The Pollinator Party

National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, is a time to celebrate and BEE excited about the amazing work of pollinators! Join the festivities at our annual Party with Pollinators (Cool Summer Nights) evening this Saturday, June 25. We will have special pollinator themed activities and learning opportunities. Pollinator Week was developed to support pollinator health and…

Desert Museum Herbarium Digitized and Registered

by John F. Wiens, Massimo Boscolo Did you know that the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has a herbarium? A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens that are organized, databased, and safely stored for the purpose of scientific research and education. Botanists, ecologists, ethnobotanists, and plant enthusiasts in the general public may consult herbariums to…

Charismatic Cacti Giants

We like big cacti and we cannot lie! The saguaro cactus occupies an undeniable place of prestige among the people in this region, no doubt due to its impressive size, charming shapes, and abundant distribution within its range (not to mention its extensive reproduction in art, film, and pop culture). We totally get it. We…

Desert Biota in a Changing Climate

Katie Predick, Conservation Research and Education Department Earth Day is a time to celebrate the fascinating, biodiverse, resilient nature all around us. And while it’s essential to appreciate and celebrate the unique nature of the Sonoran Desert and beyond, every Earth Day that passes without significant climate or environmental action brings us closer to the…

Save a Saguaro! Tucson Community Fights Buffelgrass

After University of Arizona Journalism student Hannah Cree attended the Save Our Saguaros Month Kickoff event to investigate the Tucson community’s efforts against the invasive species buffelgrass, we invited her to share the resulting story here on the Desert Diaries blog. Thank you to Hannah! By Hannah Cree with photos by Desert Museum staff It’s…

Sharing is Caring in the Sonoran Desert  

By Catherine Bartlett, Education Program Manager  What do limp lizards, a bundle of bats, and fresh fecal samples have in common? Love. Well, maybe not love exactly but each can certainly be seen as an act of generosity in the animal world. Of the five love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts) animals exhibit each, in some…

Weaving the Web of Life

Do you recall the grade school diagrams illustrating a simple food chain? This predator eats that prey and that prey eats plants, and plants obtain their energy from the sun and nutrients from soil. Arrows represent one organism eating another. Food chain diagrams help us visualize the flow of energy through an ecosystem. While the…

What Is Conservation Really About?

By Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction Join Michelle at the Desert Museum on Saturday, November 13, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. for a brief reading from Beloved Beasts, a lively discussion with renowned field ecologist and conservationist Harry Greene, and a book signing. Books will be available…

Respect the Rattlesnake

Scared of rattlesnakes? You’re not alone. Many people fear or simply misunderstand these incredible animals. Legend and lore may talk up the fearsome qualities of these venomous pit vipers, but ultimately humans are much more of a threat to these animals than they are to us. At the Desert Museum, we believe the best way…

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…