APEX Hour at SUU

11/4/21: Science in Action!

Episode Summary

In this week's show, guest host Amelia Naumann talks with geologist Jason Kaiser, Hopi elder Bertram Tsavadawa and Utah Humanities Program Manager Willy Palomo about connection to the sciences and spiritual study of the natural world. They speak about rock formations, natural remedies from the Earth and the connections our communities have to the land around us. Enjoy!

Episode Notes

APEX Website

Episode Transcription

Dr. Lynn Vartan  00:02

Hey everyone, this is Lynn Vartan and you're listening to the apex hour on KSUU thunder 91.1. In this show, you get more personal time with the guests who visit Southern Utah University from all over, learning more about their stories and opinions beyond their presentations on stage. We will also give you some new music to listen to and hope to turn you on to some new sounds and new genres. You can find us here every Thursday at 3pm or on the web at suu.edu/apex. But for now, welcome to this week's show here on thunder 91.1.


Amelia  00:46

Awesome, awesome. Welcome in everyone to another Apex our here on K SUU thunder 91.1. I am so excited to talk about today's event. As today his entire theme has been science. We got to see so many things today right in front of our eyes from live experiments to live animals. But before we dive into that, and I get to introduce you to my phenomenal guests. As you've probably noticed, things are a little bit different in the studio today. Our fearless leader and the producer of APEX events, Lynn Varton has been called away for another one of her passions, which is working with SUU drumline and all of our phenomenal percussion majors. Because of this, I have the phenomenal privilege and opportunity of filling in. My name is Amelia Naumann and I am a student right here at Southern Utah University. I've been working for APEX for this entire semester, and it has been such a whirlwind. But I have to say today's event definitely takes the cake for most energetic. Now that I've introduced myself. I am so excited to introduce you to my guests. And we are going to start with Jason, how are you?


Jason  01:50

I'm doing well. Thanks for having me.


Amelia  01:52

Oh, yes. Thank you so much for being here. All right, Jason, can you tell us a little bit about your background, who you are and what you do for SEO?


Jason  02:00

Sure. I am a professor in the geosciences department here at Suu. I've been here since 2014. Teach a number of classes in geosciences including natural hazards and disasters, one of my favorites and number of upper level courses that involve mineral chemistry, rock chemistry and a bunch of field work because we're in southern Utah and you have to be outside teaching geology in southern Utah.


Amelia  02:26

Oh for sure if I was a geology major southern Utah's the place that I would want to be well, thank you so much for sharing that. I am so excited to dive in a little bit more about that. It but next up Bertrum will you please introduce yourself.


Bertram  02:39

Okay, good afternoon. My name is Bertram Soweto. I come from Northeastern Arizona, Hopi tribal member. And I am currently the one of the tour guides out there. My company names ancient pathways tours, I also guide into the southwestern ancestral sites, maybe a list of my repertoire of titles now I can put in there consulting, because that's what I've been doing with the Utah humanities program here, humanity's in the wild. So it's been very interesting and seeing other parts of Utah, the state of Utah.


Amelia  03:17

Oh, that's so great. And I know you have a massive resume and I am so excited to dive more into your career and what you've done. But before that, our final guest Willie, please introduce yourself.


Willy  03:27

Hello, everyone. It's a pleasure to be back at Suu. My name is Willie Palomo. I am currently the program manager for the Center for the Book at Utah humanities, which just means I run around entire state doing book events bringing storytellers like Bertram around events with authors, it's just a joy.


Amelia  03:46

And that is such a phenomenal program. And I'm so so grateful that you're able to come back to SUU after all of your work with CDI, and you were able to bring Bertram with you. Awesome, awesome. Now that we've gotten through all of our phenomenal guests, I would love to dive into a little bit more about what you do. Bertram. Um, Bertram had the opportunity to give just a really, really brief intro about some of the phenomenal things he's been involved with during our apex event. And so I just wanted to ask you a little bit more about your background and what it was like growing up in Arizona and kind of your upbringing and how you have like, come to be where you are today, especially with herbalism


Bertram  04:21

Okay, a lot of my upbringing was with my grandparents, and specifically with my grandmother, she probably wasn't advertidly already exposed me and teach me about the plants which were either medicinal or edible. And living in northeastern Arizona on the Hopi reservation. I come from the village of older IBW it's a very small village, but we do have collectively 12 villages within the area that's known as the Colorado Plateau on the Black Mesa region. And so coming from there, actually, you know, a Walmart or none of the other grocery stores are not nearby. You have to traverse either an hour's drive say so other villages will be Winslow, Arizona, or west of the Hopi reservation hour and a half drive to Flagstaff would be another area where there's more multiple shops in other areas or a mall that's located there. So definitely there's traversing to go away from the villages just to you know, go for grocery shops, shopping or errands.  Myself, I'm a self taught artisan, I did a lot of the two dimensional art. Crayola crayons are my first medium in second grade. But progressing up from there got into mixed media colored pencil, pen and ink. Then after graduating from high school, I attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and did study more on the finer points of painting, which was acrylic oil painting, which I really liked to do a lot of the layering of the complementary colors on there, got introduced to monotypes lithography embossments during that particular time, but I actually majored in museum studies at that time. So I seen a lot of museum collections there in Santa Fe, New Mexico, scene of the original carvings of the dolls of our Hopi people and I just got inspired from those traditional forms. So I just, you know, started carving that just to show you know, my fellow tribal members that these were the dolls originally, how they look prior to the realistic renditions, that the modern contemporary counterparts, you know, concentrate on the carving and the matte anatomy of the realistic body proportions. So, I jokingly refer to those modern contemporary counterparts as the proto Michelangelo action figures you know, you learned that through art appreciation and classes, as well you know, that you take you know, as a core classes in, in, in art appreciation in art history. And so, after attending from Ay ay ay ay ay in Santa Fe, New Mexico then went back to the reservation and there wasn't really much job opportunities employment, even though a lot of the tribal members are artisans themselves as craftspeople as Potter's, textile, weavers, doll Carver's jewelry makers. And so just a different avenue. I chose maybe to be a guide and educate people and have their visit out to the Hopi villages, educate them about us as Hopi people,


Amelia  07:31

for sure. And when you take people on your tours and you like what are some of the main points that you hit to educate them about the Hopi people?


Bertram  07:38

One of the main ones is, you know, like in the misconception or misinformation of the term Anasazi, that's an archeology that actually now it's being replaced with Ancestral Pueblo. And so the Hopi people in the Pueblo cultures that reside in New Mexico, we are the modern descendants of our ancestors that constructed say, The Chaco canyon or Mesa Verde Hovenweep, you know, these these general ancestral sites that are found through the southwestern states. And so that's just one that I educate, you know, because, you know, the term of Anasazi came from our neighbors language of the Navajo of the DNA that they told the archaeologists and scholars, you know, many ancient ones, but you know, now, you know, all the truths are coming out. So yes, in archaeology, it's being switched up that term now to ancestral prevalent. And then just generally, we do have a lot of these ancestral ties are histories, you know, that again, tie in with geology. And so like saying, the description that we give in the first world, you know, the cleansing or purification that occurred was all the Wolken ism that was occurring and happening. And so that's why you see all this evidence on the Lando Lava Beds. Dormy are active volcanoes or straddle, you know, volcanoes as mountains. So, you know, my travels, coming here to Cedar City, on the tops of the mountains, you know, yes, I was get fascinated to see the lava beds, before descending down here into Cedar City.


Amelia  09:11

Yeah, speaking of lava beds, I know Jason right here in the studio with us. That's something that he's really interested in. So Jason, I would love any of your insights kind of about the local lava beds and some of the things that you've been able to study in our area, kind of like we've been talking about.


Jason  09:25

Sure. What a great connection. That's a lot of the same stuff that brought me to Southern Utah. That's the reason I got into geology to begin with was studying volcanoes, really from all over the world. But one of the reasons that I was very excited to join the faculty at SU was exactly what Bertram was just describing. Yeah. So a lot of what we see around here in Cedar City is a volcanic rock called basalt. Those are made of the typical lava flows that you would see like for instance, in Hawaii. Okay, yeah, the Trinity lava flows that I think a lot of people would picture. That's what builds a lot of the plateaus and is what is capping a lot of the plateaus in this area. And at the time that they were active, which was spanning maybe 1000 years ago to a little over 100,000 years ago, wow, it would have been a much different landscape. And it would have been a lot less comprised of the vegetation, and a lot more covered by that the black rock that we see all over the place.


Amelia  10:31

Oh, wow, that is amazing. And is that something you get to go out with your students and like study actively in the field? Or is that not something you really get to see that often? 


Jason  10:39

Oh, of course. Yeah. It's one of the advantages that we have here at Suu, that we do get to study those rocks among a lot of the other diverse geologic settings in southern Utah. But yeah, we we get to talk about that in class, we get to show pictures and videos like any other university, but then we get to go see them in person and the students really enjoy seeing the rocks up, up close and personal, but you learn a lot more from being out there hands on experiences.


Amelia  11:07

Oh, for sure. Fieldwork is definitely the best thing to do no matter what area you're in. Well, I think that is the perfect intro into our first song. The Apex our features of course, so many phenomenal points about education, but we also hope to turn you on to some new sounds. And just because we're talking about rocks, I would like to play for you the rock song that go and this is K SUU thunder 91.15 Song Break That was the rock song by the dance sheen and conspiracy. And that is the perfect song to play because today has been all about science, everything from geology, to chemistry to physics and more, you're listening to the apex hour. And we will continue to talk to our guests more about their experiences here at Suu, and what they are currently doing. So awesome. Next time, we'd like to get into more of what William Bertram more of your relationship and kind of how you found each other and why we have the utmost privilege of having Bertram on our campus today. So Willie, what do you do for the state of Utah, we would love to hear a little bit more and get some details for our listeners. 


Willy  15:53

Yeah, so I'm the program manager for the Center for the Book at Utah humanities, basically, all that means is I run around all over the state in Utah from rural areas to more urban areas, places like Cedar City. And then we do events that encompass storytelling books and authors, which can get pretty flexible. So like in August, I did a cookbook event where we brought a DNA of woman who knew how to make blue corn mush, and we brought it to my lady. And we had cookbooks that broke down historical kind of connection between native and Latin X communities through corn. And we also do to traditional like, Hey, I got a book, I'm gonna read from it. And you can ask me some questions. So that's kind of what I've been up to, in general. And the way I got connected with Bertram is we started doing this program called humanity's in a wild, which is super fun. Essentially, what it is, is you go on a hike with two very smart people, we're going to be Bertram and Jason this afternoon. And they tell you about allowing you to see deeper, you're going to write because I look at a rock, I go, it's the color gray, it's a rock. But when Jason looks at a rock, it gets a little bit more intense than that, right? Like you get to see beyond just the surface. And that's what the idea is, is we're always bringing a scientist and a humanist, so that they can explain the history of the area. Some do like cool things that they can tell us about like water, or like the vegetation or things like that, you know, an average person like me going into a hike, like I see like a stick. You know, I don't know what's going on. So that's the joy of this event, is we get to go on some hikes. And we get to learn about the history where we come from and some of the science behind it. And today, we're going to go to Rainbow Canyon to see some of the petroglyphs. It's a moderate hike, but it's only one mile and we're going to have walkie talkies, if folks want to move at their own pace. But we're going to go up and see the petroglyphs and and see what Bertram can tell us about them. We visited them earlier this year, I want to say around June, and it was a beautiful experience. Yes, because there's a lot of history around these. And when I lived in Cedar City, I used to work as a coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. I didn't even know that there was something that like marvelous and magical, so close by. And that's something that like we're trying to draw attention to, you know, we're in one of the most beautiful states like beautiful places in the world, like people travel from far and wide to get to see yes, what we have, like, outside of our kitchen window, right. So that's something we definitely want people engaging with, and you know, talking about the importance and the value of the environment in all its different ways, you know, whether that's aesthetic, whether that's ecological, whether that's financial, economic, there's a lot of ways that the environment is valuable to us as human beings. And it's about connecting to all those different ways. This is random and a tidbit. It's one of the events we did with humanities in the wild involve the scientists over in Logan, Utah, who talked about tuning rivers by moving rocks in because you can like, hear the sounds and stuff like that. And there's like little magical things like that better. Yes, like, wow, humans have figured that out. And I'm so glad this guy spends so much time with that river that like he can make it play him music, essentially. Yeah, so that's what we're up to. And we're super excited for tonight to go check out the Petrick lifts and it's gonna be a good time.


Amelia  19:18

Oh, I'm also super, super excited for that event. Well, that is absolutely beautiful. I have never heard of tuning rivers right. So what a phenomenal opportunity you get to really like bring this knowledge to the community. Um, do you have any other like experiences that you would like to share with specific stories or guests? Or more about how you got connected with Bertram?


Willy  19:36

Yeah, with Bertram? Oh, yes, that's what I was supposed to be addressing. Oh, we do. Archaeologists Don Montoya, who works with a board over at Utah humanities. And he was able to get us connected to Bertram because of course, he's in Castle Valley really close to Moab. And of course there's so many like beautiful things specifically in Moab right like huge tourist destination and You know, I'm not familiar with some of the context when it comes to like, if you're seeing some rock imagery, like what exactly it would mean. And I knew Don had that knowledge. So I reached out to him. And he said, I can do it from a scientific perspective as an archaeologist, but we're gonna bring in Bertram to be able to give the cultural side. So we visited a couple of places like Bert birthing rock poison spider, and we got to see this amazing rock imagery. And then there was the context kind of added to it, right? I feel like sometimes as people who, you know, are uninformed about that community, you see it, and it's like, oh, maybe somebody was just walking by decided to draw something, you know, like, kind of like you do as a kid with like a cran in the wall. But like, that's not the case. For a lot of you. There's like, huge historical and cultural kind of background to a number of these sites. Some of them are sacred. And what's curious is I specifically member, remember, as we were going to poison spider, is that as I was looking at it, there was somebody who you could tell had tried to like mimic it and make a similar mark, and it just look nothing like it right. Like you could tell what the fake one was immediately. And that, like, shows is that like, yeah, and this also takes an intense amount of skill to figure out how to make these images stay on the rock for that long, and how to make them have vibrant colors and stuff like that. Because you can be like, Oh, that is a pale imitation of somebody who has visited this, and decided to, like, try to do it on a rock. And it's like, yeah, not that easy. Like, it just takes a lot of like cultural knowledge to be able to, like produce the sacred symbols and images that they use. So that's how I got connected with Bertram, and we've been staying tight ever since. Yes, because he's been such a great resource for especially southern Utah, we were able to have him be a part of our pi u webinar series that we're doing over the summer. And we brought him in to talk about some of the local plants in the area. And it was magical, because, you know, I don't I'm not a biologist, but I don't know that much about plants. When I lived in Cedar City, you know, I think red rock into dryness is one of the things that you noticed the most. So I was like, Okay, I looked up a hike online, and it had some green things that said, there was flowers, hopefully, we find some things Trump can identify, right? Because I'm not sure what it's gonna be like, and we get there. And he starts naming off the uses for, like, everything that we're seeing, which is magical, yes. Cuz, you know, going through that I see, like, maybe two different types of plants. And I'm like, Yeah, that's what I saw was green. But like, all these traditional uses, and you know, of course, a multitude of multitude of plants that are there. And there's a lot of history of the uses and stuff like that for the local area, that it takes bringing in somebody like Bertram to like preserve that knowledge, and then pass it on.


Amelia  22:46

Oh, for sure. And some of the most phenomenal points that I think were made earlier in the apex event is when Bertram was just naming off all of these things that plants can do, like I wrote it down, because I was so excited, just like how sage can, like help you when you have bruised skin, and how boiling green leaves can, you know, not only be like a physical cleanse, but a spiritual cleanse. So Bertram, when you're learning about all of these, like individual herbs and individual plants, was that something you just picked up over time? Or was that something you really had to sit down and study,


Bertram  23:16

um, it was being picked up over time. And then actually, now and in my lifetime, you know, I'm realizing, you know, it's just one way to help out others. But yes, it was, you know, learning through life, and then, again, being raised by my grandmother, it was just inadvertently teaching me and understanding how to prepare or which certain plants were edible or medicinal. And so now, you know, it's a little bit more easier to do identifying. But, you know, nowadays, you know, with, you know, any type of understandings, you know, there's books, publications and guidebooks. So, you know, they're simple ones, to very complex ones, and, you know, they'll go down to, you know, the scientific terms, you know, Latin names, you know, underplant, as well, common names. And then now, you know, with a lot of the indigenous and native cultures, you know, now they are also documenting in their own way with utilizing the language for language preservation as well. And then still continuing with the younger generations to instill the language and understand again, what plants are are useful and how they are and how they heal and help people.


Amelia  24:29

Oh, for sure, and I that is so wonderful that you've continued to pass that on to the next generation because I totally feel the vibes from you that you are such a phenomenal teacher and a phenomenal speaker. So when you're working with people to kind of preserve that knowledge about herbalism what is that process? Like? Is it just more of a we go out together and we observe the plants or is it we really sit down and we talk about it?


Bertram  24:50

Um, it can go either way, you know, however, the energy however the people feel, and then of course, you know, I always try to you know, encourage you know, remember things, you know, even though Yeah, we have technology as our cell phones or cameras, but you know, we have our own memory card in our brain, you know, in our head, you know, we can touch we can feel, we can scent, we can taste it, you know, if it's the edible ones. Yeah. But anyways, that's, that's the way you know, to do to do that, you know, and again, with stones, you know, with the geology, you know, as I was sharing at the apex, you know, there is the stones that are with healing, and, you know, everybody's, you know, understanding that, you know, each of the different varieties of stones precious, you know, semi precious, you know, they have their own healing properties as well.


Amelia  25:38

Oh, for sure. And that was another phenomenal point that you made with healing properties of stones, is that really individualistic for people? Like, how do you find like, what works for you, like, I noticed you have beautiful, beautiful turquoise on and that's, you know, native to your area? So kind of how do you find what works for you?


Bertram  25:54

Well, you know, just like, turquoise in general, coming from the state of Arizona, there's so many varieties and styles, I would just say, you know, the turquoise was the ancestral gold, you know, in earlier times, and still taking in as that type of value. But, you know, again, for myself, personally, you know, turquoise is definitely helpful to have, you know, as he traverse when you travel, you know, bronze, it's just like, you know, just like one of your protections, you know, protection blanket, you know, the good luck charm. But then definitely others will have, again, with the healings, you know, like maybe pink rose quartz or crystals, Jade, Tiger I, you know, they they all have and even with the natural ones like obsidian, or pigments, you know, what wouldn't have that or hematite would be other healing elements of the stones or in different forms of pigmentation, crushing pulverizing it also. So, you know, yes, you have different varieties of understandings how to utilize and have, you know, stones or the crushed portions. I mean, it's just a way of, you know, learning. There's nothing really say formal education, but now, you know, that's coming out as well, you know, their biology ethnobotany. You know, it's all in the combination of that, again, that ties in with, you know, we all are having this rebirth, renewing, you know, coming back out, after all this, you know, isolation or self quarantining, you know, it's just a way to come back a new a new rebirth realizations, contemplations being with your families that now you know, it's time to go back out again. So this is just, you know, again, one way to connect with nature or take these walks, you know, as I say, this is the hands on training and experience that you get when you're out there. 


Amelia  27:50

And that is absolutely, like inspiring to be able to go out and actually have it right in front of you. So Jason, I was going to ask you, and since we're kind of talking about rocks in their areas, why did you decide specifically to get into geology? Was it walking around or seeing specific rocks?


Jason  28:07

I grew up as the kind of typical outdoorsy kid for my area. Oh, great. And so I was always interested in the outdoors. And I was always the kind of science nerd. So I guess it was inevitable that I would combine the two. But I didn't get into geology right away. And I'm almost embarrassed to admit how I changed my major into geology. But it was because of a movie. No way, which I don't know if I should advertise that, oh, I think you are listening somewhere going really. I started out as an engineering major, I loved it. But I was home visiting family and was watching the Discovery Channel, which was pretty much the only channel that was on in my house. And there was a documentary about Yellowstone National Park. And right before that documentary, though, was a docu drama called supervolcano. And it came out just about 20 years ago, and it was a joint effort between the BBC and the Discovery Channel. And it was to let's, let's look at what would happen if Yellowstone were to erupt to its full capacity right now. Wow. And so they went through the entire process of monitoring the park monitoring the the volcano, the United States Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the state and federal government, all of those interactions were accurate in the movie. I didn't know that at the time, but it was all very accurate. And after that, they interviewed the real people that the characters were based on. And there was a guy being interviewed that had the the park, the big brimmed hat in the brown jacket with the back. Yeah, and at the bottom of the screen, it said Yellowstone Park geologist, and that's when I learned that that was a job and said, that's what I'm gonna do and So I set about the journey to figure out how to study the biggest and baddest volcanoes on the planet and and make that work so I don't get to work for the park service I do work with them a lot here from SUU We are the University of the park so we get to exploit that Yeah. But I do still study the biggest volcanoes not Yellowstone specifically, but I still get to study the biggest volcanoes on the planet so that's that's my journey to get here.


Amelia  30:27

Oh, that is so great. I just wanted to hear the different perspectives of both the spiritual side and connection with our Earth from rocks and the scientific side. So thank you both so much for sharing I think that is the perfect intro into our next break and the song is geology rocks as we know it all does this is KSUU you thunder 91.1  Welcome back everyone to the apex our here on KSUU thunder 91.1. That was geology rocks. And I just think that is so perfectly fitting for what we have been discussing here today. We had a phenomenal opportunity to have science event here with the apex hour and we've had so many phenomenal guests be able to come in and share their expertise and share their passions. Speaking of phenomenally passionate people, Willie, I would like to turn the time over to you to talk a little bit more about your experiences here with SUU Willie worked here at our CDI, which is our Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which is obviously one of the best places To be on campus. So will he tell us a little bit about your experiences with SUU and how you came here. 


Willy  35:05

It is a blessing and privilege to come over to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and fall 2018. And then I was able to stay for about a year before you talk humanities dragged me away, heartbreaking to leave the students. But I got to work there, you know, doing programming and working with all the student clubs. And these students put in so much work throughout the year putting in educational events to make people more aware of different cultural things, drawing on celebration, all things and, you know, having things like, you know, the amazing Polynesian showcases. And speaking of like, these sort of events, I don't know if y'all know but like this week is Native American Heritage Week, November is Native American Heritage Month. And they had a whole lineup of events this week, one that you can still catch, if you haven't been able to check them out is tomorrow in the living room from 6pm to 9pm. They're going to be doing a showcase. And typically, what their showcase has evolved in the past is musical performances, dancing performances, different traditional cultural things that they take the time to, like, explain and break down if you haven't seen some of the dancing is phenomenal. So I haven't been able to check out what they've been doing this year. So I get to have it be a surprise. But I'm so excited for that. And really, there's a big lineup of events coming later this month, on Friday, November 19. There's the annual Miss native Suu, which if you haven't gotten to check that out, it's always fun, you get to see a lot of beautiful, just traditional performances be done. Everything from stuff ranging to spiritual to fun. So it's definitely a great opportunity to, you know, get closer to the folks who, you know, have been in this area for millennia, and have been holding it down through, you know, everything that the centuries has, have bought us. So that's what we've been doing when I was in the Center for Diversity Inclusion, and they're still holding it down, of course. And then I've had the joy of continuing to collaborate with them as well. So for the Humanities in the wild, we were able to link it up with the CDI. So hopefully, we'll see some of their students coming through. And actually next week, I'm going to be here with a book called The period passport on conquering period poverty, which is like, you know, half the population goes through menstruation, and not the entire population understands what is even happening. So it's about educating people on menstruation, and on periods and stuff like that. And it's going to be great, we have an author coming in. And that's going to be next Thursday at 11, from six to 8pm in a church auditorium. And what I love about the current role is that I'm able to come back to SUU right, I'm able to come back and bring folks like Bertram and be like, Hey, you guys got to meet this guy. tell you some really fun information about the history and culture over here. ancestrally and that's one of the blessings of later this afternoon, we're gonna get to go to the petroglyphs cave, and have Bertram tell us what he sees and shares the knowledge that he has from his years of doing this work. Right? Yeah, especially when you're looking at stuff that ancient having precise, like, you know, certainty is sometimes a little challenging, but we bring together two experts we have to talk about what culturally we can see has been maintained knowledge wise, throughout the generations. And also yes, the impact it has on communities today. And I think that's super important for us to remember here in Cedar City, you know, we got the Paiute Indian tribe, Utah right here under reservation. And we have a whole bunch of history around us, which you know, if you start listening and being open to it, there's so many like cool histories and Leah's fun stories of resilience and also, yes, amazing cultural stories that you can take. Learn from. So that's what we're here to share today and what we'll be sharing throughout when we come back. So it's been super exciting, and it's the only thing that's made leaving SUU be worth it as being these experiences for the students.


Amelia  39:11

Oh, no, I absolutely love that. Yeah, everyone, please make sure to check out the CDI you can find their website and of course their Instagram to check out all the amazing events they have going on. Speaking of coming to SUU, Jason, how did you find SUU and what led you to come here and stay here?


Jason  39:28

My connection to SUU goes back long before I even started working here. I was a student in college back in Missouri, studying geology. Finally after watching a movie and changing my major. I joined the geology program as a student at a small university in Missouri. And part of the curriculum there is a capstone six week field course. And that's common to a lot of programs around the country. And our six week course was in Cedar City, Utah. Wow, no way. So we drove from Missouri to Cedar City. I had never been to Utah. I had never heard of Cedar City. I had never heard of Suu. But we stayed in the dorms, dorms that no longer exist. Actually, they've been held by newer dorms, thankfully. They wouldn't put geology students in new dorms anyway, I think they they didn't trust us. But we stayed on campus here for for six weeks and studied the local geology. And then I was fortunate enough to come back many times as a teaching assistant, and then as an instructor for that field course over the years. And when my time in grad school was finishing up and started looking for jobs, I saw the position at SUU and thought, hey, I actually know where that place is now. Wow. I know a lot about the geology. That seems like a good good spot for me. So it all worked out.


Amelia  40:57

That is such a great connection. That's crazy that it's like a full circle moment. I love that. That's so great. Well, kind of speaking of like classrooms and traveling. Bertram, I know you get the opportunity to talk to so many people with what you do as a tour guide and your background in museums. What are some of your favorite parts of teaching and some of the experiences you've had doing that? 


Bertram  41:16

Well, I would say like when I get repeat clients, you know, they'll be coming back out to Hopi or yeah, get invitations to go to other institutions, universities, colleges. And when you're talking about coming back or full circle, I actually do have a nephew here. That's that's attending here at SUU Koc Kakuka. And as we were over there at the CDI, he was there, so Oh, wow. A partner. I think he's the president of the Native American Student Association. Oh, that's when I heard about NASA. And the first thing that popped into my mind was, you know, the space program. Right, right. When I heard of the acronyms, because Okay, yeah, sounds waiting for that, too. So, yeah, he's the president for the Native American Student Association here at Suu. And then, as Willie was talking about the showcasing tomorrow, yeah. Him and his brother. The Hopi dance group will be showcasing tomorrow evening, as well, to share one of the social dances that we're hoping people tomorrow evening, so yeah, and then meeting other individuals and a Navajo lady that is south of our Hopi villages from Winslow Arizona, and, and another individual from the first Mesa area from from Hopi was there so yeah, coming in at full circle just meeting everybody. So you know, it's just showing that our world is definitely small.


Amelia  42:45

All roads lead back to SUU. 


Bertram  42:49

No, I really enjoyed, you know, how the campus looks and everything. It's my first time on the campus actually. Being here in Cedar City before back in June. But yeah, yeah, really nice. University that you have here.


Amelia  43:03

Oh, yeah, we love it. No, that's so great. And I really glad we kind of get to talk a little bit about full circles. Because earlier, Bertram, you were making so many beautiful connections about just the connections we have with other people, and kind of creating your own energy. And I would love to hear all of your perspectives about kind of about how you can because especially with students, and especially during stressful times, it's really hard to center yourself. So any advice any of you have to students like me or any students listening about kind of grounding yourself and creating your own energy? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. 


Bertram  43:37

Well, it's just like, you know, how they would, you know, generally, you know, mentioned, you know, find your own space, your happy space? Yeah, no, that's one thing to do. Or, you know, allow no, you know, there's you know, people that are into the meditating or doing the yoga. Oh, yeah, tai chi. I mean, you know, there's there there is stuff out there that can help with that stress. And even when I was a college student, oh, yeah, definitely rest, getting that sleep. Because you are up on those late hours, you know, really hitting the books, staying up late trying to cram every all that information. But it's, you know, it's just where you can find your happy space. Yeah, things that make you content, even though maybe others might give recommendations and that maybe that helps with others, but it might not help with you. So you have differences on what can get you content, what can get you relaxed so I can make you feel at ease. With all of that and just definitely not overthinking even though you are overthinking of things or you know how you're going to get by the exam or what kind of grade you're gonna hit, you know, that everything comes up with blocks, you're all overthinking so, you know, just seeing them have a little limitations of not overthinking or just have the one day of that break or whatever, you know, just to not do anything. That's just another thing. Take a break.


Amelia  44:59

Take a break. I love that. Oh, that's so great.


Bertram  45:03

So for me being up here in Cedar City for the three days, yeah, that's, that's my break. Oh, that's great. Give


Amelia  45:08

yourself a break. Well, Willie, what about you kind of like with your connections, and you've worked a lot in the college sphere, what do you recommend for students to kind of bring it down and kind of center yourself?


Willy  45:20

Yeah, totally relate to that. This is definitely that part of the semester where everybody's stressed. I remember November and December being that time period, unary trials coming up big projects and stuff like that, I feel like I'm going to end up repeating a lot of what Bertram said, rest, it's great, make sure you're eating drink water, move around, if you spend all your time, like staring at the textbook or the computer screen. I feel like sometimes there's this myth we get in college that like, the only way to succeed is to like to power through like and do all nighters and stuff like that true. And really, like you can live your whole life that way. Or you can start finding balance now and continue to live just with that balance. There's sometimes this culture of Yes, like, you know, it's like, oh, I sleep less than you sleep and you know, that makes me cooler and tired. Find your balance and whatever that may be for you. Whether it's dancing or music, or you know, if you just gotta tune out with your like video games for a while, it's important for everybody to have that space where they can process unpack, you know, think about the stuff that happens to you, because it's a crazy world out there. So sometimes you gotta Yes, process. Definitely make sure to take time to do those things. And you know, things will come out the way that they need to, and you know, there's the hustling that you have to do to get ahead, but there's no point of getting ahead. When you get there. You're gonna be miserable. So


Amelia  46:48

Oh, I love that. Oh, I 100% agree. Well, Jason, I know you've done a ton of school so was there anything you ever did to kind of like center yourself or distract yourself even?


Jason  46:59

I I've always used the outdoors as my therapy. So yeah, going back to even as a kid like I was saying I was the the outdoor science nerd even as a kid so yeah, I've always used the outdoors as my, my safe space, my quiet place and my my opportunity to recharge and being in southern Utah, it's a great opportunity to find a place to do that. That may not work for everyone. And it's certainly like Bertram and Willie were saying find what works best for you and that that certainly worked really well for me and that


Willy  47:33

being said there's scientific studies that being in nature actually helps for like the vast majority Yeah, even little things like just hearing running water somewhere can like make a phenomenal difference on Yes, highlight calm people are, which makes sense because like water means like, we're not gonna die. Water sore if we are safe. Like, you know, that's something especially in a desert environment that has a very beautiful musical beautiful time to it.


Jason  47:56

Don't just download an app that plays a water sound go


Amelia  48:04

Oh, no, that's so great. Well, that is such great advice, especially for me as a student here. So thank you all so much. Speaking of nature, we are going to go to our last song break. And this is the bird song Perfect Well welcome back in everyone we are just about to the end of the APEX hour and I am so sad that these hours have to end. And so we will be ending with the final question that is asked every single week to all of our guests. And that question is what is lighting your fire this week? What is turning you on? And this can be anything related to what we've been talking about, or just anything at all that's been lighting our fire for our guests. So Jason, we'll start with you what is lighting your fire this week?


Jason  51:07

I'm going first. I will say as a member of a brand new department at SUU and as the chair of the department, I have a lot of fires go. It's a little bit distracting and even a little bit overwhelming. And going back to what we were talking about right before that last break is finding some time to get to myself and recharge a bit. What's lighting my fire right now is that I'm running my first ever half marathon so Wow. It's amazing. I'm a little nervous. I think I'm in over my head. I'm hoping to finish but it's through snow Canyon State Park. So be a chance for me to reset and recharge while being completely exhausting.


Willy  51:52

and for a couch potatoes like how much is that half marathon?


Jason  51:55

13.1 miles.


Amelia  51:56

Holy cow. That's, that's amazing. Well, that is absolutely phenomenal. I wish you the best of luck. I'm sure you'll need it. Awesome, awesome. overture, but is lighting your fire this week?


Bertram  52:09

Oh, I just been enjoined to come out here again to Cedar City. I been enjoying to share, you know what happened today at the apex and the different you know, it wasn't just a ethnobotany what the plants but just little tidbits of other, you know, information that I shared with everybody. The reaction of how some of the students, you know, came up to me and inquired some more questions. I just I guess the main thing that would be lighting my fires this week is having this break time to be out here in Cedar City. And then just you know, to have my friend along with me as well to come up and visit this area, this part of Utah. Oh,


Amelia  52:51

yeah, I am so glad you have a break and you get to be with us. That is such a treat for us. So thank you so much. I said, Will, what is lighting your fire this week?


Willy  52:59

You know, I have a TIA visiting me from California, my Tia pass and she's bringing all her energy and her therapist and her like cooking skills and it's been a happy time. For the Palomo household. We've had a lot of really good cooking. And a lot of aunties Yes, getting down and telling stories. So I think that's what's kind of burning my fire this week, along with a lot of other things like just a couple of minutes ago, I guess it was last hour. Bertram was like meeting family members into CDI. And that's something that like I hadn't planned on. I was like, yeah, we can meet some students, but I didn't know there was gonna be like blood ties. And there's been a lot of things to choose from, but I think my theatrics to crane.


Amelia  53:40

Oh, yeah. Well, she has I mean, come on. Awesome. Well, thank you all so much for your time and sharing your insights about our land. And thank you all so much for tuning into the apex hour, and we will see you next week.


Dr. Lynn Vartan  53:53

Thanks so much for listening to the apex hour here on KSUU thunder 91.1. Come find us again next Thursday at 3pm for more conversations with the visiting guests at Southern Utah University, and new music to discover for your next playlist. And in the meantime, we would love to see you at our events on campus. To find out more, check out suu.edu/apex Until next week, this is Lynn Vartan saying goodbye from the apex our here on thunder 91.1