Scott Thybony Commentaries

Scott Thybony's Canyon Commentary: The Naturalist

Oct 1, 2019
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A stand of bear-clawed aspen trees on the San Francisco Peaks is the jumping off point for this month’s Canyon Commentary by Scott Thybony. It was the base camp of naturalist C. Hart Merriam in the late 1800’s. He was working on a groundbreaking project: studying the distribution patterns of plants and animals from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the top of Humphrey’s Peak. Merriam called them ‘Life Zones’, the boundaries which reflect climate and ecological variation in mountains, deserts, rivers and canyons. They are still used today to assess how ecosystems respond to a changing climate.

Scott Thybony's Canyon Commentary: A Prisoner Of War

Sep 23, 2019
Scott Thybony

Some years back, KNAU commentator Scott Thybony took an assignment for a magazine article about Native American POWs from tribes of the Colorado Plateau. He interviewed WWII veteran Sam Antonio, an Acoma Indian, who lived through the Bataan Death March, Hell Ships and unimaginable torture by his captors. Antonio credited his survival to his Pueblo religion. In Scott Thybony's latest Canyon Commentary, he tells the story of their first meeting. The two remained friends until Sam's death two years ago. 

Scott Thybony

Commentator Scott Thybony was in northern Canada in 1972 when he realized he’d had enough of the freezing-cold and wanted to come home to the Southwest. Upon his return, he and his brother decided to live on the Navajo Nation with an elderly medicine man and his wife who needed some help tending their land. But not sharing a similar language, the adventure led to a funny miscommunication about food. Scott tells us the story in his latest Canyon Commentary.

Courtesy of Grand Canyon River Guides

Flagstaff astrogeologist Eugene Shoemaker played a key role in the early days of lunar exploration as a world-renowned expert on impact craters. But he also had a passion for rivers. Commentator Scott Thybony once took a trip with Shoemaker to Island in the Sky, a mesa within Canyonlands National Park. That’s where Shoemaker told him about swimming Lava Falls Rapid in the Grand Canyon on a trip to retrace John Wesley Powell’s exploration of the Colorado River.  In Scott’s latest Canyon Commentary, he connects next week’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing with this year’s 150th anniversary of Powell’s historic river trip through the life and work of Eugene Shoemaker.

Scott Thybony's Canyon Commentary: Swimming For Shore

Jun 18, 2019
Scott Thybony

It's been 150 years since John Wesley Powell made his voyage down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Along the way, he experienced countless hardships, including the loss of crew members, boats and supplies. The river continues to take names of river runners, including commentator Scott Thybony. In his latest Canyon Commentary, Scott recounts a couple of close calls when he was a young guide in training on the Colorado. They left a lasting impression. 

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