Fort Lewis College launches new lecture series

The Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College has launched “Celebrating the Preservation of Our Natural and Cultural Heritage,” a new program series for the first half of this year

The talks will be held in the Center’s Lyceum, Room 120. Each program will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m., and the talk will begin at 6 p.m. except where noted. All programs are free and open to the public.

The full semester schedule:

Tuesday: “Red Mountain Project: A Lesson in Extreme Historic Preservation Construction,” by Chris George. The historic preservation construction contractor and all-around mountain man will discuss his projects, often completed in remote and high-elevation sites between Silverton and Ouray.

Thursday: “Ancient Skywatchers of the Southwest.” The ancestral Puebloan people on the Colorado Plateau were sky watchers with a sophisticated knowledge of solar and lunar events. This collection of photographs by John Ninnemann exhibits the sun, moon and shadows in significant alignments occurring only on specific dates. Ninnemann is a photographer, scientist and FLC dean emeritus.

Feb. 21: “Mesa Verde National Park.” Carol Sperling, the park’s chief of interpretation, will discuss the construction of the park’s new visitor and research center.

March 14: “History Colorado.” State Historical Fund Director Steve Turner will speak about historic and archaeological preservation projects throughout the state, with emphasis on Southwest Colorado.

March 27: “Successes in Land Conservation.” Kathy Roser and Scott Perez of La Plata Open Space Conservancy, Nancy Butler with Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust and Nina Williams, formerly with Montezuma Land Conservancy, will discuss the organizations’ work to preserve open spaces. A retirement celebration for Roser will precede the program.

April 10: “Park County Resource Protection.” Gary Nichols will give a presentation about the county’s award-winning natural and cultural resource protection program that supports the county’s agriculture, recreation and tourism economies.

April 24: “Spring Creek Basin Wild Horse Program.” The Bureau of Land Management and the Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners will present a program about the management of the Southwest Colorado Spring Creek wild horse herd, including directives and goals, volunteer partnerships and the wild horse adoption program.

May 8: “Colorado Historic Preservation Awards.” The center will recognize completed, significant historic preservation projects. Recognized projects and programs will give presentations about their work, with a reception afterward.

May 22: “Dark Mold Archaeological Project.” This program will present 10 years of FLC Summer Field School excavation at the Dark Mold site. Mona Charles and Dawn Mulhern will discuss the human remains and associated artifacts and tie their findings into the larger view of Basketmaker II from Southwest Colorado.

June 21: “Summer Solstice Window Viewing.” At the dawn of the summer solstice, a spiral of sunlight makes its way across the gallery walls, making for a dazzling display.

June 21: “Ancient Skywatchers Lecture.” In celebration of the summer solstice, and in conjunction with the archaeoastronomy photo exhibit “Ancient Skywatchers of the Southwest,” Ninnemann will discuss his photography project and the topic of archaeoastronomy.

ted@durangoherald.com