2019 Table Topics

Animal Weapons

with Dr. Doug Emlen

Many animals’ structures appear absurd — elaborate tail plumes, bright, flashy colors, giant tusks, horns, antlers; Why do they do this? Animal weapons, in particular, may be swept into “arms races” evolving to larger and larger sizes.  This process parallels, in many ways, the patterns of “evolution” of military technologies, which, throughout history, have also been prone to arms races and extremes. Join Dr. Doug Emlen to learn what are the parallels between animal and military weaponry and why this information is relevant to us today.

Old West Saloons & Ragtime Tunes: Montana Cocktail History

with Jenny Montgomery

Jenny Montgomery of Montgomery Distillery leads a fun and informative discussion about the importance of saloon culture and mixed drinks in 19th Century Missoula and the Rocky Mountain West. From the first whiskey bars in mining camps to the grand saloons of Butte, learn how cocktails made their way West and what they represented to prospectors, colonists, and immigrants in a rapidly transforming landscape.

Navigating Today's Media Landscape

with Anne Bailey

News and how we receive it is under growing scrutiny. Local newsrooms are shuttering and we are faced with information we’re not sure how to vet. How can we, as citizens, ensure quality journalism remains intact for future generations? Journalist Anne Bailey, founding director of the Montana Media Lab at the School of Journalism, will share the vision of the Lab and lead a discussion on how to navigate our ever-shifting media landscape.

Home Is Where the Heart Is: Missoula Doctor Explores Advances in International Cardiology

with Dr. Daniel Spoon

Native Missoulian Dr. Daniel Spoon is on the cutting edge of the latest developments in aortic valve replacement. Join a conversation about the expanding role of imaging, technology, and new techniques in valve replacement, stents, and more. He’ll discuss the importance of helping patients live longer and thrive with fewer surgeries.

GiddySUP: Made-in-Missoula Handcrafted Standup Paddle Boards

with Dr. Brent Ruby

For those who don’t stop moving, we’ve got the table for you. After retiring from Ironman racing, Dr. Brent Ruby moved onto building custom hollow wood stand-up paddleboards (SUP) in his humble little Missoula workshop. The inspiration for each design is uniquely developed as every board is one of a kind. Whether you are interested in woodworking, getting out on the river, or collecting unique pieces of art, you’ll find something that sparks your passion after talking with Brent.

The Conscious Consumer: Navigating the Digital Economy

with Dr. Justin Angle

For those of us who are bombarded daily with digital advertising, how do we make sense of it all and how do we make sure we are smart consumers? Dr. Justin Angle, professor of marketing, podcaster, and athlete, will walk you through some of our daily digital marketing encounters and discuss our welfare as consumers in the age of big data and artificial intelligence. Justin is no stranger to challenges; he’s executed $100 million bond trades, run 100-mile races, helped design products for Patagonia, published in outlets like The Washington Post, and failed repeatedly to get his two daughters to bed without a battle.

Roosevelt's Legacy: Our Public Lands Then and Now

with Land Tawney

Every single American owns 640 million acres.  It doesn’t matter who your parents are, how much money you made last year, where you live, or what political party you affiliate with, it belongs to all of us. Land Tawney discusses how none of this happened by accident.  Leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Bob Marshall, Lee Metcalf, and countless others  gifted us this great legacy.  Besides the egalitarian nature of our public lands, they also are the cornerstone for the outdoor economy, $887 billion nationwide and $7 billion here in Montana.  There have been threats to our heritage since Roosevelt helped kick off this grand idea and some exist today.

Digging in the Dirt: Making Sense of Your Life through Memoir Writing

with Richard Fifield

Richard Fifield, author of “The Flood Girls,” leads a discussion on how writing about the past can help us understand and identify patterns of behavior. If you have ever wanted to write a memoir or enjoy the genre, join Richard for an interactive discussion on how to create a template for a complete manuscript, as well as writing prompts to get you started. Consider this table if you want to leave having made progress on telling your life story.

Multi-Generational Response to Climate Change

with Dr. Nicky Phear

This table discussion will bring together a mix of generations to discuss the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents. How does climate change affect us psychologically, and where do we have influence? What are our responsibilities to future generations? How do young people orient to climate change? Join Dr. Nicky Phear as she dives into one of the most pressing questions of our time.

Outdoor Gear Stories from the Treasure State

with Dr. Rachel Gross

Outdoor recreation is big business in Montana and Dr. Rachel Gross knows all about it. She has spent the last two years hearing from Montanans about their love affair with nature and all the things they bring into it. Join this conversation to share stories about your favorite adventures and the things you carried. Her public history work includes a museum exhibit on “Outdoor Gear Stories From the Treasure State” and lectures at historical societies and museums throughout the West. Rachel is a Postdoctoral Teaching, Research, and Mentoring Fellow at the Davidson Honors College of the University of Montana. She is completing a manuscript on the history of the outdoor industry from “buckskin to Gore-Tex.”

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