Episode 8

Tar Seeps, Pelicans, and Connections


December 9th, 2018

45 mins 53 secs

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About this Episode

We continue our series of stories about the Great Salt Lake today with 2 stories about Pelicans, a piece of new music, and a report from a couple of our summer collaborative research grants. First, Kara Kornhauser discusses her research related to pelicans and tar seeps near the Spiral Jetty on the shores of the lake. Next, I interview Connor Lockie about his new piece of music, "Mass for Pelicans," and we'll share that composition. Finally, Hikmet Loe and Scout Invie talk about the work they did this summer as part of their summer collaborative research project, "Landscape of Necessity".

Photos and a video from the Tar Seeps

Tar Seeps
Pelicans walking across the tar seeps

Jeff Nichols and Brent Olson co-direct the Institute for Mountain Research and our 2018-2019 Mountain Fellows are Katie Saad and Naomi Shapiro. We owe a huge thank you to the Great Salt Lake Institute. This week has additional music by Hyson and our theme song is “Home” by Pixie and the Partygrass Boys. As Naomi likes to say, “They are awesome and you should check them out.”

Episode Links

  • Great Salt Lake Institute | Westminster College | Utah — Great Salt Lake Institute (GSLI) was established in 2008 with support from Westminster College and an external grant, allowing us to hire a coordinator, involve student employees, and purchase equipment to reach out to the community in a real way. We began by running community field trips and developing high school and college curriculum on GSL. Shortly thereafter, we created a GSLI summer undergraduate research program.
  • Free Music Archive: Hyson — Our background music this week comes from Hyson, shared via a creative commons license.
  • PELIcam (@peliproject) • Instagram photos and videos — Follow the PELIcam Project to see the antics of pelicans that breed on Gunnison Island at Great Salt Lake! Come volunteer to help analyze the images!
  • Landscape of Necessity – The Mountain Commons – Medium — You can download Hikmet Loe and Scout Invie's entire research report here.
  • Pixie & The Partygrass Boys — Our theme music is "Home" by Pixie and The Partygrass boys. You can get their music here and they are playing all over the Salt Lake Valley and up in Big Cottonwood Canyon this winter. You should check them out.
  • "The Spiral Jetty Encyclo" by Hikmet Loe — In addition to her work at Westminster, Hikmet Loe is the author of "The Spiral Jetty Encyclo." "Robert Smithson’s earthwork, Spiral Jetty (1970), an icon of the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, is located on the northern shores of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Smithson built a masterpiece from local materials, one that spirals counterclockwise into the lake and appears or is submerged with fluctuations in the lake’s locally red, saline water." "The Spiral Jetty Encyclo draws on Smithson’s writings for encyclopedic entries that bring to light the context of the earthwork and Smithson’s many points of reference in creating it. Visitors and armchair travelers, too, will discover how much significance Smithson placed on regional considerations, his immersion in natural history, his passion for travel, and his ability to use diverse mediums to create a cohesive and lasting work of art. Containing some 220 images, most of them in color, with some historical black and whites, The  Spiral Jetty Encyclo lets readers explore the construction, connections, and significance of Smithson’s 1,500-foot-long curl into Great Salt Lake, created, in Smithson’s words, of “mud, salt crystals, rocks, water.”