Coffee Breaks

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Sky Island Coffee Break: A Semester with Round River Conservation Studies

Six students with Round River Conservation Studies partnered with SIA staff for a semester to learn about the natural history of this region and help us collect data for various ecology research projects, including Spring Seeker, Sky Island FotoFauna, and the Border Wildlife Study.

Sky Island Coffee Break: Introduction to Tracking Large Cat Species in the Sky Islands

Are you interested in learning how to help us document where these four cat species are present in the Sky Island region? Watch this training to learn how to identify cat tracks and sign, how to differentiate cat tracks and scat from other species, and when and where you’re most likely to find cat tracks and other sign.

Sky Island Happy Hour: Learn to Measure the Darkness of Our Night Skies

Join Globe at Night leader Connie Walker to learn how to measure night sky darkness around you by counting the number of stars visible to the unaided eye in easily recognizable constellations!

Sky Island Coffee Break: Best FotoFauna Photographs of Winter 2021

Join this fun, interactive coffee break to view the season’s best Sky Island FotoFauna photographs, showcased in categories that include Wild for Water, Winter Wonderland, Best Dressed, and more.

Sky Island Happy Hour: Getting Started with FotoFauna

In this recording, SIA Program Director Emily Burns walks you through how to join Sky Island FotoFauna, a new and fast-growing wildlife monitoring project hosted by Sky Island Alliance and many regional partners.

Painting Sky Island Landscapes with Jorge Obregón

Tune in for an interview with Mexican artist Jorge Obregón about his landscapes of sky island mountain ranges in central Mexico and other regions of the world! During this discussion, you’ll see several of Jorge’s paintings up close and hear how Mexico’s mountain ranges inspired him to pursue a lifetime of art.

Exploring High Elevation Springs at Saguaro National Park

This discussion focuses on Saguaro National Park's efforts to learn more about high elevation springs: finding previously undocumented springs and rare plants, assessments, history, and where the water comes from.

Introduction to the Aravaipa Canyon & Invasive Vinca

Join us to learn about The Nature Conservancy’s Aravaipa Canyon Preserve and the work Sky Island Alliance is doing there on invasive periwinkle (Vinca major).

Sky Island Situation Room—Stopping the Runaway Wall

In January 2021, when our attention should be focused on healing from border damage inflicted during the last four years, we find ourselves instead having to double our research and monitoring efforts because border wall construction is happening faster than ever. In both the Huachuca and Patagonia Mountains, wall construction is rapidly progressing and severing Sky Island habitat at our Border Wildlife Study field sites.

Celebrating Three Decades of Sky Island Conservation

The new year marks a huge milestone for Sky Island Alliance—2021 is the organization’s 30th anniversary! Join SIA Executive Director Louise Misztal and Communications Manager Anna Sofia for the first coffee break of 2021 and embark on a trip down memory lane. You’ll learn about the long-spanning history of Sky Island Alliance, get to know some of the incredible people and partners that have worked with us to support the health of this region, explore the various iterations of program work we’ve done in the U.S. and Mexico, and maybe even hear from a few special guest speakers. Finally, we’ll wrap up by discussing some of our organizational goals for 2021.

Best FotoFauna Photographs of 2020

Join us to see the many candid and beautiful wildlife photos contributed to Sky Island FotoFauna in 2020 by volunteers and partners across the region. During this virtual Coffee Break we casted votes for the best photos of the year!

Border Wildlife Study: 6 Month Update

Join us to learn the latest results from our Border Wildlife Study. With 100 species detected since March, don't miss seeing photographs of the new species we’ve seen including porcupine and the Virginia opossum. We’ll discuss which species appear most often at night and which species prefer different vegetation types, then show you how border wall construction is encroaching on our study area right now. We couldn’t have carried this study to the mid-year mark without the tremendous contributions of our hardy volunteers and generous supporters.

Binational Conservation in the Upper San Pedro River Watershed

We’re celebrating the history of cross-border collaboration to conserve our precious Sky Island region. This binational effort spans decades. The San Pedro River watershed was the focus of one of the most important conservation moments towards the end of the 1990s. Thanks to the Parks in Peril program from the USAID, for the first time, Ajo-Bavispe Wildlife Reserve in Sonora and the broader Sonoran Sky Islands had enough resources to support a number of conservation actions-from bird monitoring, sustainable ranching workshops, and Mexican prairie dog conversation projects to the acquisition of Rancho Los Fresnos.

My Wanderings in the Sonoran Sky Islands—Conservation Stories with Mario Cirett

A natural-born naturalist who began camping solo at the age of 10, Mario Cirett has been working to protect the Sky Islands in Sonora for nearly 3 decades. He has been a fundamental actor in the conservation of Sonoran species and ecosystems, including working as the director of the Ajos-Bavispe Wildlife Reserve. Throughout his career and his personal adventures, he has experienced everything that is to be experienced in one of the most remote regions of Mexico—from fascinating encounters with wildlife, to the vicissitudes of working in the territories of the drug cartels.

Introduction to Sky Island FotoFauna

Do you have a backyard wildlife camera and want to contribute your photos to help monitor wildlife movement? Join us for this Coffee Break to learn all about our new volunteer wildlife monitoring network across the Sky Island region—FotoFauna.

Evaluation of Water Sources in Sonora's Sky Islands

Join us for a conversation with UNISIERRA undergraduate and Sky Island Alliance intern, Angel Octavio Garcia Godinez, about the results of his Spring Seeker survey project in Sonora, MX this summer. Angel surveyed more than 40 springs with his family, dramatically increasing our knowledge of springs in the area and came across an inspiring array of plants and wildlife including a Sonoran mud turtle.

Signs of Life - Forest Recovery After Fire

Join us for this Coffee Break to find hope in the ashes after wildfire. Across the west, fires are burning in a multitude of forests this year. We will discuss how different forest types recover after burning, from the Sky Island pine forests of the Southwest to the coast redwood forests of California. We will take inspiration from nature’s resilience to recharge ourselves so that we can rise and meet the challenge of stewarding the lands we love through climate change.

Setting Up Your Own Backyard Wildlife Camera

If you want to see animals roam through your own corner of the Sky Islands 24/7, learn how to set up a wildlife camera in your own backyard. Join us for this virtual Coffee Break to learn Sky Island Alliance tips and tricks for choosing the right camera for your interest and how to set it up for success. Spoiler alert, we are also going to show a lot of our favorite wildlife videos!

Conservation in the Patagonia Mountains

Join a discussion with Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA)—one of Sky Island Alliance's Border Wildlife Study partners—to learn about wildlife conservation efforts in Arizona's Patagonia Mountains.

Conservation in Mexico 101

Join a discussion with our new Conservation Director, Paulo Quadri Barba, as he tells the story of land tenure and conservation in Mexico and describes the conservation tools used to protect both public and private land.

Introduction to Zooniverse

Are you an expert birder? Amateur mammal enthusiast? Excited to learn more about the diverse wildlife species of the Sky Islands? Join us to hear about our new community science projects on the Zooniverse platform where you can see photos from our wildlife cameras and help us with species identification.

The Next Generation of Sky Island Leaders

During this Coffee Break, we share how our Sister Parks Project in collaboration with the National Park Service led to the creation of a binational internship program for undergraduate students and hear from Universidad de la Sierra students as they explain how our program inspired them to take action in their local Sonoran communities! This Coffee Break is presented bilingually in English and Spanish.

The Incredible Story of Jaguars in the Borderlands

Together we celebrated World Jaguar Day last week with Turtle Southern from the Northern Jaguar Project and Randy Serraglio from the Center for Biological Diversity.

A Stroll on the San Pedro River

Executive Director, Louise, immersed us in an enchanting virtual tour of the San Pedro River during our first Coffee Break with Sky Island Alliance. During the webinar, we walked alongside Louise listening to soothing running water, birds singing in the riparian canopy overhead, saw a lively troop of coati, a swimming Sonoran mud turtle, and a host of other amazing creatures inhabiting this important river habitat at the U.S.-Mexico border

Border Wildlife Study: 90-Day Results

Learn about the new results from the first 90 days of our Border Wildlife Study documenting species in the path of the border wall. Since March 9, 2020, our 60-camera array along 34 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border recorded a huge diversity of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects that live along the rugged and scenic border. Wall construction is underway on the eastern edge of our study site in the Huachuca Mountains through one of the last remaining cross-border corridors in the Sky Island region.

Wilderness Springs Training

Did you know that springs on U.S. Forest Service land might not be protected unless they are surveyed to validate the water rights? Learn more about our new Spring Seeker survey and how you can help survey wilderness spring this summer in Coronado National Forest!

Seeking Sky Island Springs

Sky Island Alliance staff Emily Burns and Sami Hammer to learn about how springs bring life to the Sky Island region and what it will take to save springs for generations.

Spring Seeker Training

Calling all Sky Island volunteers and hikers! During this webinar, learn how to collect valuable information on the health of springs across the Sky Island region independently. Our staff will introduce you to our new Spring Seeker survey for your smartphone and guide you through the simple steps to complete the survey during your next hike.