Six hundred miles long from its source in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico to its confluence with the Colorado River above Yuma, the Gila River has been an important avenue for the movement of populations — birds, animals, plants and people — across the desert for millennia.
Many cultures have sprung up on its banks and millions of people depend on the river today—whether they know it or not.
McNamee draws on Native American stories, pioneer memoirs, the writings of modern naturalists such as Aldo Leopold and Edward Abbey, and other sources to chronicle 70 million years of history packed into an entertaining, informative hour. His talk begins at 2:30 p.m. Thursday (June 21), in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Phyllis and Henry Koffler Great Room.
McNamee is a writer, journalist, editor, photographer, and publisher. He is the author or title-page editor of 40 books – including the prize-winning Gila: The Life and Death of an American River – and more than 5,000 periodical publications, including articles, essays, reviews, interviews, editorials, poems, and short stories.
He is a consultant, contributor, and contributing editor to the Encuyclopedia Britanica. He is also a contributing editor to and regular reviewer for Kirkus Reviews and a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review.
McNamee is a research associate at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona and a lecturer in the Economics Department of the Eller College of Management there.
He is a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Arizona Humanities Council, and he also gives courses and talks on writing, publishing, journalism, media and technology, and cultural and environmental issues.
Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer