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Kelly McAlinden Group

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Christian Dorofeev
Christian Dorofeev

The American West

Our sophomore college course, "River and Region: The Columbia River and the Shaping of the Pacific Northwest," is now accepting applications. Students who participate in this SoCo seminar will travel widely throughout the Columbia basin in September of 2023, visiting water and energy facilities and regulatory agencies. Professors David Freyberg and David Kennedy will instruct.

The American West

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Centuries-old horse skeletons from the American Southwest are helping rewrite a colonial myth: When the Spanish colonized the region in the 17th century, they didn't introduce horses to Indigenous people, as long thought. Instead, horses were present in the Southwest long before Europeans, and were traded by Indigenous people who formed close, sacred relationships with them, a new study finds.

Horses lived in North America for millions of years but went extinct at the end of the last ice age, about 11,000 years ago. When Europeans reintroduced horses to what is now the eastern U.S. in 1519, these hoofed mammals radically altered Indigenous ways of life, rapidly causing changes to food production methods, transportation and warfare. In the Southwest, historical Spanish records suggest horses spread throughout the area after the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, when Indigenous people forced Spanish settlers out of what is now New Mexico. But these records, made a century after the revolt, do not align with the oral histories of the Comanche and Shoshone people, who document horse use far earlier.

In a research paper published Thursday (March 30) in Science (opens in new tab), the researchers detailed how they tracked down 33 horse specimens from archaeological collections across the U.S. in order to reconstruct Indigenous human-horse relationships. "The horses that are the focus of our study are those from definitively Indigenous contexts in the Southwest and the Great Plains," study co-author William Taylor (opens in new tab), an archaeologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, told Live Science in an email.

A wet pattern continued in parts of the West this week, especially western Oregon and Washington and coastal California and parts of the Sierra Nevada. Locally heavy precipitation amounts also fell in parts of Utah and central Arizona. Colder-than-normal temperatures also occurred over most of the West region this week. Temperatures generally ranged from 5 to 10 degrees below normal in the northern, western and southern parts of the region, while Nevada, Utah and southern Idaho experienced temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees colder than normal. The recent snowfall in southern Colorado in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains also allowed for improvements to conditions across the border in New Mexico. Large areas of the Intermountain West saw improvements to drought conditions this week, as long-term precipitation deficits lessened, snowpack remained high or grew, soil moisture and streamflow increased or remained high and groundwater conditions improved. Extreme drought was removed from central Utah, while moderate and severe drought lessened in coverage there. Much of southern Idaho and northern Nevada saw improvements this week after hefty precipitation amounts this winter. Conditions also improved west of Las Vegas, where long-term precipitation deficits lessened and groundwater and soil moisture locally improved. Moderate drought was removed in parts of northern California as well, where long-term precipitation deficits continued to lessen. For similar reasoning, drought coverage lessened in a few parts of Montana as well. Due to recent precipitation and large snowpack and lessening long-term precipitation deficits, moderate drought and abnormal dryness lessened in coverage in western Oregon.

The most compelling western histories written in the last quarter century confront the complexities of past and present. This begins with the recognition of how deep that past is, with histories that commence well before the West was American and with excavations that reveal the diversity and dynamism of Native America prior to the arrival of European colonizers. From archaeological and other sources, historians have now recovered rich precolonial worlds and complex societies that continued after Indians encountered people from Europe and Africa, weaving a fascinating new understanding of how natives and newcomers met and mingled.

Rescuing indigenous people from the condescension of New Age romanticism that turns them into ever peaceful, perfect ecologists, newer histories have shown how Indians not only resisted European colonialism, but also in some parts of North America carried out their own expansions. The best of these newer western histories detail as well how prolonged interactions resulted in ethnic crossings as well as ethnic cleansings. Most visibly, this intercourse produced mixed-race offspring, but historians have also tracked a wide range of exchanges that led to a blending of cultures. Such amalgamations have remained a hallmark of western American cultures in the 20th and now the 21st centuries

Pictures may be only their mute selves, but for Avedon they are everything, a totality. The photographer thinks that you ultimately get to know people in pictures, as if there is some arcane, yet clinching knowledge to be gleaned from the image. Strangely enough, it had been the inadvertent resemblance of his earlier western portraits to nineteenth-century ones that led the Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth to commission Avedon to do this series. If any such work is recalled to me, it would be medical photography of the last century. Doctors had sick people photographed to exhibit the awesome hand of nature upon them. Later, the subject might be lesions.

The physical location of the school, on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness in Northern New Mexico, is an integral part of the UWC-USA experience. Within days of arriving on campus, first-year students are hiking in the mountains with second-year Wilderness Leaders and trained wilderness leaders. The culture of the American Southwest is equally important and students immerse themselves in it during Southwest Studies trips, Project Weeks, and during community service projects throughout the year.

From deserts to ghost towns, from national forests to California bungalows, many of the features of the western American landscape are well known to residents and travelers alike. But in How to Read the American West, William Wyckoff introduces readers anew to these familiar landscapes. A geographer and an accomplished photographer, Wyckoff offers a fresh perspective on the natural and human history of the American West and encourages readers to discover that history has shaped the places where people live, work, and visit.

This innovative field guide includes stories, photographs, maps, and diagrams on a hundred landscape features across the American West. Features are grouped according to type, such as natural landscapes, farms and ranches, places of special cultural identity, and cities and suburbs. Unlike the geographic organization of a traditional guidebook, Wyckoff's field guide draws attention to the connections and the differences between and among places. Emphasizing features that recur from one part of the region to another, the guide takes readers on an exploration of the eleven western states with trips into their natural and cultural character.

I will not hide my fandom of this book. . . . The text is clear, descriptive, and appropriately analytical for a wide audience, thus making it equally useful in the classroom. The full color pictures are gorgeous. . . . Belongs on the shelf of any scholar, amateur or professional, with interests in the western half of this country.

Creative, thoughtful, and compelling, How to Read the American West makes the reader think in new ways about the everyday landscape. It shows a deep and thoughtful knowledge of the diversity of the West, and the engaging 'eye' at work throughout is both trustworthy and provocative. While most books ask you to engage primarily with the book, this book gets readers to engage with the landscape itself. The author has true expertise, but rather than providing all the answers and connections, he pushes readers to develop their own expertise and command of western landscapes.

If you want to get the most out of How to Read the American West, please wander its pages in a spirit of play, much as you would the landscape itself. . . . Once you can identify the various features that William Wyckoff puts before you in these pages, you'll be well on your way to reading the western landscape for yourself, with endless stories waiting to be discovered wherever you look.

A veteran of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, American West allows our guests to experience the nostalgia of classic paddlewheeler travel, while enjoying perfect comfort and the most modern amenities.American West was recently renovated with new color palettes, luxurious textiles and linens, new furniture and carpets, and artwork and flourishes. From the staterooms and suites to the lounges and dining rooms, the new décor pays homage to the legendary Columbia & Snake Rivers. Featured are well-appointed staterooms with private balconies offering unobstructed views of the beautiful Pacific Northwest landscapes. In addition to the amazing scenery, our master chefs have been busy preparing menus that are tailored specifically to this captivating region.

Begin planning your U.S. cruise adventure with American Cruise Lines today. From the coast of Maine, to the mighty Mississippi and Pacific Northwest, our Free Cruise Guide provides detailed information about all of our more than 50 U.S. itinerary options.

Nestled away in the cool mountain town of Ruidoso Downs, NM sits the Hubbard Museum of the American West. Established in 1992 the museum houses the Anne C. Stradling Collection of authentic buggies and wagons, equestrian items, Native American artwork and western art. Enjoy the scenery as you stroll through our sculpture garden. The seven horse breeds depicted were painstakingly brought to life by the late Mr. Dave McGary. 041b061a72


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