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Arches National Park - Like Nowhere Else on Earth


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Moab Information Center Lecture Series

The Moab Information Center Lecture Series

From April to November each year, the Lecture Series presents talks by regional experts about the Moab region's fascinating past and present, places and people, wildlife, plants, dinosaurs and more! All talks begin at 6:00 P.M. (unless noted otherwise) and are FREE to the public. Lectures are co-sponsored by the Museum of Moab. The Moab Information Center is conveniently located on the corner of Main & Center Streets in Moab, Utah.

WPA Federal Art Project poster LAST MIC LECTURE OF 2016!
Special Lecture on Tuesday!

November 1, 2016

Ranger Doug

Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA's Federal Art Project printed over two million posters 35,000 different designs to stir the public's imagination for education, theater, health, safety, and travel. Due to their fragile nature only two thousand posters have survived to this day; less than one tenth of one percent! Ranger Doug's Enterprises is the only source for faithful reproductions of WPA National Park serigraphed posters.  Originally produced between 1938 and 1941, these sixteen (the fourteen printed in Berkeley CA plus two See America prints printed in 1935 in NYC) stunning historical national park posters have been painstakingly restored, one screen at a time and are now offered again as screened prints. Join Doug Leen, aka Ranger Doug, as he discusses the processes he uses to reproduce the WPA style prints and posters. 

Past Lectures

The Mickelsen Pot discovered in Central UTah

Big Fuss About a Small Pot: The Mickelsen Pot from Central Utah
October 27, 2016
Charmaine Thompson

Utah was occupied between about 100 BC and AD 1300 by two groups of people who farmed, lived in villages, and made beautiful pottery. Archaeologically, we call them by different names, the Fremont in central and northern Utah, and the Ancestral Puebloans in southern Utah. Who were these people, and what was the nature of their relationship? The amazing discovery of a whole Ancestral Puebloan ceramic vessel in central Utah give us insights into these questions. This little pot provides us with a window into a time in ancient Utah when people were on the move and creating spheres of interaction that affected their lives in profound ways. It also reminds us about the connection between modern Puebloan people and their ancient Utah ancestors.   

Ann Axtell Morris - Art in ArchaeologyAnn Axtell Morris: Art in Archaeology of the Southwest and Mesoamerica
October 20, 2016
Sally Cole

Archaeologist and artist Ann Axtell Morris accompanied her husband, archaeologist Earl Morris, on multi-year expeditions during the 1920s and 1930s in the U. S. Southwest and Mexico. She recorded architecture, rock art, murals, landscapes, Navajo lifeways, and expedition work in watercolor paintings and drawings and pioneered methods of documentation that remain in use today. Her works provide context for important sites including those of Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chichen Itzá, Yucatan, and Mesa Verde National Park. The watercolors record ancient use of color in a time of black and white photography.

Tracks at Moab's Dinosaur Stomping GroundsWalking with Dinosaurs in Moab
October 13, 2016

ReBecca Hunt Foster

Join BLM Paleontologist ReBecca Hunt-foster to learn about where you can go to walk with the dinosaurs around Moab. ReBecca will discuss free places that you can visit to see real dinosaur bone and tracks in the Moab area. Questions such as: “What should I do if I find a dinosaur?”, “How old are these fossils?”, and “Why are all these dinosaurs preserved here?” will be answered.

Photo by Laurie WebsterAncient Textiles, Baskets, Wood and Hides from Southeastern Utah
September 29, 2016

Laurie Webster

During the 1890’s, local “cowboy” archaeologists excavated thousands of prehistoric perishable artifacts from alcoves in Southeastern Utah. Most were shipped to museums outside of the Southwest, where they were largely forgotten by archaeologists and the public. In this presentation, Laurie Webster will discuss her recent research with these collections and highlight some of the extraordinary 1000 to 2000 year-old textiles, baskets, hides, wooden implements, and other perishable artifacts from sites in this region.


NPS photo by Jacob W Frank.jpgOur National Parks-Celebrating the Centennial, Preparing for the Bicentennial
September 22, 2016

Seth Jarvis, Director of Clark Planetarium

Join the Director of the Clark Planetarium (in Salt Lake City), Seth Jarvis, as he takes us on a journey through the stars to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Parks system! Seth Jarvis has been an enthusiastic, amateur astronomer since he built his first telescope at the age of 12. He started working for the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City as an usher in 1978. He then went on to be one of the planetarium’s first “AstroVan” outreach astronomy lecturers and traveled to rural Utah schools. Seth became the director of the Clark Planetarium when it opened in 2003. He is the author of several programs that now play in planetariums and science centers around the world. Come explore the night sky and learn what the stars have to teach us!

September 15, 2016
Fremont Figurines: Little Artifact, Big Story
David Yoder

The Fremont (a prehistoric Native American culture) lived in Utah around 1000 years ago. These people made amazing human shaped clay figurines; some exquisitely decorated with painted tattoos, appliqued hairstyles, and jewelry, while others were plain and crude. Join me for an hour as we explore this cultural phenomenon. We'll view photographs of figurines from around the Fremont world and hear why these people may have made and used these intriguing artifacts.

Cover of Ancient Galleries of Cedar MesaAncient Galleries of Cedar Mesa
Friday, September 2, 2016
Dave Manley

Dave will show his photographs from the book and share his experience documenting the incredible rock art of Cedar Mesa in Southeastern Utah. The greater Cedar Mesa area has been home to indigenous people for thousands of years. The cultures that came and went over time left a legacy of beautiful and intriguing marks on the rocks. Dave's crisp images show the breadth of the rock art found here, from isolated and simplistic to elaboratly carved and/or painted panels. There will be booksignings for Ancient Galleries of Cedar Mesa  on Saturday, September 3 at the Arches National Park visitor center bookstore from 9 A.M. – 11 A.M., and at the Canyonlands Island in the Sky visitor center bookstore from 1 P.M. – 3 P.M.

August 18, 2016
The Patterson Bundle
Don Montoya

Join BLM Archaeologist, Don Montoya, as he discusses the Patterson Bundle; a leather wrapped assemblage of Native American artifacts that was discovered in the Book Cliffs of southeastern Utah in the early 1980s. The Patterson Bundle was held and displayed temporarily at the Museum of Moab and at the Moab BLM Office. Due to government regulations the bundle was taken to the Utah Museum of Natural History where it resides today. Don's presentation will be about the Patterson Bundle and what we can do to bring it back to Moab.

1859—Utah’s First Dinosaur DiscoveryAugust 11, 2016
1859—Utah’s First Dinosaur Discovery

John Foster

In August of 1859 a military expedition led by Capt. John Macomb entered southeastern Utah on its way to find the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers. Accompanying Macomb and his train of soldiers, surveyors, and mules was the expedition naturalist, John Newberry. On a cliff high above one of their camps Newberry, happened across what turned out to be the first dinosaur reported from Utah and the geologically oldest sauropod dinosaur known from North America. Unfortunately, the site was lost to history soon after when Newberry, Macomb, and the rest of the nation got entangled in the Civil War. But more than 115 years later, a Moab resident set out to relocate this important lost site.

BLM Respect and Protect logoJuly 28, 2016
Respect and Protect Public Awareness Campaign
Ashley Losey & Dianne Olson

Join the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Tread Lightly for the Moab kick off of Respect and Protect, our cultural resources public awareness campaign.  With this campaign, we hope to get the public interested their heritage and aware of ways to enjoy archaeological and paleontological sites responsibly.  We want Respect and Protect to catch people's attention, inform their behaviors, and give people the opportunity to act. We will be speaking about the campaign’s key messages and how we will be deploying that message locally and across the state.  Whether you attended our stakeholder meeting in June, are interested in partnering with us, or just curious, we would love to have you participate in an informative and fun evening at the MIC.

May 5, 2016
Eating Along the Edges of Agriculture
Tim Riley

Join Dr. Tim Riley, Curator of Archaeology at the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah, as he presents an evaluation of coprolite specimens from Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan sites as records of individual dietary decisions. Most archaeologists recognize that the Ancestral Puebloans were farmers heavily dependent on their staple crop of maize. Fremont diet has been seen as much more variable, with maize farming being only a part of their broader subsistence strategy. Coprolite specimens present a direct opportunity to compare and contrast the dietary patterns among these contemporary archaeological cultures. Patterns of dietary consumption related to seasonality, habitat exploitation and diet breadth are all present in the data available from coprolite specimens.

Cave Springs HistoryMay 12, 2016
Cave Springs History
Leigh Grench

Cave Springs is a well known group of alcoves on BLM land within Squaw Park near the Yellowcat area. The alcoves have provided human shelter for over 8000 years with vestiges of this human passage both in the soil and on the walls. Unfortunately, graffiti has destroyed much of the ancient history and imagery. The BLM with a group of dedicated volunteers recently recorded all the names, dates, and prehistoric imagery at these impressive alcoves. The BLM and the MIC invite you to come and learn about this local history and how these alcoves and their riddles fit into the larger context of American history.

It's Up In The Air:May 26, 2016
It's Up In The Air: Conservation, Preservation and Protection of Eastern Utah's Cultural Resources on a Grand Scale
Jody Patterson

Balloons, kites, helicopters, and airplanes have been used to study archaeological sites and cultural landscapes since they first took to the air. Today’s technologies (airplanes, drones, small sensors, and GIS) and public citizen advocacy frameworks (citizen science and public-benefit flying) provide unprecedented opportunities take cultural resource preservation to a whole new height (pun intended). The combination of the citizen science movement, public-benefit flying, low-cost aerial technologies, and open source software can be combined to generate nearly real-time monitoring and data collection aimed at historic preservation in remote areas. This presentation will introduce these movements and technologies and discuss how to implement an aerial site stewardship program in eastern Utah based on their frameworks.

Cliff Dwellings Speak (book)June 2, 2016
Cliff Dwellings Speak—Deciphering the Ancient Cliff Dwellings of the American Southwest
Beth & Bill Sagstetter

Have you ever scrambled up a steep cliff to a cliff dwelling only to be disappointed when you finally arrived? Did it seem inscrutable and mute? It did to us for many years. After 40 years of researching and exploring cliff dwellings we discovered some little-known techniques for unraveling the mysteries of these ancient ruins, and we would like to share them with you. New and updated information!

Dead Horse Point State ParkJune 9, 2016
Dead Horse Point State Park
Crystal White

More info coming soon! (photo by Charlie Choc)



Noxious WeedsJune 16, 2016
Noxious Weeds
Tim Higgs




Colorado PikeminnowJuly 14, 2016
Colorado Pikeminnow: Life History and Exciting Findings from the 2015 Field Season
Christopher Michaud, Utah Division of Wildlife

The Colorado Pikeminnow is the largest predatory fish native to the Colorado River Basin. Pikeminnow were once common but beginning in the 1930s, populations of this big river predatory fish began to decline. Originally listed as endangered by USFWS in 1967, Pikeminnow were given full protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. Today, the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, a multi stakeholder partnership, is attempting to recover this imperiled species through an adaptive management strategy.  Chris will help us learn about the status this native fish.