WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- The history of the region's rivers and dams, along with the current state of problems associated with their development, will be the topic of the annual Arnold lecture on the Whitman College campus Monday, Nov. 8.

Russell McCormmach, Visiting Arnold Professor of the History of Science, will present "Run of the (Columbia/Snake) River" at 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. The presentation, which will include a slide show, is free and open to the public.

McCormmach, a nationally recognized expert in the fields of science and the history of science, is a Pendleton, Oregon, native. His presentation, he said, will include a slide show featuring photos his father took while working as a hydraulic engineer for the Corps of Engineers, and will cover two main periods of time, 1974-present, and 1930-1970. The 1930- 1970 period, said McCormmach, was a development-driven period that was quite successful except for the problems it created for the fish.

McCormmach will be taking an historical perspective in his lecture, he said, asking the question "How did we get to the place we find ourselves today?" and discussing options, causes, and different sides of the issues. McCormmach said he hopes his lecture will be a lead-in to a larger discussion of the issues.

Although engineering concerns on the dams will take second place to the environmental concerns, the slide show does contain photos of the dams as they were being built as well as the rivers in question. Engineering systems and problems will be covered in his talk, as well as the changing ideas about the dams.


Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156
Email: parishlj@whitman.edu