Temple Grandin.

The Moab Museum will welcome nationally recognized animal expert Dr. Temple Grandin on Tuesday, May 30 at historic Star Hall. The event is being held as part of Moab Museum’s celebration of heritage animal breeds and part of an increased commitment to community programming at the museum.

Dr. Grandin is a renowned animal expert, autism spokesperson, and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her work has been recognized across the nation, and she is considered a leading authority on animal behavior noted for impacting the welfare of animals in agricultural settings.

The event, “Great Minds Are Not All The Same,” will focus on insights on animal behavior, as well as Grandin’s personal journey as a person with autism. Her recently released book, “Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People who think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions,” deals with how her neuro-atypical perspective helped her make breakthroughs in developing more humane methods of handling livestock.

“Our theme for putting our celebration of International Heritage Breeds week together was ‘putting the past to work for our future,’ and Dr. Grandin is a great example of that,” said Diego Velasquez, marketing and membership coordinator for the museum. International Heritage Breeds Week is organized by the nonprofit The Livestock Conservancy, which promotes awareness of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.

“Our history programs interpreter, Stephan Zacharias, has long been a huge fan of Dr. Grandin and had the wonderful idea to reach out and involve her,” Velasquez said. “It’s really been amazing to have his deep expertise on staff here at the museum.”

The museum’s celebration of regionally significant animals included live presentations of Navajo-Churro sheep, mustang horses and Criollo cattle. 

“Small scale ranching has been a part of our local identity for a long time, and heritage breeds have often been overlooked though they are more adapted to our region,” Velasquez said. “We had so many more ideas for other unique local animals and other interesting aspects of how these breeds have influenced life in the Southwest. Hopefully, we’ll do it again next year!”

Tickets for this event are $45 for non-members and $25 for members and can be purchased at the Moab Museum website. 

The Moab Museum is filling its calendar with community events, including a weekly walking tour of Moab’s downtown focusing on the city’s pre-uranium history of ranching and agriculture. 

“The next special event for us is welcoming Dr. John J. Hammond, an LDS historian from San Juan County with deep family roots who is working on a 16-part book series,” Velasquez said.

Hammond will give talks on his two most recent books on his family’s history, “Island Adventures: The Hawaiian Mission of Francis A. Hammond, 1851-1865,” and “The San Juan Mission of Francis A. Hammond, 1883-1900,” which follows the Hammond family’s journey to Moab. The talks will be held on Saturday, June 10 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.