University of Oregon

Shared Interest Groups

Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are a great way for OLLI-UO members to continue lifelong learning beyond the classroom! These groups provide new opportunities to form friendships with other members around shared interests. They are independent and self-directed, with members deciding where and when to meet and how the group will function. SIGs are open to current OLLI-UO members only, i.e. those who hold a membership for the current year.

Have an idea for a SIG? See examples of past SIGs, review SIG guidelines, and propose a SIG here.





This SIG is about developing the inner photographer in each of us. We cultivate our ability to see life clearly and unfiltered. The group learns about and applies elements of composition and aesthetics using equipment ranging from a smart phone to more complex cameras. We will alternate field trips collecting images with review sessions to discuss and critique. Group size is limited to 10 participants.


Peter Burnstein

Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing)




We are all familiar with how a quiet walk in the woods can calm us down, expand our horizons and intensify our connection to nature. Since 1982, Japanese researchers have been studying the health benefits of planned walking in the forest, using all our senses to become more aware of what lives around us. This immersion in nature is called forest therapy, forest healing, or in a literal translation of Shinrin-Yoku, forest bathing. This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Studies have revealed that forest bathing has a positive impact on both physical and mental health. The forest healing movement has spread to Korea, Europe, and America, including OLLI-UO. This SIG explores this method by taking two-hour walks once a month in wooded settings in the Eugene-Springfield area.


Mona Meeker and Kate Nelson


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon

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