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Sun, Oct. 25

GCA lecture in Flagstaff this evening

Grand Canyon Association, in partnership with Northern Arizona University and Prescott's Sharlot Hall Museum, resumes its Canyon Country Lecture Series in Flagstaff and Prescott this September with a diversity of experts who will speak on the rich natural and cultural history of Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau. GCA offers free transportation to all lectures. Contact Helen Thompson at 638-7033 for information.

This series can be taken for one hour of college credit through Coconino Community College. Contact Alan Petersen at 928-226-4322.

"Damming Grand Canyon: The 1923 USGS Colorado River Expedition," Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7-8:30 p.m., Northern Arizona University's Cline Library: U.S. Geological Survey archivist Diane Boyer discusses the 1923 expedition to survey the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Though Maj. John Wesley Powell had brought Grand Canyon to the country's attention 50 years earlier, the public was captivated by this journey through what was still a place of mystery and danger. The dramatic trip was chronicled in radio broadcasts, newspapers and magazines and at one point it was widely (and wrongly) reported that the party was lost in a flood. Beyond the adventure, however, Claude Birdseye's expedition had the primary goal of determining the best places for dams that would feed California's growing agriculture and cities, create hydroelectric power and otherwise tame a natural wonder. It resulted in the first accurate mapping of the Colorado River gorge. Boyer works for the USGS' Desert Laboratory Collection of Repeat Photography in Tucson.

"Grand Canyon Air Disaster," Sunday, Oct. 21, 1 p.m., Sharlot Hall Museum, Prescott: Dan Driskill, Michael McComb, and William Waldock share their expansive knowledge of the June 30, 1956 mid-air collision between two aircraft over Grand Canyon. The crash, which killed 128 people, led to the creation of the FAA and modern air traffic control. Driskill, McComb and Waldock will discuss this tragic mid-air collision, as well as post-crash recovery, investigation and clean-up efforts (which continue to this day). Driskill is a flight paramedic in northern Arizona. He is currently at work on a book about the crash. Michael McComb is the chief pilot for Grand Canyon Airlines. He holds a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in aeronautical science with a minor in aviation safety and accident investigation. Professor William Waldock is the Associate Director of the Center for Aerospace Safety Education (CASE) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.

Flagstaff lectures are held at Northern Arizona University's Cline Library, located at the intersection of Knowles Drive and McCreary Road on the NAU campus. Prescott lectures are at the Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 West Gurley St., Space is limited at the Prescott series, so call 928-445-3122 to inquire about seating.

For more on future lectures, visit

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