The American Southwest is a unique place replete of history, culture, and natural beauty. It is not an exaggeration to say that it stands out as the most unique and appropriate location to go to listen, find, and realize the profound links between land, humanity and spirituality. In fact, we can go as far as to say that our Southwest is the navel of our continent, where the ancient faiths, traditions, and rituals have remained alive for millennia to this day. In fact, this is the only part of North America where there are settlements that have been continuously occupied for over a thousand years. It was therefore appropriate for ACS 7 with its focus on nature, culture and the ordinary to go to such center of insight, inspiration, and beauty. Its remoteness and rawness created the perfect environment to pause and ponder about ACS issues in perhaps new ways.

Thus, we decided to conduct our symposium activities at Ghost Ranch, a place 12 miles north of Abiquiu — a town literally located in the middle of northern New Mexico. Symposium attendees will be encouraged to fly to Albuquerque (cheaper airfare than flying into Santa Fe) and rent a car. We will do our best to coordinate car-pooling among attendees. The drive from ABQ (Albuquerque airport) to Ghost Ranch took between 2-2.5 hours depending on traffic and time of the day. While this may be seen as a hardship, we considered it an advantage as it advanced our goal of being at the center of the nature and desert. We saw this journey as a pilgrimage to a remote, silent, and beautiful place — the heart of our continent.

Ghost Ranch offered rustic, comfortable housing accommodations reflective of its origin as a working ranch, and a variety of outdoor spaces and other facilities for meetings, including a library. There were ample opportunities to explore the natural surroundings on high desert hiking trails (elevation 6,500 feet). All units provided magnificent vistas of colorful sandstone cliffs, cottonwoods, and distant mountains, and expansive skies with dazzling panoramas of the planets and stars at night.

While most of our activities took place at Ghost Ranch we had half-day of our symposium spent at Dar Al Islam Mosque, about a 20 minute drive from where we stayed. During the second half of that day, we visited to Georgia O'Keefe's Home and Studio (which is in Abiquiu) as well as a nearby Pueblo settlement.


Cost for a double-occupancy room including three daily meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) was $143 per night (per person). There was a $50 per night additional cost for single-occupancy accommodations. A one time $3 conservation fee was charged to each individual

As with our previous ACS symposia, all paper sessions were open and free to the general public, space allowing. However, in order to attend the keynote lectures and participate in the receptions, tour, and other symposium activities, interested parties needed to pay a $100 Symposium fee.