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Coffee Break: Mediating Wildlife-Human Relationships Through Behavioral Ecology

In this virtual Coffee Break, we were joined by Allie Burnett, Ph.D. candidate within the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, to learn more about wildlife-human relationships and ways to reduce conflict.

London rocket

Help Sample Tucson Plants to Study Fossil Fuel Emissions

In this virtual training, SIA Program Director Emily Burns walks us through the steps of how to participate in an innovative study using radiocarbon dating.

Jaguar Coffee Break

Coffee Break: Unwinding the Regulatory Story of the Jaguar

In this virtual Coffee Break, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jaguar expert Marit Alanen discusses the regulatory history of jaguars in the U.S., recovery planning, critical habitat designations, and more.

Coffee Break on Invasive Plants

Invasive Plants: The Biggest Local Threats and What We Can Do

In this virtual Coffee Break, Saguaro National Park botanist Dan Beckman presents on some of the most concerning invasive plants in the region, including buffelgrass, stinknet, tamarisk, and more.

Sky Island talk with Sarah J. Love

Coffee Break: Using Sky Islands to Study Climate Change Across the Globe

In this virtual Coffee Break our presenter, PhD candidate Sarah J. Love, dives into how sky islands across the world are being used to study ecological and evolutionary impacts of global climate change.

Road in Canelo Hills

Road Decommissioning Surveys: A How-To

In this virtual Coffee Break, SIA staff Bryon Lichtenhan and Sarah Truebe present on our new campaign to rewild old roads in the Coronado National Forest.

Tanque Verde Falls

Protegiendo los origenes de agua en las Islas del Cielo

En este Coffee Break virtual, Joaquín Murrieta analiza los orígenes del agua en las Islas del Cielo y el trabajo que realiza un grupo binacional de organizaciones para proteger este preciado recurso.

Hog-nosed skunk

Skunks of the Sky Islands

In this virtual Coffee Break, SIA Wildlife Specialist Meagan Bethel presents on the four kinds of skunks found in the Sky Islands. The talk includes ID tips, info on species' ranges, and fun photos.

Aravaipa Creek

Arizona Water Law 101

In this virtual Coffee Break, Tucson lawyer and SIA board co-chair Michael Van Alsburg dives into one of the most important topics in our region: water.

Alejandro Aguilar Zeleny

Primeros guardianes: Una charla sobre los pueblos originarios de Sonora

En este Coffee Break, el Dr. Alejandro Aguilar Zeleny del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México hizo una presentación sobre los pueblos originarios de Sonora y su papel como primeros guardianes de estas tierras que conocemos.

Black bear

Sky Island FotoFauna in New Mexico

In this webinar Sky Island Alliance staff were joined by residents from New Mexico interested in joining our FotoFauna network.

Gila topminnows

The Future of Arizona's Smallest Native Fish

In this virtual Coffee Break, biologist Betsy Grube with the Arizona Fish and Game Department discusses the biology, history, and recovery of a number of the state's endangered species.

Black River

How Is Surface Water Quality Protected in Arizona?

In this virtual Coffee Break, Dr. Erin Jordan from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality shares how surface waters are protected and what you can do to help safeguard them.

White-tailed deer and fawn

Border Wildlife Study 3rd Anniversary

In this virtual Coffee Break, Sky Island Alliance staff share an update on our Border Wildlife Study and the last three years of wildlife activity along 30 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in southeast Arizona.

Mexico interns

Sky Island Alliance y la cultura de conservación en Sonora

In this virtual Coffee Break, Sky Island Alliance program staff share more about the range of upcoming projects we have planned for 2023 in Sonora and ways supporters can volunteer.


Spring Into Stewardship

In this virtual Coffee Break, Sky Island Alliance program staff share more about the range of upcoming projects we have planned for 2023 in Arizona and ways supporters can volunteer.

Shipping container removal

Arizona Border Update

A panel discussion on the evolving situation with the state of Arizona's illegal shipping-container wall on the Coronado National Forest now that protesters effectively stopped wall construction and former Gov. Ducey has left office.

White-tailed deer

Highlights From Our 3rd Annual FotoFauna Contest

On Dec. 15, 2022, we hosted our 3rd annual FotoFauna Contest, in which Sky Island Alliance supporters voted on best photos captured by our volunteers’ remote cameras. Watch the recording and see all the winners in our various categories.

Shipping containers

Arizona Border Briefing

A panel discussion on the state of Arizona's illegal plan to barricade more of the U.S.-Mexico border with shipping containers on federal land. The newest container drop site is on the Coronado National Forest in the southern Huachuca Mountains — right in the heart of our Border Wildlife Study.

Dark Skies Webinar

Help Document Dark Skies in the Sky Islands, Oct. 17-26

In this short talk, we discuss how artificial lighting threatens the region's spectacular dark skies, as well as its wildlife. We also explain how you can step outside after the webinar and collect a simple measurement of how dark the sky is above you.

FotoFauna Training

Training: Intro to Sky Island FotoFauna

Do you love wildlife in the Sky Islands and have a place where you could place a backyard trail camera? Then this training is for you. In this talk we walk you through the steps of joining Sky Island Alliance's FotoFauna network.

The Forgotten Botanist

Coffee Break: "The Forgotten Botanist"

Check out this recording to learn more about a fascinating but unsung figure in the Sky Islands' history. In September 2022 we hosted a conversation with independent scholar, editor, poet, and author Wynne Brown, who shared details from Sara Plummer Lemmon’s life and work, with an emphasis on Sky Island plants.


Coffee Break: Fireflies of Arizona and the Sky Islands

Did you know there are more than 20 different species of fireflies in Arizona? Or that fireflies in our Sky Islands synchronize their flashes, lighting up the night in unison? Check out this virtual Coffee Break with Arizona firefly expert Joe Cicero to learn more about the cool fireflies and glowworms living in the region.

Sky Island geomorphology

Coffee Break: Sky Island Geology & Geomorphology

Have you ever wondered how the Sky Islands were created? How rivers became oriented in certain directions? How vegetation and soils play off each other to create the geographic diversity we see in Sky Islands? Check out this fascinating webinar to learn more.

American Scar

"American Scar" — Virtual Screening + Q&A

In May 2022 we hosted a virtual screening of the border wall documentary "American Scar," produced by The New Yorker. Following the short film was a Q&A with the director, producer, photographer, and local conservationists.

History of Springs in a Northern Sky Island

Did you know Arizona has over 200 native species of mollusks? Learn about several families of snails (springsnails, talussnails, mountainsnails, and woodlandsnails) that are Species of Greatest Conservation Need across the state.


Get to Know Your Slimy Neighbors — Desert Snails

Did you know Arizona has over 200 native species of mollusks? Learn about several families of snails (springsnails, talussnails, mountainsnails, and woodlandsnails) that are Species of Greatest Conservation Need across the state.

Border Changes in Arizona — A Pilot’s Perspective

Join us on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s inauguration and proclamation to pause wall construction for a real bird’s-eye view of the state of the borderlands. In this Sky Island Coffee Break, our Program Director Emily Burns hosts Greg Bedinger, a volunteer LightHawk pilot and photographer who has flown along the border many times in recent years.

Partnering With Nature Can Heal the Land of the Jaguar

Watch this webinar to hear from La Tierra del Jaguar, a conservation nonprofit that “saves jaguars by teaching skills and empowering people to partner with nature and heal the land.” Founder and Director Randy Young will discuss how partnering with nature can boost resiliency, increase diversity, and strengthen the communities that live in the land of the jaguar.

Living Well and Coexisting with Urban Wildlife

Join wildlife ecologist Zoë Rossman during this hour-long coffee break to learn how to live well and coexist with the urban wildlife that visit communities throughout the southwest.

Getting Started With Sky Island FotoFauna

In this webinar, our Wildlife Specialist Meagan Bethel will walk you through how to join FotoFauna! With almost 200 volunteer cameras operating in the Sky Island region, you'll become a part of a large community science project that strives to better understand our regional and migratory wildlife.

Key Messages and Comment Writing on the Border Barrier Remediation Plan

Come learn how to write comments to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about their Remediation Plan for the Tucson Sector! Submit your comments by Feb 3, 2022 and make your voice heard for the wildlife and landscapes of the Sky Island borderlands.

Year-End 2021 FotoFauna Photo Celebration with Saguaro National Park

We’re back with another year-end celebration featuring photos submitted by the Sky Island FotoFauna community. With over 1,000 checklists now submitted to the project, there are sure to be plenty of wacky, weird, and just plain wondrous photos to look through.

Sky Island FotoFauna: First Year Results from a Growing Wildlife Monitoring Network

Come celebrate one year of Sky Island FotoFauna with us! After 12 months of data and over 1,000 checklists submitted, we are excited to share what the growing FotoFauna community of wildlife cameras in Sonora and Arizona is showing us about the distribution of Sky Island mammals.

Stories of Water, Mountains, and a Jaguar in The Borderlands

Watch this coffee break recording to hear guest presenter Ganesh Marín discuss the ongoing research being done on highly mobile wildlife (including jaguar, ocelot, black bear, and bats) in Sonora, Mexico.

Watershed Management Group—How Local Communities Restore and Track Tucson's Flowing Rivers

Watch this webinar to learn how communities in the Tucson area have helped restore Tucson’s heritage of flowing creeks and rivers through Watershed Management Group's River Run Network. Our guest presenter also talk about the Flow365 project, a community science monitoring team who does groundwork to track the flow of nearby rivers.

Introducción a Spring Seeker en Español

¡Únase a nosotros para un Coffee Break de Sky Island en español sobre nuestro proyecto Spring Seeker! El asistente de SIA, Ángel García, le explicará cómo unirse a nosotros para aprender a recopilar datos de manantiales locales a través de nuestro proyecto Spring Seeker.

Seeking Springs in the Perimeter of the Bighorn Fire

During this webinar, we discuss how volunteers can collect information on the health of springs affected by the Bighorn Fire in the Santa Catalina Mountains (near Tucson, Arizona) using our intuitive Spring Seeker smartphone app.

Exploring Monsoon Season and Current Weather Conditions with CLIMAS

How much do you know about the summer rains we get in the Southwest U.S.? If you have questions about how monsoons work, including how to make sense of the recent weather conditions and rain events we've received across the Sky Islands, you won’t want to miss this coffee break!

Bobcats in Tucson: A Study of Cats Living in and around the Tucson Mountains

Did you know there are bobcats in Tucson? There are—and our host, wildlife biologist Cheryl Mollohan with the organization Bobcats in Tucson, is here to tell you all about them. This discussion covers facts about the cat family and focuses on what the Bobcats in Tucson (BIT) study has learned from their radio-collared urban bobcats over the last seven months.

Conservation in Review: What We’re Working on in Sonora, Mexico

Join us for an informative overview of our work in Sonora, Mexico! We will start with a short history of the region, talk briefly about some of the challenges and opportunities in the region, and share the latest updates on our wildlife and water programs.

Introducción a FotoFauna en Español

¡Únase a nosotros para un Sky Island Coffee Break repleto de vida silvestre! El becario de SIA, Miguel Francisco Enríquez Galaz, le explicará cómo unirse a nuestra red de monitoreo de vida silvestre, Sky Island FotoFauna.

How to Identify Wildlife on Your Trail Cameras

Do you have a wildlife camera at home? Want to learn how to better identify the species detected in your backyard? This workshop covers how to identify common species seen on cameras in the Sky Island region—with a special emphasis on similar-looking species like deer, skunks, squirrels, and jackrabbits.

A Big Year on the Border—Year 1 Border Wildlife Study Results

Since March 2020, our array of Border Wildlife Study cameras have continuously documented ecological and environmental change along 30 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. With our species count on the camera array at 109 species, we now are seeing patterns emerge across the landscape of where mammals and birds are most active.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.