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Programming November 2016 through April 2017 Showcases 50 Years of Conservation at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Beyond

East County News Service

October 19, 2016 (Borrego Springs) – How do arthropods create micro-communities in cacti? What is the state of the puma population in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park? How did places in the Park like “Alcoholic Pass” and “Hellhole Canyon” get their names?

The answers to these questions and much more will be presented by experts at Anza-Borrego Foundation’s Colorado Desert Natural History Research Symposium, November 4-6, 2016, and throughout Anza-Borrego Foundation’s “In Focus” Education Series, from November 2016 through April 2017.

“As part of Anza-Borrego Foundation’s 50th anniversary of supporting the Park, we’ve expanded our educational offerings for the public, students and researchers,” said Foundation Executive Director Paige Rogowski. “Attendees will hear about cutting-edge research and historic treasures within their own backyard, and can engage in hands-on learning during field tours of the Park – no experience required!”

Anza-Borrego Foundation’s Colorado Desert Natural History Research Symposium

Nov. 4-6, 2016

Borrego Springs Resort and Spa

The third annual symposium is a dynamic three-day weekend of events showcasing research from within the Colorado Desert region. It is presented in partnership with Anza-Borrego Foundation, California State Parks and UC Irvine.

The keynote address, “Anza-Borrego Foundation: 50 Years of Conservation in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park,” will be given by David Van Cleve, who, now retired, was the senior project director for The Nature Conservancy and superintendent for California Department of Parks and Recreation. He is currently leading the effort to nominate Anza-Borrego Desert State Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Additional presentations will discuss predator vs. prey interaction, puma population dynamics and conservation, tarantula evolution, arthropod micro-communities, valley fever and desert plant biodiversity. On the final day, California’s largest state park will serve as a living laboratory for field tours to explore further what was learned the day before.

The Symposium is $135 for the public, $115 for ABF Members and $115 for students. Cost includes the Friday welcome reception, Saturday lectures, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. The Sunday field tours are $15 per person, and the banquet dinner is $45 per person. For online registration and more information, visit or call 760-767-0446.

Anza-Borrego Foundation’s “In Focus” Education Series

November 2016-April 2017

Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center and throughout Park

In partnership with the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center and the Park, this education series includes research-centered lectures on Friday evenings, followed by full-day Saturday field excursions. Attendees are encouraged to partake in all class components, but have the option to attend one or both days.

The anniversary season includes talks with esteemed researchers, historians and long-time Park staff on topics such as earthquake myths and realities in the internet age, mountain lion activity patterns, the history behind Park names, behind-the-scenes glimpses into crazy land purchases and desert ranching, and much more. Accompanying tours feature a hike into Coyote Canyon, a visit to a historic Butterfield Overland Mail stop, a citizen science view of the Park’s diverse caterpillar population and other adventures.

Each class is available separately, with the first in the series launching on Nov. 11-12, 2016. Friday lectures are held 7:30-9 p.m. at the Research Center for $5 at the door. Saturday field classes have varying times, depending on the topic, and meet at the Anza-Borrego Foundation Office for $50 for Foundation members and $60 for the general public (fee includes Friday lecture). Field class advance registration required. For online registration and more information, visit or call 760-767-0446.

About Anza-Borrego Foundation

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this desert season, Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF) is the official nonprofit partner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. ABF provides financial support for Park programs, acquires land for conservation in and around the Park, educates the public about the Park’s resources and supports research relevant to the region.

In addition to raising private funds to support Park programs and projects, ABF offers an extensive selection of guidebooks, clothing and other products in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s Visitor Center and State Park Store.

To learn more, plan your visit, become a member or volunteer, visit

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