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Fall 2017 Cody

Cody, WY
Buffalo Bill Center for the West
Coe Auditorium

October 28, 2017 | 9:00 AM

Doors open at 8:30 AM for coffee and donuts.

9:00 AM  How Did Shoshone Cavern National Monument Become Just Another Hole in the Ground?: A Case Study in State/Federal Debates over Control of Public Lands
Dr. Phil Roberts, Professor of History
Shoshone Cavern National Monument, five miles from downtown Cody, became Wyoming’s second national monument soon after it was discovered by Ned Frost and his dog in the early 20th century.  The cavern mouth’s location unfortunately made access difficult, even with horses. Development as a tourist site never overcame this problem. After years of conflict between the Park Service and Cody residents, Congress delisted the monument and transferred it to the City of Cody. The result could have been a model for the success of local control over former federally-owned lands. Instead, the story forms a cautionary tale of how local towns often are unable to manage public lands any better than the federal government—and these failures often result in damage of the resource.
10:15 AM How the Brain Learns to See: Studying Tadpoles to Understand People
Dr. Kara Pratt, Assistant Professor of Zoology and Physiology
Brains process information through neural networks, but a new brain has contains masses of neurons without connections. How are the proper connections made? The study of Xenopus tadpoles—whose see-through skin lets us view the brain directly—reveals how the brain creates itself by self-assembling neurons into networks that transform external stimuli from the environment into internal perceptions. One key discovery is that visual experience—the act of seeing—actually guides the precise wiring up of the visual system. This talk will describe this exciting research and explain what it reveals about the nature of human sight.
11:30 AM. Will We Ever Have Beautiful Forests Again? Bark Beetles, Resilience, and Future Forests
Daniel Tinker, Associate Professor of Botany, University of Wyoming

The Intermountain West’s bark beetle epidemic that began in the late 1990s is unprecedented in our recorded history. Its intensity and geographic scale has been overwhelming—and it continues today in many forests of the Western USA. The ramifications for such an intense and prolonged epidemic are far-reaching and many are not well understood, especially considering the changes in our climate happening at the same time. This talk will explore the bark-beetle phenomenon, its ecology and management, and the resilience of current and future forest systems.

Saturday University in Cody is sponsored by the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Humanities Council, and the Buffalo Bill Center for the West. 

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