This presentation covers humankind’s water use and food supply interactions with Arizona’s
ecology from Clovis culture hunter-gatherers to prehistoric irrigation canals, contemporary Hopi and Tohono O’odham dry farming, and present-day American farmers. We will examine how overhunting and climate change affected the wooly mammoth populations and the agriculture experiments that followed. From early attempts to increase the growth of wild plants to some the earliest irrigation canal projects in North America the Southwest’s indigenous people developed methods to survive the regions’ harsh climate. The Hopi and Tohono O’odham cultures not only altered their physical environment but developed a cultural belief system that espoused frugality and harmony with their natural surroundings. This presentation also describes major water use legislation over more than three centuries.
This program is cohosted by Arizona Archaeological Society – Little Colorado River Chapter.
About the speaker:
Arizona Historical Society’s beloved historian, Jim Turner, has worked with more than seventy local history museums. He co-authored the 4th-grade textbook The Arizona Story, and his pictorial history, Arizona: Celebration of the Grand Canyon State, was a 2012 Southwest Books of the Year selection. Turner moved to Tucson in 1951, earned an MA in U.S. history in 1999, and has been teaching Arizona history for 47 years. His numerous books include: The Mighty Colorado from the Glaciers to the Gulf (2016), Four Corners USA: Wonders of the American Southwest (2018), and Arizona: A History of the Grand Canyon State (2021).