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John Wesley Powell Anniversary Topic of UW Speaker and Trip

October 2, 2018
man sitting
Mike Bezemek

The University of Wyoming Department of Geography and the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition (SCREE) will host author and photographer Mike Bezemek Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium.

Bezemek will give a narrated photo presentation on his book “Paddling the John Wesley Powell Route,” which details the route and history of Powell’s 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers. The three-month trip is known as the first investigation of long segments on the rivers and the first recorded passage of white men through the entirety of the Grand Canyon.

Bezemek has explored the route over the past four years and also will cover the SCREE project in May 2019. More information on him and his book may be found at

“The 1869 expedition led by John Wesley Powell was one of the greatest adventures in American history,” Bezemek says. “Today, that spirit of adventure remains on one of America’s greatest paddling routes.”

The SCREE project, led by UW geography Associate Professor Tom Minckley, is a collective group of artists, authors, conservationists and scholars who will engage with citizens along the Colorado River corridor to consider visions for the future of this region. On May 24, 2019, the 150th anniversary of Powell’s 1869 expedition, SCREE will embark on a 90-day rafting expedition that will provide a platform to engage local communities, stakeholders and tribes extending 1,000 miles from Green River to Lake Mead, Ariz.

During the journey, SCREE will host five outreach events -- including in Green River May 21-24 -- with keynote speakers and art exhibits to provide a platform for local communities to engage in a discussion about the current and future state of the river. Minckley will be joined by UW faculty members from the Department of Visual and Literary Arts, Department of Geography and College of Law, as well as UW alumni.

“We are excited to have Mike start a yearlong conversation at UW about the future of the West during the 150th anniversary of John Wesley Powell’s first expedition,” Minckley says. “The region, while as beautiful today as it was back then, now has the tapestry of American settlement and new emerging values, which will be a part of the future of our collective experience.”

More details on the SCREE project and information on how to donate may be found at

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