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Water, or the lack of it, has been a hot topic in the state of Montana with record lows in streams, rivers, and lakes last year.

Titled “Western Rivers: Connecting Landscapes and Livelihoods“, the 16th annual community lecture series at the University of Montana will bring together professors across several disciplines, including humanities, law, and science to discuss historical, legal, and conservational issues.

“It’s really a chance for the public to see the high caliber of professors we have on campus,” said Susan Cuff, associate director for the Alumni Relations Office at UM.

“We have some of the foremost leading researchers and experts in their fields,” she said.

The lecture series will begin on February 18th, and will be held for 6 consecutive sessions each Tuesday night following, from 7-8:30 p.m on the third floor of the UC in the University Center Theater.

The schedule for the lectures:

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  • Feb. 18: Robert Stubblefield, “By Some Gliding Stream: Walton, Wordsworth, and the Riverscape Legacy”. The UM English professor will discuss water as it is represented in literature, and its importance.
  •  Feb. 25: Rosalyn LaPier, “Soyiitapi: The Place of Water in the Blackfeet Universe”. A professor in the environmental studies department, LaPier will address historical and current issues surrounding water rights for Native Americans in Montana.
  • March 4: Michelle Bryan Mudd, “Unseating the Lords of Yesterday: Water Law’s Historical Roots and Future Challenges“. The law professor will examine the legal issues of water rights in the west.
  • March 11: Bill Woessner, “Connecting Landscapes, Rivers, and Groundwater“. A professor of hydrogeology, Woessner will discuss some of the scientific aspects of water, including quality and conservation.
  • March 18: Lisa Eby, “Riverscapes in Flux: Current Challenge in the Conservation of Native Fish”. Eby, an associate professor of aquatic vertebrate ecology at UM, will be looking at the effects on fish and wildlife connected with water.
  • March 25: Marco Maneta: “Are We Running out of Water? Challenges and Opportunities for Water Management in Western Montana“. The final lecture will discuss options for water conservation.

For the complete series, tickets are available for $20, or $15 for UM alumni association dues-paying members, and are $10 for students. Tickets at the door are $5 per lecture. Seats are limited, and tickets are on sale now.

To order tickets, call 243-5211, or buy them online at www.grizalum.com.

Dylan Chaffin is a journalism major at the University of Montana and a reporting intern for the Missoulian.

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