Spring 2022 Colloquium - Erika Milam

Department of History, Princeton University 

 marmots at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Title: “Philosophy Kings of Rocky Mountains: Marmots, Time, and Animal Behavior”

Abstract: This talk explores the history of behavioral research on marmots at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in the mountains of Colorado. Started in 1962, this is one of several long-term studies of animal behavior that started in the decades after the Second World War that have become central to behavioral ecology as a discipline. Why did researchers decide to return to the same site year after year, and how have those reasons changed for subsequent generations of ecologists? How were affective connections to place—from danger to freedom—important in cementing ecologists’ commitments to field sites like RMBL? Charting the history of this project allows me to navigate the relations of activity and torpor, sociality and solitude, and station and university over the last sixty years, so as to understand the role of remote research stations as crucial places for the production of knowledge about the natural world in which we live. 


Lectures begin at 3:35pm in 125 Nicholson Hall on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. As a reminder, masks are required indoors by University of Minnesota policy. 

The Program in History of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science will host a joint lecture series during Spring 2022. At this time, all events will be in-person unless otherwise stated. Please contact hstm@umn.edu for more information. 



Start date
Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, 3:35 p.m.
End date
Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, 4:30 p.m.