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Summer Speaker Series Begins

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Date: June 24, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

June 24, 2011

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Grand Teton National Park will host a series of special presentations this summer in the new auditorium at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. Beginning Monday, June 27, local residents and park visitors can join a fascinating group of speakers to learn about migration corridors, regional and park history, geology, and meteorology. All talks are free and open to the general public.

Lectures will be presented by specialists in a variety of subject areas; speakers will share their expertise and knowledge on a range of topics and lead discussions about various changes affecting the park's natural and cultural resources. Lectures begin in late June and continue through August. June and July lectures include:

June 27 (3 p.m.) - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Conservationist and photographer Harvey Locke will explain the importance and value in preserving a continuous wildlife corridor that connects Yellowstone National Park with the Yukon country in Canada. Locke is recognized as a global leader in the field of parks, wilderness and large landscape conservation issues. Additionally, Locke was named one of Canada's 21st century leaders by Time Magazine Canada.

June 28 (3 p.m.) - Two Toms: Lessons from a Shoshone Doctor
Anthropologists and authors Tom and Helen Johnson will recount a tale about Tom Wesaw, an 83-year-old Shoshone doctor and religious leader from Wyoming's Wind River Reservation. When Wesaw could no longer drive and make house calls, young Tom Johnson drove him to his patients and cooked, pumped water, and built fires for sweat lodges. In exchange, the elder Tom showed Johnson his medical skills. The Johnsons' will share details about Shoshone culture, as they chronicle the story of the friendship between these two men. A second program will take place at 7 p.m. at the Colter Bay Visitor Center auditorium.

June 30 (6:30 p.m.) - A Living, Breathing, Shaking Career
Dr. Bob Smith will deliver a retrospective of his distinguished and lengthy career conducting research on the dynamic forces (earthquakes, fault zones, and volcanoes) at work in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Smith holds a Ph.D. from the University of Utah and has served as a visiting professor at Columbia University, Cambridge University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. His popular book with Lee Siegel, Windows Into the Earth: The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (2000, Oxford University Press) explains the geology of the two national parks, and he regularly provides 'real-time' feedback to park personnel about seismic events throughout the region to encourage effective response planning to natural geologic hazards.

July 13 (3 p.m.) - John Colter: Mountain Man Superhero
Dr. Barbara Mueller, professor of anthropology at Casper College, will describe the life and travels of John Colter, widely considered to be the first mountain man of the American West. Colter was a valued member of the famed Corps of Discovery Expedition with Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark. After the expedition ended, Colter spent time exploring and fur trapping across the Wyoming territory, and his travels likely brought him through parts of present-day Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.

For more information about the summer speaker series, call the Colter Bay Visitor Center at 307.739.3594, or the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399.

Did You Know?

Banded gneiss

Did you know that the granite and gneiss composing the core of the Teton Range are some of the oldest rocks in North America, but the mountains are among the youngest in the world?