Field Notes

Why We Study Springs and How You can Get Involved in Their Stewardship

November 18, 2021

Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time studying springs in the Sky Islands? In the arid parts of North America, and especially in the west, springs are often the only water sources available for wildlife and people. Springs here in the southwest also harbor unique species, such as Bartram’s stonecrop, Chiricahua Leopard frogs, and tiny…
Read more »

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…
Read more »

Spring Seeker Stories: Agua Caliente Tank

July 16, 2021

We’re back this month with another installment in our Spring Seeker Stories! This time, retired wildland firefighter and Sky Island Alliance volunteer Brit Rosso takes us on a rollercoaster of a journey through the Santa Catalina Mountains to find Agua Caliente Tank and Possible Spring. If you missed the last one, you can read Brit’s notes…
Read more »

Spring Seeker Stories: Bear and Grapevine Spring in the Southern Rincon Mountains

April 28, 2021

We’re back this month with another installment in our Spring Seeker Stories! This time, retired wildland firefighter and Spring Seeker volunteer Brit Rosso takes us on a visual journey through the Southern Rincon Mountains to find Bear Spring and Grapevine Spring.  In his field notes, Brit muses about the creation of the Rincon Mountain Wilderness, a…
Read more »

What We Learned from Monitoring Springs in 2020

January 8, 2021

Since the launch of Spring Seeker in July 2020, Sky Island Alliance and its volunteers have been able to visit 256 springs throughout the Sky Island region of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.  Visitors of these springs completed a quick survey in an app on their phone, detailing the location and state of each water source—including which ones were impacted by ongoing drought, which ones need some restoration work or protection, and which ones are intermittent…
Read more »

A Quick Guide to Springs in the Sky Islands

November 3, 2020

If you’ve ever wondered what springs are, how they form, or why they’re important to the ecosystems and habitats found in the Sky Island region, go no further. In celebration of hitting three months of spring seeking—a community project that has allowed us to monitor the health of our springs in Arizona and Sonora—we’ve put together a quick guide to help you navigate the many…
Read more »