihoua, who, as a small child was a political refugee whose family fled their home county to take asylum in Thailand.   Eventually, they made their way to the United States in 1980.  Maihoua went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Science at CSU, Chico and teaches, Hmong American Studies, a course she helped develop at Chico State.  She also plays an active role in supporting the educational aspirations of Hmong youth in her role as a Financial Aid Advisor at CSU, Chico and as the Advisor for the Hmong Student Association.

Recently, she was an exhibit consultant, translator and liaison for, Hmong Reflection’s: Stories of Our Own, an exhibition at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology open January-July 2017.

March 5, 2017

Growing Tea in Northern California

Do you drink quality loose leaf tea? Did you know that tea is the second most popular beverage in the world? Did you know that quality tea is growing in the Northern California foothills?

Growing and processing tea is a passion for Michael Fritts, CEO Tea Farmer of Golden Feather Tea®. His Golden Oolong won second place in the non-commercial division in the Tea of the United States competition held in Hawaii in 2015. Mike has also created White Gold, Oak Roasted Oolong, Motherlode Black Gold Oolong and 24 Carat Gold Oolong.

In 2010, after contracting Lyme disease, Mike began experimenting with Camellia Sinensis tea plants on one-half acre of land at his home. There, he could also experiment with the health benefits of tea. The plants immediately took to the conditions in the foothills, and Mike immediately took to the plants. There are now 700 tea plants at varying stages of maturity comfortably growing in our local foothills.

The heritage of Mike’s particular tea cultivar dates back to the Gold Rush era, transported by ship to Gold Hill, California from the last of Japan’s Samurai. At that time, the tea could not survive in California, since water was in demand for gold mining. It is only now that the success of growing tea has re-emerged in California in one of only two dozen tea farms on the US mainland.

Please join us and Golden Feather Tea® as we embark on a unique and tranquil journey to learn how tea is California Grown!

April 23, 2017

Working and Traveling in Nepal: The Joy of a Sierra Club Service Project

Didi Toaspern, retired local elementary school teacher, has spent much of her free time devoted to the Sierra Club National Outings program, specificallyservice trips.  The Club's motto: Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet, sums up so much of what she believes.  Join us on Sunday April 23, 2017 when Didi shares with us her most recent Sierra Club adventure to Nepal — a service trip that included a week of post-earthquake restoration work and a seven day trek.  Didi's presentation will also give information for anyone interested in service trip participation.

Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Museum Hours

September 6-December 20, 2017


11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Closed between exhibitions.  See exhibition schedule for specific dates.

Note: The Museum of Anthropology is completely wheelchair accessible.

Our Location

The museum is located in the Meriam Library complex, across from the main library entrance.

See our Google Map Link to the Museum


Museum of Anthropology
CSU, Chico 95929-0400

Contact Us
Phone: 530-898-5397

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