Think Water Utah Library of Virtual Events

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Think Water Utah is a statewide conversation on the critical topic of water presented by Utah Humanities and its partners. Some events are virtual and rely on digital resources. Find them here for yet another way to participate in this statewide project.


Utah water stories of challenge, adaptation, change, success, and sometimes failure! 


Learn more about Utah's unique relationship with water! 

              • Jim Aton, author | The River Knows Everything, an overview of the 12,000-year history of humans in Desolation-Gray Canyons, including Native peoples and Anglo ranchers.
              • Larry Cesspooch, Ute elder and storyteller | Learn how water has shaped not only our earth, but important stories and ways of life along the way.
              • Zach Frankel, Director of the Utah Rivers Council | There are consequences to continuing unsustainable practices with our precious Utah water. Learn about the one important culprit of water overuse in Utah (it isn't laundry) and the impact of water diversions on people and wildlife.
              • Jedediah Rogers, Senior Historian at the Utah Division of State History | Learn about the ecological and cultural importance of the Sevier River and Sevier Lake in central Utah as well as their relation to the Great Salt Lake, another body of water in the ancient Bonneville Basin.
              • Christa Sadler, geologist, educator, writer, and naturalist | Did you know that the Colorado is the Hardest Working River in the West? Learn how allocation of the River has changed over time.
              • Chip Ward, author | Moderated discussion of "Canaries on the Rim," "Hope's Horizon," and "Stony Mesa Sagas," books about how we are embedded in the natural world.
              • Roy Webb, archivist & historian | "John Wesley Powell in the Lost Canyons of the Green River" focuses on Powell’s 1869 journey in the upper stretches of the Green were where crew members learned to handle ungainly boats and first realized just what dangers they were facing downstream.
              • Terry Tempest Williams, author & activist | "Believe" is an essay written specifically for the author's conversation with the Brigham City Museum about her book “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place,” the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, and the role that water plays in Northern Utah’s delicate landscape.


Step into the landscapes that inspired some of the American West’s greatest literature. Led by scholars in both science and the humanities, this activity engages participants in the life of their local waterways. Access an online video of a water-oriented trek (below), readings and map to take with you as you visit that location, then join us for a Zoom conversation about the experience. Here are watery walks we're taking!

              • Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Brigham City, Utah | reading Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams with Riley Nelson (Biology, BYU) and John Bennion (English, BYU)
              • Fife Wetlands, Jordan River, Salt Lake City, Utah | Join Natural History Museum of Utah entomologist Christy Bills and poet Nan Seymour for a River Writing session in the heart of Salt Lake City at the Fife Wetlands, inspired by May Swenson's book Nature: Poems Old and New.
              • Kanab Creek, Kanab, Utah | reading To Die in Kanab: the Everett Ruess Affair by Jack Nelson with Ami Comeford (English, Dixie State Univeristy), Jaimi Butler (Great Salt Lake Institute, Westminster College), Riley Nelson (Biology, BYU) and John Bennion (English, BYU)
              • Native Rock Imagery in Moab | Join Hopi guide Bertram Tsavadawa and archaeologist Don Montoya for a conversation about Native rock imagery in Moab, with the Moab Museum.
              • Ogden Overlook Trail, Ogden, Utah | reading In the Museum of Coming and Going and The Blue Nude Migration by Laura Stott with the author, Laura Stott (English, Weber State) and John Bennion (English, BYU)
              • Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake, Utah | Reading The Spiral Jetty Encyclo: Exploring Robert Smithson's Earthwork through Time and Place by Hikmet Loe, with the author and Jaimi Butler (Great Salt Lake Institute, Westminster College). Tune into their extended conversation, held as part of Utah's Thrive 125.
              • Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter, Park City, Utah | with Xiumei Pu (Environmental Studies, Westminster College) and Jaimi Butler (Great Salt Lake Institute, Westminster College)


Dive into water with these do-it-yourself activities! 


Use these videos in conjunction with your water exhibition to generate local conversations on the importancce and essential nature of water.

              • WATERSHEDS | How do people in your area manage water in cooperation with people in other areas?
              • WATER QUALITY & AVAILABILITY | How do people in your area work to protect water resources?
              • WATER RECREATION | How do people have fun on and around water? How does water bring people together in your community?
              • INSPIRATION & CONNECTION | How do people in your community connect with water? What are the personal and cultural impacts of water in your area?