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EAC Discovery Park Campus Lecture, Mekong River: The Lifeblood of Indochina

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EAC Discovery Park Campus Lecture, Mekong River: The Lifeblood of Indochina

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus lecture series welcomes docent and World Traveler, Ron Avery, on Saturday, December 13, from 6-7 p.m., with a first-hand narrative and slide show of his travels up the amazing Mekong River from the tropical areas of Vietnam and into South China. The free lecture will be held in the campus’ Jupiter Room in the main building.

“These are sights that most will never have an opportunity to experience,” says EAC campus director and lecture series coordinator, Paul Anger.

Avery will share his insights from his visit to the Mekong River, the 12th longest river in the world at a length of over 2700 miles. It is known to the more than 60 million people, from 6 different countries and nearly 100 distinct ethnic groups, as “The River of Life” because it is an essential element of their existence and livelihoods.

As one of the most biologically rich rivers in the world, home to over 850 fish species, the Mekong system is the most productive freshwater fishery in the world, boasting annual catches of over 2.6 million metric tons with an economic value greater than $2 billion. Many of the unusual and endangered aquatic life are found nowhere else in the world, including the giant freshwater stingray that reaches eight feet in diameter, the Mekong Giant Catfish growing to over 750 pounds, and the freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphin.

Just as diverse as the flora and fauna found along the river, are the cultures and lifestyles of the residents of the basin whose bulk of their protein comes from the river’s fish, and which depend on its waters for farming, drinking, bathing, and transportation. When you ask a villager what the river means to them, a common answer is, “Everything. We cannot live without it.”

Come and enjoy this exciting presentation with lots of beautiful photographs while Avery shares his personal insights and experiences on one of the most amazing, remote, and diverse areas of the world, much of which is still yet unexplored. Don’t forget to tour the Graham County Historical Society’s display of historic artifacts, the “History of Astronomy” gallery, and take a ride on the “Polaris” shuttle simulator for a thrilling tour of the solar system! Finish off the evening by observing the fascinating night sky objects through the 20” Tinsley Telescope in the Gov Aker Observatory. All free of charge and just minutes away from home!