Santa Fe National Forest Site Stewards

Events & Lectures

Site Steward Lecture Series 2018 - 2019

All lectures will be held at the forest service office located at 11 Forest Lane, approximately 6 miles southwest of Santa Fe, off the intersection of NM 14 and NM 599, directly east of the Rail Runner Station. Doors open at 5:15. Lectures begin at 6:00 and go until 7:00. You are welcome to bring a brown bag supper to enjoy before or during the lecture.

November 7, 2018. Jeremy Moss  "The Archaeology of Pecos: Myth, Mystery, and Cultural Continuity"

Jeremy Moss is an Archaeologist and the Chief of Resource Stewardship and Science with the Pecos National Historical Park.

Pecos Pueblo was occupied for over six hundred years and was a gateway community connecting the Plains and the Rio Grande Valley. The cultural connections to modern Pueblo groups makes it an interesting place to explore cultural continuity and to assess the legends and lore that first drew archaeologists to Pecos at the turn of the 20th century. The presentation will summarize the history of archaeology at the site, future avenues of research, and the many cultural connections that bind modern Pueblo groups to Pecos Pueblo.

February 6, 2019.  Speaker TBD "Title TBD"

March 6, 2019.  Speaker TBD "Title TBD"

April 3, 2019.  Thomas W. Swetnam "Smokey Bear and Cognitive Dissonance in the 21st Century"

The 75-year old Smokey Bear advertising campaign has been, and still is, extremely important in helping prevent destructive, human-caused wildfires. But when does advertising in the name of education become propaganda? When does a too simple message become counter-productive?  We now know that fires can be both bad and good for ecosystems, but Smokey implies they are all bad. The origins and history of the Smokey Bear icon reflects the changes in American culture over the past 8 decades, but not the changes in ecological knowledge or fire management realities. I will review this history, and the close ties of Smokey to New Mexico, with a suggestion for expanding Smokey's message to embrace the duality of bad fire/good fire.

Dr. Thomas W. Swetnam is Regents' Professor Emeritus of Dendrochronology at the University of Arizona, where he served as Director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research from 2000 to 2015.

Previous Lectures

September 5, 2018. Rebecca Baisden   To Be Rescheduled

Our coordinator of Site Steward Lectures, Gail Bryant, says "Vigorous, explorer, wanderer and, incidentally, an archaeologist, Becky Baisden has been intimately involved in the combination of fire and archaeology.  She will be our first speaker in the lecture series."

Becky was mentioned in our Site Lines in a "State of the Forest" article.  Look under Newsletters in the November 2017 issue on page 3.  Here is the link


October 3, 2018. Ron Barker  "The  Stone Calendar Project"

There are hundreds of stone calendar sites around the southwest located near ancient inhabited areas that were used to mark the annual seasons and important cultural dates.  These calendars are made with specific glyphs that align with unique shadows used to mark the time of year, including winter and summer solstice, equinoxes, cross-quarters and many other imnportant indigenous dates.

The Stone Calendar Research Project is attempting to identify the western regional extent of this type of calendar technology.  Sites have been surveyed and studied in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, as far south as the Sierra Madres in Mexico, and as far north as the Columbia River Gorge in Washington.  Sites are studied using surveying techniques, 3 dimensional predictive modeling, and final field observations including time-lapse photography.  Using these stone instruments we can recreate the observations made by early sky watchers and recreate their ancient astronomical knowledge.  The study has helped to identify unique cultural variations in glyph design and revealed the technological evolution of instruments over time, leading to very complex and amazingly accurate stone calendars.

Ron Barber was born and raised in the oil fields of South America, in small isolated backcountry oil camps.  His parents hauled their kids through the mountains, deserts, and jungles; always in search of new adventures.  Encountering indigenous cultures and ancient sites has led to a long-term interest and curiosity about lost civilizations.  He is an explorer by nature, an engineer by profession.  He is a mechanical engineer with 38 years at the national laboratories in California and New Mexico.  Over the last 8 years he has formed the Stone Calendar Project to study rock art throughout the southwest, specifically looking for glyphs that might provide insights into early astronomical knowledge.

Ron's talk will share some preliminary results of the Stone Calendar Project; a hobby that somehow got out of hand.