In "An Ecologically True Story: Rethinking the Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare," artist, writer, and naturalist Bethann Garramon Merkle explores the role stories play in our attitudes about cultural and ecological topics. Merkle will give a reading during the opening reception, scheduled for November 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The tale of a seemingly unfair race between Tortoise and Hare is familiar around the world, particularly in places where actual tortoise and hare species coexist. However, the interpretations of the tale vary widely from culture to culture, as do the conservation issues these animals face. Through multimedia, including illustrations, monotype prints, 3D replicas,and museum specimens, Merkle has organized an intimate look at two places where tortoises and hares coexist - Kenya and the deserts of southern Arizona. Interactive displays, audio (bring your headphones!), and text draw viewers into a world where folklore, contemporary human activities, and scientific perspectives enrich and complicate. 

This exhibition is supported by the Biodiversity Institute, UW Department of Visual and Literary Arts, UW Creative Writing MFA program, Center for Global Studies, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, UW Alumni Association, UW Museum of Vertebrates, and University of Arizona Museum of Natural History. 

The Berry Center is located at the corner of 10th and Lewis on the UW campus.

For additional information, visit


  • Occurred Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm


Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center

10th and Lewis
Laramie, 82071


Juliet Slutzker

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