Clues from the Past: Geologic Origins of the Sonoran Desert

How did the Sonoran Desert form? And why should we care about the geologic origins of our region? Geology creates topography, which influences climate, watersheds, temperatures, and migratory pathways. Understanding the geology of a place is like unfolding the story of the land itself, which sets the stage for understanding our local ecology. But it also reminds…

Monsoon Magic: Your Next Hike

On your walk, you’ll find every color of the rainbow. Don’t forget to bring a camera or sketchbook, and if you have one, a magnifying glass.

Beautiful Shiner Released into Wildlife Refuge

Arizona Native Fish, Beautiful Shiner, Released into San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge Visualize the Sonoran Desert and saguaros, rattlesnakes, and lizards might come to mind. But the region’s waterways contain an amazing aquatic universe! The desert’s native aquatic animals have adaptations allowing them to thrive in a unique environment, and are an essential link in…

The A Bee Cs of Arizona’s Native Bees

Conjure an image of bees in your mind. Do you imagine a fuzzy insect with black and yellow stripes, a honeycomb nest, maybe a queen bee? If so, you’re not alone. But did you know there are over 20,000 species of bees worldwide, and only a few that produce honey? Of the approximately 5,000 different…

Wildlife Cams: It’s a Snap to Get Started!

By Catherine Bartlett, Education Program Manager   At the Desert Museum, we use wildlife cameras (also known as trail cams or camera traps) in exhibits (to track health and activity of animals), in student research projects, and in partnership with the Sky Island Alliance’s FotoFauna Project. You too can capture backyard biodiversity with these devices. Give…

Stunning Saguaros: Ten Fascinating Facts About Saguaro Cacti

Our ‘forests’ look a little different here in the Sonoran Desert. Instead of towering trees, we have giant columnar cacti! While saguaro cacti are the most well-known of these giant cacti in the U.S., several other species occupy different regions of the Desert, including organ pipe cactus, senita cactus, candelabra cactus, and cardon cactus. The…

Swing into Spring with These 11 Beautiful Blooms

While it may not be a banner wildflower year in the Tucson metro area due to low germinating fall and winter rainfall, the desert is still blooming and awash in color and new growth. Swing into spring and look for these 11 blooming plants at the Desert Museum and in your neighborhood! Hedgehogs, Echinocereus The…

When Problems Become Solutions

The Story of Rancho la Inmaculada We’ve got buffelgrass top of mind during Save Our Saguaros Month! We would normally be gathering large groups of volunteers to help beat back this invasive grass. This year we are taking a different approach in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re asking our community to participate…