2023 Keynote Presentation: Forests of the Southwest

Friday, September 15

Three fantastic researchers will each present on their expertise followed by a panel discussion and Q&A about the quaking aspen, the pinon-juniper woodland, and the ponderosa pine.

Paul Rogers: The Burning Questions About Quaking Aspen

Aspen are adept at thriving the ‘trials by fire’ of nature, though human disruptions commonly offset survival strategies.  Sometimes referred to as “asbestos forests,” aspen in their pure form are generally fire averse.  However, as forest conditions change, so too does fire susceptibility.  How do we learn to live with fire to preserve Utah’s (and the planet’s!) aspen ecosystems so that all may enjoy their beauty, bounty, and biodiversity?  Join Dr. Paul Rogers and our State Tree, the Quaking Aspen, on an illuminating science journey!

Lisa Floyd-Hanna: Celebrating the diversity and resiliency of pinon-juniper woodland

Lisa Floyd-Hanna will share her love of pinon and juniper by taking a biogeographic look at the woody species that compose the woodland here in Utah and throughout the southwest. Fire history and patterns will be discussed, as will current threats to the woodland. Lisa is Emeritus Professor at Prescott College in Prescott Arizona and resides in Durango Colorado where she has studied pinon-juniper fire history and demographics for many years at Mesa Verde and Dinosaur National Parks, in the Mogollon Highlands, and in Sonora, Mexico.

Jaime Yazzie: Ponderosa Pine - The Grandparents of the Forest Community

Jaime will speak about the Ponderosa pine, a tree that shapes the Southwest forests. Join us as we delve into the ecological importance, adaptability, and the changing dynamics of Ponderosa pine, as well as the intertwined connections to Diné (Navajo) livelihoods.

Jaime Yazzie (she/her/asdzaa) grew up in Lok’aah niteel. She is Tséníjíkiní (Cliff-Dwellers/Honey Combed Rock People), born for Lók’aa’ Dine’é (Reed People Clan), maternal grandfathers are Honágháahnii, (One-walks-around clan) and paternal grandfathers are Chishí Diné’é (Chiricahua Apache). Jaime is a Forest Health Analyst at the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree Ring Research. Her research examines the relationships between forestry, dendrochronology, Diné ecology, and Indigenous methodologies.