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Center for Columbia River History - CCRH Michael M. Powell Fellow to speak in two locations
Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 12:00am to Monday, January 10, 2011 - 12:00am

The Center for Columbia River History is pleased to present Jack Nisbet, the first Michael M. Powell Fellow, in two public programs
related to the fellowship

When: January 9, 2011 - 2:00 p.m.

Where: Fort Vancouver National Site, Vancouver, Washington

What: E.B. Hamilton Hall, Red Cross Building
605 Barnes Rd., Vancouver, WA 98661

Who: An illustrated talk, Point of Departure: David Douglas at Fort Vancouver, 1825-1833

When: January 10, 2011 - 7:30 p.m.

Where: Powell's Downtown Bookstore, Portland, Oregon
1005 W. Burnside, Portland, Oregon 97209

What: A Reading from "The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Pacific Northwest", one of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller
Association's 2010 Books of the Year.

WHO: Author and naturalist, Jack Nisbet, the CCRH 2010 Michael M. Powell Fellow

COST: Free

"Book signing to follow both events."

POINT OF DEPARTURE: DAVID DOUGLAS AT FORT VANCOUVER, 1825-1833 During Scottish naturalist David Douglas's years of travel to the far corners of the Pacific Northwest, his base of operations always remained at Fort Vancouver. The people he met and the changes he witnessed during his visits there influenced his every move and marked significant turning points for the social, economic, scientific, and environmental stories of the region. In this illustrated presentation, author and naturalist Jack Nisbet traces the energy Douglas brought to, and absorbed from, his central headquarters at Fort Vancouver.

READING FROM /THE COLLECTOR: DAVID DOUGLAS AND THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST David Douglas was the premier botanical explorer in the Pacific Northwest and throughout western North America in the 19th century. Douglas' discoveries include hundreds of western plants, most notably the iconic Douglas Fir. Nisbet's most recent book, "The Collector" tracks Douglas' fascinating history, from his humble birth in Scotland in 1799 to his botanical training under the famed William Jackson Hooker, and details his adventures in North America discovering "exotic" new plants for the English and European market. In telling Douglas' story, Nisbet evokes a lost world of early exploration, pristine nature, ambition, and cultural and class conflict with surprisingly modern resonances.

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association named Jack Nisbet's "The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest" as
one of their 2010 Books of the Year.

These programs are presented by the Center for Columbia River History in partnership with the Fort Vancouver National Trust, the National Park Service, and with support from the James B. Castles Endowment and the Michael M. Powell Fellowship


Jack Nisbet's work as the Powell fellow will take him to Canadian archives in search of primary documents to add to a David Douglas exhibit. It will also contribute to a book of essays he is preparing that places Douglas and his Columbia River Journeys into a global context. Finally, the Powell fellowship will allow Nisbet to further explore Douglas's routes on the Columbia and pinpoint specific landscape details with Spokane elders. He will take those lessons to the Wellpinit School on the Spokane Reservation, where he has used Douglas's journals and his relationship with Spokane elders as a conduit for bringing cultural knowledge into the classroom.


The Center for Columbia River History's Michael M. Powell Fellowship is open to graduate students, professional historians and independent scholars. Powell's fellows receive $3000 to support original research projects on a Columbia Basin topic that falls within the Center's initiative, "The Columbia River and the World." The first fellowship has been awarded to author and naturalist, Jack Nisbet.

The fellowship is named in honor of Michael M. Powell who began his professional life as a commercial fisherman on the Columbia River before
he started a bookstore in Chicago, Illinois in 1970. In 1979, Mr. Powell moved to Portland, Oregon to help run his father's bookstore, Powell's
Books. A single location grew into a number of Portland-area stores, the heart of which is Powell's City of Books, the largest new and used
independent bookstore in the world. It is fitting that a fellowship through which scholars are connected to the general public should be named after a man who once said, "It's exciting to be a facilitator in the movement of intellectual property, to help deliver an author's voice from one community to another."

The Center for Columbia River History (CCRH) is a regional consortium that includes the Washington State Historical Society, Washington State
University Vancouver, and Portland State University.

CCRH offices are located on the Fort Vancouver National Site in Vancouver, Washington and at Portland State University