The Barnes County Historical Society Lecture Series Season 20 Presents: Gary Krapu: “Morocco: Impressions Gained During Travels from the Sahara to the Sea” 7 PM Thursday, April 18th, 2019 at the Barnes County Museum.
Gary Krapu, his wife Madeline, and son Chris spent 2 weeks in January 2019 touring Morocco by bus accompanied by a guide and 17 other tourists. His power point presentation will focus on the many unique features of the country. Morocco while an Arab state was a French Protectorate from 1912 to 1956 and the French influence is immediately evident in the cities and French is the second official language after Arabic. They began their tour at Casablanca and from there traveled to Rabat, the capital where the Royal Palace of the reigning King Mohammed VI and the royal family live and most of his government resides. After a day spent at Rabat, they visited the Roman ruins of Volubilis which 2000 years ago was a bustling city of 20,000 inhabitants. Gary and family came away amazed at the level of engineering skills that the Romans displayed at so early a date. From Volubilis, they traveled to Fez a city founded in 789 which by 1170 had grown to 200,000 making Fez the most populated city in the world. Fez has many noteworthy sites to visit. One is immediately struck by the massive walls surrounding the old parts of the city and the strikingly beautiful gates built in about 1070. It also is home to the world’s oldest university founded in 859 and still in operation today and a huge walled market that has changed little in the past thousand years. After leaving Fez they traveled across the high snow-capped Atlas Mountains partially covered by forests and stopped at a French ski resort. Near Arfoud in southern Morocco, they visited an area rich in fossils to viewed a wide array of fossils being prepared for sale. Upon reaching the Sahara with its beautiful red-colored sand dunes, Gary walked a couple of miles into the huge dunes to get a better sense of the vast desert, the creatures that live there, and with camera in hand he attempted to capture the beauty of this unforgiving land in the fading sunlight. From the Desert, they traveled back to the coast along another route which included stopovers in the beautiful and vibrant city of Marrakech, and the coastal city of Essaquira where they observed goats literally grazing in treetops. Here, he spent a half day in the field with a local birder to get a better sense of the birdlife present. In the course of his presentation, Gary will discuss the country’s history, its economy, its education system, wildlife and efforts the government to maintain self-sufficiency in agriculture.
Gary Krapu is a native of Dickey County, North Dakota where he grew up on the family’s farm near Fullerton and has resided in Valley City with his wife Madeline for the past 36 years. He received his Ph.D. in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University in 1972 and spent 42 years as a Research Biologist at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center located near Jamestown, North Dakota before retiring in 2011. Gary continues crane research in an Emeritus status with USGS. He has authored about 130 scientific papers mostly on cranes and waterfowl. Research Gate reported on 29 March 2019 that Gary’s papers have been cited 3,929 times in the national and international scientific literature and during the first 3 months of 2019 his papers were downloaded in 49 countries for reading by scientists and natural resource managers. Gary currently is working on completing his last monograph on cranes entitled “Geographic Distribution and Ecology of Sandhill Cranes that Breed in Russia” and a book entitled “Memoir of a Time Traveler’s Aide”, a chronicle of some of Gary’s most challenging and memorable experiences during his 42 years spent studying the sandhill crane, one of few species of birds that survives from the late Pliocene Epoch, about 2.5 million years ago.
All Lectures are at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum and held in conjunction with Valley City State University. They are free and open to the public.
For more information contact Wes Anderson at 701-845-0966
Barnes County Historical Society
315 Central Ave N
Valley City, ND 58072