Field Notes

Binational gathering helps shape the future of the Sky Island border region

June 14, 2018

Einstein famously said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” And I would add, nor with the same voices. For one week in May, hundreds of scientists, land managers, students, and conservationists gathered at the Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago Conference in Tucson. The conference…
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Volunteer Dispatch: Sourcing Devotion: The art of nature, a sublime Sky Island natural spring, pt. 5

June 11, 2018

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Springtime 2018 Visit to the Spring “Nature is the Art of God.” – Dante Had we missed the last spring wildflowers this year? Super blooms in the desert grasslands: Southern Arizona’s dazzling Art of Nature: wide swatches of color and scent,…
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Your #MadCon2018 Daily Digest is here!

May 10, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018 Day 4 – Big thinking and grand visions Inspired by field trips on Wednesday and pumped full of ideas from three days of engaging sessions, Thursday at MadCon was all about BIG thinking. The day kicked off with author Mary Ellen Hannibal sharing her take on the big power of citizen…
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CALL TO ACTION: Speak out to protect our Outstanding Arizona Waters!

May 2, 2018

Davidson Canyon, one of our most vital Sky Island pathways for wildlife, and Cienega Creek, a riparian oasis, are designated as Outstanding Arizona Waters. This designation protects unique habitats and perennial flow and safeguards our drinking water in Tucson! At the behest of Hudbay Minerals, a Canadian company seeking to build Rosemont Copper Mine in…
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Volunteer Dispatch: Ecology as contemplative practice, pt. 4

March 21, 2018

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer “Darwin’s manner of deep watchfulness allowed the ordinary ground of life to become sanctified, to be brought into Sensus plenoir—a fuller sense—through the offering of simple attention.” – Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author and naturalist. “…what would it mean for contemplative practice to be considered an integral…
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Too much at stake—no border wall in our Sky Islands!

March 6, 2018

The Sky Islands are a Continental Crossroads, a place where cultures from two countries and multiple Native Nations mix and mingle, where black bear, coati, and jaguar meet. It is a place of transitions and extremes—extreme heat of the desert summer broken by cool mountain tops and monsoon rain and extreme diversity of plants and…
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Volunteer Dispatch: To everything a season, pt. 3

February 7, 2018

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer “Within the recesses of the forest, even when in the midst of it (the deafening noise of the insects), a universal stillness appears to reign,” – Darwin, Brazil, 1830s. Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Fall 2017 Visit to the Spring In Fall of 2017, our adopted…
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Our resolutions to make 2018 a whole lot better

January 25, 2018

For all of us who care about our fellow humans, clean air and water, and sharing space with other creatures, 2017 was a roller coaster ride, and 2018 is starting out with more of the same. I’ve spent the first part of January taking stock and thinking about what we can do in 2018 to…
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Volunteer Dispatch: The life of a desert spring, pt. 2

October 24, 2017

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Monsoon 2017 Visit to the Spring Our first visit to the spring at the height of the Sonoran Desert Summer exceeded our expectations, yielding water flow, nothing short of a miracle. Now, at the end of the monsoon season, we continue…
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Volunteer Dispatch: The life of a desert spring

August 3, 2017

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Our First Visit to the Spring: Summer 2017 Note to the Reader: the whereabouts of this wilderness spring is not revealed to ensure the survival of its unique ecosystem. Deep in a mountain range in southeastern Arizona, dry summer grasses flanking…
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