Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
November 14-15, 2020
Biological Soil Crusts of Joshua Tree National Park
By Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

Event Overview

The desert floor may look like dirt and sand but it is full of living small and microscopic organisms vital to the park’s ecosystem. Many of these organisms live in biological highly active soil crusts that cover the first inch of the desert soil surface. In this field class Nat Pombububpa, Julia Adam, and Tania Kurbessoian will introduce crypto-biotic soil crusts with an emphasis on fungi, soil algae, and lichens. Participants will study the secret life of these microscopic organisms as they demystify this thin layer of soil. This class will discuss the components of crusts such as cyanobacteria (one of the oldest known life forms on earth), green algae, diatoms, bacteria, fungi, and lichens. During the lab session, participants will see the biodiversity of the park’s crusts up close through two different types of microscopes. On the second day, the class will go into the field to identify and assess the condition of several types of algal and lichen soil crust communities found in Joshua Tree National Park.

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About Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

The Desert Institute offers classes for adult learners in cultural history, natural science, survival skills, desert naturalist studies, women’s programs, citizen science, and creative arts. All programs are taught by expert instructors who provide a personal and enjoyable learning experience on these educational adventures.

To register for this event email your details to desertinstitute@joshuatree.org

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When & Where

  • From:Nov 14, 2020,09:00 AM
  • To:Nov 15, 2020,04:00 PM
  • Location: Joshua Tree National Park

    74485 National Park Dr, 92277, Twentynine Palms.

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