Field Notes

A Sampling of Flora in the San Rafael Valley: Grasses

February 26, 2021

I’ve always loved plants, but it wasn’t until I adopted a vegan diet that I started to see plants as separate from each other instead of one big sea with fifty shades of green (or uninspiring brown, depending on the time of year). After moving to the Sky Island region from Minnesota, where everything is either very green or covered in snow, I was…
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The Border Wildlife Study Rodeo

February 24, 2021

For many youngsters around the West, it is Rodeo Break. I hardly ever went to the actual Rodeo, but I sure miss having those two days off! In our Border Wildlife Study, I’ve seen plenty of animals both cattle and wildlife having their own rodeo days all year long—with no stinkin’ humans around. Enjoy this…
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Notes from the Field: Round River Conservation Studies Sky Island Semester

February 18, 2021

After spending the last few months planning for the Round River Conservation Studies (RRCS) first ever semester in the Sky Islands, I was ecstatic to finally spend time with them in the field over the past couple weeks. RRCS is an ecological research and education organization dedicated to conservation strategies that are sustainable and tied…
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Border Road Construction Tears Through Wash Frequented by Wildlife Species

February 17, 2021

While out visiting the westernmost Patagonia Mountain cameras in the Border Wildlife Study, our field team discovered a lot of debris from previous border wall construction in a wash just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. As part of this border project, a road crossing, installed in the days leading up to Biden’s wall proclamation, was built across the wash to accommodate wall construction traffic. A…
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Field Notes: Joining the Great Backyard Bird Count

February 12, 2021

  One amazing thing I’ve realized by staying home during the pandemic is that if I just simply look out my window for more than a few seconds, it’s impossible NOT to see birds. My husband and I joked last spring that it seemed there were so many more birds around our house than the year before, when really we’ve just…
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Friday Flora Feature: Deer Grass

February 11, 2021

One of the first plants we teach our volunteers to look for when out Spring Seeking is deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens), a type of bunchgrass commonly found near water sources in the Sky Island region. This week, we’re here to pass this knowledge to you, too—so that you can identify deergrass next time you’re out enjoying nature. Description:  Deer grass, also called deergrass, deer muhly, or zacate…
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A Microscopic View of a Palo Verde Root Borer Beetle

February 1, 2021

In this week’s Microscopic Monday post, we are going to continue to explore the amazing diversity of beetle species in our Sky Island region by focusing on the Palo Verde Root Borer Beetle—also known simply as the palo verde beetle (Derobrachus hovorei). Formerly classified as Derobrachus geminatus, our local (and quite common) Palo Verde Root Borer was…
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Los Lugares Favoritos de Nuestros Pasantes en las Islas del Cielo de Sonora

January 26, 2021

Hacia el final de su pasantía, le preguntamos a Elizabeth, Miguel y Ángel sobre sus lugares favoritos en la región de Sonoran Sky Island. Meses de búsqueda de manantiales y analizando los datos de fauna silvestre los llevaron a varios lugares increíbles, algunos en sus propios patios. Al leer sus presentaciones, esperamos que sus descripciones…
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Our Interns’ Favorite Spots in the Sonoran Sky Islands

January 25, 2021

Toward the end of their time in our binational internship program, we asked Elizabeth, Miguel, and Ángel​ about their favorite spots in the Sonoran Sky Island region. Months of searching for springs and tracking wildlife data introduced them to several incredible places—some in their own backyards. As you read their submissions, we hope their descriptions…
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What President Biden’s Border Wall Proclamation Means for The Borderlands

January 21, 2021

  Inauguration Day is finally behind us. The Biden-Harris administration took oath yesterday and ushered in new hope for many—hope that racial, economic, environmental, and health injustices (among too many other current crises to name, but are all just as important) will be made right in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  Yesterday afternoon, President Biden took the first step toward fulfilling his campaign…
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