Sonoran Desert Sojourn
Dates: March 9-19, 2018
After participating in guided reading and online activities that provide background knowledge of the natural and human history of the Sonoran Desert region, students will travel to southern Arizona for an 11-day field experience. There we will establish a base camp at Catalina State Park. From the moment we arrive, students will have daily opportunities for learning and practicing a variety of leadership, teamwork and outdoor skills.
We will spend two days at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum to take part in hands-on workshops and demonstrations, attend the annual Tucson Festival of Books and University of Arizona “Science City” event where students may choose hands-on activities, laboratory tours, science presentations, demonstrations and performances, and meet renowned science authors and researchers. Students will also be visiting significant historical and archaeological sites and will work with regional historians and naturalists.
After leaving Catalina State Park, we will head to the San Pedro River Valley, one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. There we will stay five days at the Cascabel Conservation Association Education Center (group camping facilities).
Field studies will include hands-on workshops with local experts and naturalists, observation, data collection and analysis, plant and animal identification and adaptation, local geology, climate, desert survival and current southwest conservation issues.
The Sonoran Desert Sojourn will culminate in a two-day group backpacking trip in Hot Springs Canyon and an optional one night solo camping experience.
High School Credit Available: (Students must enroll in at least one course for credit but may take up to five courses)
Desert Field Ecology (0.5 credit, Science)
Contemporary Southwest Literature (0.5 credit, English)
Everyday Leadership (0.5 credit, General Elective)
Outdoor Recreation (0.5 credit, General Elective)
History/Geography of the American Southwest (0.5 credit, History)
Course Tuition: $250/semester credit (0.5 high school credit). Students enrolled in public-school correspondence programs may use allotment money to cover course tuition. Students have one year from date of enrollment to complete the course requirements for earning high school credit.
Program Fee: $1,600 for the 11-day field experience. Includes meals, lodging, transportation, workshops, field trips, and all other events. Round trip transportation to and from Tucson, AZ is NOT included.
Financial Aid: Please ask about financial aid which may be able to help some students with the program fee and transportation costs. Contact us for more information.
Enrollment is open to students in grades 10-12. Prior hiking, camping and backpacking experience is not required to enroll, but students are encouraged to be physically fit and curious about the natural world!