Postponed until a later date.

March 17
What Does It Mean To Be a Montana Writer? - Ms. Tami Haaland

From Andrew Garcia’s Tough Trip Through Paradise to Debra Magpie Earling’s Perma Red, from the voices of the Frontier Magazine to the writers of Montana Quarterly and Whitefish Review, from our earliest poetic voices to Poets Laureate Melissa Kwasny and Mandy Smoker, Montana has been home to hundreds of writers. This presentation will explore what “Montana Writer” means and provide a brief overview of writers and their books.


Tami Haaland is the author of three poetry collections, What Does Not Return, When We Wake in the Night, and Breath in Every Room, winner of the Nicholas Roerich First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in many periodicals and anthologies, including, Ascent, Consequence, The American Journal of Poetry, The Ecopoetry Anthology, and Healing the Divide.  Her work has also been featured in The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, American Life in Poetry, and The Slowdown. Haaland served as Montana's Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015 and has received a Governor’s Humanities Award, an Artist Innovation Award from Montana Arts Council, and writing residencies from Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She was one of many artists who collaborated with UK filmmaker Anna Cady on her Elemental Dialogue series which was shown at festivals and other venues in England and Scotland. Haaland is a professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Montana State University Billings.

March 24
The Shape of Montana: The Geology Behind the Treasure State – Dr. Sarah Friedman

Montana’s variable landscapes are the result of many geologic events. Initial cooling of the Earth created the foundation for what will become Montana. From there Montana has been submerged under shallow ocean, and uplifted to the highest heights. Volcanoes have periodically dotted the landscape and are responsible for the creation of rich mineral resources that give Montana the nickname of “the Treasure State”.  All manner of creatures have called Montana home, from trilobites to dinosaurs to mammals as Montana travelled from the south pole to its current location in the Northern hemisphere.


Dr. Sarah Friedman currently teaches geology curriculum at Montana State University-Billings. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2009 with a B.S. in Geology. From there she pursued an M.S. in Geology and PhD in Geosciences at Southern Illinois University in 2015.


March 31
Men of the Cave - The Excavation of Empty Gulch – Dr. Timothy Urbaniak, Emeritus Professor

Now known as Pictograph Cave State Park, Empty Gulch was excavated under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from 1937 thru 1941. During the excavation, Eastern Montana Normal, now Montana State University Billings, served as a base for cleaning and cataloging artifacts recovered from the excavation. This lecture will explore aspects of the project that include the school’s role in the management of the excavation, how artifact locations can still be referenced at the site, examine new photograph compilations of the original excavation, and other tales and tidbits from the project.


For 20 years, Dr. Timothy Urbaniak led projects that explored archaeology and history through applications of technology as Director of the Montana State University Billings Archaeological Field Team.  He has been retired emeritus for four years following his 29th year of teaching in the Drafting and Design Program. He currently manages TRU Technologies LLC, a company specializing in applying technologies to historic, archaeological, and anthropological research and continues to research historic inscriptions on the Northern Plains.

April 7
Traveling to the Time of T.rex and Triceratops - Dr. John Scannella

Montana is one of the best places on Earth to explore the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. Exposures of the Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation are found throughout much of the state and contain fossils of some of the last non-avian dinosaurs to have roamed this area, including the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex and the horned Triceratops. Today, paleontologists continue to explore ancient Montana and are making new discoveries about how these and other Cretaceous creatures lived, grew, and evolved.


Dr. John Scannella is the John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University in Bozeman. He received a Ba​chelor's Degree in Geology from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University. His research focuses on the growth and evolution of Triceratops and other dinosaurs.