UM Lecture Series to Explore Art, History, Science and Politics of Water

February 03, 2014

MISSOULA – Lectures by six University of Montana faculty members will discuss various aspects of water during this year’s Community Lecture Series, “Western Rivers: Connecting Landscapes and Livelihoods.” The six-week lecture series, now in its 16th year, begins Tuesday, Feb. 18.

This year’s speakers hail from wide-ranging fields, including creative writing, law, aquatic biology and environmental studies, and their lectures will take many different approaches to the fascinating topic of water. Attendees will delve into “the riverscape legacy” in transcendentalist poetry, the place of water in the Blackfeet universe, the wonders of applied hydrogeology and the historic roots of water law.

Lectures will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday, Feb. 18-March 25, in the University Center Theater. Each event will include a Q-and-A session. In support of the series’ theme of water, select artworks from the Montana Museum of Art & Culture Permanent Collection will be on display Feb. 6-March 25 in the Mansfield Library and the Office of the President, and will be featured at the lectures.

The schedule is:

  • Feb. 18: “By Some Gliding Stream: Walton, Wordsworth and the Riverscape Legacy,” Creative Writing Program Lecturer Robert Stubblefield.
  • Feb. 25: “Soyiitapi: The Place of Water in the Blackfeet Universe,” Environmental Studies Program Instructor Rosalyn LaPier.
  • March 4: “Unseating the Lords of Yesterday: Water Law’s Historical Roots and Future Challenges,” School of Law Associate Professor Michelle Bryan Mudd.
  • March 11: “Connecting Landscapes, Rivers and Groundwater,” Department of Geosciences Regents Professor Bill Woessner.
  • March 18: “Riverscapes in Flux: Current Challenges in the Conservation of Native Fish,” College of Forestry and Conservation aquatic vertebrate ecology Associate Professor Lisa Eby.
  • March 25: “Are We Running Out of Water? Challenges and Opportunities for Water Management in Western Montana,” Department of Geosciences Assistant Professor Marco Maneta.

Tickets for the complete lecture series cost $20 for the general public, $15 for UM Alumni Association dues-paying members and $10 for students, or $5 at the door per lecture if seats are available. They can be purchased online at or by calling the UM Office of Alumni Relations at 406-243-5211. Space is limited.

For more information call Angela Weisenburger, UM Alumni on-campus events coordinator, at 406-243-6439 or email; or call Linda Gillison, UM professor and the lecture series facilitator, at 406-243-2719 or email


Contact: Angela Weisenburger, on-campus events coordinator, 406-243-6439,