Field Notes

Whence Water Flows (aka The Different Types of Springs in the Sky Islands)

October 18, 2021

Have you ever wondered what a spring is?  Well, a spring is a place where groundwater is exposed or emerges at the surface. Springs are classified into two main categories — lentic and lotic — based on whether the water flows or not. Lentic (sounds like “lenses”) springs form pools, where water may not flow. Lotic springs, however, do flow.  Scientists have even sub-categorized these types of springs into more subtypes, depending on how the water emerges from…
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Friday Flora Feature: Arizona Fishhook Pincushion (Mammillaria grahamii)

October 14, 2021

When hiking through southeastern Arizona in the desert or woodlands, it’s a real treat to see the Arizona Fishhook Pincushion cactus (Mammillaria grahamii) growing cryptically under palo verde trees, creosote shrubs, or even under other cacti. Over the course of the year, M. grahamii fluctuates between a state of full camouflage nestled among Sonoran Desert rocks or a state of being on full display with a shock of bright pink flowers or even brighter…
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Welcome Micah Kaufmann, Our 2021-22 Earth Grant Intern

Sky Island Alliance is pleased to welcome Micah Kaufmann (they/them) to our wildlife program team for the 2021-2022 school year. Micah is a part of the University of Arizona’s Earth Grant internship program, an opportunity that places students who are passionate about the environment and community resilience with local organizations to further their careers. Micah will be working closely with Meagan Bethel, our Wildlife…
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Summer Intern Stories: How Fauna and Flora can be Used Sustainably on Sonoran Cattle Ranches

October 7, 2021

Written by Mónica Montaño, a 2021 Sky Island Alliance Binational Internship Program participant. A rancher’s main concern is the production of either goat or bovine cattle, either for the sale of offspring, for meat production, or for the production of dairy foods. However, many ranchers also have the habit of practicing hunting, unfortunately sometimes in…
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Historias de pasantes de verano: Cómo la fauna y la flora se pueden utilizar de manera sostenible en los ranchos ganaderos de Sonora

Escrito por Mónica Montaño , participante del Programa Binacional de Pasantías de Sky Island Alliance. Las principales preocupaciones de un ganadero es la producción ya sea de ganado caprino o bovino ya sea para producción de crías para vente, producción de carne o aprovechamiento para la producción de alimentos lácteos. Sin embargo los ganaderos en…
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¿Qué son las islas del cielo?

October 1, 2021

Las islas del cielo.  Probablemente escuche que estas islas se mencionan mucho en el sur de Arizona y el norte de Sonora, o nos vea referirnos a ellas en nuestros mensajes sociales y en nuestro sitio web. De hecho, incluso está en nuestro nombre, Sky Island Alliance, una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a proteger y restaurar la diversidad…
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Community’s Choice: The Three Best FotoFauna Photos of Summer 2021

September 28, 2021

With autumn’s cooler temperatures rolling into the Sky Island region, let’s pause and look back at the warmer months of 2021: the monsoon storms, the greening trees and shrubs, the flowers and butterflies, and the wildlife who were, after years of drought, able to enjoy an abundance of water and renewed habitat. Last month, we…
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Meet an SIA Staff Member: Zoe Fullem

September 24, 2021

Have you met our Community Science Manager Zoe Fullem? Zoe joined the team in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit, to help lead our Border Wildlife Study. We’ve loved having her as a part of our organization and recently realized we’ve never highlighted her as a staff member — so today, we’re here to…
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In Memory of Volunteer Extraordinaire Tom Swenson-Healey

September 22, 2021

A Tribute to a Special Volunteer BY SKY ISLAND ALLIANCE STAFF A few years back, I had been a retired nurse with too much time on my hands and really needed to get out of the house. One day, I happened upon a Sky Island Alliance information booth at the Festival of Books and found…
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Love Bats? This Fall, Help Us Monitor Their Activity

September 21, 2021

At some point over the summer, did you wake up to discover that your hummingbird feeder had been drained and emptied seemingly overnight? If so, how exciting! You may have been visited by migratory bats. Photo credit: Four bats feeding from a hummingbird feeder after dusk. Taken by Emily Burns. For many years, community scientists…
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