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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

Investigate the natural architecture and origin of Joshua Tree National Park’s landscape with Tor Lacy, geology professor, Cerritos college. Starting in the classroom participants will be introduced to basic geologic principles including major rock groups, plate tectonics, mountain building, and the impact of weathering and erosion. Tor will discuss how these processes worked together to form the fantastic desert landscape of the park. The class will venture into the field on two excursions to observe and identify monzogranite, gneiss, veins, and basaltic rocks as well as inselbergs, alluvial fans, and pediments. For those new to geology or experienced geologists, Tor will make learning about the complex and unique landscape of Joshua Tree National Park comprehensible and fun.

Register today!

Did you know that insects can survive in temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade with little or no water? Kurt Leuschner will explore the lives of the largest group of animals in the world through a study of insect anatomy, survival traits, habitats, and behaviors. Participants will learn to identify and distinguish insects from other arthropods and then practice their skills in the field. Field observations will include desert, dune, and riparian habitats, as well as a special night session with black lights at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. Leuschner will share amazing stories of insects like the yucca moth, the ant lion, and the world they inhabit.

This class is sponsored by the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

Register today!

Participants will be introduced to the major groups of respectively macroscopic and microscopic invertebrates found in Southern California’s deserts, where and when to find them, and how to observe and identify them with the aid of online tools after taking digital macro photographs in the field (in the case of insects and other animals visible to the naked eye), or with the aid of a compound microscope in the lab (for smaller animals). The first part will include an outline of basic techniques for approaching and photographing different macro subjects with a compact camera or an interchangeable lens/SLR camera. In the second part we will demonstrate simple techniques for isolating microscopic invertebrates from different materials, how to transfer them to microscope slides and how to operate a compound microscope to observe them. Class size is limited, please sign up early!

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Your health and safety is the top priority for our hospitality businesses. In accordance with State/County guidelines we kindly remind you to wear your face mask/covering, practice healthy hand-washing, maintain a safe social distance, and postpone travel if you are sick.

Together, our everyday actions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.