John Wesley Powell is one of the iconic explorers of the American West. A teacher, botanist, geologist, and amputee, he is probably best known for his 1869 and 1871 explorations of the Colorado River.
“John Wesley Powell led an exploring expedition in 1869 from Green River, Wyoming, 1000 river miles to the mouth of the Virgin River in what’s now Lake Mead,” said Eleanour Snow, a geologist with the US Geological Survey. “He went with nine other men in four boats. They left Green River May 24 of 1869, and they emerged down at the Virgin River on August 30.”
USGS and University of Wyoming are marking the 150th anniversary of the Powell Expedition with a river trip of their own. The Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition, or SCREE, launched on the Green River on May 24. One of the goals of the expedition is to inspire youth about science on the Colorado River.
“So, the USGS is a partner with SCREE on this expedition. We have USGS scientists and personnel on every leg, changing on and off across the course of the journey. And we’re taking a lot of data and measurements as we go. So, we’re really looking to create educational resources to study the changes that we see along the course the river,” Snow said.
If you want to meet the scientists on the expedition, SCREE will stop in Moab on June 22nd and 23rd for an outreach event. Details on SCREE's outreach events can be found on SCREE's website.