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UW’s Spoonhunter to Give Harlow Speaker Series Talk Sept. 21

September 16, 2022
head portrait of a woman
Tarissa Spoonhunter

Tarissa Spoonhunter, the new director of the High Plains American Indian Research Institute at the University of Wyoming, is the featured speaker for the Harlow Speaker Series event Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the renovated UW-National Park Service (NPS) Research Station. The facility is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

The free event is from noon-2 p.m. in the Berol Lodge. Spoonhunter will present “Tribes, Treaties and National Parks” beginning at 12:45 p.m. She will speak about her research on the long-term relationships that Native American tribes have with national park lands, and how treaties and other policies have shaped those relationships since the lands were designated as parks by the U.S. government.

Spoonhunter, also an assistant professor in the UW Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, focuses her work on sharing knowledge with other races and nationalities to build relationships to increase understanding -- something that resides deep in her roots growing up on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. At age nine, her people gave her the name Medicine Beaver Woman, a name she remembers feeling came with a great deal of responsibility and underscores the dedication she brings to her work at UW.

A light lunch will be provided for the first 40 attendees. A $10 donation is suggested. The talk also will be available via Zoom by clicking here.

The event will mark the beginning of a National Science Foundation-funded workshop at the UW-NPS Research Station, involving over 20 UW faculty members, that is related to the new WY-ACT: Wyoming Anticipating Climate Transitions project aimed at anticipating future climate and water changes. The event presents an opportunity for visitors to meet and talk with UW researchers covering a wide range of areas from ecology and hydrology to park-related social science. 

The UW-NPS Research Station provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

Formerly called the AMK Ranch Talk Series, the Harlow Summer Seminars program is named after retired UW Department of Zoology and Physiology Professor Hank Harlow, who helped make the UW-NPS Research Station a significant center for research and community outreach. Harlow began the popular weekly public seminars during the summer months.

For more information, email Bryan Shuman, a UW professor of geology and geophysics and the current research station director, at

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