CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The 2022 winner of the Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW) is set to discuss the region’s water crisis at an event at 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the Hazlewood Room in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

Officials with West Texas A&M University detailed that Lucas Bessire, professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, was named the CSAW winner for his memoir “Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains,” which was also named a National Book Award finalist.

Princeton University Press stated that Bessire’s memoir was “an urgent and unsettling mediation on environmental change,” officials noted in a news release.

“It is a real honor to have my book recognized by colleagues at the Center for the Study of the American West, especially given our shared commitments to the peoples, lands and futures of the Great Plains,” Bessire said in September. “I look forward to our upcoming conversation.”   

Officials added that the memoir explores Bessire’s connection to farming and ranching in Kansas along with the major issues when it comes to water conservation and usage in rural communities across America.

“I’m so pleased that the award committee is honoring a book that has vast importance to the region’s future and also is a pleasure to read for a broad audience,” said Alex Hunt, CSAW director, Regents Professor of English and Vincent-Haley Professor of Western Studies. “It’s precisely the kind of book that CSAW wants to celebrate.”