Spring has sprung in LFK! Join us this month as we celebrate nature with Nerd Nite 37: Spring Greening! There will be presentations on cannabis, the creation of Yellowstone National Park, and a talk from the Kansas River Keeper. Doors will open at Maceli’s at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 15. Snacks and full bar available! $1 cover.

Presentations will include:

Barney Warf: “High Points: The Historical Geography of Cannabis”

This presentation offers an overview of the diffusion of cannabis among different cultures, ranging from prehistoric Asia to the colonial world system to the contemporary United States. It examines the various ways in which cannabis has been tied up with local cultures and global politics, noting that until very recently it was legal and often promoted by governments around the world.

Barney is a professor of geography at the University of Kansas. His research covers a broad array of economic, social and political topics, particularly telecommunications and the internet. His hobbies, if anyone cares, include martinis, travel, jazz, wine, and science fiction.

Dawn Buehler: “Kansas River: A National Water Trail”

This presentation will discuss the Kansas River as a National Water Trail and give you an overview of the Kansas Riverkeeper’s role to protect and preserve the Kansas River. We will take a look at the history of the river, the watershed, advocacy for the rehabilitation of the Kansas River environs including water quality and wildlife habitat, and the promotion of compatible public recreational uses of the Kansas River.

Dawn is the Kansas Riverkeeper , a non-governmental public advocate for the Kansas River who holds the community accountable for the health of the river. As a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, she is supported by Friends of the Kaw, a grassroots conservation group dedicated to protecting the Kansas River.

Chelsea Graham: “Geysers, Railroads, and the Creation of Nature”

Of all the flora and fauna protected in Yellowstone National Park, the most ubiquitous is steam. Steam in Yellowstone is evidence of the hundreds of hydrothermal features for which the park is most renowned and that in 1872 served as the primary justification for the park’s establishment. Since, hundreds of thousands of people flock every year from all over the world to visit the natural “Wonderland” found at Yellowstone. However, steam played a much more foundational role in the establishment of Yellowstone National Park by way of the steam engines of the Northern Pacific Railroad. This presentation explores the curious history of steam in relationship to Yellowstone National Park and questions the ways in which we articulate the purity and power of natural places.

Chelsea is a PhD Candidate specializing in Rhetoric at the University of Kansas where she is writing a dissertation about the relationship between rhetorics of steam and the effects of Industrial Modernity. When she’s not busy answering the question “what is rhetoric?,” she enjoys the outdoors, cooking, sports, and fantasizing about life after graduate school. She’s inclined to believe it’s probably not bad.