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Faculty & Staff
1988 Ph.D. Basque Studies / History, University of
Nevada, Reno. Dissertation: Juan Zumarraga, First
Bishop of México, and the Basques. The Ethnic
1984 M.A. Latin American History, University of
1964 B.A. Filosofía y Letras, Pius Mortara
College, Oñati, Euskadi, Spain.
Areas of Expertise
Basque / Pyrenean history (of Spain and France).
Colonial Latin American history.
Western civilization: Medieval charters. Church history.
U.S. history: Sheepherding in the American West.
Arborglyphs. Nevada History.
Languages: Euskara (Basque Language), Spanish, Latin, (Read
& Comprehend French and other Romance
Basque Language instruction, University of Nevada, Reno,
from 1985 to 1988.
Spanish Language instruction, Truckee Meadows
Community College, Reno, Nevada, from 1987 to 1995.
University of Nevada, Reno, 1988.
Natural History field trips and instruction:
Sheepherding and Arborglyphs, Western Nevada Community
College, Carson City, Nevada, 1994 to 1998; Truckee Meadows
Community College, Reno, Nevada, from 1998 to
Basque History I curriculum design and instruction,
University of Nevada, Reno, from 1989 to
Periodic lectures on Basque history and culture at
the Elderhostel and ElderCollege Conferences, Reno, Nevada,
from 1987 to present.
Basque History directed readings, University of
Nevada, Reno, 1994 to 1997.
History of Latin American Cultures, History 227,
curriculum design and instruction, Truckee Meadows Community
College, Reno, Nevada, from 1995 to
Western Traditions 201 and 202 instruction, Truckee
Meadows Community College, Reno, Nevada, from 1995 to 1997,
Nevada History, History 217 instruction, Truckee
Meadows Community College, Reno, Nevada, Spring 1998 to
Humanities 101 instruction, Truckee Meadows Community
College, Reno, Nevada, Spring 1996 to fall
Work Experience Highlights
Cooperated in and coordinated the Improvised Poetry Meet of
two Basque bertsolaris invited by the Western Folklife
Center (Cowboy Poetry Organization), Elko, Nevada, April
Guest lecturer in the Annual Shooting the
West Photography Conference, Winnemucca, Nevada, March
Cooperated in and coordinated the successful
completion of the restoration of Whiskey Creek Sheep Camp
Between U.S.D.A. Tahoe National Forest and N.A.B.O., August
Guest lecturer at the First Meeting of Arizona
Basques, Glendale, January 15,
Guest lecturer, geography class, University of
Nevada, March 11, 1999.
Guest lecturer at the USDA Humboldt-Toiyabe National
Forest Annual Conference, Winnemucca, Nevada, April 21,
Lectured at the California Archaeology Week, Donner
Memorial Park, Truckee, California, May 11,
Guest lecturer at the opening ceremony of the 33
Euskal Liburu Azoka (33rd Annual Fair of the Basque Book),
Durango, Bizkaia, Spain, December 1998.
Guest lecturer at the II International Conference
The Basques in the Mexican Regions. 16th-20th
Centuries, December 1995, Reno,
Lectured on Basque History at the Celebration
of Diversity Event, Nevada City, California, May
Guest lecturer at the I International Conference of
The Basques in the Mexican Regions:
Sixteenth-Twentieth Centuries, December 1994, Jalapa,
Lectured on Basque Mythology to Alpha Delta Kappa
Chapter, Reno, Nevada, October 1994.
Lectured on Tree Carvings of Nevada and
California at the Sierra County Historical Society,
Truckee, California, July 1993.
Guest lecturer at Basque Cultural Day in San
Francisco, California, October 9, 1993.
Lectured on Basque history to the Newcomers
Club, Reno, Nevada, May 1993.
Guest lecturer of anthropological and ethnic courses
at the University of Nevada, Reno, 1992.
Guest lecturer for the AM-ARCS of Nevada monthly
speaker, Reno, Nevada, January, 1991.
Lectured on The Basques of Europe and of
America at the San Joaquin County Historical Society
and Museum, Lodi, California, March 26,
Lectured on Juan Zumarraga, Patriarch of the
Basque Colony in México at the University of
Nevada, Reno, in 1985.
Offered many slide presentations of Aspen
Carvings to a variety of civic organizations and
primary-school children of the Reno-Sparks area, Nevada,
from 1988 to present.
Frequent presentations on sheepherding history in the
western U.S. to many local, state, and national groups such
as the National Weights and Measures Organization, Nevada
Historical Society, Washoe County School District
librarians, the Bureau of Land Management, and the USDA
Forest Service in Nevada and California.
Critical reader and translation reviewer of manuscripts for
the University of Nevada Press, 1993 to
Wrote two publishers of textbooks offering ideas and
corrections regarding some of the statements in their
textbooks and one responded and nominated me a
Zenbat Gara Dancers, University of Nevada, Reno, 1989
Member of the Ethnic Board Committee, University of
Nevada, Reno, 1992 to 1994.
Volunteer mentor, TMCC, 1997 and
Co-coordinated the II International Conference The
Basques in the Mexican Regions. 16th-20th Centuries,
Reno, Nevada, December 1995.
Planned, managed, and taught basic skills (speech,
reading, math, banking, socializing) to handicapped adults
at a community-based residence in Crete, Nebraska, from 1979
Editor / Director
Edited, directed, and published two periodicals in
Onati, Spain, 1963 and 1964.
Promoted, implemented, and conducted weekly
Basque-radio programs in Elko and Winnemucca, Nevada, from
1968 to 1971.
[In press] Speaking Through the Aspens:
Basque Tree Carvings in California and Nevada. Reno:
University of Nevada Press, 2000.
The Power of Nothing: The Life and Adventures
of Ignacio Idaho Urrutia. Susanville,
California: Idaho Grocery, Inc., 2000.
The Basque Arborglyphs in Nevada and California
and Their Possible Origin, in Los Vascos en las
regiones de México siglos XVI-XX, Volume I,
Universidad Autónoma de México, Mexico City,
Los valores étnicos en la figura de Juan
Zumarraga, primer obispo de México, in Los
Vascos en las regiones de México siglos XVI-XX,
Volume II, Universidad Autónoma de México,
Mexico City, 1996.
Amerikako euskaldun artzainen lertxumarrak
(The aspen carvings of the Basque sheepherders in America).
In press, Basque Government, Euskadi,
The Basque Connection. Sierra
Heritage 13, 2 (September / October
Mexicoko lehen euskaldun meatzariak (The
first Basque miners in Mexico). In Origen de la comunidad
vasca en México (Getxo-Gernika: Harriluze,
Euskadi, Spain, 1993).
The Private World of Juan Zumarraga, Bishop of
Mexico. Revista de Historia de América
Basque Aspen Carvings: History Growing on
Trees, Nevada Historical Preservation Quarterly
35, 1 (Spring 1992).
Antso Gartzia Larrazabal, Euskal Herriko Lehen
Indianoa, Swing Durango Aldizkaria.
III.urtea. 26.zenbakia (1992).
Antso Gartzia Larrazabal (1489?-1554?), Euskal
Herriko lehen indianoa Society of Basque Studies in
America XI-XII (1991-1992).
Indioek ala bakeroek hil zituzten Nevadako hiru
euskaldunak? Argia, 1 (337)
Zumarraga apezpikuaren gutuna Urti Abendainori
1547n idatzia (Letter of Bishop Zumarraga to Urti
Abendaino, written in 1547; unpublished documents on the
first bishop of Mexico). Euskera 34
Lertxun marrak. Gure artzainen arte bakana
Estatu Batuetan (Aspen Carvings. The exotic art of the
sheepherders in the United States). Elhuyar 29
Wrote articles in the Basque language from 1964 to
1992 for European magazines, such as Zeruko Argia (a
weekly), Euskera (the official periodical of the
Academy of the Basque Language), Elhuyar (periodical
on science and technology), and
Bertsolariak: Basque Improvisational Poetry in the
Western United States, University of Nevada,
Juan Zumarraga, Mexicoko Apezpikua ta
euskaldunak (Juan Zumarraga, Bishop of Mexico and the
Basques) based on my Ph.D. dissertation, bilingual edition,
approved for publication by the Basque Government of
Twelve grants from various state and federal agencies
and the Basque Government of Euskadi, since
Video Production and Exhibits
Consultant, Basque Tree Carvings, shown on
The Nevada Experience, KNPB Channel-5, Reno (Nevada),
Executive Producer and Director, Basque Aspen
Carving Legacy in Nevada, 21 minute video, October
Consultant and participant, Urrearen
irrika (Thirst for gold), Basque Television Channels 1
& 2, Euskadi, Spain, 1993.
Photographic Exhibit Tree Carvings in Nevada
and California, Baigorry, Aquitaine, France,
Photographic Exhibit Sheepherders in the
American West, Euskal Museua, Bilbo, Euskadi, Spain,
Consultant to the exhibit Basques in the High
Desert of the American West, High Desert Museum, Bend,
Since 1988 I have been heavily involved in documenting
the history of sheep business in Nevada and eastern
California, with several research trips to the mountain
ranges of Oregon and Idaho. Arborglyphs are a neglected but
fundamental aspect of this history of which I have
videotaped and photographed more than 15,000 aspen carvings.
My goal is to record a sample of the tree carvings in eleven
states of the American West.
Another facet of the research entails identifying and
recording on video the forgotten or abandoned sheep camps,
bread ovens, and harri mutil (cairn-like piles of
stone used as range markers).
Collaborated with Tahoe National Forest of
California, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Nevada State
Historic Preservation and Archaeology, and the Bureau of
Land Management to set up a common system for collecting,
interpreting, storing, and disseminating arborglyphs. More
recently the Office of Historic Preservation and Archaeology
of the State of California joined in the efforts. The newly
developed Supplemental IMACS Form for the recording of aspen
carving sites is the result of these joint
An integral part of arborglyph research is the
computer database of every carving recorded, totaling so far
over 12,000 entries. A Dictionary of every word carved on
trees is being compiled along with the
Collaborated with the Archaeology Department of the
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in drafting a Pilot
Project, which will use tree carving information for
the study and management of the forest
Collaborated with archaeologists and forest
historians of Tahoe National Forest, California, Truckee
Ranger District, in securing federal protection for the
historically-significant Whiskey Creek Sheep Camp, located
in the Granite Chief Wilderness,
Directed the rebuilding of a historic bread oven at
the old Wheelers Sheep Camp, Tahoe National Forest,
Sierraville District, California, now part of the designated
Kyburz Flat Interpretative Area, 1993.
Served as consultant and instructor for Passport in
Time Project, Elko County, Nevada, July 1997 (Twenty-two
volunteer archaeologists, historians and students from
across the country camped in the Jarbidge Mountains to
Helped coordinate various civic groups and Tahoe
National Forest and stabilized and rebuilt historical sheep
camp at Whiskey Creek, Granite Chief Wilderness, California,
August 1997 and July 1999.
In the recent years, as news of the significance of
the arborglyphs gains momentum, part of my time has been
devoted to advising the federal archaeologists and forest
historians who call regarding sheepherder activity in their
local districts. The latest agency to recognize the aspen
carving resource on Steens Mountain is the BLM office in
Burns, Oregon. Time is also allotted to writing letters of
encouragement to officials who have not started recording
this perishable resorce.
Part-Time Instructor of History at Truckee Meadows.
Adjunct faculty position at the Basque Studies Program,
University of Nevada, Reno.