Saturday University: Ecology and Conservation; Climate Change; Interpretations of Nature

Saturday University, a semiannual Jackson event from the Wyoming Humanities Council and the University of Wyoming, features timely, fascinating lectures on the topics of sustainability, conservation, and art by three outstanding professors from the University of Wyoming and Central Wyoming College.

Presentations are followed by a lunchtime round-table discussion. Participants may attend one, two or all three sessions.

This is a free event. Registration is not required.

Program Overview:

8:30 a.m.: Doors open for coffee and doughnuts

9:00: The Migrations of Wyoming’s Deer, Elk and Moose: Ecology and Conservation amid Changing Landscapes by Matthew Kaufman (Professor, Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming, Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and U.S. Geological Survey)

Matthew Kaufman leads a scientific team that has broken new ground exploring the long-distance migrations of Wyoming’s iconic large ungulates like deer and elk. Their research seeks to understand how and why ungulates migrate by evaluating the role of forage, movement, fat dynamics, reproduction and survival. His talk will explore 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. (Visit

10:15: Wind River Glaciers: The Impact of Climate Change by Jaquelyn Klancher (Assistant Professor – Department of Environmental Health and Safety, Central Wyoming College)

Wyoming’s mountain peaks are getting warmer and their glaciers are melting. What does this mean for Wyoming’s future? Jacki Klancher led a team of students and citizen scientists into the Wind River mountain this summer to research the impacts of glacial ice mass recession in the high alpine reaches of the Wind River Range. The outcome of this wilderness foray – called the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition – provides an important look at what is happening in Wyoming’s mountains.

11:30: Pilgrimage to Yellowstone: Sacred and Secular Interpretations of Nature by Bruce Richardson (Senior Lecturer – Department of English, University of Wyoming at Casper)

Every year Americans flock to Yellowstone and other national parks in droves, much like pilgrims are drawn to their religion’s 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 pilgrimage 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 us explore that question.

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Free lunch & discussion following lectures. Lunch has limited seating and will be on a first come first serve basis.  If you would like to attend the lunch please be sure to pick up your lunch ticket when you sign in for Saturday U.


Location: National Museum of Wildlife Art Date: October 11, 2014 Time: 8:30 am - 1:00 pm Matthew Kauffman Jacki Klancher Bruce A. Richardson
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