Field Notes

Second local March for Science rally on Sunday at Reid Park

April 12, 2018

March for Science Southern Arizona is holding its second rally with the hopes of evolving into a larger organization that focuses year-round on science education, literacy and outreach.

Along the border, 500 miles of desert species

April 5, 2018

One early March morning in southern Arizona’s Coronado National Memorial, an uneven line of scientists and amateur naturalists in floppy hats and hiking pants crept up a steep hillside through yellowed grasses and dark shrubs.

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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The desert, divided

March 19, 2018

In early January, almost everyone in the country seemed to have the flu, including U.S. House Rep. Raúl Grijalva. “My grandkids made me sick!” he exclaimed over the phone from Washington, D.C., sounding congested. Grijalva, a Democrat, represents Arizona’s 3rd District, which comprises most of the state’s southern border, including Nogales, a town of one-…
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Border BioBlitz documents Santa Ana wildlife in binational science effort

March 13, 2018

ALAMO — Looking to preserve the biodiversity of the Rio Grande Valley, volunteers from both sides of the border have been working to document as many species as possible. Last Saturday the group gathered at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge to participate in the Border BioBlitz, a one-day binational science effort to record as many…
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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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Where to Embark on a Sky Island Adventure

February 26, 2018

It’s the most romantic name in the world for a mountain: sky island. The two words conjure up a magical, lofty kingdom from Avatar or your favorite children’s book, and though they’re surrounded by land and not water, they possess all the island essentials. They are separate. They follow their own rules. And they are…
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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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Groups plan longer Tucson campaign to beat back invasive buffel grass

January 29, 2018

Doug Siegel is among thousands of volunteers on a mission to “Save Our Saguaros,” one clump of buffelgrass at a time. “The Sonoran Desert is one of the most diverse deserts in the world, and if we ignore buffelgrass and let it take over, we will see what we have disappear and be transformed into…
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Passage Prevented

For more than a year, then-candidate Donald Trump promised voters at rallies, in tweets and on debate stages that America’s very safety and sovereignty had been compromised, and the only solution was to build a wall on the porous and unprotected U.S.-Mexico border.