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MIC Lecture Series

Moab Information Center 2022 Lecture Series

Join us Thursdays at 5pm at the Moab Information Center for our lecture series!

Lecture Dates

October 13 | “Archaeology in the La Sal Mountains” by Donald Irwin and Allison Aarke

Visitors from around the world come to this region to see well-preserved archaeological sites. Early surveys on the Manti-La Sal National Forest identified numerous sites dating to the Basketmaker III – Pueblo I period, but the documentation style at the time was expedient. Join us as we detail the archaeology of the archaeology! With amazing volunteers and specialists assisting, we were able to find clarity through fieldwork. As a result, we have broadened our understanding of the origins of Ancestral Puebloan community on the forest.

October 27 | “Community Artist in the Parks” by Sam Metzner

The national parks surrounding Moab are limitless sources of inspiration. Come hear how 2022 Community Artist in the Parks, Sam Metzner, captured these landscapes in her unique works of art. Sam is an artist and photographer specializing in historic and alternative photographic printing processes, such as cyanotypes. Creating hand-made photographs inspires her — especially the fact that no two will ever be exactly the same. Since 2009, the Community Artist in the Parks program has highlighted the connection between local artists and the landscapes of Arches and Canyonlands national parks, and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments. Participating artists are residents of Grand, San Juan, or Montezuma counties who spend seven months creating art and talking with park visitors about their inspiration.

Videos from Past Lectures

Check out our past lectures!

“Torry in the Land of Arches” by Lisa Horstman 

Lisa Horstman discusses the story of developing the characters in her book “Torry in the Land of Arches.”

“Public Lands: Where, Why, and How?” by Walt Dabney

National Park Ranger and Superintendent and Texas State Parks Director, Walt Dabney answers these, and more, questions: Where did our Public Lands come from? Why do the western states have lots and other states almost none? How were states formed? What does the Constitution say about these lands? What was the effect of the Homestead Act and the Railroad Act? How were National Parks and Forests established? Why are these lands held “in common”, so important to us today? These and other questions and past and current issues are addressed in this hour long presentation.

“Tiny Fossils and the Big Picture: Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs” by Brian Davis

Every kid knows that dinosaurs were the biggest, fiercest, and most inspiring creatures to ever have walked the earth, but they are only part of the story. The ancient world was a diverse and vibrant place, and dinosaurs lived alongside a cast that included the earliest mammals. Come and learn what our ancestors were like and what their tiny fossils reveal about their lives. While most survived by scurrying between the feet of dinosaurs, others swam, glided, and even had dinosaurs for lunch!

“Ecological Interactions between Mountain Goats and American Pikas” by Mallory Sandoval Lambert

Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) and American pikas (Ochotona princeps) are naturally co-occurring across most of their overlapping distributions in western N. America. The southern limit of the natural range of mountain goats is in Idaho, whereas American pikas occur naturally as far south as New Mexico. However, the mountain goat range has been extended southwards with the establishment of translocated subpopulations in Utah and Colorado. These mountain goats now share habitat with pikas, providing an opportunity to study potential ecological interactions between these two alpine specialists near the southern limits of their current ranges. Join Mallory Sandoval Lambert as she talks about how her research is exploring this previously unstudied system through field-based experimentation, with a focus on the La Sal Mountains in southern Utah.

“Geologic History of Canyonlands” by Rhodes Smartt

Have you ever wondered how Canyonlands was formed? National Park ranger and geologist Rhodes Smartt will take us on a journey through the geologic history of Canyonlands National Park. He will discuss the geology of the greater Colorado Plateau area and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands and how it’s unique geology led to uranium mining.

“Common Southwest Native Plants” by Jennifer M. Bousselot

Native plants are often overlooked as viable options that can provide many benefits to pollinators and people alike. Discover the basics of native plant gardening – selection, care, and cultural requirements. Join Jennifer Bousselot, Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University and co-author of the Colorado Native Plant Society published 3rd edition of Common Southwestern Native Plants, as she discusses this important topic.

“Fear! Creepy Crawly Creatures of Canyonlands” by Devon Dunajski

Join Ranger Devon for a talk about all the things that scare us. Moab is in the heart of a vast desert wilderness. The sparseness of the landscape allows our imagination to run wild with “what-if” scenarios, from spider bites to predators creeping up on us in the canyons. However, the organisms that scare us the most have an important role in the desert ecosystem. Can a little bit of understanding of the critters that give us the creepy crawlies change our perspective?

“Guzzlers 101″ by Jon Blanc

Guzzlers are a type of water development that provides water for wildlife. They are a tool to mitigate negative impacts, habitat fragmentation and loss, drought, and human disturbance. Providing water improves occupied habitats and reduces the need to move to other areas seeking water. The BLM Moab Field Office Wildlife Program helps maintain more than 40 guzzlers that benefit bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope. Jon discusses the importance of guzzlers, how they are built, and more.