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Talk Topic: Maya, Rain Forest

UC Riverside Lecture Series Presents Ancient Maya and the Rain Forest, Implications for Modern Conservation

Second of Four UC Riverside Public Lectures in the Coachella Valley

(January 6, 2004)

Scott L. Fedick

Scott L. Fedick

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — The relationship of the ancient Maya with their environment and its implications for today’s conservation efforts is the subject of the next Connecting the Dots lecture series. The speaker, Scott L. Fedick, is an associate professor of anthropology and archeology at the University of California, Riverside. The free public lecture is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday Jan. 29 at the Palm Springs Desert Museum Lecture Hall, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs.

For more information, call the UC Riverside Office of Desert Programs and Desert Region Development at (760) 341-6221.

The talk is titled “The Ancient Maya and the Modern Maya Forests: Implications for Modern Conservation and Indigenous Rights.” Fedick serves as director of the Yalahau Regional Human Ecology Project, a multidisciplinary, multinational research effort focusing on ancient Maya settlement, land use, and political organization in an extensive wetland area of northern Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Fedick received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 1988 and arrived at UC Riverside in 1989. Most of his fieldwork takes place in the Maya Lowlands of Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala, the Mexican highlands of Oaxaca, and the western and southwestern United States.

The four-lecture Connecting The Dots series is designed to bring timely and informative topics to the residents of the Coachella Valley from research underway at the nearby UC campus in Riverside. The opening talk, which tackled the issues of water and sustainable development in the Coachella Valley, featured Distinguished Professor of Soil Science William Jury, who is also the interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UC Riverside.

The remaining two lectures in the series are also scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. They include the following:

  • Thursday March 4 — Anthea Kraut, an assistant professor of dance and a scholar of the African-American vernacular in dance, will speak prior to a performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. The dance company has grown from a mostly African-American dance company at it’s founding in 1958 to a large multi-cultural troupe. The talk and performance are in association with the McCallum Theater Institute and will be held at the McCallum Theater, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert.

  • Thursday May 20 — Joel Martin, Rupert Costo Endowed Chair in American Indian History and director of the Center for California Native Nations at UC Riverside. The talk titled, “Native American Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Role of Gaming in the Struggle to Preserve Cultures,” will be held at the Annenberg Theatre in the Palm Springs Desert Museum.

UC Riverside’s presence in the Coachella Valley will deepen when classes open in 2005 at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Campus, a two-building complex at Cook Street and Frank Sinatra Drive. The Palm Desert Campus will house graduate level academic programs in entrepreneurship, serve as a focal point for UC Riverside research on issues vital to the region's future, and serve as a home for UC Riverside outreach programs and services in the valley. Core objectives for this satellite campus include establishing an internationally significant Center for Entrepreneurial Management, offering advanced management courses in areas such as environmental science, engineering and the arts as well as developing a satellite technology transfer center.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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