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MOHAI’s annual Denny Lecture presents the very best in regional historical scholarship. In 2015, historian David B. Williams will present original research from his upcoming book Too High and Too Steep, exploring how Seattle’s citizens have altered the city’s landscape with an unrivaled zeal from the settlers’ first arrival to the present day.
Since settlers first arrived in Seattle, the city’s citizens have altered the landscape with an unrivaled zeal. We have regraded hills, reengineered tideflats, and replumbed lakes to provide better locations for business and easier ways to move through the challenging topography. And we are still at it, though now we also understand that earthquakes and rising sea levels have the potential to change us as much as we have changed the land.
David B. Williams is a freelance writer focused on the intersection of people and the natural world. His books include Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology and The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from the City. Williams also works at the Burke Museum and maintains the blog GeologyWriter.com.