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1/31/2013 2:13:00 PM
Methodist lecture to focus on organizing prehistory at Montezuma Castle

Organizing prehistory at Montezuma Castle National Monument will be discussed Sunday, Feb. 3, in the second of five lectures at Mountain View United Methodist Church's Religion and Science series.

The speaker will be Matt Guebard, currently chief of resource management and park archeologist at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments.

All presentations will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Worship Center, 901 South 12th St., and are open to the public with no charge for admission. The lectures are finished no later than 4 p.m.

Guebard, with a master's in anthropology from Northern Arizona University, has worked at the two historic sites since 2008, focusing on resource management, resource compliance and prehistoric architecture.

He notes "impressive archaeological sites like Montezuma Castle illustrate the ingenuity of prehistoric builders and provide clues about the lives of the people who once lived there."

But the Castle's inhabitants did not do this, he said, so the National Park Service has utilized science as a means of telling its story.

"This presentation," he said, "will highlight some of the recent scientific work and resulting interpretations of prehistoric life at the site."

For Feb. 10, the speaker will be Nikki Check, who is director of viticulture and enology at Yavapai College. She was recently re-elected to the Jerome Town Council, and appointed as Jerome's mayor.

After receiving her degree in agro-ecology in 2007, she worked for Merkin Vineyards, for four seasons. She began teaching at Yavapai College in 2009, becoming director of the new program in 2012.

Her topic will be "Plant Breeding: The Micro-evolutionary Journey of the Plant Kingdom in the Hands of Man."

A mining engineer will be featured at the Feb. 17 Religion and Science session. He is Brian Langford, who along with his parents, Dennis and Jan Langford, are Verde Valley residents.

He is an honors graduate from Montana Tech of the University of Montana.

"Creation and the Flood - How are they relevant to the surrounding Verde Valley?" will be his topic.

Besides sharing his love of geology and mining, he will include a multi-media tour of the Phoenix Cement plant at Clarkdale in his presentation.

"The limitations of the scientific method and solutions," will be the subject of Dr. Mike Ruddell's Feb. 24 lecture.

On the faculty of Yavapai College at Prescott, Dr. Ruddell is an anthropologist and archeologist whose areas of special interest are paleoecology, taphonomy (fossil formation) and zooarchaeology.

The first session of the series -which began Jan. 27 - featured geologist Wayne Ranney. An author, trail and river guide and a director of the Museum of Northern Arizona, he spoke on "Geologic Time and the Ancient Landscapes of the American Southwest."

Coordinating the Religion and Science program -- part of the world-wide Clergy Letter Project comprised of thousands of pastors and scientists -- is the Rev. Ed Womack, retired United Methodist pastor who also is a member of Mountain View UMC.

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