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Migrations of Wyoming’s large ungulates such as deer, moose and elk; glacial ice mass recession in the Wind River Range; and why religious pilgrimages can provide insight into the experience of Yellowstone National Park visitors are among topics to be discussed at the next session of Saturday University in Jackson Saturday, Oct. 11.
The free public event is the University of Wyoming's one-day college education program.
A half-day of college classes and discussion begins with refreshments at 8:30 a.m., followed by a welcoming address at 8:45 a.m. at the National Museum of Wildlife Art Cook Auditorium.
Three representatives from UW and Central Wyoming College (CWC) will present lectures, followed by a free lunch and a question-and-answer session. Participants may attend any or all three sessions.
Saturday U is a collaborative program that connects popular UW and community college professors with lifelong learners in Jackson Hole. In its sixth year, Saturday U is sponsored by the university, the UW Foundation, UW Outreach School and Wyoming Humanities Council, and presented locally by CWC, the National Museum of Wildlife Art and Teton County Library Foundation.
Events are held six times a year -- twice each in Jackson, Gillette and Sheridan.
Listed are program topic descriptions and UW and CWC representatives lecturing:
-- 9 a.m.: “The Migrations of Wyoming’s Deer, Elk and Moose: Ecology and Conservation amid Changing Landscapes,” Matthew Kauffman, UW Department of Zoology and Physiology professor, and the director of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, located at UW.
Kauffman leads a scientific team that has broken new ground exploring the long-distance migrations of Wyoming's iconic large ungulates such as deer, moose and elk. Their research focuses on how and why ungulates migrate by evaluating the role of forage, movement, fat dynamics, reproduction and survival. Kauffman will explain how migrations are being altered by landscape changes such as drought, predation by newly restored wolves and grizzly, and rapidly expanding energy development -- as well as new efforts to conserve the migration routes. For more information, visit www.migrationinitiative.org.
-- 10:15 a.m.: “Wind River Glaciers: The Impact of Climate Change,” Jaquelyn Klancher, CWC Department of Environmental Health and Safety, assistant professor.
Wyoming’s mountain peaks are getting warmer, and its glaciers are melting. What does this mean for Wyoming’s future? Klancher led a team of students and citizen scientists into the Wind River Mountains this summer to research the impacts of glacial ice mass recession in the high alpine reaches of the Wind Rivers. The outcome of this wilderness foray -- called the “Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition” -- provides an important look at what is happening in Wyoming’s mountains.
-- 11 a.m.: “Pilgrimage to Yellowstone: Sacred and Secular Interpretations of Nature,” Bruce Richardson, UW-Casper Department of English, senior lecturer.
Every year, Americans flock to Yellowstone and other national parks, much like pilgrims who are drawn to their religions’ holy sites. Once there, they encounter something larger than their everyday lives. Their Yellowstone experience becomes part of them; it becomes “meaningful.” How does an understanding of religious pilgrimages provide insight into the way the park’s visitors experience it? The experiences and thoughts of early visitors to Yellowstone, such as John Muir, will help explore that question.
The fall term of Saturday U concludes Saturday, Nov. 6, in Gillette.
For more information, visit the Saturday U website at www.uwyo.edu/saturdayu/.