Tour: Exploring Eastern Washington’s Mammoth Steppe

Location: Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 W. First Avenue, Spokane, w, 99201

Cost: $90 Members, $100 Non-Members

Tour Description: Join us as renowned University of Michigan Paleontologist Dr. Daniel Fisher, and local author and naturalist Jack Nisbet lead this half-day guided bus tour and journey through the flood-carved landscapes near the Palouse Hills along Pine and Hangman Creeks. Places of interest that will be viewed include the Donahoe and Coplen homesteads, where fossil mammoth discoveries in the 1870s caused a local sensation and helped to scientifically define the species known today as the Columbian mammoth. Tour participants will hike among the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that supported this Ice Age fauna, and try to visualize what life was like for the great beasts. Program includes a boxed lunch.

About the Tour Guides: 

Daniel Fisher is on the faculty of the University of Michigan and is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Claude W. Hibbard Collegiate Professor of Paleontology, and the Curator and Director of the University’s Museum of Paleontology. Dr. Fisher is also guest curator for the Field Museum’s traveling exhibition, “Titans of the Ice Age: Mammoths and Mastodons,” now showing at the Northwest Museum of Arts + Culture. He was one of the international team of scientists to work with Lyuba, the best preserved baby mammoth ever found. His research on mammoth tusks has informed our understanding of mammoth life: for example, how well they ate, whether they grew well or poorly, and in which seasons this growth took place. Educationally, Dr. Fisher completed his undergraduate and graduate work in geological sciences at Harvard University, earning his Ph.D. in 1975. 

Jack Nisbet is a Spokane-based teacher, naturalist, and author whose scholarly interests focus on the intersection of human and natural history in the Pacific Northwest. He has written numerous books about the Northwest, including, “The Collector,” “David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work,” “Visible Bones,” and “Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest.” He is a graduate of Stanford University.