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Expedition: Then and now

From May 24 through July 31, 2019, the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition followed John Wesley Powell's pathway from Green River, Wyoming through Utah, a small slice of Colorado, and Arizona to the historic mouth of the Virgin River in present-day Nevada. A total of 28 USGS participants joined the expedition.

Learn about USGS participation in the University of Wyoming-based Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition (SCREE). 

  • Read blog posts from the SCREE crew, including USGS personnel, at
  • Follow the USGS Youth and Education in Science Instagram (@USGS_YES) account for images from the river, Find-A-Feature Challenges, and pictures of Paper Powell (#paperpowell), the mascot for the journey.
  • Read a series of articles about how 1869 compares to 2069 with the "Then and Now" series.
  • Check out tweets from Major Powell (@MajorJWPowell) and from this year's crew (@powell_150 ).

While the USGS is marking this occasion as an opportunity to highlight the science of the Colorado River Basin, it’s important to note that indigenous people had been present in the area for over 10,000 years, and tribes in the 19th century had a great deal of knowledge about the river and ecosystems of their homeland. Western migration by white settlers brought conflict and devastating consequences to Native peoples and their natural and cultural resources. In acknowledgement of this, we value Native American perspectives on river science, including traditional cultural practices and ecological knowledge.