OLLI: Visualizing Long Lost Times in the Natural State

Thursday, December 2, 2021 10am to 12pm

Drake Airfield View map 25.00

4500 S. School Avenue, Fayetteville, AR 72701

View map 25.00 Add to calendar

Our journey starts with two unique views of the deep past. Meticulous excavation of soils below coal beds provides an image of our ancient coastal swamps as they looked to giant dragonflies and emerging amphibians. Then an Ozark sinkhole shows us an Ice Age landscape we can see today in central Canada. The earliest eyewitness views of Arkansas come from early explorers andtraders starting with De Soto through the scientific observations of official expeditions of 1806 to the journals of Henry Schoolcraft and other early travelers. We can use their notes to recreate the landscape they saw and compare them to familiar places such as the springs of the Ouachitas and a certain small rock ledge canoe landing on the Arkansas. That brings us to the question of the landscape we restore today -- how it relates to prehistoric conditions and the way in which our activities have permanently changed ecological forces at work. Witness how tree and tree-ring studies help reconstruct those early forests while highlighting the remaining questions about how our native oak-dominated forests maintained themselves without active forestry management.

Instructor: Fred Paillet

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