The Columbia Gorge Earth Center’s third annual Sense of Place lecture series began Oct. 16 and continues Jan. 15 with a presentation by Brett Vandenhuevel and Lauren Goldberg, “Hanford’s Nuclear Legacy: The Impact on our River Today.”
Whether it is recreation, resource extraction or farming, most people who live in the Gorge are here because of some connection to the land. As the Gorge becomes increasingly popular for both locals and tourists, conflict over how best to manage this unique place becomes elevated. Ideas about how to use and live on this land that connects us can quickly become an issue that divides communities.
Through monthly speakers who represent a variety of industries and perspectives, the Sense of Place lecture series seeks to explore the cultural and natural history of the land so that together we can uncover what ties us all to this place and to each other outside of times of conflict.
All lectures take place at Springhouse Cellar Winery, 13 Railroad St. in Hood River. Doors open at 6 p.m.; lectures begin at 6:30. Come early to enjoy a glass of wine or beer, save a seat, buy a book on the lecture’s topic from Waucoma Bookstore and meet others in your community.
The lineup for the series includes:
n Jan. 15 — Brett Vandenhuevel and Lauren Goldberg, “Hanford’s Nuclear Legacy: The Impact on our River Today”
Come learn about the history of Hanford and how its impact on our communities today.
Brett VandenHeuvel serves as the executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper. Lauren Goldberg is Columbia Riverkeeper’s staff attorney and directs the nonprofit’s legal program.
n Feb. 19 — Scott Burns and Marjorie Burns, “Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods”
One of the greatest set of geological events to ever have occurred in North America was given the name the Missoula Floods. This lecture will focus on the intriguing story of the discovery and development of the idea of the floods by J. Harlen Bretz and then will discuss the effect of the floods on the development of the landscape of 16,000 square miles of the Pacific Northwest. The floods occurred between 15,000 and 18,000 years ago.
Scott Burns is a professor of geology and past chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University where he just finished his 22nd year of teaching.
Marjorie Burns was on the faculty of Portland State University for more than 30 years and has taught and lectured around the world.
n March 19 — Arthur Babitz, “Visible Change: The Transformation of the Hood River Valley As Seen in the Photographic Record”
Arthur Babitz is an electrical engineer and the mayor of Hood River. His interest in photography extends back to childhood hours in the darkroom, and his interest in history extends almost as far back.
He is currently helping The History Museum of Hood River County digitize and organize its entire collection of photographic images. He has seen most of the roughly 10,000 images in the collection.
Many of these images can be seen on The History Museum’s photo blog at historichoodriver.com.