Lower Monumental Dam & Palouse River

Oct 15, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

Stars were dimming in a clear sky as we sailed upstream on the Snake River on this chilly autumn morning. Dark cliffs of basalt loomed on either side of the river as the sky began to glow orange on the horizon. In full daylight, we could see the details in the layers of beautiful basaltic lava that formed the cliffs. Many of us stayed out on the bow to watch the gorgeous landscape sail by. Our historian, Harry Fritz, finished his series of presentations on the Lewis & Clark expedition. In late morning we transited the lock at Lower Monumental Dam and sailed out onto Herbert G. West Lake until we came to the confluence of the Palouse River. Here we dropped anchor and launched our afternoon expeditions directly following lunch.

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About the Author

Grace Winer


Geologist and naturalist Grace grew up among woods, rivers, and mountains, loving the outdoors, nature and rocks. After high school she became a Registered Nurse and was soon studying midwifery at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital in London, England. Back in the United States she served as an officer in the USAF Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. In a major career change, Grace turned to the Earth Sciences and received degrees in geology (BS and MSc) from Montana State University. Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, Grace pursued her master’s degree in Alaska’s remote Pribilof Islands. In her study of basaltic volcanism in the Bering Sea region, she investigated the volcanic evolution of St. Paul Island, creating a geologic map, and predicting volcanic hazards in the event of a future eruption. Her knowledge of the Pribilof Islands and the Bering Sea region led to her work as a consulting geologist on St. George Island for NOAA’s Pribilof Restoration Project.

About the Videographer

Ashley Karitis

Video Chronicler

Ashley was raised in Central Oregon where she spent her childhood ski racing, riding horses, playing classical piano, and working summer jobs on a dude ranch. She then attended the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles earning degrees in cinema-television, history, and international relations. Although immersed in the studies of narrative filmmaking, she gravitated toward the process, deeper on-camera conversations, and scientific and human themes explored in documentary production.

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