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Monthly Programs

  • October 2019
  • November 2019

David vonSeggern, Ph. D., Geophysicist: "Alexander von Humboldt — The Forgotten Scientist"

David von SeggernWhy do you suppose there are so many places in Nevada named "Humboldt"? They honor the famous 19th century scientist Alexander von Humboldt, who did not travel in Nevada but did travel in the Americas. Learn about the exploits and accomplishments of this great general scientist, how revered he was in his day, and why his memory has largely disappeared. Today, he is often called the father of ecology and his work influenced many famous scientists: Darwin, Thoreau, Jefferson, Muir, Goethe, de Bolivar, and Gauss.

Dr. vonSeggern worked in geophysics research at Phillips Petroleum Co. to enhance 2-D and 3-D images of the subsurface. In 1992, he became Seismic Network Manager at U. Nevada for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) seismic studies. In retirement, he continued his seismological studies as emeritus at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory.

  • Date: Sunday, October 6, 2019 (first Sunday)
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Reno Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street, Reno

Donnelyn Curtis, Librarian UNR IGT Knowledge Center: "The Saga of the Alfred Doten Diaries"

Donnelyn CurtisAlfred Doten (1829-1903) was an adventurer, a forty-niner, a rancher, a social sensation, and then a family man and journalist on the Comstock, and finally, a derelict succumbing to his weaknesses. His importance is as a diarist who kept a 53-year daily record of his life during a significant period of Nevada and California history. The University of Nevada, Reno acquired the diaries in 1961, resulting in a 3-volume, 2,381-page publication edited by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, launching Robert Laxalt's University of Nevada Press. It was an instant classic and became a valued source for historians. It was by necessity an abridged edition, containing less than half of the text in the original diaries. The web has opened up new possibilities to present the COMPLETE diaries, with enhancements and interactive features. A long-term project to bring the diaries online is underway, through a collaboration of Library and History faculty at UNR and the participation of dedicated volunteers. It will reveal fascinating stories of Doten and his diaries from 1849 to the present.

As a UNR librarian, Donnelyn Curtis has had several roles at the library, but her favorite is her current position in Special Collections, focusing on the needs of researchers. She has written and edited books and websites on library services and Nevada history, and has been involved with the Doten diaries for the last 10 years.

  • Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 (third Wednesday)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Northwest Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno

Sarah E. Cowie, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno: "Community Engagement and Collaborative Archaeology at Stewart Indian School"

Sarah CowieThe Stewart Indian School in Carson City, Nevada, established in 1890 as a federally mandated residential school, attempted to remove Native children from approximately 200 tribal communities and assimilate them into mainstream society. A collaborative archaeology project at the school connects two seemingly disparate aspects of removal. First, archaeology, historical documents and oral histories illuminate the ramifications of children’s forced removal from their families and traditional homelands for mandatory school attendance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with repercussions lasting into present day. Second, several tribal members who participated in the archaeology project brought to light the far-reaching consequences of removing artifacts from the site, a practice that threatens to erase both their ancestors and their descendants from the landscape. Engaging young people and elders from several tribes enriched the interpretations and preservation efforts at this site, and demonstrated the knowledge and resilience of communities whose voices should be influential in archaeological research.

Sarah Cowie specializes in historical-period archaeology of the American West. She recently completed the book "Collaborative Archaeology at Stewart Indian School." She earned her B.A. in Archaeology from Mount Holyoke College, her M.S. in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Arizona. Prior to teaching, she worked in cultural resource management for several years throughout the United States.

  • Date: Sunday, November 3, 2019 (first Sunday)
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Reno Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street, Reno

Kimberly Roberts, Special Collections, UNR IGT Knowledge Center: "History of Camping in Nevada and the Sierra Nevada"

Kimberly RobertsThis presentation examines the history of camping in Nevada and the Sierra Nevada, including the development of public lands for camping and the building of campgrounds, roads, and trails. The discussion includes an examination of the development of outdoor equipment specific to camping, and the many styles of camping, ranging from leave-no-trace backpacking, to luxury glamping. The talk will cover the popularity of children's summer camps and the history of groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts.

Kimberly Roberts is a former HRPS board member and is currently a HRPS Program Co-Chair. She works at UNR Special Collections and has a master’s degree in history, specializing in history of photography, science, environment and landscape. She curated the camping exhibit currently on display at the IGT Knowledge Center on the UNR campus.

  • Date: Wednesday, Noveber 20, 2019 (third Wednesday)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Northwest Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno

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