Showcasing the everyday alongside the exceptional is the key to William Wyckoff’s book How to Read the American West: A Field Guide.

Wyckoff, a geography professor at Montana State University, studies western landscapes, cultural geography, and sense of place using photography. He will speak about his work for the annual Douglas C. Ridgley Distinguished Geography Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, October 1, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

With the aim of asking new questions about the landscapes of the West, Wyckoff’s latest book involved extensive fieldwork all across the region, with more than 400 images and 30 maps. The book’s goal is to make tangible, visible connections between the world of academic geography and the ordinary settings westerners encounter in their everyday landscapes.

For more than 25 years, Wyckoff has studied the historical and cultural geography of the American West and the evolution of the region’s landscapes. Along with How to Read the American West, he is the author of The Developer’s Frontier: The Making of the Western New York Landscape, The Mountainous West: Explorations in Historical Geography (with co-editor Lary Dilsaver), Creating Colorado: The Making of a Western American Landscape, and On the Road Again: Montana’s Changing Landscape.

He also coauthors Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment, Development, an award-winning geography textbook published by Pearson.

A native of Southern California, William Wyckoff received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in geography from Syracuse University. Since 1986, he has taught geography in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University.

The Douglas C. Ridgley Lecture is sponsored by the Department of Geography-Geology Douglas Clay Ridgley Lecture Series through a generous gift from the George and Martha Means family. Those who need special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event can contact the Department of Geography-Geology at (309) 438-7649. Allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.