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UWM’s Academic Adventurers
October 2, 2017 @ 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Richard Francaviglia, Adjunct Professor, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, presents “Academic Adventures in South America’s Atacama Desert.”
When historical geographer Richard Francaviglia first began studying South America’s Atacama Desert in college (1963), he had no idea that his research would involve so many past eras and distant places.
On this journey into the Atacama, he has traced the footsteps of British naturalist Charles Darwin, visited sites where astronauts have trained for voyages to Mars, and learned lessons in loss from Chileans who still search this desert for the scattered remains of family members killed in the political coup of 1973.
His quest to understand the Atacama has also led him to archives–including the American Geographical Society Library at UWM–where he consulted rare documents in several languages (Spanish, French, and German).
Through experiences gained on this journey, he learned a new way of studying places that combines the discipline of the sciences with the passion of the arts and poetry.
Richard Francaviglia is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently an Associated Scholar at Willamette University. His next book, Imagining the Atacama Desert: A Five Hundred Year Journey of Discovery, is scheduled for publication in 2018.
Academic Adventurers talks begin at 3 p.m. in the American Geographical Society Library, third floor, east wing of the Golda Meir Library.
A reception with light refreshments, sponsored by the Friends of the Golda Meir Library, follows each talk.